Cant do anything with SketchUp

Attemping to use sketchup for a project with a client and it’s impossible. It has taken me hours to do something very simple. For starters, creating the foundation of the deck was a royal freaking pain in the ass. I was putting 2x4s at regular intervals and this was the most tedious experience I have EVER had as a professional. There is no way to just duplicate something and quickly move it over. If you aren’t careful, the thing you copy just floats off in whatever direction sketchup feels like like. Honestly, it’s ridiculous. So I had to select each one and do paste in place and then move it while holding the arrow key down. Sounds simple right, but when you need to do this 20 freaking times in a row it can get a little annoying. Why there isn’t a way to duplicate AND move at the same time is beyond me. Why sketchip doesn’t include a traditional manipulator is beyond me.

Because there is no precision. No precision at all. Things move in big chunky, blocky intervals. I put down some points to use as guides (in Adobe Illustrator this works beautifully) but sketchup refuses to play along. Instead of snapping to the points you know like you would expect them to, your selection just jumps right past it. I was trying to align some rails with the ends of the foundation pieces. Again, Sketchup acted like a brat. The rails would either stop just short of the ends or jump a little bit over the edge.

I know sketchup is free, but come on.

Not to mention that sketchup refuses to select things. In most modelling packages you can just freaking select things by draging over portions of them. In sketchup, this does nothing. Have the developers of sketchup never used Maya or 3Ds max? Come on.

all the things you describe are very simple to do in SU…

have you watched any tutorials?

BTW: [quote=“IamJackMurdock, post:1, topic:26999”]
most tedious experience I have EVER had as a professional

I know sketchup is free, but come on.

SU isn’t free for commercial work…



It’s my sincere belief these learning resources are not beyond you.

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Appreciated, but in order to constrain the movement to a single axis while you have to do some sort of finger gymnastics where you hold down the alt key and then an arrow key at the same time to constrain the movement.

Wings 3D does this much better. You can choose what axis you want to move your duplicated object on.

I realized you can type in values for scaling a few seconds ago and while this is nice, but for some people (myself included) this isn’t as intuitive as doing things visually. Every modelling package in 2016 lets you make hairline adjustments to things, there is no excuse for such blocky, jerky movement.

make selection >> press M key >> press ⌥ [for copy] >> hit arrow key for axis of movement >> start the move >> type the distance >> type the number of times e.g. 20X…

you have an array of 20 items, what’s blocky and or jerky?



Sounds like your current Units settings are too coarse.
Look to the top menus.

Click … Window > Model Info > Units

There, disable Length Snapping and increase the Precision setting


If someone like me can make something like this:

…then surely you can use SketchUp for whatever you need to draw.


I bought a violin the other day, it’s useless. It just makes noises like a strangled cat. There’s obviously something wrong with the design of violins, they don’t work anything like a tin opener.


Every other time I try to move something it creates a copy, then I go to undo the unwanted copying and it deletes the freaking thing I was trying to move. Very well designed violin.

If it creates a copy then you must be hitting the Ctrl key or it’s equivalent on Mac.

Im not. All im doing is using the arrow keys to constrain movement to a certain axis. Even that doesn’t work sometimes. Oh and gotta love it when sketchup has a panic attack and the thing im trying to move starts bouncing all over the place.

Are you attempting to move things by Click (hold down mouse key) and Drag?

Ah, I foresee you’ll love SketchUp.

(1) Make the 2x4 a component. You may already have done so, I get that impression from reading your last post just above this one about SketchUp moving a copy where you only want it to move the selected object. … I’ll come to that later.

(2 and (3) You make a copy by hitting [Ctrl] once while moving a selection. You’ll see the **+**sign at the cursor. [Ctrl] toggles the +sign on/off.
After moving in desired direcion to arbitrary distance, type the distance value (plus units) and [Enter]. Now to create N copies type xN and hit [Enter]. Result is N copies at a regular interval specified by the input distance you gave.
You can also use /N to divide the distance into equal chunks for N copies.

(4) If you apply ‘Paste inb Place’ to ungrouped geometry, the superimposed geometry is lost in the original geomtry. An edge can only exist in certain location in space unless in a different context (in different group’s or component’s environment). Two or more groups can be on the exact location. Also see (7)

(5) You can set the (visual) precision in menu Window > Model Info > Units > change precision.
Although SketchUp is always precise in modeling you only change the way it displays dimensions.

(6) You must have had SketchUp set to a larger ‘length snapping’.
In menu Windows > Model Info > Units > disable ‘length snapping’ to move smoothly.

(7) You must have made several copies of a group or component in place. They can exist, unlike with raw geometry. So here SketchUp is moving a copy, it is not creating a new one.
If you then ‘Undo’, the copy falls back in place at its original location. You try again and its frustrating to see what you think is a new copy. Over and over again.

Make a selection window around the object to see how many copies you have ‘In Place’. Maybe even 20, taken the amount you wanted to create in your attempt.

Yes, you’ll get addicted to SketchUp once you know its strength.

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Spotty picking performance is a symptom of OpenGL deficiencies in your graphics hardware.
Updating the graphics card driver usually solves the problem.

Visit your computer and/or graphics card manufacturer’s product support site.
Confirm you have the latest drivers and updates.

Select Tool Basics
• One L-Click selects one entity … No more - No less
• L-R Window Selection … L-Press > Drag L-R > Release … Selects all entities encompassed by the box.
• R-L Crossing Selection … L-Press > Drag R-L > Release … Selects all entities touched by the box.

Right Context Click on Geometry … Select options appear in the Context Menu

Learn about Select Tool Modifier Keys and Camera Settings

Perfect example Box!!! :grinning:


It sounds like you need to watch a few tutorials. Everything you mentioned is very easy to do with the free version of Sketchup. You can duplicate, and position multiple objects easily.


Any reasonably competent su user could do this in literally a minute. You’re making yourself look foolish by being so emphatic. It’s the user not the tools I’m afraid.

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It seams that once every 3 to 4 months this phenomena accures. I know first hand what cured me, I took the time to figure it out. How much time did you invest in learning the basic principles of Maya and 3Ds Max???
Then why are you not using them to complete your project. It is also apparent that you will have the same failure with your deck. 2x4`s are the wrong choice in build a foundation structure. Wonder why all you touch is collapsing, you are failing to learn how to do it correctly.

you made my day!