Keyboard zooming / panning / rotating

[Edit: see my post below for details about my work around]

With Sketchup Free, is there a way to zoom / pan / rotate model using the keyboard?

After searching it seems keyboard shortcuts are not generally available for Sketchup Free right now because it’s so new – but since zoom / pan / rotate model are some of the most basic actions, I thought it might be possible. What I’m looking for is fine control in order to set up scenes for precise video play.



You could use Mouse Keys in System Preferences / Accessibility, but SketchUp won’t be fun without a mouse.

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Going back to your initial need, you can make Scenes. With those you get a new tab, and you can click on tabs to get back to an exact viewpoint. So, it might need careful mousing to get the view you want, but then you can make that be a scene, and get back to exactly there for when you’re exporting a video.

Yes, this is exactly what I’ve been doing: Starting from Scene 1, scrolling carefully and then making a new scene (Scene 2) and if I go too far with my scrolling clicking Scene 1 to reset and try again.

But even though I have a magic mouse 2, which usually gives me excellent control, I find that I’m having trouble, for example, zooming in small increments. Furthermore, a slight finger movement will often shift me to the side, etc… That’s why I’m seeking the greater control that a keyboard would give.

Wow I just tried Mouse Keys and it works! – unfortunately I don’t have a number pad so it’s a bit awkward, and I can see that I’ll need a lot of training to get used to it to the point that it will be useful.

But still, I’m thankful for the suggestion! I guess this will be a work around until keyboard shortcuts are implemented for Sketchup Free.

You do have keyboard shortcuts in Free, the problem is that you can’t customise them, so you’re stuck with them. They may also clash with your browser’s shortcuts. You should have the standard ones like this:

There’s others not on that list, like these:
⌃⌘ drag left mouse button - Orbit without changing tool
⇧⌃⌘ drag left mouse button - Pan without changing tool

You can slow the mouse scrolling a bit in System Preferences/Accessibility/Mouse&Trackpad/Mouse Options

I used to use MagigPrefs from but it is no longer supported. It let you change mouse settings for certain apps automatically. I really don’t need it anymore.

After considering all the responses and trying all the suggestions, I’ve come to the conclusion that the real problem is not with mouse control of rotating or shifting side-to-side, but only zooming/panning. In this regard, your suggestion to change Scrolling speed should have been very important, but for some reason I did not notice any difference whether when adjusting the “Scrolling speed” all the way to slow or all the way to fast (see diagram).

But I did notice that when I unchecked the “Scrolling” checkbox in that same dialog that scrolling via accidentally swiping the magic mouse surface stopped altogether.
50 PM

That led me to my current method which seems to provide maximum control when zooming/panning, and rotating and shifting side to side. Surprisingly, it does not involve using the keyboard to scroll (ie, I do not enable Mouse Keys), but rather using the Z and O shortcuts to switch between the zoom and orbit tools. What I do is first uncheck the scrolling checkbox mentioned above – to avoid inadvertently zooming, and instead only zoom by use of the zoom tool (Z). That provides a lot of control, and then I just switch back to the orbit tool (O) for rotating and shifting side to side.

I still would like to customize using keys, because this requires a lot of back and forth, and also requires that I go back in and turn on normal scrolling afterwards. But at least now I have a better work around.

Thanks for the help!

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