# I would like to start a line at a fixed point such as x=5 and y=5. Is there any way to use coordinates in Sketchup?

I’m trying to use SketchUp to accurately draw some mechanical components. Is it possible to enter (or see) a specific coordinate or grid?

I have read some posts that question the need for a grid because, I can draw one. I would find a grid that is not a part of the drawing very useful.

Coordinates would also be a godsend.

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You can start by placing a guide point at x=5 and y=5 by starting from the origin and typing <5,5,0>. You could also just move the object to that point by typing [5,5,0] after starting the move.

<x,y,z> gives you relative coordinates, [x,y,z] gives you absolute coordinates.

If you really have to have a grid you could model one easily enough (The Sandbox tools would make quick work of it) or you could use an extension to create a grid of guides.

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There’s a very functional Grid extension in the Extension Warehouse

Yes. There is.

Today I learned something.

Not that I ever had that need. but I learned. Thanks Dave !

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I need to edit that.

You’re welcome.

I rarely find coordinates useful in my modeling but it is handy to know.

The most common application I have is when I’m fixing a model for someone else and they’ve got their model at a great distance from the origin. I can grab the object and start moving it, then type [0,0,0 and move it to the origin instead of dragging it.

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See the help at:

Namely this paragraph:

• Coordinates: The Measurements box accepts global or relative coordinates. To enter global coordinates, use square brackets, such as [3’, 4’, 5’] to designate coordinates from the model origin. To set relative coordinates (from the starting point of the move operation), use angle brackets, such as <3’, 4’, 5’>.
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Thanks for your reply. I see where you can type in Measurements in the bottom right corner, but don’t see anything that lets me enter coordinates as <5,5,0> or [5,5,0].

Do I need to use a special control for this?

No. You can’t enter coordinates to start drawing an edge. As I told you, start by placing a guidepoint relative to the origin. Then you can start drawing the edge from there.

Here I’ve placed a guidepoint at (5,5,0) and then I’ve drawn an edge starting at that guidepoint.

The Measurements box does not accept coordinates. It ignores the <,>,[, and ] characters. Do I need to be in a special mode to use coordinates?

What exactly are you doing when you try to enter the coordinates? Don’t click in the Measurements window.

That’s what I told you. You place guidepoints with the Tape Measure tool.

I’m not clicking the Measurements window. I want to draw a line from <-5,0,0> to <5,0,0>.

I am not seeing any way to do this.

I’ve told you several times, you cannot just start drawing an edge by entering coordinates. Place a guidepoint at the desired starting point and start drawing the edge from there.

My apologies. Totally lost.

1. I use the tape measure tool and click the origin.

2. The lower right-hand corner box changes to Coordinates.

3. If I type <-5, 0, 0> in the Coordinates box, I get an error message “Invalid Length Entered”.

I take the tape measure tool and click on the origin.

Are you typing in spaces as you did in your text, above? Did you move the cursor out away from the origin after clicking at the origin?

If you want to finalize the edge with coordinates you can do that. Notice the use of square brackets here.

or if you really want to draw the line using coordinates use extension s4u Line Tool

I get the tape measure.

Move it until it is over the origin.

Click the tape measure so that I can type into the coordinates.

Type <-5,0,0> and hit enter.

This gives me an “Invalid Length Entered” error.

I did not move the cursor away from the point of origin.

Move the cusror after clicking at the origin as I demonstrated.

Anything typed into the coordinates text box returns the error “Invalid Length Entered”.