How do you draw a shape on a different axis

I am really sorry if this is another stupid question, but played and looked around (Although I admit not having watched all the videos yet due to lack of time) and can’t work it out…

I want to lay my first shape on its side… Imagine I want to make a tube lying flat.

When I lay my first circle it always wants to lie flat, on the blue face… I have moved the mouse around the screen, and occasionally seen the shape got Green or Red, but I can’t predict or control this behavior.

To get around this, I drew a square… Pushed it to a cube… The put a circle on the side face and deleted the cube, and this worked… I know I could also make the tube upright and rotate it…

But I just want to learn how to control the initial orientation of a shape… Is there a way to force Sketchup to lay the first shape on the Green or Red axis?


for the rotation,rotation rectangle,& protractor, holding the down click allows orientation.

For shapes you can change the view, front and right (on the view toolbar) first then start drawing then switch back to Iso

It’s the way you look at your model (and the orientation of the current drawing axes) that controles how some tools orient.
For example: take the circle tool and with no axes orientation changed.
If you look down you’ll be drawing onto the ground plane.
If you look (=point the tool) above the horizon you’ll draw a vertical circle. This can be on the R/B plane or on the G/B plane, depending whether you look east (or west) or north (or south).
So in short, if you want the (some) tool to work in a certain plane, then orbit to have that plane more or less parallel to your screen.
With many tools you can apply existing faces to allign them to a certain face and while holding [Shift] you can then draw elswere. (as with the cube you used).

1 Like

Try this:

How do I draw a rectangle or circle (or polygon) oriented vertically?


1 Like

Thanks all… Bringing the horizon down solved this… And explains the behavior I saw… Its amazing how obvious this was, yet I could not see the “trigger”… thanks again.

1 Like

THANK YOU. so easy… its stupid

Yep, once you understand the process you’ll find you barely need to change the angle to get the focus to shift.