Cannot Enter Values Into Measurements Toolbar


Hello all,

I’m trying to move precisely as in this tutorial:

However, when I get to step 6 in the “Entering a Displacement Value” section, I cannot enter anything into the toolbar.

Why might this be?


Once you start moving (in the desired direction,) you just let go of the mouse, and type your value. Do not move the cursor to the Measurements Box or try to give it focus. (SketchUp always stuffs your numerical values into the box for you.)

@Tommy, this page (and other tool pages,) should be changed to read something like:

Type the positive or negative displacement value, such as 20’ or -35mm, (and SketchUp will display what you type in the Measurements Toolbar.) When you are satisfied with the value, press the Enter (Microsoft Windows) or Return (Mac OS X) key.

This is one of the most asked newb questions. People are used to other software that needs to give manual focus to toolbars and editboxes, etc.


What’s missing from that page is how as long as the tool is active, new values can be re-entered.


Thanks Dan and Catamountain. I updated the article to capture these two ideas. I also prepended the sentence with the words Without clicking anywhere… to emphasize that you can just start typing.


I also like to hit tab once I’m moving in the right direction, it’ll highlight the VCB (value control box).


I don’t think a TAB highlights the Measurement box so much as clears it. What shows in the box is the last (current) displacement entered by mouse. As soon as you start typing, SU clears the box and starts to type what you enter. When you hit TAB, for which there is no character, it simply clears the box and replaces the content with nothing.

When you want to enter a keyboard value, just take your hand off the mouse and start typing the value. Do not attempt to give the box focus–it’s all ready to read your typed input to replace an initial value.



Yes that looks better. Thing is most of the tools pages will need the same treatment.


Are you out there, still, Gully?

Did you notice the function of the tab key changed? I’m on a bit of a mission to find out if I can get it back to as you describe it here, either clearing or highlighting the VCB. These days it seems to shift default tools or something like that. I have a very ingrained routine wherein I use that tab key! So far your post (and another by Jeff Hammond) are the only ones which confirm the use of the TAB key in this way.

Thank you for your time, and any guidance you can give.



Why do you have a need to clear the Measurements window? In almost 15 years of using SketchUp, I’ve never wanted to clear the contents from the Measurements window.


Dave, hi.
Thanks for getting involved.
I don’t need to clear the window. This is an investigation about the function of the TAB key.
I’ve been using SU for quite some time also, and in those years I have developed a routine (which most are quick to point out is unnecessary) of hitting tab, after starting to draw a rectangle, in order to input data into the measurement box (VCB).

These days, on my machine, TAB seems to have a different function. What does the TAB key do for you?


TAB clears the visible characters from the Measurements box on my PC but as other have pointed out, there’s absolutely no reason to do that before entering new values. You might consider revising your routine to eliminate needless keystrokes and make your modeling more efficient.


On Mac, Tab doesn’t clear the characters, it selects them. You can also click and drag select and type, and it still works.So, for anyone that doesn’t know you could just go ahead and type, it does work in expected ways.


I’m getting a lot of useful information on another thread, Dave, thanks for the advice.
I will tell you this:
There was a tutorial which guided me to hit tab to get into the VCB. I wish I could find it now, but it was long ago. I didn’t just start clicking TAB for no reason, and I’m glad to eliminate it.


Wow! I wonder who was teaching that step.


Could have been a Mac user with a recent version. It does work well that way, and makes it seem like all other applications.