Inserting Accurate Dimensions On Laptop with Touchpad


Hi, first, I’m a newbie to Sketchup. When I go to draw box, line, tape measure, etc. I cannot let go and navigate to the “dimensions” box because the touchpad on my laptop navigates the tool instead of letting me type in the exact numbers. Is there a Mac keyboard shortcut so I don’t need the touchpad?


There’s no need to "navigate to the “dimensions” box. Simply let go of the touch pad and type the dimensions. If you’re doing something for which a dimension can be entered, the Measurements window will be available and there’s no need to move the cursor to the box or click in it.

You’d find it a whole lot easier to work in SketchUp if you’d use a simple 3-button mouse instead of the touch pad. You can get a nice wireless Logitech mouse for about $20.


Got it. I am using a mouse but was trying to navigate with the touchpad expecting highlighted text in the box. I have it working properly now. Tx!


If you’re using a three-button mouse, use the wheel for zoom, the center mouse button for Orbit and the center mouse button with Shift for Pan. No need to use the touch pad for navigating. It’ll be much more efficient and you’ll be able to work faster if you navigate the model space with the mouse.

You should take a little time to view the Getting Started videos. See:


SketchUp was designed to be used with a three-button mouse, were the Middle button is a scroll wheel for quick navigation in your model. Also, make sure you click-hover-click (do not drag)watch the measurements box change while you hover after the first click, it will help you determine what to type.
If you only use the trackpad of the MacBook, make sure you are not ‘accidentally’ touching it while typing on the keyboard.
if you press the trackpad and hold ctrl and cmd simultaneously , You’re in orbit mode(
tb_orbit ), if you manage to press SHIFT as well, you can Pan as well (tb_pan )


I just use my MacBook Pro trackpad, and one nice thing is that once you get into orbit with ctrl-command you can let go of those keys. You can then press or not press the shift key to switch to panning. It’s a fairly pleasant way to work. That’s made even easier if you use the macOS three fingers to drag option, you’re not having to press down on anything while orbiting.