More Useful Entity Info Methods?




I come from Vectorworks, and I’m now working at a firm that prefers Sketchup. I’m getting the hang of Sketchup - including the “hidden” features (type in Move coordinates, absolute location, lock axis with arrow keys, etc). This forum and others have been extremely helpful.
What I’m finding missing though, is an Object Info pallet as useful as the ones in VW & AutoCAD. Entity Info just feels insufficient every time I glance over. Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Displays Exterior dimensions of a component - or at least delta x, delta y, delta z
  • Displays Absolute coordinate location of the base point of the object AND is user editable. All the time I move objects in Top view, and find that they’ve snapped far away from “0” in the Z (Blue) plane. I would love to just click the object, type “0” in the Z field, and move on with life.

Has anyone seen an extension like this? I can do all these tasks in SU, I’ve figured out other ways, but it would be so sexy to have a use Entity Info Pallet.



I think @TommyK has started a something.


I have been a little slow at updating the plugin that Jim mentions. If you could put in a request on the thread, I can add it to the TODO list.

Having come from Vectorworks to Sketchup myself, I completely understand why you would want such a tool. Personally, I have moved away from this kind of workflow, using guides or inputting precise values within the move/scale tool (see: ). If you are still set on using coordinates, I suggest readingthe following thread:


Got to agree with James, not sure why anyone would think autocad navigation or interface was a good methodology to SU… I spent 15 years on Aotocad and never want to see it again, SU interface is simple and intuitive and so quick I rarely need any plugins to improve the workflow After 10 years I am still learning shortcuts within the default interface that speed up work… I suggest you watch youtube video’s , you’ll be surprised at the different ways of achieving results with little effort and nothing like Autocad…

In particular look carefully at how the alt, cntl and shift keys enhance your workflow… also download the utilities plugin and assign the query tool to a key ( for me I use the ? Key) whenever i need to know the x,y,z coords i just hit the ? Key… partcularly useful for checking construction levels.

Scaling with realworld units is a no brainer once you know to type the unit (m, mm, etc) after the value.

You can always move something a known distance based on another objects distance ( so I rarely type in actual dimensions)…

Arrow keys lock the axis,

SU works on the KISS principle and does it brilliantly… so you think more about your design and construction the the mechanics on the interface…

We produce everything from 100 hectare urban masterplans to 25 level apartments buildings dimensionally accurate in both architecture and structural design and have never missed anything in the autocad interface, quite the opposite… Autocad is an overpriced, bloated , dumb, unintuitive piece of ■■■■ that has been holding our profession in the dark ages and subjecting us to corporate rape!

Sorry for the rant but when anyone suggests even a hint of autocad superiority I let fly… nothing personal, I am sure your a lovely guy :smile:


Ohhh, and I never create in orthographic view, it is always perspective mode.

Then to quicly navigate, set up scenes for isolating your primary model… eg I set up a scene to isolate each floor… and put each floor in a layer… then when I need to isolate a floor I just click the scene.

Then to isolate what I am editing in 3d I use the “hide all but selected” and the “hide all but selected component” commands… I shortcut key those to my F3 and F4 keys so I can quickly see the object of interest…




Thanks for all this! No worries, about the AutoCAD hatred. I’ve seen many a professional quarrel over preferred drafting methodologies. It seems to really come down to which method/application a person learned first, and which features “click” with them. My personal workflow right now tends to move back and forth between Sketchup & Vectorworks pretty constantly, depending on where I know how to do a specific thing most easily.

There are some really useful tips and workflow suggestions in your response that I’ll definitely be exploring.

What is frustrating in Sketchup is that the more powerful functionality is hidden. I’ve only learned about the various keyboard controls through forums like this. Plus some important features are available, from Trimble, but only in extensions.

Anyway, we could have a whole other forum to debate the pros and cons of various platforms. Thanks for all the pointers! I’m off to draft some more!