Calculator in SketchUp

I can’t find the information related to what king of maths operation can be don in the measurement box. Could you lead me .
I would like to add, multiply use Parenthesis or make any type of mathematical operations.


Only single ‘/’ works for divide.

You need install plugins like VCB calc.


I also support this topic - btw there are already two posts about this, although it seems different users see different things in it:

(link) Math in the VCB

(link) Math in the measurement status bar

In my opinion, simple 4 operations and parenthesis would cover most needs. Main cases where I observed that such a feature would be useful:

  • modeling from a sketch made on a site survey (you often need to add/substract measures taken on site to obtain the exact values needed to create the objects in SketchUp)
  • distributing objects with a given thickness (e. g. 2 pillars of 20 cm width within an opening of 5 meters, to get 3 equal intervals between each element you need to calculate [ 500 - (20*2) ] / 3 - similar applications in other fields like woodwork, furniture, etc.)
  • calculate the scaling ratio of an item to reach a given target value

@genki_tt Strictly speaking, the ‘/’ in SketchUp generates multiple copies of an object equally distributed along a distance (it does not just calculate the result of a division). But the link is very interesting, I’ll have a closer look - do you know of any reviews about it?

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I know the ‘/’ work evenly split distance , but we can use ‘/’ as value division at VCB.
When move/copy object, type 500/3 (enter) at VCB, the result move value is 166.6666666… .
‘/’ is part of inch/feet order like 3/8’ so we can use ‘/’ for division at VCB.

Indeed, thanks a lot for clarifying.

Btw I tried the vcbCalc plugin… It is a great piece of work especially for a free plug-in, but if I understand correctly there are some limitations coming from the SketchUp API which prevent from seamlessly using the calculation results together with an other SketchUp tool. To use a vcbCalc result as VCB input for a SketchUp tool, the user needs to:

  1. have the ruby console displayed
  2. activate vcbCalc over the tool menu (or with short cut) to initiate the calculation
  3. perform the calculation as per instructions and copy the result from the ruby console
  4. activate the SketchUp tool required (line, scale, etc.)
  5. then paste the result into the VCB
    Alternatively you can see the result without ruby console on the status bar but can’t copy it - and it disappears when you activate another SketchUp tool, so you need to memorize it.

But please correct me if I’m wrong, I might have overseen something.

My workaround for the moment is to use Spotlight: on Mac, press cmd-space, then type any calculation and copy-paste the result into the VCB - this is as fast as the above and supports any type of calculation, also with parentheses - or I construct the geometry in SketchUp when this is the faster way…

That is an easy solution, Thanks

So Mac allows you to paste values from the clipboard to the Measurements box? This is not the case for Windows.

on mac you need to highlight it first by using Tab or a Click…

Yes - just three comments:

  • For my personal workflow it’s usually faster to copy the result from spotlight manually, i. e. by retyping a few digits rather than performing the highlighting and clicking required to copy-paste
  • I discovered recently only that the Measurements Box can be highlighted, not sure if that worked in all versions but it does at least since SU 2014 (on Mac)
  • On Windows I was wondering what the best equivalent to Mac’s Spotlight would be for such calculations? Spotlight is convenient because you can activate it with a key stroke (cmd-space), type any expression and see instantly the result in a small window that does not hide too much of your screen- the Window’s Calculator for example is less immediate.

I don’t have any preference for any system, just thinking that if someone can share a good workaround for Windows also, that can be helpful.

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Here’s a quick calculator hack if someone is interested in trying it out:


[Edit: renamed file using .rbz extension]

  • It works on Windows only.
  • The Measurements Box must be ready to accept input, otherwise nothing happens.
  • Try not to move the mouse off the dialog while typing - it will lose focus, and keystrokes.
  • It probably works only in inches but I have not tried any other unit or decimal separator.
  • It only works with single value input - it can’t accept comma-separated points for example.
  • Press Escape to close.

I’m just curious if this is worth pursuing.

Thanks Jim, It’s a good start, but I a Mac user. I am sure that you start something that will be follow by other persons like you. Happy new year.

Speaking of calculators…
I have an RPN Windows calculator designed for the woodworker. It’s available for free without any crapware at my web site . It’s a little cumbersome at first because its main purpose is to handle fractions, but anyone familiar with Reverse Polish Notation should feel comfortable with it after a bit of practice. There’s a link to the zip file near the bottom of the page.

Definitely, thanks a lot - unfortunately I have SketchUp only on Mac so I could not try it, but I can only encourage you to continue… The key thing though is that it should be possible to activate it as easily as possible, so that the plugin gets really attractive to use.


Speaking of RPN and because I have a weakness for it… The Mac standard calculator can be transformed into RPN by pressing cmd-R (or using the ‘View’ menu from inside the calculator).