Key Commands with Apple Pencil and Mouse

Very happy so far with the 24 hours I’ve been using the iPad version of SketchUp. I have very few gripes, but the biggest thing that has frustrated me is that occasionally the key commands stop working and I cannot switch tools. This usually happens during or after I start an action such as move or line, especially ones that bring up the measurement floating panel. But sometimes even when I “escape” or cancel the action with the Apple Pencil double tap (great gesture btw) it still doesn’t allow me to switch to another tool.

Usually once I tap the screen and switch to the select tool or another tool, then the keyboard functionality returns. But in my opinion, the keyboard shortcuts should override any current command, and switch to the newly selected tool.

Perhaps there is a predictable and purposeful reason for this behavior? I’ve been using SketchUp make, Pro, and Free all at various times in my career, and the keyboard shortcuts always take priority, which was predictable and useful. Sometimes I’m in one tool, and realize that my idea would be easier to accomplish with a different one, so being able to switch from the line tool to the rectangle tool and just abort the current process outright was very efficient.

On a related note, occasionally the entire keyboard seems to disconnect or stop working, but that seems to be a separate bug. Weirdly the trackpad scrolling/zooming/panning keeps working in these cases, but the mouse button, and the keys seem to be unresponsive. The only solution I’ve found in these cases is to close the file and reopen (don’t seem to have to quit the app to get it working again)

I’m on iPad Pro 2018 with magic keyboard, a wired mouse (via adapter) and an Apple Pencil. My current favorite workflow is the keyboard and the pencil simultaneously. Erase, freehand selection, line, and many other tools are working very well with the pencil. Love the thought that was put into this product.

Thanks so much for the great feedback @andrew.d.blood – I think we were a little more careful when testing the Mouse + Keyboard combo… it seems you’ve found some gaps with the Pencil + Keyboard combo. We’ll take a look using the clues that you’ve offered and see if we can get to the bottom of it!

It seems to be less of an issue with the mouse and keyboard combo, but it still shows up there. To clarify what I was trying to explain, it seems like it usually happens after I start a command or an action that brings up the floating measurement panel. And it doesn’t seem to always require that I type something into the measurement panel, or use it in any way, but it’s like when that is active, it’s blocking the use of keyboard, or any of the keys in the keyboard that can’t be used for that measurement panel possibly? Which would be all of the letter keys that switch tools.

This might be the result of fixing problems reported in the past where tool activation shortcuts prevented users from entering unit abbrevs (like m or mm) in the measurements box. For example the move tool would get activated instead of the panel accepting a unit.

Closing the measurements (VCB) window should allow shortcuts to work again.

Thanks for the added clarification Andrew! This seems like it should be a solvable problem, and the extra info will help us track down what’s going on. :+1:

Interesting theory, and this seems to be accurate. Here’s two final notes then. When the VCB is active it hovers around and follows the mouse cursor. (Seemingly so you can repeatedly type replacement values in scale or push-pull or type length for the next line in the line tool for example) However It doesn’t disappear or close until you tap it with a finger. Even if you cancel an action or have completed the action it seems to stick around. It should probably be the default that once a command is no longer actively in use the VCB should disappear/become inactive, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

If this still needs to be the default behavior for some reason, then note 2 is that while it’s there you cannot close it with the mouse because it is following the movement of the cursor. There should be some way to close it or get out of it in “mouse mode” even though iPad is a touch first environment.

Perhaps at least allowing the space bar to override this behavior if it is the first thing pressed while there is no active action? (rather than a number) That would give at least one way out without having to move hands off mouse/keyboard.

In fact, I’ve confirmed that this is the default behavior on SketchUp on the web/desktop. If a number is not the first thing pressed, then it instead defaults to the key command.

For example If I use tape measure to pull out a guideline, I can repeatedly type distances until I’m happy, including all the letter keys for m or mm or “ or any other unit. But if I don’t type a number first it assumes “m” means I want to switch to the move tool. This is what I’m used to and why it was bugging me so much that it was different here (I’m used to that quick flow back and forth between tools.)