Coordinates of points and entering coordinates as edge starting point

Hello SketchUp forum/world. This is my first post so hopefully I’m sticking to the right protocols.

For the last couple of months I’ve been learning SketchUp as a student at a local Technical College. The course is only half way through and I’m really enjoying SketchUp as a tool.

I have a question that my instructor was unsure about:

Is there a way in SketchUp to reveal the precise 3D coordinates (x,y,z) of an existing point, whether it is a line end, an intersection point, or the vertices of an object?

Similarly, is there a way to draw a line from (x1,y1,z1) to (x2,y2,z2) without drawing lots of guide lines first?


Select the label tooltb_label

and click on an endpoint/midpoint. Since version 2019, you can select the tapemeasuretool tb_measure and hover over the points.

Why do you want to do that? Do you know all the vertices from memory?
If you want to do more ‘techsavy’ stuff, learn to place the drawing axis (rightclick on one of the axis and choose ‘move’) and to draw relatively and absolute.

Never thought on the second one: You can enter the coordinates for your second point of a line, but I don’t see how to do the first. So it takes an extra line as far as I can tell. Start one line and then hit the left bracket key, type in coordinates, return, and you get a line, after that you can hit the left bracket and enter coordinates and not touch the mouse, as many lines as you want. So starting on the second line it will be coordinates to coordinates.

Certainly there must be a way to do this in ruby though.

If you don’t like that, draw a line anywhere, then click ea. end with move tool, using the brackets to give the coordinates.

Like chess, think ahead, use the origin to start a line and type the absolute coordinates for the endpoint, then that endpoint will become your starting point for the next.

Again, I do not know many people that have an ‘absolute memory of coordinates’ of an objects’s vertices.

1 Like

Thanks for all the pointers, I’ll go play with them all a bit later.

The reason for my question(s) is I already appreciate SketchUp’s ability to draw “perfect” objects, but what if I’m drawing to replicate an existing house where almost none of the rooms and angle are perfect rectangles, and lines are not truly parallel or vertical. I’m planning some rennovations that have to integrate with my existing house’s imperfections, and my brain is OK with 3D coordinates so I figured that would be a good way to do it.

1 Like

Well, ‘There is a kind of beauty in imperfection’ , so don’t overdo!
At some point, you have to live with the fact that you cannot create a 3D model that is an exact ‘twin’ of the real thing…
For now, point clouds received from scanners comes close to mm. and you can use all that information in your model. But even then, when you start tiling or laying a laminate floor, common sense and the right precision at the right time will be the main factor for the endresult!

When planing a board, it often helps to saw the big humps first, then start planing to straight boards.

When you have to straighten a wall, sometimes removing a few mm (bumps,bulges) saves a few cm in space.

Obtaining coordinates via the Text Tool is cumbersome at best.
It also does not work from outside Groups and Components.

You’ll find the Query Tool a more informative and efficient means of interrogating the model.

Exactly the same except using the tape measure tool for the first step gives you a guide point instead of a line to start from and looks like this:

Functionally the same, but maybe graphically more self explanatory.

In nearly 40 years of measuring and drawing existing buildings, almost every one was idealized in it’s drawn form with an understanding for tolerances with any work. Be careful of making things that are nearly, but not quite flat. The forum is full of help requests where some error crept in and rendered certain operations difficult or impossible.


Yes. I’ve been doing renovation drawings for years, many houses over 100 years old and quirky. If it looks close to square, like most buildings in the US are built, we measure carefully and draw it to be rectilinear. It’ll save you time and brain cells for better things.

Granted. if you’re doing a REALLY old stone Mediterranean building, you’ll want to keep it looser.

Are you measuring with a device that gives coordinates?


I agree with several of the posts here that advise against trying to produce an exact replica of a wonky building. Working in the UK as I do, I often work on buildings that are anything up to half a millennium old (get you, @pbacot!) . You can’t expect them to be square, vertical, plane, or anything so handy. Even if you had one of those whizzy 3D scans that archaeologist sometimes use that create a perfect model, you would be hard pressed to work with it. For practical purposes, we live with a near approximation that essentially consists of straight lines and plane surfaces, though we may sometimes have to work with acute and obtuse angles.

Or you could just say that working with perfection ain’t perfect.

1 Like

Thanks all for the knowledgeable, experienced advice, very helpful.

I get the gist: Approximate don’t replicate, and develop the knack for picking the right tolerance(s). I’ve got plenty of time to experiment & learn, so that’ll be my focus now.


This has been asked before. The answer is not with the native edge tool.

But there are some line tool extensions that can take coordinates as the starting point.

One that does this (that I’ve used in the past) is …

(There also may be others. I have no “skin” in this particular extension.)

Welcome. Only two booboos. 1. The topic title was inappropriately vague (ie, you won’t be a newcomer for long so this isn’t needed in a topic title and “tricky question” doesn’t describe the issue.) So I retitled the topic. 2. We like 1 question per topic so that hopefully one of the posts can be marked as the solution (which is then box quoted below the original post.)

Besides this, your questions were well asked and to the “point”. ( Pun totally intended :wink: )

1 Like