We've put together a collection of 3 of our favourite simple SketchUp tips that we find extremely useful here in the Elmtec office that should help a lot of beginners out. We hope you find them as helpful as we do!
1. Use Arrow Keys to Lock to Axis
One of the most straightforward tips, but very handy! If you're having a hard time getting the line you're drawing to snap or lock to a particular axis, use the arrow keys.
Left Arrow = Snap to Green Axis
Up or Down Arrow = Snap to Blue Axis
Right Arrow = Snap to Red Axis
This is particularly useful when moving an object;simply tap one of the arrow keys on your keyboard to lock movement along the desired axis.
You can also use the SHIFT key while aligned to an axis to lock it to that axis. Locking the axis also allows you to reference other points in your model to align your object to.
2. Keyboard Shortcuts are your friend!
Using keyboard shortcuts will save you a huge amount of time when modelling in SketchUp. All of the commonly used tools have their own keyboard shortcut:
Spacebar = Select Tool
R = Rectangle Tool
P = Push/Pull Tool
O = Orbit
We recommend looking up the shortcut key for the tools that you use the most. The great thing about SketchUp is that you can also create your own custom keyboard shortcuts. To do this, go to:
- Select the function that you want to create a shortcut for.
- Type the desired shortcut key in the 'Add Shortcut' box
- Hit the '+' box to add this shortcut
- Hit 'OK'
3. Make Multiple Copies
Copy and paste is not always the best option in SketchUp when moving or copying an object
First, select the object you wish to copy.
Then, with the Move Tool, click your mouse once to start the move
Next, tap the CTRL button on your keyboard. This tells SketchUp you want to make a copy. For multiple copies, equally spaced apart, tell Sketchup how many copies you want by typing "5*" (for example) to make five copies spaced apart the same distance as the original copy.
Alternatively, you can use the same method but to make multiple copies in between two points.
To do this press "/" instead of the "*" key. For example "/3" to create 3 copies in between the original copy.