Hide/Show Dimensions

Guidelines are placed on a System-Layer of their own that can be Hidden/Shown from the View Menu. Slick if Dimensions could be seen/hidden the same way.

Until then; can a Script be developed to select all Dimensions found in a drawings so they can be moved onto their own “layer”.

I typically establish an SKP Layer called “Dims and Notes” to place annotations. Challenge is, I have to remember re-setting the default layer when not doing dimensions. The Hunt/Peck for dimensions not placed on that layer is cumbersome.


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Option 1:
You have ability to select ALL dimensions in your model from the Model Info > Dimensions menu

Option 2:
There is ThomThom’s Selection Toys extension that has “Select Only Linear Dimensions” as a feature.


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Actually, Dimensions can be Hidden/Shown through a Ruby plugin without adding a Layer. The ability exists in SketchUp but isn’t available in the user interface.
Very simply (with no menu checkmark)

UI.menu("View").add_item("Dimensions") { Sketchup.active_model.rendering_options["DisplayDims"] = !Sketchup.active_model.rendering_options["DisplayDims"]}

Dispatch Objects was one of the first plugins written for SU. It still creates separate layers for dimensions, text, section planes and construction/guide lines.

There’s also Dimension Management tools which will move angular dimensions - another oldie.

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To CataMountain:

Thanks for Response. Q is; would that Script work on 2015?


Yes, that script is one of mine and it still works in SU 2015. The most recent version is available from the sketchUcation plugin store


Steve Baumgartner

I agree with the originator of this topic. Dimensions should be treated similarly to guidelines. Also, it would be even better to have the option of automatically assigning dimensions without having to manually draw them.

Hey Jim, how do you use the script that you included here? By saving it as a ruby file and then putting it somewhere or is there somewhere I can type this in from within SketchUp? Thanks for your help

Exactly what do you mean by “automatically assigning dimensions”?


See attachment. I have added a checkmark to the View/Dimensions menu item to indicate the visibility of Dimensions.

Download and install from the Preferences/Extensions dialog.

jf_toggle_dimensions.rbz (376 Bytes)


Establish an option screen that allows the user to select whether or not automatic dimensioning is turned on or off. If on, then Sketchup should automatically draw and display dimensions for each object such as rectangles, cubes, circles, cylinders, etc. There should be a button for this option to facilitate easily turning the option on or off. Of course thought should be given to what kinds of objects can be automatically dimensioned. Surely wouldn’t want to dimension every line segment. Nor would it measure every side of an object, only width, length, height one time per object.


A few (admittedly negative) thoughts about automatic dimensioning:

Dimensions are subject to what I once heard called “secondary notation”. That is, their usefulness and intelligibility is influenced by where they are placed in a drawing. In 2D, you have to deal with issues such as dimensions placing atop other dimensions or objects and clutter from too many redundant dimensions (when multiple parts are the same size). There is some art required to place dimensions for best use by humans. But until you modify the model they are ok once placed.

This situation is even more complicated in 3D than in 2D because the camera can orbit around the model interactively, even after everything is drawn. Like other model contents, dimensions can be obscured by other objects in front of them, can be seen edge on so they effectively vanish, and so on. As a result, 3D dimensions tend to be useful only after you have frozen a particular view, when you can choose their placement and orientation considering the rest of the view contents.

So my bottom line is skepticism: until someone shows me otherwise, I suspect it would take more effort to clean up automatically generated dimensions than it does for me to place them manually.

There are many more dimensions that can be placed on an object than are necessary to build the item, and any more than are necessary are considered “double dimensions,” which are prohibited. For instance, to dimension a radius, do you just give the location of the center and the size of the radius or three points on the surface of the arc? Do you use chain dimensioning or baseline dimensioning? Different methods of dimensioning the same feature result in different tolerance accumulations or measurement error accumulations. Different methods of dimensioning are not interchangeable, and double dimensioning, which creates conflicts and ambiguity, is nothing less than engineering malpractice.

A design document should always give the set of dimensions that best reflects design intent. Manufacturing is then free to stage and measure the part however they wish, with the understanding that the completed part must meet the requirements stated on the design drawing/model.

Do not relinquish your responsibility as designer to a piece of software that doesn’t know your design objectives.




You are obviously a design professional. I’m just an amateur who occasionally draws designs of woodworking projects.

I appreciate the intricacies that you’ve mentioned, and wonder if a good software designer might not be able to come up with a set of algorithms that would enable amateurs such as myself to easily show proper dimensioning in some way that is simpler than manually setting dimensions.



The “dimension all” command has been improperly dimensioning CAD drawings since the 80s. It’s not a new technology, just a bad one.


Thanks Jim, great job!

Thank you - short and sweet.

The simplest method of dimension-ing a drawing that I have seen is from Archicad:

  • choose the tool,
  • click on every point you want,
  • r-click or “done” to end,
  • drag mouse in a direction and click to place lined up dims.

Perhaps some “inspiration” can be drawn from this?
Maybe include an o/a dimension outside the segmented ones? Maybe if another dim is requested over the same segment, then the new dim line jumps out a level? Perhaps dims could automatically be placed on a separate layer that could be coloured or turned on/off ?

Thanks for the info. Your inspired ideas are right on! I especially like the idea of putting dims in a layer. That’s what I do now manually.


Awesome. In the 2017 version, I used the Extension Manager to install the script. Restarted, then the new option shows on the View menu. Quite awesome thanks.