Dimension Tool won't work

Why can’t I add any dimensions to my drawing?

Sorry, I am not sure what problem you are running into. Can you explain a little more? Activate the Dimensions tool from the Guide Toolbar (Microsoft Windows), the Tool Palette (Mac OS X) or the Tools menu.

Check out this help article.


When I click on the Dimension tool I don’t get the arrow cursor, it just stays on the pointer finger selection. At the bottom of the screen it shows the prompts for the Dimension tool, but I can not select anything to assign a dimension to. I think I have done something to my drawing to cause this, because at one time it did work. It doesn’t work even if I draw a new objects in my old drawing. If I open a whole new drawing and draw something it will work.

Hello @patjerryjohnson I am unable to replicate it, what computer type, version and SketchUp version are you using?

So you do not need to select an item first to dimension. When you click the dimension tool it sometimes is subtle, but your cursor should have a little purple ball appear when you go over an object you would like to dimension out.

Try to hover over an end point to see the purple ball appear, click once to start the “bottom” dimension and then go to the “top” of that object, click again to set the dimension.

Could you attach your model so I can try to add dimensions?

Sounds like you may have turned off edges and profiles.

If only faces are visible, you won’t be able to dimension from (the invisible) endpoints and midpoints.

Opening a new/previous model will get you the current template/previous model settings. Hence the ‘Dimension’ tool may then work as should.

Check the View > Edge Style.


You were right on. That is what I did. Everything is working now.
Thank you guys so much

I’m having problems with the dimension tool. It will only work and at mid-points on an object. I’ve checked to make sure I have the Edge Style on. 1-9-18 afternoon Buffet.skp (356.8 KB)

What exactly are you trying to dimension? I’m not having any trouble placing dimensions in your model.

Why all the copies of those legs? The back legs have some bad geometry with internal edges and such. Those will cause you problems.

Edge Style may be on but you have certain edges that have another layer assigned to them instead of Layer0.
Now if you have such a layer off you still don’t see the edges and can’t apply the ‘Dimension’ tool to their endpoints.
Always leave basic geometry “on” Layer0 !

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I’m kind of new at this, so when you say leave the basic geometry on in Layer0 can you explain how I should be doing that. I thought that once I had made an object a component I have to have the dotted box around it to make alterations to it?

When the file first loads, this component is visible: “Leg LF Master”. Up at the top mortice, there is a face with a hole but no edges around the hole. Look at the image @Wo3Dan posted. This is because the edges are in a hidden layer: “top rail L side - master”. When you make this layer visible while editing the component, you can see edges again and dimensions will snap to the endpoints of the edges.

To fix it, move those edges to Layer0.

The general consensus on this forum is to place all your basic geometry i.e. edges and faces on Layer0. You enclose all your objects inside groups and components and move those groups and components to your named layers.

You don’t have to as SketchUp lets you place geometry on any layer, but be prepared to deal with issues like this if you’re not very careful when placing geometry on other layers.

That is true, but you have parts of your component on different layers. When you open it for editing (with the dotted box) you won’t see all your component when some layers are hidden, which is what is happening here.

I’m beginning to understand somewhat. It looks like as I started to make my Scenes I started doing processes out of order. You’re help has really helped my better understand this issue. I’ve gone back to my copy of just before I started adding Scenes and doing dimensions and hiding the dimensions in some of the Scenes. Your help and been extremely helpful thank you. It is much appreciated!