Can I lock top parallel view for working on floor plans (iPad app)?

I’m often working on floor plans, where top parallel view should be constant. Using SU for iPad it is not possible to focus on top view while editing floor plans. Is there a trick to lock orbit?

There is no way to lock orbit as SketchUp is a 3d modelling software. Also it is best practice to model in perspective and leave parallel for output views. You should be able to select top view but i’m not familiar with the interface of SketchUp for iPad…
You could then make a scene to be able to return to your top view with ease…


Thx @tweenulzeven for the answer. As I was expecting; though, would appreciate seeing this feature implemented by SU developers. To work on 2D floor plans on desktop is ok, but on iPad it is kind of disturbing constant orbiting on any slight pencil touch. Just wanted to see if there are more community users seeing this as an issue; and if this can be a feature implemented in the future (i.e. disable orbit, or some kind of 2D working mode).

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I’m sure some expierenced SketchUp for iPad users will answer that question for you!

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Make a scene with the flat view. Then while working on it only use zoom and pan.

Like forever! It’s such a simple, but oh so essential feature I’m still amazed it’s not part of native SU Pro, let alone the iPad version. SU diehards will predictably jump in with “there’s no need for it, you need to remember to blah blah to stay in that orientation”…but yes there is a need for it. On the fly (using zoom wheel click to pan) you don’t want to have to think about that, as you don’t need to in Rhino, AutoCAD, Revit etc. No one can say it would be to the detriment of the SU (native and/or iPad) to have this super basic, simple functionality baked-in to be used if/when required, or ignored by diehards. I’m sure it’d be easy to implement, so why it’s never been added (this omission being a reason plenty have been put off by SU) is completely beyond me. It’s a totally open goal, but ahhh Trimble :pray:…although I am impressed by the iPad version. Not perfect, needs refinement and bit more functionality and customisability, but it’s a good start.

NB: using zoom wheel click to pan is the way 95% of digital types pan around a drawing, be it 2D or 3D. Remembering to add Shift to pan, when you’re often jumping between CAD apps it totally counterintuitive. This is the reason why this simple functionality should be baked-in with zero negatives. The silicone valley fudge here of potentially providing the ability to program/set middle button click functionality to either pan or orbit would help (as in most other 3D software), but would be a fudge, and wouldn’t solve the issue.

Simple easy solution, more happy people, no one loses, bonus…so waddya say Trimble dwellers?..Chances?

Use a shortcut key to Pan and use the scroll wheel only to zoom out and in, don’t touch the scroll wheel button.

You’re out on a limb there. I don’t know a single 3D-type who’d agree with that. It is THE way to navigate (Spacemouse excepted) in 3D space, and has been since the intro of the zoom wheel in the late 90’s. Hence the need for this added basic (yet fundamental) functionality in SU.

Of course. I use it all the time. But the OP was asking about staying in “2D” plan view, and panning with the “orbit button+shift” very often results in a slight orbit, at least for me. Staying in “2D view” is basically simple: Don’t touch the Orbit tool.

Most of the time I model in Perspective view - after getting used to perspective, Parallel projection feels unnatural.


Thank you all for sharing with your experience. From my practice, desktop app works nearly fine for 2D floor plans; but iPad app doesn’t at all (due to orbit wherever I touch the screen). Anyone from the app dev team could give some perspective wether it will come in near future? I often traveling, and iPad app gave me a great tool to quickly draft some ideas for my projects; I wish it would be easy to work with floor plans too; on iPad :slight_smile:

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I have to agree, it is relatively simple to work in plan on desk or web, but an axis lock would make life so much better on the ipad.

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Following the discussion here, and have some ideas about how we might enable this…

A few follow-up questions for you all, to help clarify some of the context to make sure we get the particulars right:

  1. It sounds like the main issue is that after setting things up so that you’re working on a project in ‘floor plan mode’ (Top view, parallel projection), you’re frustrated by how easy it is to inadvertently orbit using a multitouch gesture.
  2. It sounds like the ask, based on the above is for us to either a) offer a way to disable the 1-finger drag gesture so that it does not trigger an orbit, or b) offer a way to temporarily lock the orbit tool so that is a no-go regardless of whether you try to use it with touch/pencil/mouse/trackpad… I think option A – but want to double-check with you all.
  3. While working in plan view, would you still want the option to use gestures for pan (2-finger swipe), and zoom (pinch)? Or do you need to turn those off too?
  4. Are there any other improvements or feature requests that could help facilitate a more effective/efficient workflow for working on floorplans?

I think Option B would be more appropriate.
Pan, zoom etc are still needed so the ability to simply disable orbit in any orientation would be very useful. This would allow you to work in 2d off axis, not just in standard views.
It would be useful in all versions, not just Ipad.


In theory, two finger swipe should do the job, but in practice, it requires perfection in your touch. The slightest imperfection at the beginning or ending of touching the screen and you accidentally orbit. On desktop, I use the Pan tool via a keyboard shortcut to do the task. Pan is there on iPad in the toolbar, but just not as quick as a keyboard shortcut.


Yes, theory is all well and good but invariably we get it wrong and it can be a tiny amount that isn’t immediately obvious.
I have a job that requires I supply a skp, layout and pdf floorplan, quite a few times I have spotted some jaggies in the layout file, so I go back to the skp and sure enough I have accidentally updated the scene when it has been ever so slightly off axis. Being able to set the axis and then turn off any orbit would avoid this issue.


@MikeTadros thx for the response. Option B – temp lock orbit. This would allow still using other gestures navigating 2D floor plans.

Reg other features for iPad: full screen would be useful when focusing on particular actions; in full screen could be optionally a small toolbox where user could add only few tools.

I just keep the side menu open, but there is a need for this I think… @MikeTadros

I lean heavily towards option B, where there is a toggle/button to lock, and not a disable on the rotate.
I would want ALL the functionality but just not have to hit the plan view button over and over when I’m trying to get back to 2D view… especially since hitting the button seems to un-zoom/re-zoom/ randomly decide what part of the model I want and then I’m back to trying to center what I actually wanted without messing up the plan view again.

This is a difficult one to troubleshoot for me because 90% of the time I actually want the 3D version of the model. The 2D view capability is a nice bonus because it’s what contractors are used to looking at.

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Thanks @Danimaupin for the added context, and for tying together that in addition to it being annoying to accidentally get out of a 2D view, it also seems overly tedious to get back into it… good points there for us to dig into.

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No one seems to explicitly mention Sketchup Go as having the “Just Draw” mode, which has no counterpart in the other versions. This is what I am using, and I find trying to layout a floor plan over an imported image is maddening. Even though I carefully use a two-finger gesture to pan the image, like others I often get a bit of orbiting thrown in there. A worry-free lock into plan view so I can pan and zoom, etc. would be really useful. The take-away is how things are done in the other versions is not relevant. The iPad version needs to be internally consistent with the platform and the platform-specific tools and views. Thanks! This is a really good start…


Thanks @JVH and others. All duly noted and on the list.

In the meantime, as an admittedly less-than-optimal workaround, I’d suggest that folks use the dedicated Pan tool (vs the 2-finger drag gesture) in order to help avoid accidentally orbiting the model when working in, and wanting to stay in, a 2D view.