Is this a new Tape Measure Feature?

Good morning everybody

I think I must be going mad, but the image below shows 2 sets of lines in plan view . The black lines are 2,400mm vertically above the red lines. If I require the offset distance between the lines I usually either, add a vertical face in SketchUp to measure from, or export a scene to Layout. This morning, my tape measure tool in Sketchup is giving me the actual offset dimension (approx 94.5mm) rather than the true dimension of 2,400+ which is useful but am I missing something, i.e. has the standard tool function changed?

I am using 2021 Pro


Probably, the units are set to inches. You can change them in the [menu] Window > Model Info > Units
You can change to show the units in the VCB (value control box, Display units format)

Thanks Mike - but everything I do is metric and all dimensions are in mm. It just seems strange - usually the dimension shown would be 2,400mm plus which is the true distance but I usually need the offset, i.e. the distance as if the lines were drawn on paper, and all of a sudden that’s what I am getting?

Perhaps sharing the model would give more insight.

So are you drawing a 2D plan in SketchUp?

And if so why are the black lines 2400mm vertically above the red lines?

You mean you require the vertical offset dimension between the two which is 2400mm?

I don’t follow this.

Looking at your screenshot I see the green inference line so is the tape tool giving you the horizontal offset between the two lines?

If you are in plan view and you lock the tape to the blue inference then the tape will not measure anything until you orbit out of plan view.

I’m on 2022 now - I’m not aware of any changes to the tape tool in 2021 from previous versions.

I saw it too in 2021, don’t have earlier versions to test on this machine. When enabling the Display units formats, it displayed the correct value in Units, then, toggling back I didn’t see it anymore…

Hi @paul.mcalenan

Thanks for your reply - I have attached the file.

The only thing I am asking is how come I get the 94.5mm dimension in plan view (parallel projection) rather than the usual approx 2,400mm true dimension. Thanks.

Forum File.skp (10.5 MB)


I opened the file in 2021 and 2020 and am getting the same as you are currently experiencing - can’t get the tape tool to measure the vertical offset in plan view.

Maybe that’s always been the standard tool behaviour?

As I said - I think I’m going mad :grinning:

Maybe has to do with the amount of points from the point cloud? You get more control with the camera set to perspective, one can manage the position a lot easier to snap to the correct point.
If you erase the dictionaries from V-Ray and Undet, it behaves more predictable.


No need to.
In plan view you measure the horizontal offset which is 94mm
Rotate and you’ll be able to see both values, either measured horizontal or vertical or straight to the lower edge.

if I explode all the components that this 6 line model is made out of, I get over 6000 separate small line entities, most of the black lines are 2400mm above the red ones, but not exactly.

I suggest a simplification of the thing, into the basic 6 lines, so that measurements can be controlled.

If I draw 2 parallel lines say 1000mm apart, then move 1 of the lines vertically by say 5000 then in plan view they measure 5,099 apart which is correct, rather than 1,000. I guess the dimension in my original post is due to the lines in question being sections through a point cloud as has been mentioned above.

yes.5099 would be correct. you would get a grey arrow indicating that your measure is not along axis. If you hold down shift to constrain measure to red or green plane (horizontally) the measure would read 1000

Thank you.

So the grey arrow I guess is the usual behaviour - but in my example above I cannot get the grey arrow, only a green line which is presumably because the lines I have produced are too complicated being sections through a point cloud.

The great thing is that I have learned you can get a green line without locking to the green axis, which is something I will have to look out for.

should work like this:

I usually move my cursor to the side of the line to be certain I have the right color. anyway, just a little work in plan view is easily too much, perspective view gives you the assurance that you’re doing the right thing.

Thanks. So you can get a grey line (true distance = 5099mm) or green line (offset = 1000mm) but in my example above I can only get the green line?

I am going to mark this as solved now.

Thanks everybody.