Line tool inferencing control in SketchUp 2020.2. What do you think?

This afternoon, we released SketchUp 2020.2 with a few notable updates. On this thread, we’re hoping to gather your feedback on an improvement to SketchUp’s inferencing engine that has been requested often in these forums – the ability to turn inferences OFF.

In SketchUp 2020.2, we’ve introduced an option to turn off linear inferencing for the Line tool. Once you’ve had a chance to put this new inferencing control to work, we’d love to hear your first impressions. We’re investigating ways to add similar inferencing options to additional tools and we want to make sure we’re focused on making these improvements really work for you.

Please share your thoughts about how inference control works with the Line tool in SketchUp 2020.2. What modeling scenarios would you want to control differently with inferencing?

We’re looking forward to your feedback!


Being a good friend of Mark’s, I’ve used 2020.2 for a few weeks now, and in my train modeling that I did the toggling of inferencing when line drawing helped a lot. Normally when tracing an irregular shaped image, that happens to have a lot of edges that are almost on axis, you zoom in a lot until inferencing doesn’t fight with you. Now you can turn it off for a moment, and finely trace a set of edges. Then turn it on again if you have some long edges that are on-axis. It saved a lot of time.

I would like to add the possibility to ’stay in plane’.
When tracing an image, this could be helpfull.

The toggle cycle could have an ‘On Face’

(Ever since I tried to steal Mark’s laptop to get the latest version, he won’t speak to me again) :innocent:


Hold down Shift when the “On Face” tooltip appears.

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The new inferencing cycling only happens after you start drawing. The plane is known by then.

As Anssi says, the usual inferencing locking keys still work, and one of the inference options to cycle through is one that does parallel and perpendicular only.

This looks to be a useful improvement. Anything that reduces the need to continually zoom in and out is helpful.

Maybe a future development of this is the ability to select/deselect certain types of inference. When you have two inference points close together, SU often struggles to know which you want. If one is an endpoint and another a centrepoint, say, being able to filter inferencing on the fly might help. How you do that so that it is quicker than zooming in and out is the real challenge I imagine.

Of course, another way of tackling the problem would be to have a key that temporarily magnifies the area around the cursor (a kind of autozoom) and makes selection easier that way.


I think people have been requesting this for a long time. Good job!

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my hand gets weary when i need to hold down shift…
repeatedly hoovering over a plane does not help, either.

only for the start point

Hence my request to stay in plane, at least until a face is created ( Continue Line Drawing in the Preferences->Drawing)

Hobby Table design! Is there any way to get the skp file for the great workbench table shown in the newest announcement on the website? My son and I want to build it!

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Toggle linear inference - great! But why only for Line tool? Why not for Move tool? I think this is a must.
And next step would be full snapping settings, as simoncbevans mentioned - to: vertex, edge, face, group, bounding box, parallel, perpendicular etc.
Glad that this feature was introduced. Not so happy that we had to wait so long. But better late than ever.

Speculation on my part from the wording of the announcement - if it’s well received when added to the Line tool, the intention is to extend it to the other tools, I think.

Can’t wait then! :smiley:

You’ll probably have to! These things don’t happen overnight. Even long standing bugs frequently aren’t fixed for years, if at all. New features might take even longer, but who knows? And those who might know, aren’t allowed to tell.

I have NO connection with the development team, though. I’m just a Sketchup and forum user, and occasional extension developer.

Pure speculation with no inside knowledge.

“These things don’t happen overnight.”
They do if you use Blender :wink: I hope that Trimble watches Blender Dev Team and learns. More and more people now give up SketchUp for Blender cuz it recently started offering similar precision and comfort of drawing, it’s free and loaded with tons of functionality. SketchUp Team should raise the pace of development, maybe hire more people, otherwise they will lose many customers. Maybe not architects, but 3D modellers, visualisators for sure.
Honestly, I was already about to give up SketchUp but this year I can see there is finally some hope. So I bought new version but my expectations are still high.

Also, I would see a bit different behaviour of inference toggle. Now you have to press ALT every time you choose line tool because the setting resets when you pick any other tool. I wish the setting wouldn’t reset at all and I have the same wish for other tools: if you move or push-pull with CTRL, you have to press CTRL every time. The setting could be preserved until you hit CTRL again. This behaviour could be toggled in Preferences.

And I have one question: formerly indie developers were not even able to add any snapping toggles for their plugins because there was no API support for that. Whatever it means, cuz I’m not a developer, will this be possible now, as the native inference toggle appeared? For instance, I would say that DBur’s extrude edge (part of JHS Power Bar) needs this feature a lot. I use this little tool all the time. But my question is only theoretical for now.


It does (or at least for me…)

You right, I edited my post.

@Mark, @colin
I would like to point out that the implementation does not take into account the different keyboard layouts. This has not changed in the 2021 version either.

The way of implementation makes it impossible to type coordinates if you are French or Hungarian, for example.
You can check about more details here: Input issue

For sure there is a workaround, but I’d rather be able to use it without switching keyboards, as I did before “Linear Inferencing Toggle” implemented. :innocent:

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Same goes for Finnish keyboards as well, brackets are behind the AltGr key.

Thanks for calling out this issue (I hadn’t spotted that other thread). We are going to take a closer look!

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