Keyboardless operation


I’m using a Space Mouse wireless and a Logitech gaming mouse with a LOT of buttons. I have mapped the most common keyboard shortcuts to the buttons (L,A,Q,S,M,T and so on).
There’s only one thing I need to do from the keyboard: enter dimensions.

My question: Is there a way to override the scroll wheel zoom and instead use the wheel for numeric input (scrolling up for higher numbers, scrolling down for lower and negative numbers)? I work in meters and 99 % of the cases below 20, so scrolling through numbers wouldn’t be a big issue.

I realise this is not a sketchup-specific feature but I’m thinking there might be third party software that would be able to interpret scroll wheel input to numeric input.


It could be a Sketchup specific thing: I use a keyboard and number pad and think it would be useful, especially if just trying to ‘nudge’ something in small increments. (I was thinking on something to do with the arrow keys to perform this action - but this is a much better idea)
Perhaps clicking on/in a dimension field* (and/or selecting a numeric value within the field) could highlight it - I’m thinking on with an enhanced border or different background colour.

  • Any highlighted numeric value within that field could be raised/lowered with a roll of the mouse wheel.

  • If not highlighted, then the number immediately to the right of the cursor position would determine the increments each step of the wheel’s roll would jump. (eg in the number 12345, if the cursor was between 3 and 4, each ‘roll’ step would change the 4 up or down by one number - if you were at the end of a number, then a decimal point would be added.)

  • Clicking on the 3rd mouse button (normally depressing the wheel) would act to confirm the value and deselect the field, returning you to normal operation.

  • R-clicking would bring up a quick select option of non-numeric values - comma, x, /, - and units (depending on the global units with sub-option to select other units - ie if you are working in inches you could enter a millimeter value)

  • Another r-click option would be bringing up a mini calculator with “=” replacing the complete value where the cursor is within the field.

  • Another r-click sub-option could be a memory so that (eg) 5 different values could be quickly stored and recalled.(this could be really handy for things like scaling)

(* it would be good if this wasn’t limited to just the “measurements” field, but could be used within the entity info window and anywhere else that numbers could be applied)

On a related matter I would also like to be able to type in one value, followed by another to draw another line in the same direction; eg if I typed in “1000”[return], the line just drawn would change to 1000. If I then typed in “+1000”[return] I would get another line, starting at the end point of the last line that would extend another 1000.
Similar for rectangles; the end point becoming the start point of a new one.


Usually most applications can be controlled by either mouse or keyboard or touchscreen or accessibility methods (voice etc.). For more complex (graphic) applications that is not always the case. Unfortunately SketchUp relies on some pointing device input + keyboard

Your idea sounds very cool and makes sense considering that you replaced mouse+keyboard by space-navigator + extra buttons. Space Navigator can already navigate in all three dimensions (vs. 2D mouse), so the scroll input is not needed for zooming. One problem would be: SketchUp uses a wide number range (from fractions of millimeters to kilometers), so your wheel input would need to work either exponentially (instead of linear) or with acceleration.

Since with Trimble SketchUp is moving again towards a professional application does not shy away from adding power user options, more input device configurability would be certainly an important thing.

As example Gimp allows to configure (if you ever need to configure it) any input device and assign any role. Just like shortcuts, mouse wheel can have different behavior with modifier keys. Default for mouse wheel is zooming, alt+wheel is increasing value of current tool, ctrl+shift+wheel select next tool etc.