Changing the color of the axis

Is there any way to do this? I’m partially red-green colorblind, very hard to distinguish those colors.


Not that I can see.

I Checked the Preferences dialog, and the Styles manager.

The Axis is not exposed to the Ruby API, so there is no way via that route either.

(Moving topic to Feature Requests category.)

Hi- sorry to hear you’re having trouble with our red and green axis colors. Is there a color combination that works better for you?


There are varying degrees of color blindness and it’s not just red-green. There’s also yellow-violet, though it’s more rare. Some people cannot see color at all. I know one person like that. A design guide.

While there is some software that will simulate what colorblind people may see to aid designers and software to and to ID/adjust color, like Visolve, shouldn’t things like axis colors be in preferences?

1 Like

While I agree changing the axis colour would be useful for many people, it should be a very deliberate change and not done lightly. I can imagine a great deal of confusion resulting from people randomly changing the axis colour to suit their own personal style.

What kind of confusion do you mean? If the axes color changes aren’t saved with the model but instead with the users settings for the application, then there’s nothing to be “afraid” of. And a context menu “Reset Axis Color” will do. Color blind people are fully aware of what they are doing. And for those who are not (color blind) it will be a ‘once in a lifetime’ good experience of what they fortunately are not missing. Also they probably will not make axes color changes again. But if so, they are the only ones viewing them.

1 Like

By confusion I simply mean non colour blind people changing the axis because they prefer another colour, then posting questions like, ‘why is orbit acting strange?’ if you could see that the blue wasn’t up you would know the model was on it’s side, but first you have to ask them which colour is the Z axis. Also often a flipped component causes problems but again, if the axis isn’t automatically understandable…
So often you only have to look at an image to see the problem is axis related.

So as I said, I believe it would be a great option to add but it needs to be a very deliberate change for people that understand why they are doing it and they will need to be aware that when someone refers to ‘move along the red axis’ they understand which one is red in their system.


@rboppy. See this file with some examples of 3D Polylines.

One example (in scene ‘Colered Axes-’ & 'Colered Axes+) has 3D Polylines overlaying the axes.
The cursor will snap to the axes if they are on. Not to the colored 3D Polylines. Nothing snaps to them so they are no hinder, just a visible aid.
Since the example is a component (with its locan origin in the center!) you could use it in future in your own models. Save it to one of your component libraries and set it up in your favorite template(s).

Now comes the chalenge, what colors should the axes be for you to best see them as different colors?

GHH 3D-Poly-examples.skp (705.5 KB)

p.s. the 3D Polyline “axes” can be stretched by scaling the component “Uniform about its center” with holding down [Ctrl] by a corner grip. To overlay a larger part of the axes.


How did you create ‘straight’ 3D Polylines?

Thomas asked me that very same question here (see Mar. 12 at the end):

With just basic tools, a saved scene with current drawing axes and an undo.
Oh and 3D Polylines do explode into edges.

Drag ‘Freehand’ plus [Shift] to create the line.
See if it looks like just one segment. If so, good
Explode the one segmented line into an edge (menu Edit > somewhere down is the selection > context menu with lots of options)
Change axes along the edge, (I did blue along the edge, to “match” Sam’s script) and save a scene with axes!
Now undo the conversion to get back the 3D Polyline.
You now have one segment of the horrible line and its axis captured in the scene.

  • Make the line into a component.
  • Scale the component to length, inferencing on an endpoint of a parallel edge, length 1m.
    (you need to make the selection 2D when scaling, Just select some crossing dummy edge with it.)

The perfect length isn’t that important anymore when applying Sam’s script. It stretches components to fit the edges lengths.

Not interfering dashed lines is also possible, just like the centerline in the file.

Copy the component ceveral times, making them all unique, to be able to apply different colors.
Even when model is set to ‘all the same’.

Replacing edges by components?

Hi John,

I played around with colors in my 2D software (DesignCAD) and came up with these combinations that look pretty good:
Blue and Red unchanged with the Green Axis changed to Red = 255, Grn = 0, and Blu = 255

The new color looks magenta to me, but I’m color blind :wink:

A better combination, R,G,B:
Blue unchanged (0,0,213)
Red: 128,0,0
Grn: 206,186,0

1 Like

So you see Yellow better than Green, and darker Red (Brick) easier than bright Red ?


But, this also may affect all the tooltips for GUI inference tool tips, and every place in the User Guides where axis color is mentioned.

It’s actually the combinations that cause problems. I used to play golf, when someone would mark their ball with a red ball marker it would literally disappear if I looked away, once pointed out I could see it again.

I have no problem differentiating between yellow and red, but lighter yellow (255,242,132) is just too hard to see with a white background, and the bright red starts to interfere with the darker yellow.

I can’t imagine anyone with a color blind problem having any trouble knowing what people are talking about when they mention the Red, Green, Blue Axis in the Users Guide Tooltips, or in this forum.

Hi folks.

I have the same idea as Wo3Dan but using only simple coloured edges juxtaposed on axes.

These can be made as a component that can then be locked.

These edges can then be snapped to and thus used as useful inferences.

Just ideas.


1 Like

Hi there! Did you ever get this figured out? I have the same problem. I can see the green and blue axis pretty well, but I can’t see the difference between red and black. It’s a real pain!

What version of SketchUp are you using? Are you really using SU8 as your profile indicates or the browser based free version which your profile also indicates. In SU2017 and SU2018, those colors can be edited. They can’t be edited in earlier versions, though.

1 Like

Windows-Preferences-Accessibility allows you to edit those colors in Sketchup 2017

I am on a vista laptop with SketchUp 8.

There’s no adjustment available in older versions of SketchUp. You might try changing the colors in the Windows Accessibility settings however it’ll affect the entire screen.