Can I select a group of vertices and align them?

I have created an object, a piece of a stage, and I’m having trouble with it. It seems I somehow moved some vertices out of alignment, so I have surfaces that are no longer planar. In Lightwave’s Modeler, I would select the group of points (vertices) that should all be on the same plane and Set Value to a specific distance, and they would all be aligned, and planar. I see no way of doing this in SketchUp. In fact there seems to be no way to even select multiple vertices at once.

I’m tearing my hair out trying to do this simple thing.
Building the thing was more difficult than it should have been. I could find no way to extrude more than one face at a time. The piece has an inset on both sides that comes in 1". So, I used the Offset tool to make a bevel, but I could only make it on one side. I thought I could take one flat side, extrude it one foot, and then push the interior shapes in one inch. Of course that didn’t work because I could only extrude one face at a time.

I’m attaching a image of the thing.

Thanks in advance!

Attaching the model would be more useful. No doubt we could show you the easy way to achieve what you want.

Thanks Box,

Here is the model I was trying to fix and all I could do was make it worse. (on the right) It doesn’t look too bad, until you examine it closely and notice it’s crooked, leaning to the left a bit. How this happened, I have no idea, but probably because of the way I modeled it. But I knew this would cause problems in manufacturing.

On the left is a model I created in Lightwave because I was so frustrated at not being able to do it in SketchUp.
Note all lines are perpendicular to the ground, and parallel to each other.


SidePiece- crooked.skp (244.8 KB)

You could mess about moving the things, but much simpler in this case is to just redraw the item.
Once the profile is drawn it’s just a matter of making four push/pulls.


The crooked object is just rotated slightly about the red axis.
Meaning that you can correct its orientation is 3 seconds. Don’t try to move vertices. Their relations as far as distances is as should.
The only thing that isn’t correct is its bounding box. The object is grouped after having been rotated crooked.

Rotate the object back into vertical position. Then explode the group (to get rid of the crooked bounding box) and regroup again. The box will be correct, and so will be its geometry inside.
Altogether it may take 5 second. (just to tell you that there’s little wrong).

If you look closely, the object is misaligned with its component axes: see how it is crooked with respect to its own bounding box:

As @Wo3Dan said, you had the geometry crooked a bit when you created the component. Once it is misaligned with its component axes, it becomes hard to work with. As an alternative for fixing it (as opposed to just redrawing, which as has been pointed out is not difficult) correct the component axes by right click, Change Axes. Click at the lower left corner to set the origin, then at the lower right corner to set the red axis, then along the left bottom edge to set the green axis. After you do this, it will be much easier to rotate the whole component into alignment with the red and blue axes.

Thanks Shep,

This is what I tried to do in the first place, but it seemed impossible. I could either push the top part, or the bottom part, but not both at the same time. How did you achieve this? How did you get from flat plane object to extruded object.

Thanks again,

I just used 2 p/ps on each side. I’ll attach the file and you can experiment with it.

SidePiece- crooked s.skp (285.0 KB)

I’m afraid it’s not that simple. It’s much more messed up. I think I grabbed some edges and shifted them by mistake. I don’t think a simple rotation would do it.

Back to my original question, is there no way to align a group of vertices?


Thanks Shep!

But sorry, I’m still not understanding how you got that. I think you worked from my Lightwave remake instead of the original SketchUp object. You see how yours is actually two separate objects? How did that happen? How did you arrive at your flat plane object? Is there some boolean operation you did with that flat rectangle?

I deleted all but one side of my object. You can see here how I cannot use the push/pull tool on it to get what you did. What am I doing wrong?

SidePiece-fix1.skp (239.9 KB)

No, I used the one on the right. I copied the two faces inside the group, exited the group context and pasted them in place. Moved them over a bit, rotated them to “on axis” and extruded them through the single plane. Intersected all and erased the un-needed parts, leaving what you see in the model.
I tried making a gif on the move and rotate but I get nasty green screen animation. Here’s what is looks like using your latest upload however.


Thanks Shep!

So, you copied the faces, extruded, pasted in place and extruded some more? I was able to replicate that.
I think somehow I had rotated it off axis and that may have caused me problems, But I didn’t think to do the paste in place.

Now I still don’t get your original post.

Intersected all? what’s that? Is that why the curve became visible individual polygons like in my Lightwave model?
How did you get two separate objects for the upper and lower parts? Are those grouped? Is that why they don’t just fuse together? The automatic fusing of objects that touch each other is difficult to get used to. In Lightwave, objects that touch stay separate unless you perform a boolean operation on them or weld points together. I had forgotten about that when I started modeling this and parts became stuck to each other. Then I remembered about grouping and components.

Here’s the model once more, each step from left to right. Keep in mind the last three steps including drawing the profile is all that’s required for making the object. What I was trying to get across here was that in this case the object was about as easy to redraw as it was to repair.

Until tomorrow,

sidepiece last example.skp (330.8 KB)

Oh, the intersect is done by right clicking on selected geometry.

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[quote=“Spaceboy64, post:9, topic:20785”]
Back to my original question, is there no way to align a group of vertices?
[/quote]For this you’ll need some plugin that projects a face (or multiple selected faces) and thereby its (their) vertices onto a face in desired plane. There are several available.

If the object is more messed up, as you say, then redrawing would be your best bet, as @Shep suggested.

I just want to select vertices and align them, not re-create them. But I guess SketchUp doesn’t allow the selecting of vertices.

Shep’s advice was helpful. I just haven’t gotten used to the way things work in SketchUp.


Well, you can move vertices, with the move tool. Make sure nothing is selected and pick the point you want to move. You can move it anywhere you like but you should have point to snap to or look for a proper inference. Staying on axis is accomplished using the arrow keys.
My gif capture doesn’t seem to like recording moves or rotations so I can’t give you visual.


Yes, I realize I can move a single point, one at a time, but that’s not what I want to do, and I tried that, and I ended up messing up the model even worse.

See, what I want to be able to do, is select a group of vertices, and command them to all align together on one axis. But this isn’t possible, as far as I can see, unless there is a third party plug-in. It’s a tool I use all the time in Lightwave, so I find it disconcerting that SketchUp doesn’t have a similar tool. I guess I’ll just have to get used to it, like everything else that seems odd to me about SketchUp.

Another thing I miss is “Rest On Ground” and “Center” commands. Are there equivalents in SketchUp?
The Inference thing is nice, and very useful, but there doesn’t seem to be anything to snap to for the ground plane. Do I need to turn on grid? or must I actually draw a ground plane and lock it?


As has been mentioned, taking the time and effort to repair a defective model, whether manually or using some plugin, is about the least effective workflow you could adopt. You waste an hour or two fiddling with out-of-plane or off-axis points and end up with something that’s probably still honked up. And you miss the opportunity to practice doing it correctly. You should be willing to start over and try it again, perhaps several times, until you get it right. Eventually, it becomes pretty easy to create clean geometry.

That’s like saying gravity is nice.

Inferencing is not something you do in a pinch and do something else the rest of the time. Inferencing is all-pervasive, like The Force, and it controls and constrains everything you do. Use the Force, Luke. If you do not use inferencing every single time you click the mouse to place a point, your geometry is guaranteed to be skewed and racked.

You can inference the ground plane using the origin (yellow dot when you hover over it) or any other point sitting on that plane. You can also send things to the ground using coordinates to set their z location to 0.

Inferencing midpoint-to-midpoint effectively centers two objects on each other. There are endless possibilities for aligning objects on endpoints, centers, and midpoints, either relative to the axis system or not.

By comparison, explicit grids are a fairly crude device. There is no grid native to SU, although a grid can be improvised with guidelines or even added with plugins. There is a sort of virtual grid called Length Snapping on the Units dialog, but most experienced users advise turning it off, since it tends to interfere with other types of inferencing, and once they get the feel for inferencing, most users eschew the use of outside drawing constraints as unnecessary and inelegant.



This may be the best thing I have read all day. Thank you, sir.

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Thanks Gully.

I wish you could see me trying to build something. I feel so awkward most of the time because it seems so antithetical to the way I’m used to doing things in almost all other software.

I like Inferencing. The only other software I’ve used that has anything similar is Adobe Illustrator. But I have trouble picking the correct inference and sticking to it, preventing it from jumping to another inference I didn’t mean to choose.

That would be helpful. How is that done? The number entry field in SketchUp boggles me. I know it’s someone’s idea of “easy”, but it’s not mine. knowing when I can enter a number, and just what format I should enter it is always a mystery and frustrating. I keep wishing I could just place my cursor in a box and type a number. Here’s the type of thing I’m used to:

No mystery there.

I just don’t understand how totally redesigning traditional computer user interface standards makes anything “easier”. Sorry, I want to learn how to use SketchUp, but my old school training makes it difficult.