Finding acceptable keyboard shortcuts

I am trying to set up some personal keyboard shortcuts. I am encountering two problems.

  1. Aside from the very basic shortcuts given in the Quick Reference Card I have been unable to find a proper comprehensive listing anywhere. This means I don’t know what combos to avoid because they are already assigned. I found a Ruby one liner (puts Sketchup::get_shortcuts) which should display them but I haven’t a clue how to use this as I have never touched on Ruby or the console.

  2. When I try in the Preferences keyboard shortcuts dialogue to enter my own shortcuts, no matter what combos I try, no matter how ordinary or how multiply modifier obscure, I always unfailingly receive the message “Key cannot be used as shortcut”. I haven’t been able find a single combo available to me. Not one! Everything I can think of is rejected.

Sketchup’s Knowledge base article on this implies that I should be able to use just about anything. But I can’t …

Clearly I am doing something wrong here. Is there a set of coherent rules or principles that one must follow to find acceptable key combos? Am I missing something blindingly obvious here ?

Using Mac Pro, El Capitan, AZERTY Keyboard.

1 Like

I very recently had a similar problem on Mac, El Capitan.

See this thread from last night:

The key is NOT to press the Enter key after assigning a shortcut. Just click somewhere else

If I remember correctly on a mac you don’t hit enter after typing the key you want, just click somewhere else. I think from memory it thinks you want to use the Enter Key and you obviously can’t do that.

Edit: simultaneous post. Oh, Snap. I guess I did remember correctly.

I just knew this was going to be something mortifyingly and embarrassingly obvious because I have assigned shortcuts in the past without difficulties. I just could’t remember what it was different I had been doing. :o(

Yes. Click elsewhere does the trick. Problem solved thanks.

Box. See reply to John. Thanks to you both.

to clarify something I touched on in the other thread…

you can set Ctrl + Alt + key shortcuts, but it isn’t obvious because the ⌃ is hidden until you release all the keys…

I also said that ‘generally’ input boxes require a ‘Return’ and/or ‘clicking out’, I should have clarified the this is an ‘or’ situation, as ‘Return’ clears the input…

I hope this gif helps…


Your written instructions were already admirably clear. Clicking out does the trick perfectly. I now have all my shortcuts happily in place.

Thanks for the trouble John.

Well, let’s teach ya’ something now. Open the Ruby console from the Window menu.

Type the command

puts Sketchup::get_shortcuts

in the input bar at the bottom and hit ENTER.

A listing of all shortcuts (as set) will be output. You can hilight select the list and copy it to some text editor if you’d like to save it (make your own Reference card, etc.)

furthering on from @DanRathbun

you can have them all as screen text while you learn them…

def format(ary)
first = []
second = []
    ary.each do |sc|
    pair   = sc.split("\t")
    first  << pair[1].gsub(/(.+\/)/, '')
    second << pair[0]

note = format(Sketchup::get_shortcuts)


you could save a second Template just for practicing…


Well … Yes … and No … Dan.

First, thanks for the lesson. My first baby steps … :o)

It does produce a list but a very short and very incomplete one. Trolling through the menus there are dozens of shortcuts there that this Ruby function does not list. All the shortcuts prefaced with the Cmd Key for example.

I can’t help feeling that this isn’t terribly well implemented or documented in Sketchup. In researching this subject before I posted my query I found a surprising number of posts from people unable to find a listing. I would have thought this was something that Sketchup should publish in an easily accessible form. I do think there should be a better way of discovering the shortcuts than going the menus and sub menus one by one and writing them down. It seems to me such a basic requirement.

I also discovered that the menu items offered in the customisation menu are incomplete. For example I can use a standard Sketchup shortcut to create groups. I would like a complimentary shortcut to explode them when needed. So I went into the shortcut dialogue in Preferences to create one. It’s not on offer to create. I can’t. I don’t understand why Sketchup offers the possibility to create shortcuts to some menu items but not others.

I now have most of my desired personal shortcuts happily set up and this a very minor moan, but it all feels as if it could be far better implemented.

Yes very neat John. Thanks for the suggestion. But see my reply to Dan above. The list is way from complete. Its a great idea but with such an incomplete listing not terribly useful …

Pity …

you can get them, I helped TIG find them for the SCF StortCuts Plugin…

it’s missing the Cmd symbol, but lists the keys…

I’ll see if I can dig out the code to combine…

EDIT: the other missing ones in SU Prefs need a selection before you see them in there…

so select a group and all the missing group options show up…


I’ll see if I can dig out the code to combine…

There’s no need for me John. I now have found all the ones I need.

EDIT: the other missing ones in SU Prefs need a selection before you see them in there…

so select a group and all the missing group options show up…

Ah. Thank you for that! I will go play. Strangely that underlines a little bit my earlier comments about implementation. It’s a pity that Sketchup’s knowledge base article on creating shortcuts makes no mention of this at all. It really would be helpful. It took you exactly two short sentences to explain. It shouldn’t be too onerous to include them in the official instructions.

Sorry if I sound churlish. I really don’t mean to. I love this app and have used it almost since it’s very inception at a surface level and, many years ago, introduced my architect to it. I now have a project where I am really having to get to grips with it in far more depth and as always it is the tiny, tiny avoidable niggles that are the most annoying. :o))


Re: SketchUp User Guide: Customizing Your Keyboard and Mouse

On OS X, the shortcuts that appear in the base menus are compiled into the app when its GUI is made. They do not appear on the user-editable preferences list and cannot be modified without hacking the GUI. Also, you can’t assign any user-provided shortcuts that start with the command key. John found a way to include them in the list with the others, but because of these limitations they are on the list for info only.

Not quite what your trying to say here Dan.

The link you provide points to precisely the Knowledge Base article I was referring to. Unless I am mistaken It makes no mention of the fact that certain shortcuts require an image selection to be made before become visible and can be edited. I really don’t want to be negative or unappreciative of a great app. But we all have our weaknesses and I think in this particular instance this article is a fails to properly explain the basics of how to use one of Sketchup’s features.

I seem inadvertently to be stirring a hornets nest. I really don’t want to. I was simply seeking clarification.

@david_macd, he’s just letting one of the staff [who looks after Help] know of the issue…

adding an @ e,g, @Dan means he’ll get a green circle to ‘ping’ his attention…


1 Like

Thanks for that explanation. That’s extremely clear.

Truth is I didn’t want to change existing shortcuts neither did I necessarily want to create shortcuts prefaced by the Cmd key. I simply wanted to know what are the limitations and requirements for the creation on of custom keys since, in my opinion, this is poorly documented and, despite careful research of other forum topics, I was unable to find an answer without posing the question here.

Thanks to posts like yours, and John’s and Dan’s a clear picture is emerging.

Now I am simply asking should that be necessary if shortcuts were a little more adequately documented in the first place.

Once again my apologies if I am grasping the wrong end of the stick here.

he’s just letting one of the staff [who looks after Help] know of the issue…

Oh dear. How embarrassing. It seems forums need as much experience as the app itself. :o(

Thank you John for straightening me out and slbaumgartner for explaining things so patiently and Dan for moving this up the line.

Now I shall retire, curl up, and try to catch my own tail. :o))

David Mac

in case anyone wants them, these are the hardcode ones that don’t show in Preferences…
⌘H…Hide SketchUp
⌥⌘H…Hide Others
⌘Q…Quit SketchUp
⇧⌘S…Save As…
⇧⌘P…Page Setup…
⌘A…Select All
⇧⌘A…Select None
⇧⌘G…Make Component…
⌘G…Make Group
⇧⌘G…Close Group/Component
⌘D…Tape Measure
⌘Y…Section Plane
⇧⌘I…Model Info
⌘I…Entity Info
⌘T…Show Fonts