Help Tutorial does not match what I see

Absolute newbie here trying to learn how to use this before buying - mainly for woodwork projects. My problem is the help tutorial doesn’t match what I see on screen. It might say, for example, ‘open the Model Info icon that appears on the panel’, but that simply isn’t there! Is the tutorial actiually for an older version?

Depends on the tutorial you’re looking at. Most tutorials are for the desktop versions of SketchUp, not the web version. Take some time to go through the Help info on SketchUp for Web. There was a very recent change in the appearance of the icons on the tool bar and not all of the images shown in the Help files will match exactly yet but they should be close enough that you can sort them out.