Essential SketchUp Keyboard Shortcuts

Do you use a certain SketchUp tool or set of tools regularly? Whether you use the free or pro version, you can look up the relevant SketchUp shortcut keys and get where you want to be much faster. You can even add and edit keyboard shortcuts of your own. This guide reveals everything about shortcuts in SketchUp, from why they’re a good idea to how to create and edit them. We’ve even included a SketchUp shortcut list for Mac and the same for a PC, with specific SketchUp shortcuts for Windows. By the end of this guide you’ll be comfortable using SketchUp keyboard shortcuts fluently. Read on for essential insight.

What are SketchUp Shortcuts?

SketchUp does a lot of the work for you, thanks to its predefined list of default keyboard shortcuts. Shift-Z, for example, takes you directly to Zoom Extends, S is Scale, and E is the Eraser. SketchUp also lets you create custom shortcuts as well as edit the existing ones. This means you can easily configure the software in exactly the way you want it. The magic happens inside the LayOut Preferences dialogue box, it takes just a few simple steps to set a new one up, and they’re equally easy to edit.

Why Use SketchUp Shortcuts?

It is so much faster to work in SketchUp using SketchUp tool shortcuts, which are also called hotkeys, quick keys or commands. Shortcuts in SketchUp make your user interface cleaner, giving you a lot more screen space to work in. Use your SketchUp shortcut keys as they were intended, achieving full efficiency, and you can do cool time-saving things like avoiding toolbars and menus altogether, diving directly to the place you need to be.

The more fluent in SketchUp tool shortcuts you become, the less you’ll need to rely on the standard menu, only using it to drive any plugins that can’t easily be allied to a shortcut. When you make your own custom shortcuts you can shave even more time off modeling projects, bringing your bright ideas to reality faster and more efficiently than ever. If you’d like to double your speed, this is exactly how to do it.  

How to Create and Edit SketchUp Keyboard Shortcuts

So we know SketchUp enables hotkeys to be edited as well as created from scratch. How does it work? To create your own SketchUp shortcuts list takes just a few simple steps:

 

  1.       Choose Edit > Preferences in Windows or LayOut > Preferences on a Mac to surface the LayOut Preferences dialog box.
  2.       Click ‘Shortcuts’ in the sidebar to your left.
  3.       Type the command you want into the Filter box at the top of the dialog box. You can also explore the whole list via the main list box.
  4.       Use the list box to choose the command you want to assign a shortcut to.
  5.       Find the text box below the list of commands and click the shortcut you want to assign to it. On a Mac you’ll see your new shortcut in the Key column of the list box. Now you can move on to step 7. For Microsoft Windows, go to Step 6. Don’t click on ‘enter’ or you’ll lose the value you specified.
  6.       Click the + button to create your new keyboard shortcut, which appears in your Shortcuts column in the list box. Click ‘close’ when you’ve finished assigning new shortcuts. To remove one, select it and hit the – key in Windows, or delete it from the text box if you’re using a Mac .
 

Defining your own custom shortcut keys puts you in total control of the unique way you work, giving you a super-fast way to carry out the actions you make frequently. They’re easy to remember. You won’t have to keep moving your cursor away from the thing you’re drawing all the time, and you don’t have to stop work to remember where your most popular tools are.

MacOS SketchUp Shortcuts List

 

It’s great to know that SketchUp comes with a bunch of brilliant predefined, built in, default shortcuts designed specifically for a Mac. This is a list of the most frequently-used SketchUp shortcuts for Mac:

2 point arc tool

Circle tool

Circle tool – lock current inferences

Eraser tool

Eraser tool – soften or smooth (use on edges to make adjacent faces appear curved)

Eraser tool – hide   

Eraser tool – unsoften or unsmooth 

Line tool 

Line tool – lock in current inference direction

Line tool – lock direction

Move tool

Move tool – move a copy 

Move tool – hold down to lock in current inference direction 

Move tool – auto-fold (allow move even if it means adding extra edges and faces)

Move tool – lock direction

Offset tool 

Orbit tool   

Orbit tool – disable ‘gravity-weighted’ orbiting    

Orbit tool – activate pan tool  

Paint bucket tool  

Paint bucket tool – fill material, paint all matching adjacent faces  

Paint bucket tool – replace material, paint all matching faces in the model   

Paint bucket tool – replace material on object, paint all matching faces on same object

Paint bucket tool – sample material 

Push and pull tool  

Push and pull tool – push or pull a copy of the face, leaving original in place       

Rectangle tool          

Rectangle tool – start drawing from center

Rotate tool  

Rotate tool – rotate a copy 

Scale tool

Scale tool – scale about center  

Scale tool – scale uniformly, don’t distort     

Select tool 

Select tool – add to selection

Select tool – add or subtract from selection 

Select tool – subtract from selection 

Tape measure tool  

Tape measure tool – toggle create guide or measure only

Tape measure tool – lock direction

Zoom tool

Zoom tool – combine with click-drag mouse to change field of view 

A

C

Shift + C

E

Alt+E


Shift+E

Alt+Shift+E

L

Shift+L

(Arrows)+L

M

Alt+M

Shift+M


Cmd+M

(arrows)+M

F

O

Alt+O

Shift+O

B

Alt+B


Shift+B


Alt+Shift+B

Cmd+B

P

Alt+P


R

Alt+R

Q

Alt+Q

S

Alt+S

Shift+S

Space

Alt +Space

Shift

Alt+Shift+Space

T

Alt+T

(Arrows)+T

Z

Shift+Z

 These are the most-used SketchUp keyboard shortcuts for a Mac, but when you create and assign your own, you really take things to the next level.

Windows SketchUp Shortcuts List 

SketchUp also comes with a long and exciting default list of Windows shortcuts. Here are the most commonly used SketchUp shortcuts for Windows:

2 point arc tool

Circle tool

Circle tool – lock current inferences

Eraser tool

Eraser tool – soften or smooth (use on edges to make adjacent faces appear curved)

Eraser tool – hide   

Eraser tool – unsoften or unsmooth 

Line tool 

Line tool – lock in current inference direction

Line tool – lock direction

Move tool

Move tool – move a copy 

Move tool – hold down to lock in current inference direction 

Move tool – auto-fold (allow move even if it means adding extra edges and faces)

Move tool – lock direction

Offset tool 

Orbit tool   

Orbit tool – disable ‘gravity-weighted’ orbiting    

Orbit tool – activate pan tool  

Paint bucket tool  

Paint bucket tool – fill material, paint all matching adjacent faces  

Paint bucket tool – replace material, paint all matching faces in the model   

Paint bucket tool – replace material on object, paint all matching faces on same object

Paint bucket tool – sample material 

Push and pull tool  

Push and pull tool – push or pull a copy of the face, leaving original in place       

Rectangle tool          

Rectangle tool – start drawing from center

Rotate tool  

Rotate tool – rotate a copy 

Scale tool

Scale tool – scale about center  

Scale tool – scale uniformly, don’t distort     

Select tool 

Select tool – add to selection

Select tool – add or subtract from selection 

Select tool – subtract from selection 

Tape measure tool  

Tape measure tool – toggle create guide or measure only

Tape measure tool – lock direction

Zoom tool

Zoom tool – combine with click-drag mouse to change field of view 

A

C

Shift+C

E

Alt+E


Shift+E

Alt+Shift+E

L

Shift+L

(arrows)+L

M

Alt+M

Shift+M


Ctrl+M

(arrows)+M

F

O

Alt+O

Shift+O

B

Alt+B


Shift+B

Alt+Shift+B


Ctrl+B

P

Alt+P


R

Alt+R

Q

Alt+Q

S

Alt+S

Shift+S

Space

Alt+Space

Shift

Alt+Shift+Space

T

Alt+T


(Arrows)+T

Z

Shift+Z

Get Started with SketchUp

SketchUp shortcut keys make it so much easier and faster to create sheer brilliance! Click here to download a free trial version of SketchUp and give it a go for yourself and enjoy a full 30 days using the world’s best visualisation and modelling tool. There are also masses of top class learning resources available, including tutorials to help you get familiar with the software in record time, here.

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About Elmtec

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