How do I create a measured line, ie., <------- 16' ------->


I’m using Sketchup 15.3 free on a Win 7 PC with i7, 3.4 mghz and a Radeon 7570 graphics card.

I’m trying to draw an accurate drawing of my back patio shade structure. I need to created lines that have the measured distance, i.e. <------- 16’ 3" ------->.

I can’t seem to figure out how to do it. Do I need a plug-in? Do i need to upgrade to Pro?

Anyone know how to do this?


Activate the Line tool.
Start drawing a line.
Click the start point.
Drag the cursor towards the end point.
The measurement box will show the changing length of it.
When it is near the desired size you can click the end point.
Now immediately type in the exact length required.
For example:


The press enter.
Using the unit suffixes.
The line should now be exactly that length.
Do not click on the measurements-box - just type the size + enter, immediately after drawing the line and before doing anything else - this approach applies to most creating geometry like circle-radius etc too…
To check it Select the line and look at ‘Entity Info’.
If its length is not being reported in the units you want perhaps the model has the wrong Units set up in Model Info…
Change those to suit what you want - although you can type in using any units with a suffix, If the model-units are set as inches then typing in 16 is taken as 16", but 16' in feet, 16cm is in centimeters etc.

There are many ways to draw exact geometry - snapping, typing, using guides etc - check the video tutorials.

does not work.

here is what i did - step by step

SELECTED the line tool (Pencil icon)


SELECTED start point (clicked and dragged) to end point.

While still holding the mouse down I can view a measurement to the right of my icon.

Once I release the click on the mouse, everything dissapears.

There is nowhere to enter numbers.

Please advise.


Given a set of explicit instructions for drawing a line of a certain length, you carry out a completely different set of steps and it doesn’t work. Curious indeed.

Perhaps something more visual,


Injecting accuracy into your model — Aidan Chopra Video

Also, I’m not seeing the MEASUREMENT dialog box. How do I enable it?

It should be docked at the right end of the status bar. (bottom right of the SketchUp window.)

If it is not there, you can do one of two things:

(1) Point at the status bar, and right-click the mouse. Then check both the “Measurements Label” and “Measurements Value” items.


(2) go to View (menu) > Toolbars…
IN the dialog, check the “Measurements” item in the Toolbars list.
Click OK.
Drag the toolbar where you wish, or dock it where you care to.

If you are wanting to create dimension lines ? Use the dimension tool.
From menu Tools > Dimensions

I went to View (menu) > Toolbars…
and IN the dialog,I checked the “Measurements” item in the Toolbars list.
and Clicked OK.

Still when i draw a line or tape measure this dialog box does not show.

Please advise

For the avoidance of doubt, and assuming you now have a usable Measurements box…

The Line tool draws lines: you can specify their length as you work, or edit them later in Entity Info etc.

The Tapemeasure tool is used to measure distances between two points: it can also be used to scale the model and create guide-lines and points.

The Dimension tool is used to created dimensions: these are made by clicking on edge vertices or click-dragging on an edge.

There are of course many other tools - but these three are interrelated and will do what you appear to want, although your wording thus far is somewhat ambiguous…

Hi Bob, hi folks.

To add to all the very good answers, to draw a line, use the LINE TOOL, not the TAPE MEASURE TOOL. The Tape Measure Tool can be used AFTER drawing an object, line or whatever to modify it but, why correct an error if you can avoid it.

You need to input the correct line length WHEN creating the line, not AFTERWARD.

Of course, any of the 2 endpoints of a line can be moved, thus changing the length but, again, this is a waste of time.

The Measurement Window is normally at the right end of the Status Bar. It can me moved anywhere but, personally, I prefer to have it docked at the right end of the Satus Bar so I know every time where it is.

The Status Bar is at the bottom of the Model Window. If this Status Bar is not visible, try maximizing your Model Window.

The Status Bar is very important, especially when you are learning SketchUp. Observe it after each of your action, it tells you a lot of helpful hints.

For example, to draw your 16’ 3" line, you do the following:

1 - Choose the Line Tool (the icon that looks like a slanted pencil). The status bar shall show this text : “Select start point”. The Measurement Box shall be preceeded by the word “Length”.

2 - Click the Left Mouse Button (LMB) to place the first endpoint of the line. The Status Bar shall sown this text: “Select end point or enter value”. The Measurement Window shall still be preceeded by the word “Length”.

3 - Move the mouse somewhere else and observe the Measurement Window. You shall see that the number in it changes as you move the mouse, giving you a feedback of what the actual length is. Don’t bother to get it close to 16 feet or whatever, the important thing here is its orientation. If you draw the line with a correct orientation, you save a non necessary step or reorienting the line.

4 - Let go of the mouse and then type 16’3". You can put a space between the ’ and the 3 but SketchUp is good at interpreting the characters that you type in the Measurement Window. Like other wrote, do not click in the Measurement Window, it becomes active automatically as soon as you begin moving the mouse, thus is awaiting your input.

5 - Press the Return Key to tell SketchUp that you have finished entering the required length. The line length shall change to reflect the new value of 16’ 3". If you don’t choose immediately another Tool, you can retype any new value for your line and see it changes each time you press the Return Key.

Now, something important, if, for any reason, you have zoomed the model out in a significant way, a 16’ 3" line may appear as a tiny speck or may even not be visible at all. Similarly, if zoomed in a lot, the line may not fit completely in the Model Window.

Just ideas.


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From the Menu Bar, select TOOLS > Dimensions.
Click/select any edge or line and pull away. A dimension line is created with the exact dimension of the highlighted edge.
(The style of dimension will depend on the Template you are working with. SU > Preferences > Template. I use design metric, just because I’m an architectural designer).
S.U. > Tools > dimensions. Then click the end points of the line or distance you want to measure.
Pull away and Bingo!

Located in the lower left-hand corner: The Instructor: ?
This is probably one of the most over looked features by newbies who need basic info such as this. Plus provides additional next steps and tool features, preventing the next question!! I found I was frustrated by the EXTRA info a lot of seasoned users provided or required to answer my questions. Plus I got the feeling I was annoying them in a way with my ignorance… or more like lack of general and basic knowledge and jargon.

Wow. That someone new to sketchup needs to ask how to draw a line is somewhat worrying, and that it takes a multi-step tutorial to get there is even more so. Looks like SU has come full circle since the 3.1 days when it was intuitive and when a few great videos could get you up and running. Could this thread be making a case for the need for a cut down version similar to SU 3.1?

This specific thread is probably a poor example of your point, as the way you draw exact length lines has been the same for a long time. The main way SU has gotten more complex over the years is through addition of more tools to do more specific things. The original poster on this topic appears not to have studied any introductory material (or not understood it), and the multi-step tutorials assume you have no idea how to use SketchUp.

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True, the way you draw a straight line of specific length has stayed the same, so why now are people struggling to do it? The only things to have changed over time are the complexity of the user interface and the accessibility of tutorials. When SU first started to gain traction it was facilitated by the minimal toolset and a few superb tutorial videos. I suspect, though I can’t prove it, that it was that minimalism that allowed SketchUp to gain such rapid traction, since it was so quick to learn. Today I had two colleagues look over my shoulder at a simple SketchUp stick model and still go back to their desks still wanting to stick with Autocad, which has left me pondering… is there a case for Make being cut down much further?