SketchUp, Random Concepts from Beginning of Course

How Do I Make a Hold in the Wall?

I’m trying to make a rectangular hole in a wall that has 2 layers. Push/Pull did not work.

I selected the portion that was to be removed and press Delete. That did not work.

So, how do I make a hold in a double-thick wall?

The link to the skp file can be found here: [Tube LH 7.skp|attachment](upload://jI0JRGnuPWar6YNZRFhw9UJVBf2.skp) (200.2 KB).



Colours change as Orbit cursor moves

Changing colours and Orbit tool



When I look straight into the hexagon, the colours are perfect. When I use the Orbit tool, the colours start moving. Is there way to stop this?





The man from the forum said: You need to understand context,
You are getting z-fighting which is two faces fighting for graphic dominance. This is because you have created faces that are outside the ‘Group’ but basically in the same place.
Here you see:

  1. I triple click to select all the loose geometry,
  2. I then cut it to the clipboard, you won’t have this in your context menu, go edit/cut.
  3. Then I double click to open the group for editing
  4. and Paste in Place. (again edit/paste in place)

Getting your head around the concept of ‘Context’ is quite important.


Learning SketchUp Pro

The section below has notes I was taking as I was learning SketchUp Pro from the free thirty-day trial. I have made this page mainly for my own benefit. When I’m not sure of how to do something, I can use Cmd F on my Mac to look for the key words to help me find a particular concept.

My First Drawing

  1. Note that you will make lots of mistakes. So,  use Cmd Z lots to erase the previous action. Cmd Z will not work unless the Large Tool Set is in place as a vertical menu.
  2. Go to View > Tool Palettes > Large Tool Set
  3. When you click on a tool icon, an animation of how the tool works shows up on the right if you have it setup.
  4. (I used the erase icon to erase the human that showed up in my new drawing.)
  5. Use rectangle tool to make a rectangle. In my Mac hold down the ALT key while drawing the first line. That way I can make the side parallel with the blue axis if I wish. Then type 4’ comma 4’ Enter to change it to a 4×4 foot rectangle.  2” thick
    1. Zoom. Turn the mouse wheel to make the image larger or smaller.
  6. To draw a permanent rectangle with the arrow pointer, first select Draw > Shapes > Rectangle. Alternately, use the rectangle tool beneath the pencil in   the picture to the right.
  7. Use the push/pull toll to raise the rectangle.
  8. Draw a sloped roof. Using the pencil tool, find the midpoint of the edge of a rectangle. Draw a line to the opposite edge & move until the word “midpoint” shows up. Choose the Move tool. Hover over the centre line until you see the word “midpoint”.  Drag the roof up.
  9. Making a Group. Triple click on the house. This will select each face, edge & point. Right click on the house & select Make Group. That will render the entire house as a single object. E.g., you can move the entire house up in the air using the Move tool mentioned above.
    1. As you move the house up, you can see a blue dotted line. After you see that, click 8’ to move the house 8’ up. If you move the house down as you are seeing the blue dotted line, the house moves down 8’.
    2. Use the arrows on your keyboard to determine which axis is used — up for blue, right for red and left for green.
  10. 4 pillars to hold the house up. Pillars are 4” x 4” x 8’. Hold down mouse wheel and move to expose underside of house. Click on Rectangle tool and hold cursor on the Endpoint of the  house with a rectangle showing on the underside of the house. Finish drawing rectangle and then something such as `4”,4” Enter to  create the dimensions of the pillar.
    1. Use the Push/Pull tool to drag the pillar and make it longer or shorter. Alternatively: 8’ Enter.
    2. Click Select tool and triple click pillar so that it will move as a single unit. Right-click on pillar and click Component. (Thing that you will copy will be a component. Otherwise, you can Make Group.) With cursor at endpoint and Move tool selected, move pillar to opposite side. At some point hold ALT key down for a second. A second pillar will show up at the original point.
    3. Click on a pillar. While holding Shift key down, click the other pillar. Now both of them will be selected. With Move tool selected, hover cursor over endpoint and move the two pillars to the opposite side. While doing that, hold down the Alt key to create a second pair of  pillars.
    4. Look at the aqua house above. It is now “complete”. To edit any part, you must double click on that part with the Select tool.  Double-click on one of the pillars to make it editable.  Then select the Offset tool, click the bottom of a pillar and drag out to make a larger square. Type 2” Enter to  make the base 2” offset from the pillar. Use the Push/Pull tool to create the 1’ high decorative piece around each base. Start Pulling up and press 1’ Enter.
    5. Inferencing: To draw accurate measurements without ever having to enter any numbers. In this exercise, we will draw a platform of which the edges are flush with the 4 pillars.  This is how to do it.
      1. Notice these 2 drawings with the rectangle tool. The top one has the pillars at not much of a slant and the  picture will be a side view of the Rectangle. The bottom one has the pillars at a great slant and the Rectangle tool makes an image of the top of a rectangle.
      2. Using the Rectangle tool, draw a rectangle inside the pillar space. Using the Push/Pull tool and the 4” Enter sequence, change the rectangle into a 4” high platform.
      3. Triple click on the platform and right-click to make it a group.
      4. Click the Move icon and the click the lower corner of a  pillar. This will allow you to easily move the platform up 32”.
      5. Tap the up arrow key to lock your move to the blue axis. Using the Move/Copy tool and a 32” Enter sequence, raise the platform 32” above the base.
      6. Using the Select tool, double-click on the platform to make it editable.
      7. Using the Push/Pull tool, click on each of the FOUR faces of the platform and drag them towards the appropriate pillar. Drag your cursor to  the appropriate location on your pillar to which the platform should go. Look at the text like in the screenshot here.
      8. Two opposite sides will run right through to the outside ends of pillars. For the other set of  platform ends, use the Rectangle tool to join opposite corners of the edge. You will see the tiny word “intersection” at the 2 ends of the rectangle. Then pull them forward. Notice how the red line is at right  angles to the face as you start making the platform.
      9. ARCS & CIRCLES. Using the platform from paragraph
        #6, you will use the tape measure to measure 1” and then 3” away from an outer edge. (To make the first line, attach tape measure to edge & then key in 2” Enter.) The will give you a space in which to insert a 2” wide wall. Using the Rectangle tool & the Push/Pull tool, draw a wall to protect the kids on this playground equipment.
      10. Using the 3 point arc tool, draw an arc near the top of the wall. (Make sure you start the arc at the intersection of the pillar & the wall, NOT on the pillar.)
        1. The 7 points below are extraneous materials that I was  learning about how to build the curved wall and the empty circles. Now all you will need are the sub-points below.
            1. Move the cursor to a point where the wall and the pillar meet. The cursor must touch the wall and NOT a pillar.
            2. Click the cursor like you see the red dot and then again somewhere in the middle. Press the mouse wheel and move the wall so that you can see the space between the  wall and the pillar at the point where your third cursor point will be. Then click to create the end of the curve.
            3. Hold the Push/Pull cursor on the upper  curved section of the wall. Notice how it has multiple blue dots and the section below  does not.

          1. Slowly move the cursor to the right & left until you are able to see a blue & white area like you see in this image. You may have to move right & then left.
          2. If you are having trouble with #4 above, try moving the Push/Pull cursor until the words “On Edge”.
          3. Push the upper section in so that it disappears.
          4. Using the circle tool, make a number of circles in the wall. Then gently move your cursor until the blue & white area appears. Lift your finger off the mouse button. The holes will appear & you can see the pillars or whatever is behind them.
        2. Keep moving the arc around until you see what you like and click. To start drawing the arc, click once to create the beginning, move cursor and click to make a point in the  middle. Then move the cursor to click and make the end point.
        3. You have been using components so that’s good. You’ve drawn the arc outside of the apron component, though so the arc doesn’t divide the face into sections. Before you draw the arc you need to open the component for editing. Double click on it with the Select tool to open it. Then draw the arc, get the Push/Pull tool and push away the area under the arc.                 
          1. Here I traced your arc while I had the component open. After I pushed the area under the arc I closed the component to get out of edit mode and deleted your original arc.            
          2. The note below is from the SketchUp Forum ( You should open the component for editing before drawing the curve so the curve will modify the geometry inside the component.  At the stage of your model in the video, you could select the curve, use Edit>Cut to cut it to the clipboard, open the component for editing and use Edit>Paste in Place to paste the curve inside with the rest of the geometry. Then use Push/Pull to push away the waste.        
        4. Start Push/Pull. If type in 5’, you can raise shape exactly 5’. Add 5’ again & you can raise it exactly 10’. Push/Pull works perpendicular to the surface your cursor is on. Push/Pull remembers the last distance you used. Double click on the next surface & it will expand to the same distance your previous surface did.
        5. When you use the Push/Pull tool to extrude a 2D face that includes an arc, SketchUp extrudes a special surface entity whose radius can also be edited. Use the Move tool to reposition the midpoint edge, and all the geometry that  makes up the extruded arc will move accordingly, as shown in the figure.
        6. Free SketchUp plugins:
    6. ARRAYS. Arrays are groups of identical objects in different locations. In this illustration we will create a  horizontal bar. Then we will the array function to create  3 more identical horizontal bars.
      1. After selecting the circle icon, hover on the midpoint section of the pillar for 2 seconds. Move straight up by watching the blue dotted line and create a 1” radius circle on that dotted  line.
      2. Using the Push/Pull tool, move that circle  across to the opposite pillar.
      3. Triple click on the bar and right click to make the bar a component. (That’s because you should always use components if you wish  to make two or more copies.)
      4. Arrays are created by making one copy first. Use the Move tool to raise the bar along the dotted blue line to make sure it goes straight up. (You may have to press the Up arrow to make sure the line is blue.) Tap the Alt key to make a second copy. Beside “Distance” in the lower right-hand corner, type 8”. After the 8” (the distance between bars), type 3x and then press the Enter key. This will make 3 bars 8” apart. If there are too many bars, simply use the Move icon to move them beyond the pillars. Then use the Select arrow to select  them and press Delete to delete.
      5. To create the 13 floor joists, I created the first one. It was 1 15/16” wide. Then I measured the distance from the first to the approximate distance to where the last joist would be. It was a little over 8.5 feet. That’s a little over 8 x 12”. I made the first joist into a component, clicked Move on it and moved it a bit. Then I pressed Alt to replace the one that had been moved. I pressed 8” Enter. Then, with the 2nd joist selected, I typed x12 Enter. Now I have a total of 13 joists. Notice that I did not fill up the space for the last 0.5”. So, I will have to add a 14th joist.
    7. Below is the response from the SketchUp forum regarding my inability to make steps.

You’ve got a couple of things going on, all related to the correct use of groups.
The ‘block’ itself is made of two groups, one the bottom and sides the other the top. This is no use in this case. The blue ‘bounding box’ is the giveaway that the geometry is grouped, if not grouped the face would show selected.
The edges you have drawn for the stairs are ‘Outside the context of the group’. Meaning you have not opened the group for editing before creating those edges and therefore they are not cutting the geometry of the ‘block’.
In this vid you can see that I am able to move the top away as a separate piece. I can then select and cut the edges to the clipboard, then open the group for editing and after drawing in an edge to heal the top I use paste in place to put the edges back. Then I’m able to push the geometry because everything is in the correct context. Note I have cut and paste in the context menu for display, you’ll have them in the edit menu or keyboard shortcuts.

  1. Steps. We will now create steps to go up to the platform:
    1. On the edge of the platform, draw a rectangle from the midpoint to the pillar.
      1. Use the line tool to draw a line to separate the steps from the rest of the platform. After finishing one line, click on another tool to turn off the line tool. Alternately, you can press the ESC key.
    2. With the Push/Pull tool, pull the rectangle out exactly 4’.
    3. Push/Pull down even with bottom of pillar.
    4. Note: You group the block AFTER the steps have been drawn. With the tape measure tool, draw dotted lines 12” across and 8” down.  Alternately, you can start the line and type the length of the line desired. The numbers will automatically show up in the dimensions box.
    5. With the Line tool, draw a line straight down 8” from the 12” point.
    6. Go to edit line and choose Edit > Delete guide.
    7. Using your Shift key, select the 2 step lines.
    8. After the steps have been drawn, use the Push/Pull tool and select the section above the steps. Then push that space and isolate the steps. (You may have try this several times. Moving  the tool down will move the steps in the wrong direction.)
    9. Use the 3-point arc tool to remove parts below the steps.
    10. Group the steps.
  2. The Slide. Draw rectangle about 2.5’ wide on unused side and drag it out 6’. Then drag it down to ground using pillar as reference.
    1. Using a 2-point arc tool, draw an arc from about 4” below upper right-hand corner.
    2. Select arc and Cmd C. Then Cmd V to paste it. Move mouse around and you will see the blue arc. Move it so RH side is in the corner.
    3. Using the Push/Pull tool, remove the spaces above & below the arcs.
    4. Then Group the slide.
    5. Add shadows to slide.
    6. Add Colors to slide.

Core Concepts

  1. In SketchUp we basically work with 2 different concepts: edges & surfaces.
  2. To be able to join edges & surfaces, they must be coplanar. I.e., they must be on the same plane. Notice  in this drawing of 16 rectangles, they were made by connecting midpoints on the same plane.
  3. By erasing lines, we were able to change the shape of the surface. Note that the paint tool will paint all areas of a surface unless the surface has been interrupted by lines.
  4. Those small rectangles could not be created unless  the surface was coplanar.
  5. A fast way to erase multiple edges is to hold the  mouse key down and drag the eraser over the edges. When you release the mouse button, all selected edges will disappear.
  6. The erase a surface, click the Select tool on a  surface without touching a line connected to the surface. Then press the delete key.
  7. If we hover over a point on an edge with the line tool for 2 seconds, SketchUp will remember that point. Then we can draw a line to approximately where we thought the point was. It will have some text such as “On Edge” at the exact point where we hovered.
  8. Inference points include midpoints, endpoints & edge points.
  9. I started at the RH edge to draw line A. When I got to point B, I stopped for 2 seconds and then continued drawing. Next I started at point D and began drawing another line. B was already an inference point.  So, when I got to point C, the dot at line B showed up and I could have gone up the green line and drawn a line straight up to point B. Then  angle BCD would have been a right angle.
  10. Note that the lines must be continuous to create a surface. In this tiny sample, the line above & to the left of the LH red rectangle has been erased. Consequently, the color has been eliminated from that shape.
  11. Here I’m drawing a box using inferences and my Line tool. The 15’ x 15’ rectangle will be the top of the box. I’ve already made one side. To make the next side I clicked on point C below B, moved my cursor up to the endpoint near A and hovered  for 2 seconds. I returned the Line cursor to below B and drew a line along the green line until the endpoint at A was highlighted. I clicked the mouse and went straight up the blue line until I could click on A. The result is the new box you see here.
  12. CAUTION: Sometimes when the angle of a shape is wrong, 2 of the lines (in this image it is the red & the blue lines) may almost overlap.This can cause mistakes. If that happens, press the mouse wheel to  change the angle of your shape.
  13. Pull identical heights. When you want 2 or more shapes to be pulled up the identical heights (like these piano keys), raise the first one the desired height. Then double click the Push/Pull tool on the other shapes to be pulled  out the same height. You can also double-click the same object to let a side panel or  part to be pulled out the same amount as the  height.
  14. X-Ray — To be able to see both the outside & inside wall at the same time, click on View > Face Style > X-Ray.
  15. Copy of old wall — If you are dragging up an 8’ wall to become a 10’ wall and you want to see what the 8’ wall looked like, click the Alt key.
  16. To draw with the Line tool, start drawing and lift  the mouse button. Then enter the desired length in the Length box. Press Enter and you will go to the correct length.
    1. When I drew this triangle, it said “end point” at each vertex. That is why I was able to paint it green without painting anything else green.
  17. Change default measurement units — Presently my default units are inches. So, if in the length box I enter 48 Enter, SketchUp will draw a line 48” long. To change the default units, go to Window > Model Info.
  18. Arc tool — To make an arc of a specific radius and a specific number of degrees, use the Arc tool & drag it to the canvas. Set the radius in the measurement box. Then start  dragging your arc & release the mouse key. Then enter the number of degrees in the measurement box. Click Enter.
  19. Tape Tool guide lines — Good example of using Tape measure guide lines is 30” from each edge and so much from top & bottom of  wall to place a window. Then use the Line tool to draw the window.
  20. Polygon tool — If you want a polygon 4’ in diameter with 7 sides, start to make the polygon and then type 7s 4’ Enter. That gets entered into your dimensions box and shape is immediately created.
  21. Difference polygon & circle — You can create a polygon by entering 7s 4’ Enter and get a circle that sort of has 7 sides. However, the polygon is the only one that will have 7 very distinct sides when you pull it out with the Push/Pull tool.
  22. Hendecagon (11-sided figure) — To make a hendecagon with a 5’ radius:  Click with Polygon tool & type 11s 5’ Enter
  23. Colored faces — To color each face of a polygon, Select & double-click. Then apply colours.
  24. Arcs
    1. Pie — Move the protractor so that it’s flat. Click. Drag out. Start to drag the line down. Type number of degrees and then click Enter.
      1. Protractor tool — Set your protractor on the origin of the angle you want and click. Slide your cursor from there, drag out your cursor to a convenient point on your base line and click. Arc your protractor to, say, 45 degrees (the protractor has 15 degree increments) and click. Use the line tool to draw a new line over the dotted line.
    2. 2-point arc — Click on 2 points. Go to middle of straight dotted line between them. Drag midpoint out to create an arc.
    3. 3-point arc — Click, move cursor & click again, then move to shape arc. Click to save a shape.
    4. Freehand tool — is not incredibly accurate for drawing lines.
  25. Entity Info — To find information about a selected shape, click Windows > Entity info. It will give you the area, radius & number of sides of a shape.


  1. Notice some of the things you can do with the Rotated  Rectangle tool.
    1. Click on 2 points then enter 5’,60 meaning 5 feet and 60  degrees. (If you rotate your image to look at the side view and use the Pie tool, you can check and it will be exactly 60 degrees.)
    2. Click 2 points and then move out at a particular angle.  Hold shift key and I can extend it as far as I want at that particular angle.
    3. For each of those 4 rectangles on the right, I clicked the 2   RH corners of the left rectangle. I dragged the cursor out without clicking. Then, for each of the 4 samples, I went  4’,60 Enter; 3’,45 Enter; 3’,30 Enter and then 4’,15 Enter.
    4. I started this green rectangle by starting at the origin of all 3 axes and then dragging along the green axis.

2. The Freehand tool is not incredibly   accurate.

3. The Offset tool in this example was used to make another copy of the arc. With Offset tool selected, click mouse on edge of arc. Key in 3” Enter.

Note the irregular shape on the left. Then, using the Shift key & the Select tool, every edge was selected. Click Offset tool onto selected edge and DRAG it towards the  inside. After having done that several times, I made the red & greed design.

To make these 4 window panes I created the outside rectangle and then offset it twice to make 2 rectangles inside. Then I used the Measure tool to find location of windows. I saved the frame as a group. Then I made one pane and saved it as a component. Using the ALT key, I duplicated the second pane. Using a similar system, I created that second set of 2 panes.


  1. It only works on edges; it will not erase surfaces.
  2. To use Eraser, hold down mouse button and move over as many edges as you want.
  3. Notice small circle on LH corner. That’s focus area.  Hold over line that is to be erased.
  4. In LH area of window, held down shift key while erasing and edges were erased. Shadowing stayed. In RH side, ALT key was held down to soften the edges. Note that the shadow was also softened

Selection Methods

For more information, search for a lesson titled Selection Methods.

  1. To select a line or a surface, click on that line or edge.
  2. If you double-click on a surface, it will also select all of its bounding edges.
  3. To select a line, a surface AND the grouped geometry, triple-click on a surface or edge.
  4. To connect all grouped geometry in 2 separate surfaces, temporarily draw a line connecting those surfaces. Then triple-click.
  5. Selecting groups of objects.
    1. To select a group of objects, drag a rectangle from LEFT TO RIGHT around the objects.  Only those objects within the rectangle will be selected. However, if you drag the rectangle from RIGHT TO LEFT, anything the dotted line touches will be  selected.
    2. Sometimes you may select a rectangle on top of a roof and accidentally select the objects below the roof. Use View > Face Style > X-ray to see what is on both sides of the roof at the same time.
  6. Modifiers
    1. Shift key to select objects at more or less the same time.
    2. Alt key to add items such as when I use the Array concept.
    3. Alt-Shift together will only subtract.
      1. Select > Delete will also subtract


Grouping Concepts

When edges touch or overlap like this table & wall, they  become one like this table & wall. Notice how it pulls the wall out to the right. You prevent this sticky geometry problem by grouping. Use the Select tool to draw a  rectangle around all components of the table that you wish to Group. Then right click to group.

Notice the roof on this slide set. It is a group. If  we select it, we can use the Move tool to move it. To edit a group such as the roof, you would have  to double-click it with the Select tool. Notice how we were able to change the roof color to green by double-clicking on it.

When making a new shape, group it as quickly as possible to prevent sticky geometry.

Nested groups are groups within a larger group. For  instance, each stair is a group. The set of stairs is a larger group.

When we form a new shape, it is best to line it up with the red, green & blue axes. In this example, the shape was NOT lined up with those axes. That can make editing more difficult.

In this example, the shape is not lined up  with the axes. This is how to line the shape up properly. Then it will be easier both to edit and to work with inferences.

  1. Select group, right-click on group and choose Place.
  2. Click 3 times. The first to establish the base of your new axis. The second to establish the red direction. The third to  establish the blue & green directions. The shape is now better aligned with the axes.

Rotate a group — Select a group such as this green roof by clicking once. Click on Move tool and hover over roof. Hold cursor down over red marks and you can rotate it.

Edit a group — To edit a group such as this roof where I added a red chimney, double click on it. Then edit like you  would normally edit something.

Cut a piece out of a box — To cut a piece like the example, simply use the Line tool to draw 2 lines. Then use the Push/Pull tool to push it down.

Nested groups — In this image, the stairs as a whole is a group. Each individual stair is also a group. You can edit each individual stair by double clicking on the group as a whole & then double click on an individual stair.

Line up with 3 axes — The dotted line in the image is lined up with the red, green & blue axes. However, the geometry in the image to the right is not lined up with those axes. Bad idea. That makes it more difficult to do some types of editing such as inferencing.

Copy before editing — In this image we wanted to edit the  wall. So, selected it and then clicked Edit > Copy. Then we pasted it elsewhere. Note that this will work for groups but not components.


In some ways components and groups act the same: They both can act as single objects, be moved, copied & be rotated.

Click on Window > 3D Warehouse. You will see an online warehouse that has MILLIONS of user-created samples of things. Because there are millions, you have to be specific in your searching. Note that some things are very detailed and will slow  down SketchUp.

In this example we will create this structure of arches and then have it supported with 8 pillars that are all components.

To create the structure: Using the Rectangle & Push/Pull & tape measure tool, create a block that is 15’ (or a multiple thereof) wide. Draw guidelines on the roof, say, 1’ from the edge and add a rectangle. Use the Push/Pull tool to create a wall 1’ thick. On the long sides, use the Tape Measure tool draw 9 guidelines an equal distance apart.

Using the 2 point arc tool, I drew the 2 curved sides of each arch. Then I used the Line tool to connect the corners of the walls to the bottom of each arch. I used the Push/Pull tool to delete all materials below the arches. I added complementary arches to the  ends of the structure.

I changed the structure to a group.

I wanted to have the structure upheld by 8 pillars. So, I created one relatively fancy structure and changed it into a component.   

After clicking the Move tool, I clicked onto the upper LH corner of the pillar and, using inferencing, moved my mouse cursor and clicked on the corner of the structure that you see in the illustration.

With the Move tool selected, I clicked on the LH corner of the  pillar and moved it to the right a bit. Then I hit the ALT key on my Mac. Then I continued moving the pillar until I clicked on the lower LH corner of the upper structure.

With the Select tool, I held down my shift key and selected the 2 left-hand pillars. Then, after clicking on the Move tool, I held the cursor on the dot at the upper LH corner of the pillar. I began moving the pillar to the right. After about a pillar’s distance, I pressed the ALT key on my Mac to reproduce the original 2 pillars in the original location. I ended up moving all 8 pillars into position as you see in this illustration.

Using the Select tool, I drew a rectangle to  the LEFT as you see in this illustration. This in turn selected the 4 inner pillars as you see in the lower illustration. I right clicked and chose Make Unique.

This means I can edit ONE of the 4 inner  pillars and edit the other 3 at the same time. Meanwhile, the other (outer) pillars will not be affected.

The white are components. That means that when we apply something to one pillar it will have do happen to all of the others.

We have a problem. The LH pillar is a bit off centre. In order to be able to move it independent of the other pillars, we click on it with the Select tool. Then right click and click Make Unique. Now we can move it without moving the others. Make Unique can also be applied to more than one pillar at a time.

Creating tiny components

(e.g., cabinet door handles)

Step by step instructions

  1. Draw rectangle
  2. Draw 2  parallel arcs within rectangle
  3. Color it the color of a cabinet door handle
  4. Erase the excess part
  5. Using the Scale tool,
    1. With Select tool, select the handle
    2. Click on the Scale tool
    3. drag a corner green square in to make the handle as small as possible.
    4. Using the Tape Measure tool, measure the length.
    5. If it is too big, start over with drawing a rectangle in point #1
  6. Use the Move tool to move the handle to a convenient place close to the cabinets.
  7. Whenever you need a handle, move it to the correct location. While doing that, press the ALT key to keep a copy in the original location.


Clicking the Rotate icon can place the protractor on any one of 3 planes — red, green or blue. Shift/Rotate will keep it on the same plane no matter  where you move it.

Let’s say we want to turn this irregular shape to be parallel with the blue axis.

  1. I make it into a group.
  2. Then I click the Rotate tool.
  3. When I have a blue protractor, I hold down the Shift  key and click on the LH corner.
  4. Then I click on the RH corner. 
  5. Then I rotate so that the long side is parallel to the blue axis.
  6. Note that you can type in numbers to represent the number of degrees you wish to rotate.

Floor Plan

Red & Green directions are inference directions. Midpoints, edge points & end points are inference points.

Hovering: When we draw a line, we want to click the mouse only at the 2 end points. In this example, we clicked at A and then hovered 2 seconds at B and then moved down until you saw inference point directly below at C. Then, directly to the left at C, I would click.

Drawing a box: To start drawing this box, I first draw the dark grey rectangle. Then I  draw a line from A to B. Then I hover at C for 2 seconds. Then I draw right in the green  direction until, directly above C, I see an inference point. I click and then draw a line down to C. For your exercise, finish the box with 4 sides around the initial rectangle. And then make an irregular shape.

Push/Pull to cut open a surface: The back of the surface must have a face parallel to the front and  must be unbroken.

Push/Pull to cut open a small surface: To cut open a small opening, use inferencing. Hover your Push/Pull tool over the back edge of a nearby surface. The small surface is in the lower RH column and the Push/Pull tool you can see in  another rectangle touching the back of an opening.

Multiple layers with Push/Pull: If you are drawing walls within a building, click on your Push/Pull tool and then press the ALT key. A plus sign will appear to the left of the Push/Pull tool. This means that when you add a foot or whatever to your wall, a drawing of the first wall will appear in your drawing. (Note that I used View > Face Style > X-Ray in my illustration here.)

Cut window of specific dimensions & distance from edges: Use tape measure to measure distance from bottom & one wall. This will provide 2 guide lines. Use tape measure to use guide lines for distance to other edges of window. Use rectangle tool to cut out window opening.


As a default, arcs are drawn with 12 sides. Each arc is made by clicking 3 times. This 3-point arc was started by clicking in a corner, on a side and then dragging the arc around. Right clicking on it and then Entity information will give the number of square feet.

Pie tool — The protractor in the Pie tool will snap in 15 degree increments. The angle you see to the right is at 75  degrees.

2-point Arc — The 2-point arc will snap to a half circle. Remember that all arc points require 3 clicks. You click   on either end of the 2-point arc, then shape the arc and make the third click to save it.

3-point Arc — The 3-point arc will snap at the quarter, half & 3 quarter circles.

Arches & Pillars

To make the arches:

  1. Took the outer part out of a huge block to create 4 narrow walls.
  2. Used the 2 point arc tool to create the arches.
  3. Carved a pillar out of a block. The width was the same as the arch width. The length was not quite as long as the orange part between the arches.
  4. Made the pillars into components.
  5. Using ALT and other things moved two pillars to below the 2 end orange parts.
  6. Used the Rectangle tool  to pull the end of the pillar out to  match the bottom of the orange part.
  7. Used ALT to drag the pillars beneath the rest of the arches.
  8. Right clicked on two of the pillars to make them  unique from the rest of the pillars.
  9. Then I drug them out so that the extension at the top of the 2 pillars pointed in the opposite direction of the other 6 pillars.


We’ll take a number of groups or components and  combine them into a single group or component. Then we can move them in unison.

Click the Select icon and, moving left, draw a rectangle around the table & all 6 chairs. This will select all 7 items. Right click so that they can be made into a group and moved around as a single object.


Unrelated info.: In 2020 “Layers” were renamed “Tags”.

You open your Tags menu by clicking on Windows > Tags. Let’s say you are going to draw a house and start with the floor. Select the floor and click the plus sign in your Tags menu. Change the name of you new tag to Floor.

As you project continues, you will add walls, a roof, etc. So, you can have new tags called Walls and Roof. Note that their geometry will still be connected. So, if you change the shape of your floor after the walls have been created, this will have an unwanted effect on your walls.

To avoid this problem, you can change each of Floor, Wall and Roof into a group. After that, making a change will not affect the   geometry of your other features.

This is my floor. I made it into a group, selected it, clicked the plus sign and changed the name to Floor. (Rename a tag by double clicking on it.)

  1. Triple click on the floor
  2. Click on Windows and open up both tags and entity.
  3. Click plus sign and name tag Floor.
  4. Click dropdown arrow in Entity Info and select Floor.
  5. Triple click the Floor and make it into a group.
  6. Now you can turn off the picture by clicking the eyeball.

Do that for all Groups. Then you can turn them on or off to edit them. With the house here the tags are floor, walls & roof. I made the peaked roof by drawing a rectangle 34’ x 24’ way above the walls. I connected the midpoints of opposite sides and then slowly moved the Move tool until I saw the word Midpoint. Then, moving the cursor in the direction of the line, I slowly created the peak.

Note that if you have too many tags, SketchUp will give you a  warning.

Move Tool


The image to the right is called 5 Yellow Cylinders Vertical. This is how to make them lie horizontally.

  1. Using the Select tool, hover over one of the pencils. Notice the red plus signs at either end.
  2. Press red arrow so that it will rotate around it. Hold the Move tool over the plus sign and rotate the cylinder.
  3. Do this for all 5 cylinders.
  4. Drag the cylinders to an appropriate place. If a cylinder appears too big, that’s because it is too close. Press the left arrow to make cylinder move back along the green axis.

Move into Transparent Jar

To move your cylinders into a transparent jar, you must first create a much larger cylinder & make it transparent.

  1. Using the circle tool, make 2 cylinders. Then use the Left, Right and Up arrows and the Move tool to move the lid to the top of the jar.
  2. Make sure they are selected.
  3. Click on Window > Materials.
  4. At the bottom of the color chart you can see a slider to change the opacity. Reduce opacity.
  5. In this image the Move tool is being used to drag the last yellow cylinder into the jar.
  6. One of the pencils was not touching the bottom of the jar. This is what I had to do:
    1. Select the 2 parts of the jar.
    2. Move them away from the pencils.
    3. Select the pencil in question.
    4. Move it down a bit.
    5. Move the jar back over the pencils.

Move Windows, etc.

In the top image only the windows were selected. When they were selected, the Select tool was moved from LEFT to RIGHT!! Then we used the Move tool to move the windows along the green axis to the right. The same thing happened with the walls here. The wall on the right was the original one.

The geometry was NOT grouped yet. The end wall in its entirety was selected from LEFT to RIGHT. Then the wall was dragged out to the right with the Move tool. Thus that room in the house became longer.

Picture Frame 

I am trying to draw a picture frame using a rectangle. I want some fancy grooves. I used a 2 point arc tool, making sure I  used the up arrow (blue axis) so that the arc would be on the side of the frame.

The same left to right selecting was used to increase the length of this picture frame.


Here a circle was drawn onto the top of a cylinder and a rectangle was drawn on top of a box. When I  tried to move them, they just went to the side.

Those circles & rectangles just stay on the same plane when you try to move them.

However, then you draw lines to the outer corners of the rectangle  and also press the Cmd key while trying to move up the circle, you get better shapes.

If you try using auto fold with complex curved surfaces, that can get too messy.

Arrays using Move

Use Move to create a complex array. These are the parts:

  1. Sidewalk — Rectangle tool entering these dimensions: 5’,100’
  2. Lamp pole — Up arrow (blue). Make circle with 2” radius. Push/Pull it up 10’. Make component. Double click on it. Using  Offset tool, drag a circle beyond the radius of the pole.
    1. Holding the Cmd key down, drag the smaller circle up to create that cone effect. Make the whole thing a component.
    2. You will likely have to use your left, right and up  arrows. Drag the post to the left corner of the sidewalk.
  3. Park bench — Entering 2’,5’, draw a rectangle and Push/Pull it down around 3’. Push/Pull rectangles to create the seating part and the space between the legs.
    1. Use similar rectangles on the front & back to finish off the legs.
    2. Using the Line tool & the centre green spots, connect the centre spots to create 8 slats on the seat and 8 slats on the back.
    3. Make the bench into a component.
  4. Make the array down the sidewalk — Using your Up, Left & Right arrows, move the bench to the right of the lamp post. Holding your Shift key down, select both the lamp post and  the bench. Right click to make the pair a component. Press you Left (green) arrow.
    1. Using your Move tool, move the lamp post & bench to the right. Key in 6’ Enter. Making sure you are not holding any keys down, enter “15x Enter”.

Follow Me 

Often best to preselect a path first. Hold the Shift key in and, with the Select key, preselect every line that you want the molding to follow. The  opening image, like the magenta one you see here, can be a small distance away from the selected path.

After the path has been selected, click on the Follow Me tool and then click on the opening image. The molding will follow the preselected path almost immediately.

Your opening image has to be perpendicular to the path it’s going to follow. One easy way to make sure that happens is to make a rectangle with the depth extended a bit with the Push/Pull tool.

Then, on the face of one of the edges, draw an interesting shape and colour it. Select your rectangle with your Select tool. This will create a  path around the entire rectangle. Click the Follow Me tool and click on your opening image. You will see a rectangle like the orange one to the left.

Notice this kitchen island on the left. The curved   line has been selected with the Select tool. On the right I had used the Follow Me tool to make space for people to sit under the counter.

In order to make a kitchen more ergonomically safe, it is common to  add a 4” x 4” toe kick at  the bottom. Do NOT use Follow Me for this process. If you do, you will end up cutting out too much. For example, the ends of counters commonly do NOT have a toe kick for aesthetic reasons.

Instead, draw rectangles and use the Push/Pull tool.

In our example we had a counter top that begins a curved surface after a few feet. Do NOT use the Follow Me tool to remove space to set the stools beneath the counter. Otherwise you cut away too much.

Instead use the  Push/Pull tool to remove the portion that is straight. The use Follow Me to remove   the space beneath the curved section. Make sure you create a temporary shape on the counter  section that includes the curved section. Then use your Erase tool to remove excess parts.

In order to make the decorative portion of the  cabinet door in this image:

  1. The rectangle had to be pulled out far enough to accommodate the 2 Point Arc.
  2. The rectangle that was to be decorated had to be selected.
  3. The arc for the decoration had to be coloured orange.

Walking through a model

To watch a video about how to make a Walk Through animation on an MP4 file for your client, go here. See a sample MP4 file of a Walk around the exterior of a house, go here. See a video about creating a SMOOTH walk around the exterior.

I went to the SketchUp help pages and found the information below.

Here’s how each tool enables you to tour your model:

  • The Position Camera tool () enables you to view your model at a specific height relative to the surface of your model. That height is meant to reflect a person’s eye height, and you can adjust it to any height you like.
  • The Look Around tool () enables you to move the camera from side to side, sort of like turning your head.
  • The Walk tool () moves SketchUp’s camera forward or turns it in different directions, which simulates how your model looks from eye height.

At this point my 30-day free trial is finished. As I’m waiting to buy SketchUp Pro, I’ve been looking at videos. Consequently, I’ve made several decisions:

    1. VRay costs around 1000 CAD per year. I’m NOT going to buy it.
    2. I watched 3 very important videos. Do not watch them until you are finished the free 30-day trial. They’re about how to make a kitchen, how to make a bedroom  and how to make a living room with SketchUp Pro.  The three most important things I learned are
      1. I probably know half of the things that are in those videos already.
      2. The things like textures, reflections and components such as plants, windows and couches are already available with SketchUp Pro. I do not need to get Vray in order to create really professional 3D animations.
      3. The bedroom video shows a lot about adding lights, reflections, etc. I have not seen them yet in the course. After watching the bedroom video, try to find the videos that explains the lighting techniques.

Another important consideration: Should you buy SketchUp Go for $119 or SketchUp Pro for $349? 

The free trial is SketchUp Pro. I’ve seen SketchUp Go and it is vastly inferior. I have no idea why anyone would buy it.

Another point: Go to this video to see many SketchUp tips that many people don’t know about.