Issues with Rotate Tool and Rotating an object by 90 Degrees

Having issues with the rotate tool in trying to rotate a 2 objects simultaneously on iMac to create a sphere, See Attached. I can rotate it but get different options to creating a sphere.

I need to rotate the 2 objects by 90 degrees. See Attached.Blimp.pdf (29.4 KB)

Any advice welcome.


You can’t rotate an object or two objects simultaneously to create a sphere. Upload the SketchUp file so we can see what you’ve got and update your profile with the SketchUp version/ license and graphics card.

You may want the follow me tool, not rotate.

Guessing by the fuzzy tutorial you posted, I think you are trying to rotate 1/4 of the blimp and one tail fin 3 times to complete the blimp. You can do this, no matter what version you are using, but it will be nessesaary to know your version to give you the right pathway.

In short: select both and choose rotate then the use an arrow key to lock a rotate direction. Start from the nose and rotate once either by inference or by typing 90 and hitting enter. Then type x3 and enter.

Even better make the two pieces a single component before rotating.

Tell us where this process goes wrong for you. If you ever come back

Thanks all, I’m using Version 2017. The 3D Create & Print SketchUp Manual is not very specific. I’ll give it a try and let you all know how I get on.

I think he means copy-rotate, so hit ctrl after starting to rotate. You can see the little plus-sign appearing at the side of the rotate-mousepointer.


Good catch! Yes, I omitted the modifier key to change rotate to copy rotate.

On a Mac, it’s “option” not “ctrl”

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Hi there everyone, this is frustrating as I still can’t rotate the blimp as expected.

Can someone give me the exact sequence of events starting with the 1)Selection of the 2 Objects 2)Select the Rotation Tool etc.

Many thanks

Also which Arrow key should I use?

Use “Left”, “Right” or “Up” keys.

Thanks, I’ll give it a try later.

Still having difficulty with this, This is still rotating from the point and not the whole object. I’ve also used the arrow keys to lock rotation. I’ve also followed the example that has been sent to me.

Not sure what you mean by rotating from the point not the whole. Select the two components first. Select the rotate tool, constrain the rotate tool with the arrow keys, select an axis (center of the nose) press the modifier key (option) to get copy/rotate (either drag to rotate as I did or type 90 to get 90˚. Then type 3x. DO not attempt to click into the VCB or values box with your mouse, ever. just let go of the mouse and type, the VCB is always listening. If you are still stuck maybe you can give us and idea of exactly where this goes wrong for you.

Hi there I have followed the your instructoons to the T, I’ve notice when you click on the nose and adjust the rotation tool, the action after is slightly more tha 90 degrees. This is where I am having problems, as when then I try to rotate the whole object, the object is only be rotated from the nose. I keep trying, but would welcome any suggestions where I am going wrong.


Also, can you clarified that the first click is on the nose, second click before you rotate the object?

Go to the Learning Center for Good Tutorials and practice for using the basic tools.

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The first click sets the axis of rotation (wherever you click will be the point at which the object rotates around), the second sets the point from which you will rotate, the third finishes the rotation, text inputs can then be used to specify angle and number of copies.
See how the rotate tool is stuck to the endpoint after I make the first click and how the object is attached and can spin happily until I make the third click. Tapping ctrl toggles copy on and off.

Hi all, I’m missing something here, when I try and create, my object is still rotating from the centre of the nose when I try and copy, or copy the object in the first instance. Also do I require the green protractor Tool, when trying to complete this action?

Thanks all for those who have responded.

It not actually the Protractor tool - that’s a separate tool used to create guidelines at set angles - but it does use similar techniques and the graphical ‘gizmo’.

The Rotate tool has a similar graphical ‘gizmo’ - it indicates the point about which you are rotating [its center where you first snap or fix later], and the ‘gizmo’s’ color tells you its ‘plane’ which in turn sets the rotation axis - this is settable in a number of ways - see below…
When the ‘gizmo’s’ plane is perpendicular to an axis, it is colored to match that axis - red, blue or green [as needed in your case].
If it’s non-planar then it’s colored black.

You can set the plane/axis by using various arrow key presses or shift-presses to toggle through the axes, or dragging the first picked point along an edge then sets that edge as the axis, and locking or clicking onto a face sets the rotation axis perpendicular to that face…