Drawing Shapes with Angles In One Step

Hi Sketcher Uppers,

I’m a new user and am trying to learn the basic functions. I’m trying to draw a basic shape of a deck that has some lines at odd angles. I need to draw left 234", up 33", up/left at 45° 155" and down/left at 45° to close the shape.

I’m assuming there is a way to do this quickly, all in one step using keyboard shortcuts without interrupting the workflow to create unnecessary construction lines with the protractor. Can anyone tell me they secret keyboard shortcut/input I’m missing? Every other article I’m finding online is unnecessarily cumbersome and complicated for what seems like such a simple and quick task.

Thanks in advance for helping a newbie!

Have you checked out…



Thanks for responding Paul. Yes I have. Unless I’m missing something, which, given my subpar reading and comprehension is totally possible, that article directs me to the same clunky workflow of drawing a partial line, stopping, creating what should be unnecessary guides and then continuing to draw where I left off, completing the drawing and then deleting the guides I just made. I’m very hopeful that these extra steps are not necessary every time I want to draw a line that is not parallel with the x,y or z axes. I’d expect there to be some syntax to allow typed angular input within the line tool, or, less ideally for there to be additional snapping options available via hotkeys within the line tool. Are you aware of any workflows like this that allow the drawing of non orthographic lines within the line tool?

As has been said many time in this forum, one can’t come to SketchUp expecting it to behave like other CAD applications - this doesn’t make SketchUp inferior.

Layout can do what you want to do but not SketchUp.

How about…rotate

Are you sure that

will actually close the shape…?

For those of us who still remember using physical drawing boards, the use of construction lines is inbuilt. I use them all the time. But I have noticed that younger folk (yes, I’m looking at you @TheOnlyAaron!), have an aversion to using them. If you get used to doing so, you will find they are a very powerful tool.


Construction lines are great… when they’re necessary and appropriate. They’re inefficient when they are inappropriate. I don’t care if a software behaves the same or differently than AutoCAD, but fewer keystrokes and mouse clicks on a flatter learning curve are always better than more keystrokes and mouse clicks on a steeper learning curve to yield the same result. There’s no getting around that fundamental truth. I’m hoping there is a different workflow available rather than an inferior one.

Not sure I understand what you mean by “inappropriate”. Do you just mean when they are not necessary? That would make sense, but unless someone gives you an answer to the way you want to work, there may be no option.

I’m with you there, for sure. But there are a number of things in SU that make you use more keystrokes than one might like. I have come to terms with that as taking the rough with the smooth.

Construction geometry is great when you need to align things to that geometry multiple times throughout the design process, but not every angle you draw should have a construction line.

I understand that no designer is going to nail every usability detail on the first release just as no builder will place every single door and fixture in the ideal location, but when we find these usability issues, it’s profoundly counterproductive to advocate that people make their peace with it rather than advocate for a hours worth of development work that will yield the entire user base years worth of productivity gains.

The impact of failures and successes in software scale even more than failures and successes in building.

I agree with you 100%. If you’re 100% right about that one hour’s worth of development time.

Well, maybe. Proof? Not too sure of its relevance though.

I’m a remodeler. If I mess up the swing of a door so that it covers a light switch as you enter a room, requiring you to close the door before you can access the light switch I’ve made a mistake that would have taken hours of my time to fix. It doesn’t sound so bad to just close the door and memorize the position of the light switch, until you realize that that door will probably be used by hundreds of people (if it’s a rental) for decades, and that a few hours worth of laziness may inconvenience people for generations. This is even more true when you’re talking about software that has millions of users.

I don’t think that you can close the shape as you describe it since you are always going left. There should be some move to the right or down right or up right.

Can you clarify.

BTW, guide lines are not that bad since you can get rid of them, when done, in one operation (Menu Edit → Delete guides).

You don’t really need guide lines when you already know all the required lengths… You can draw a line of given length then rotate it to required angle.