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Getting to Know the Tool Bar in SketchUp Part 2

written by: pearlofafrika•edited by: Misty Faucheux•updated: 7/30/2009

Get acquainted with the tools that you'll need to create a project in SketchUp. Following our series on designing your house with SketchUp, this article explains what tools you'll need and why.

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    Push/Pull, Move, Rotate, Offset

    pushpull Push/Pull - "P" Key

    This clever tool is probably the most popular one on SketchUp. You can easily pull faces to increase volume. This tool is great when you want to erect walls. This is definitely one of the most used tools in your arsenal.

    Move - "M" Key

    You can move or copy with this tool. To move, select item (with Select tool), and change the location by clicking on its current position and its desired position. No need to drag and hold with the mouse.

    Rotate - "Q" Key

    You will need to click once on the item, and then choose a rotation angle. You can do this easily by hovering the mouse to rotate, or by entering in the angle in the VCB.

    Offset - "F" Key

    This is a very useful tool. With the offset tool, you can make an exact copy of a face, inside or outside of that face. This comes in handy when you are creating outer and inner walls because you don't have to go through measuring exact lines. Offset automatically replicates the exact ratio of your master lines.

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    Orbit, Pan, Zoom, Dimensions, Protractor

    orbit Orbit - "O" Key, or hold down scroll wheel of your mouse

    This tool changes the camera angle.

    Pan - "H" Key

    This tool moves the camera up and down or side-to-side.

    Zoom - "Z" Key

    Dimensions - No shortcut key

    Take measurements of an object.

    Protractor - No shortcut key

    Take angled measurements of an object.

    Other Tools

    VCB - Value Control Box contains dimensions or measurements of lines and faces. It shows you the measurement of a line as you click from point A to point B. Or you can type in the exact measurement directly.

    ESC key - On your keyboard, select this key whenever you have completed a line or to quickly exit out of the tape measure and rotate tools.

    CTRL + Z - Undo. You'll need this a lot!


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