Align and Distribute Objects

I am somewhat new to SketchUp, but I’m learning quickly and going faster.

I am surprised that there is no function included to ALIGN objects (to a certain edge, or to their centers), or to DISTRIBUTE objects evenly over a given distance. Those functions are included in just about every other major program (Corel Draw, Illustrator, Adobe programs, even Microsoft Office programs), but not in SketchUp.

Are there plans to include these functions in an upcoming release of SketchUp?


Please don’t start another thread on this. I just answered your question in the other thread.

Okay, sorry … One was a question, the other was a Feature Request.

I appreciate all. This is a wonderful resource.

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The feature already exists, though.

You will never know just as we can never be sure when the next version of the software will be released. Past history suggests that it should be any day now but you would be a mug to bet your shirt on it. Like God, Trimble moves in mysterious ways.

Am I missing it, then?
I don’t see where I can select several objects and align them with the click of a mouse.
I understand we’re working in 3D, and that we can draw various guides and move the objects to the guide individually … I was hoping it was more “pushbutton” as in other programs.

I’ll look at those other tools.
Again, thank you (from a new user).

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@VanMorrow is using Make2017 and that’s not going to be updated anymore so i guess the answer is no…

I didn’t say that you could do that with the native tools. I did give you a list of extensions that can help with that. The native Move tool is capable of evenly distributing copies of instances and with proper use of components it’s easy enough to distribute different components. This has also been mentioned. Often just a little forethought is enough.

That’s why it’s a feature request. Personally I think it’s a great one and I’d welcome it if it were added.


I don’t know where you got that I’m using Make 2017.
I’m a registered user of Pro 2018 – I am NOT using Make 2017. (I did start that way, but I bought 2018 in August, and paid full price.)

I’ve been communicating with Customer Service, and can only do that if I give my registration numbers, etc.

You’re profile specificly states that you are using Make2017.
If that’s not accurate anymore you should change it…

edit: @DaveR beat me to it…:smile:

I just did that – thanks for the reminder.

But Trimble knows what I have (and have had since August 2018), and I’m still waiting for help from Customer Service.

They sent me a suggestion yesterday, which I followed step-by-step, and the same exact problem is occurring.

Profile corrected.

We don’t know what Trimble knows…

You have’nt told us about a problem you’re having, you made a feature request about something that is already possible in Sketchup. Look for linear array and radial array.

@DaveR, thank you. I’m aware there are other methods to align and distribute – I’ve been doing it while learning. But, compared to other programs, it does seem like a lot of steps to take care of it. In other programs, you select multiple objects, or multiple groups, hit one menu choice – and done. Also, if for some reason the drawing needs to change, it takes only 1 or 2 clicks to do something else with them. I’m relatively new to SketchUp, but when I see a function doesn’t exist I’m fast to find a suitable workaround, even if it takes more steps than I would like.


You are asking for 2D techniques in a 3D program! In 3D, alignment is far more ambiguous and as a result harder to implement. For example, in 2D “align” typically means “make all the x (or y) bottom coordinates equal”. In 3D you aren’t confined to a plane, leaving unclear what should happen to the other coordinate. For example, imagine a cube that is rotated a bit around the red axis so the near face’s lower edge is at a different blue height than the far face. What does “align bottom” mean?

I can see what the OP wanted and can see that it would be useful for specific things. But the $64,000 question is: is it universal enough for a developer to want to spend time making it possible? There are a lot of things that I would dearly love Sketchup to have that I am used to from other software, like proper Copy and Mirror commands, but I can tell from the responses that I get that, yup, it’s just me. Most people are happy with what they have. So I’ve learned to wind my neck in a bit.

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I can’t, because i don’t see any way for Sketchup to know what he wants without him telling Sketchup what he wants, how he wants it and in what way he wants it.
If you want to align multiple 3D objects in a specific way, you’ll have to give more input than a “few” mouseclicks…

I think I’m going to retreat into my corner on this one … it’s amplifying far more than I ever thought or intended.

I know we’re in 3D and not 2D, and that alignment of objects is different because we’re working in more than 2 directions. That is very clear, and that’s the beauty of SketchUp that makes it so outstanding. My very first “project” was designing a lightproof cube that I currently use in my darkroom to dry the screens for my screen printing business. I’m looking at it from all angles, and from both sides of the front door. I could not have done it in a regular 2D drawing program. I totally get it. I’ve worked on a household invention (good for contractors), and I’m currently working on a set of stairs that will make it easier to get from my basement into a parking area where the ground is not level. I’m looking from both sides, from the front, and from underneath.

I was asking about nothing more than can be seen in the extension “2DXY SlickMoves” (developed by Barry Milliken). You select several objects, and it lines them up by one edge. Then, if you rotate the drawing, you can align them on another dimension. It’s very fast, works beautifully, and has the elements of other software that have become automatic to use. Unfortunately, there is currently a problem with the installation of that extension. I know I can accomplish the same tasks (as I have been) with more analytical thought and the use of the tools that are available. I have enjoyed the challenge of making software do what I have in mind by using techniques that aren’t always so obvious, and that show me I understand the logic a program is using.

It is evident that some people in the forum are super-advanced with years of experience, as opposed to an enthusiastic beginner like myself who has used other (and more familiar) software for years and years.

I’ll look at the pointers you all have given.

In the meantime – nothing to do with this forum – I do wish Trimble would call back and address an installation problem. I was lucky enough to receive one e-mail communication with instructions that did not work, even when followed to the letter. I did pay full price, and need maybe 5 minutes of time. But that’s an entirely different issue.

Thanks to all.

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simoncbevans— I don’t know how you could possibly imagine that you are the only one who craves an effortless mirror, copy, and dare I add, align. They are common features that most people need often.

However, keep in mind that Sketchup is a simple, easy to use program, so there’s a ten step workaround. The optional eleventh step is to remind folks that it’s better this way, once you get with the drill.