I'm finding moving things a headache

Hi There. Pretty new to SU.

At th emoment the thing I seem to be having the most difficulty with is moving things around. I understand that SU will offer to move things on axes, and by pressing and holding “shift” it will supposedly lock to this axis (that doesn’t always seem to work?)

The typical problem I am having goes like this: I will have a chair, say, which has become partly “submerged” in a floor, so obviously I want to raise it out. Selecting the move tool, I try to get SU to offer me the vertical axis, but instead it seems determined to offer me another one. Meanwhile, while I’m trying to get it to move on the axis I want, it starts moving, or even snapping to crazy places far off in the room, along other axes, or in ways I don’t want…while I’m trying to get it to offer me the axis I want. Also, even when I do get that axis offered, and press and hold shift, it still sometimes doesn’t seem to stick to that axis and will suddenly shoot off and try to lock itself to a face on a distant wall, or something like this.

It’s very frustrating. Obviously I am doing something important in the wrong way, or the must be a better way of doing this. What am I missing please?

The most common error with moving things is thinking you click and drag. Don’t. Click and release attaches the object to the cursor so you can move around easily, then another click will drop it.
So click and release on your chair, press the up arrow and move the mouse and the chair will only move up and down on the blue axes.
The other thing is to pick things up from a useful place. Click on the corner of a box so you can place it on another corner. If you click in the middle of a side it will be hard to align to an edge.
You can also move things without touching them. Use thee select tool to select the chair then change to the move tool and move along a vertical edge and the chair will follow.

Click and release, not click and drag.


Instead of pressing and holding down [Shift] right while reference ‘On …Axis’ is being displayed you can also use the [Arrow] keys. [Up] and [Down] locks to the blue axis, [Left] to green and [Right] to red.
Also look into how you set up ‘Click Style’
(menu Window > Preferences > Drawing > Click Style > either 1) Click-drag-release or 2) Auto detect or 3) Click-move-click).
I do like to set the style to ‘Auto detect’. You may have set it to be a different style.

You will benefit from an attentive review of several SketchUp video tutorials. I would suggest you start with the “Getting Started” intro movie and look closely at the various “Toolbar Series” videos.

These videos and more can be found at the following url: http://www.sketchup.com/learn/videos?playlist=58

Good luck

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I have been at this for a short while compared to most here. I know first hand what you are trying to explain and not sure of what your doing. Make it harder to get your point across. So take the time (I spent 4 months solid…yes) going over these and instead of drawing the Eiffel Tower use them with a simple bird house. There are inferencing points as well as like what was mentioned about clicking a corner to set a point. So your chair is inline with the table height and its legs not 4 inches into the floor…right?? Not to far from where you are now. They seem stupid and boring but they are where you will find almost all of the answers you need to ask real questions. I say this because I wasted about 3 months bouncing around only to realize that’s what I should of been looking at instead of plug-ins and what others had done. I had trouble following them at first and just proved how smart I was. Serious it is hard and frustrating BUT learn the instructions before you open the box! There are 10 for this tool here and many others for all the tools.

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Box, you nailed that pretty much in one. Thank you. I was indeed click-dragging. This advice has improved things a lot, though I am still getting some peculiar “jumps” when moving the thing along an axis. Also, when I move from one axis to another. Do you click to release then click to begin moving again, before you switch to a different arrow key?

jvl, I’ve been looking at a whole bunch of videos. I’ll certainly check out the ones you point me at, too.

Okay. I’ve watched the first several videos and I’m not doing too bad :smile:

I still have a question about moving though. Say I move a chair, locked with the arrow keys to one axis, across a floor. If I don’t click out of that “move,” and then I press a different arrow key for a different axis, the chair now snaps back to its original position and moves along that axis from there. I can stop that behavior by releasing the original arrow key, clicking to end that “move,” clicking again to begin another “move” and then clicking on a new arrow key, to lock it to a new axis. The chair will then move from where I left off. My question is this: is that the normal behavior? It does seem like a bunch of extra clicks to go through just to get the object to move in an “L” path.

Axis lock does just what it says on the box, it locks it to one axis. It is designed for moving something in only one plane in a 3d world. You therefore need to end the action to change direction with a new action. You don’t need to hold the arrow key, it’s a toggle on or off.
So to do an L it would be click tap click click tap click.
Same move as a direct diagonal would be click click.

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Hi Everyone,
I realize this is an old thread, but I am in the process of working through the various skill builder videos and tutorials. I’m working on the inferencing skill builder, and I am building a house with various rooflines. I have come to a point where in the tutorial they separate part of the house structure as a rectangle, draw a line through the middle of the rectangle, and then use the move tool to move the line along the blue axis to form a unique roof line. I am only able to move the line along the green axis. Try as I may, I can’t get it to move along the blue axis. I can get the line that separates the rectangle of an adjoining section to move along the blue axis no problem.

This is not a big deal as this is just “homework” for the tutorial, but it would probably be handy to know what the hangup is. I used a workaround of making eaves for the house and then push pulling them to make the new roofline, but now in the later stages of the tutorial, my model is not behaving the same as the tutorial version.

Any thoughts on what might be causing my challenge? Thanks for anything that could be offered, and as I said, ultimately this is not a big deal.

Two thoughts. First, in SU 2017 and later, the arrow keys can be used with Move to determine what axis to move on:
Up = Blue, Left = Green, Right = Red and Down = perpendicular/parallel to selected edge, or edges of a face (gives a pink reference highlight).

In earlier versions of SU, Down arrow acted the same as Up - fix on Blue axis.

Second, you may need also to press Alt (Command on Mac) to allow ‘autofold’.

When that happens, it usually because there’s something preventing SU from taking that non-triangular surface into the 3rd dimension. If you hold down the command key, it will allow it to happen with autofold, which will create triangles and complications you don’t want and weren’t expecting. If what you think is a rectangle isn’t actually a perfect rectangle, that is one reason it would do this. Any other geometry drawn on that surface will also cause this. When I see this behavior, it’s a clue to debug any errors or stray geometry in the model.

BTW, the technique they use in these tutorials is fast and makes SU look fun, fast and easy, but in the real world of house design, that isn’t very useful. We usually think of roofs in terms of the pitch, like 4 in 12, or 6 in 12 roof pitch. SU does give you the means to work in those terms. For example, you can draw a flat plane, and then with the rotate tool, start pitching it up by one edge. While the angle reads out in degrees in the Measurements box in the lower right hand corner, you don’t have to use degrees. You can then type “4:12” in that box, and it will set the plane at that pitch.

Thanks guys. I was missing a line, so I didn’t have an actual rectangle. That is handy to know about autofold.

I retried the house example, and it worked after I completed the rectangle.

On a new note, this monring when I push/pulled the eaves, they became hollow instead of solid. Any ideas on that one?

Redraw the edge where the face is missing to complete the solid or hold down the shift key while using the P/P tool.

I will give that a try, thank you! Sorry for the basic questions, but I’m trying to understand the nuances…

Hello, all. Running SU 2018 (Pro) on a Mac High Sierra. I, too, get very frustrated with the move tool, especially when importing a component and moving it to a specific spot in the existing model (sometimes after rotating it as well). For example, I have a door in a window and door molding in a file. When I import (or copy/paste) the molding, it is not aligned to the door, so I have to move it to the door frame. Yes, I can get it there eventually, but there must be a better way.

One way is that I use the query tool to get the RGB coordinates of the destination point on the door. Then I select the corresponding point of the molding, start to move it and hit the left square bracket ( “[“ ); now I can enter the coordinates of the destination point and the molding will move there. But I have to write down the destination coordinates, which is error prone and feels inelegant to me. Does anyone know of a plugin that will allow me to select a destination point and move a component/group to that point after clicking on the appropriate point on the moving component?

It is sort of like a pick and place tool. Maybe it is time to learn Ruby.

Try setting up a shortcut for X-ray view and ‘Hidden Geometry’ select the endpoint of the component (Hidden Geometry) then move it towards the point were you want it in X-Ray mode. Toggle back the settings, when done

Well the existing inference engine does just this, but in reverse. You pick a point on the component when you grab it with the move tool, say the lower left corner of the door, then you pick a pick a destination point when you drag the mouse where you want the piece to go. No?

Hi Mike, the issue is not picking the point on the component, although your suggestion is a good one for a more complex component. The issue is getting the component to the destination.

Riley, you are correct that the tools as provided with SU will do the job most of the time. But often enough (as lightpanther wrote in the first post), the component will jump around in the model and it takes several moves to get the component to the destination. I think this might be due to the zoom/pan/orbit that is necessary for a large model such as a house when importing a component such as a door. It is very frustrating since if I am not dragging a component around, the mouse will go easily to the destination point. I also find that SU will snap to a destination point, which may not be the actual destination - think about a piece of molding around a door. What I was hoping for was a “pick and place” type function where I open the tool; click on the component; zoom/pan/orbit to and click on the destination; then watch the component move to the destination. Yes there are ways to do this, but I am impatient.

Thanks for the help.

You may be missing one of the most misunderstood features of SU.
When you want to move something, choose a specific point on your component (a corner for example) left click and release on that point with the move tool and the component will be attached to your cursor, then orbit, pan, zoom until you see the point you want to attach it to, now click and release on that point and the component will be dropped exactly there.

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