Graph paper

Years ago, I used Broderbund Home Architect 3D. I recall the beauty of just sketching on “graph paper” in the program and–voila-- clicking the 3D button and seeing my plans in 3D. I’ve purchased the Sketchup Pro (subscription/online) version. I’ve been playing with it. For me, a steep learning curve.
QUESTION: I will, of course, study the intro/tutorials. BUT, is there a menu option where I can see anything that looks like GRAPH PAPER on which I might draw my plans? If so, is converting it to 3D complicated, requiring multiple steps OR can it be as simple as the program I used several decades ago? I would think, in time, things would’ve gotten MORE user-friendly/simple than less. #frustrated

There isn’t a “graph paper” background in SketchUp although there are some extensions that will create a grid to work on if you must have such a thing. SketchUp’s on axis inferencing tends to replace that sort of drawing on a grid. If you have Length Snapping enabled in Model Info>Units (which is normally not advised) the drawing and other tools will naturally snap to some length interval. That’s not exactly the same as snapping to a grid, though. I would suggest you work through the tutorials at and at least for the time being, forget the graph paper idea. I expect you’ll find you don’t need it.

As for going from 2D to 3D, that’s generally not difficult to do but it isn’t automatic. It still needs your input. Again, you’ll see how that works in the tutorials.

As the OP has the Pro version, she can use the Dibac extension which creates 3D automatically from a 2D plan. Now available for purchase with a Black Friday discount

If you really want a grid, there is a free plugin form SketchUp Team in Extension Warehouse called Grid Tool that lets you draw out a finite grid with a spacing you define. To me it’s not essential, but if you like that method of working, that might do the trick.

As Dave stated the axis inferencing is fantastic. You should look at some videos on inferencing on YouTube. The inferencing capabilities extend far beyond just on axis design. I you bypass the inferencing aspects of Sketchup you will be missing out on a bunch of it powerful features. Using a powerful application as a new platform for the same old method would not be very satisfying.