Coordinates or lack of them!


I’ve just started using Sketchup and am finding the lack of cursor position coordinates display a bit difficult. I am aware that there are addons which display these, but afaik these stop working as soon as you try to draw a line etc.

Lets say I draw a 3m cube with one vertice at the origin. I then want to draw a 1m square on one of the sides of the cube. With a coordinates display, I would click 1m, 1m from the corner of the side, then clcik again at 2m, 2m and my square is drawn.

With sketchup I am currently drawing a line 1m up from the midpoint of one of the sides, then 0.5m left, 1m up, 1m right, 1m down, 0.5m left then delete the first line I drew.

I assume there is an easier way of doing this, could anyone point me in the direction of how please?


I guess I’ve never missed having coordinates displayed. There are a number of options for accurately placing a feature on a surface. Display of coordinates during placement is not one of them. You can move entities by using coordinates, either relative or absolute.

You mention “addons” by which I guess you mean extensions. Your profile indicates you are using the free web version which currently doesn’t support extensions.

Hi Dave,

Using free and also make, so I can add extensions on that.

Is it possible to place an object on a face then move it relevant to the corner of that face (using 2D coordinates only)?

Moving to relative coordinates is not useful if you don’t know the current position!

Moving to absolute coordinates in 3D space is much harder mentally than moving the cursor 1m along then 1m up!


Youre example case is the easiest. It will not always be like this though.
(your example is to create a centered smaller rectangle on the side, the way I understand it)

Select the offset tool and hover over one of the faces. Create an inward offset of its perimeter. Then type 1m and hit [Enter]. Done.

I just want to show that each situation has its advantages/options/possibilities, also in SketchUp.
Like @DaveR said, lacking the coordinates doesn’t have to be so bad. Once you master SketchUp you wonder why you wanted to have them available all the time.

Or by then you still wish the were there.

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SketchUp is a 3D modeling application. You can move an object relative to its current location by starting to move it and typing in the relative coordinates as <x,y,z>

Relative coordinates are relative to the starting point.

Yes. As I said, I’ve never needed to know coordinates to create any model.

The only time I use Absolute coordinates is when I want to move an object to the origin. Most often I need to do that when I get a model from someone else and they create the model at some ridiculous distance from the origin.

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Here you go, web version, 3m cube, 1m square centered on one side.
3m cube


Thanks - I had misunderstood what the offset tool did, have read the relevant help page and this now makes sense. Is there any way to offset in one dimension only, i.e. to make my square a rectangle?

Box, what are you doing when you start drawing the 1m square? I can find the midpoint but then my square has a corner at the midpoint rather than centred around the midpoint. Obviously I could move it relative but your way is faster!

Hit Ctrl to draw from the center.

You might find it useful to look at the lower left corner of the screen when you select the various tools.

No, that needs to be an extra step: moving the particular edge after doing the offset operation.
Offset distance is equal for all edges of the perimeter, measured perpendicular to the edges in the perimeter.


I only get “select first corner” option, is this a limitation in “Make”?

Yes. I thought you were using SketchUp Free. That feature was added after 2017.

Your profile says you are using the web-based SketchUp Free and Box showed doing this in the web-based version so I answered based on those pieces of information.

OK, I am trying both to compare at the moment.

Another (probably silly) question. If I draw my 1m square so it touches the edge of a face, when I move the square it drags the whole 3D shape with it. Is there a way to undock the square and move it independently?

You need to create a group or component to prevent things from sticking together.

It sounds like you should spend some time going through the fundamentals here:

ok, thanks.