Move settings

Sure you can type in an exact value for the rotation, but it’s the center of a face that I consider inexact. It’s just an on-the-fly calculation of the center of an aligned bounding box face that usually has no exact association with anything else. I can’t recall last when the center of a face was a geometrically significant point in one of my models that didn’t already have some other construction geometry incorporated into it. So in my opinion in my modeling, it’s inexact.

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There are more than 2,3 or 4 ways to look at this feature. It depends on personal preference on how it is viewed. I think the best solution is to make a toggle for the rotate markers. But be careful about what you wish. Remember the confusion with the control key, tapping vs holding.

True, the rotate handles in the move tool use the bounding box center. The bounding box does have an exact relation to the object it contains, for any symmetrical object, like squares, rectangles, circles or cylinders the handles rotate around true center. For asymmetrical objects the bounding box may not correspond with the object center and the rotate tool would be more appropriate, unless care is taken to recenter the bounding box. I think I understand your opinion.

I don’t have a problem accidentally clicking on a rotate handles with the move tool, I seem to be able to avoid them just fine and have never considered them a problem. On the contrary, I frequently use the rotate on center option within the move tool and consider it an essential option. If it were made a user controlled option I sincerely hope they would be left on by default and that any modifier action necessary would be to turn them off, I don’t think I would ever exercise that option.

The modifier options for the move tool are already pretty full with stamp and autofold. A better option might be a preferences setting rather than another modifier.

You don’t need to click on the object during a move

You do if you want to snap on the object, and sometimes the rotate grips take priority and get in the way.

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I totally agree that it’s a useful feature for many, especially the architects and artists that arrange things within a model or on landscapes and move-rotate-move-rotate over and over to place things. Negating the need to constantly swap tools would save a bunch of time and frustration.

And I would certainly favor a preference over a modifier, because like you said, we already have a plethora of chorded modifier keys and clicks, and recent version updates have even added more tapping versus holding modifiers to the mix.

So maybe the way they’ve implemented the placement of the grips is an issue… The rotate grips seem to take priority over a snappable point when they lie close to one another, which is what bites me most often. In my use cases, this is usually on objects that are long and narrow so two of the grips lie very close to midpoints of rectangular faces. Interestingly, at some extreme aspect ratios, two of the grips don’t even get drawn anymore so you’re left with only two grips along the long dimension. Maybe just moving the four grips closer to the calculated center point, or changing the grips to a single indicator drawn at the center could reduce snap interference while leaving the rotate functionality as is.

I think an important improvement to both the move/rotate handles and the Scale tool is to change the way they scale with zoom as @Fredo6 pointed out earlier in this thread. Currently, when zoomed out, both these tools have the potential to graphically overwhelm the object. Improving this function would go a long ways toward easing the frustration.

One other use of the move tool rotate on center that I occasionally employ is to use hidden geometry to make assemblies with balanced bounding boxes, which allows me to place the center of rotation where I want it. Then I can easily rotate parts of assembly on their mechanical axis to study interactions without finding a shaft center and without worrying about disrupting accurate relationships.



I appreciate all the positive comments on my suggestion, especially after the original barrage of negatives. It’s obviously a useful tool for many people, so I would never suggest to eliminate them or put them on a actual toggle where they would have to be deactivated every time. Simply add an ON/OFF check box or button in a menu setting like this one, or wherever else appropriate:

The default should be ON but have the opportunity to turn them off.

I like to see this “barrage” more as a challange to you and others involved to stir up the dept of this discussion to ultimately get the best feature request for everyone.

Although I have little problem with the grips within the ‘Move’ tool, I can see some advantages in having an option in preferences to toggle them off for some time. The down side of this is (like with other on/off options) that new users may “never” find the usefulness of this accurate rotation option again.
But definitaly not a toggling key for each time you select the ‘Move’ tool.

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I might add that currently, the modifier for copy doesn’t work with the rotate grips. I have always found that curious.


I can’t see it not working in SketchUp Web Free. Or have I misunderstood?

I am inclined to agree with you. I have been using SketchUp for 16 years and not once have ever rotated something I wanted to move or copy. It can be annoying, I agree. The problem I run into with this forum is that most of the users will defend the way it is now in lieu of agreeing it could be better. So you will meet a wall with most of this stuff. I have learned to work around this annoyance of the rotate tool invoking on its on but I agree, it would be nice if the tools could be separated and like you said, we already have a rotate tool.


I couldn’t agree more. Almost every time I’ve posted a suggestion or complaint, there’s pushback from many of the regulars telling me why I’m wrong, or “that’s the way it’s supposed to work”. Just because people are used to the way certain SU operations work doesn’t make them optimal. I’m glad this thread turned a corner because I see many suggestions get prematurely shut down without full consideration of the merits of an idea.


Yes, I agree. Some times I want to use the handles, other times the handles interfere with quick actions. Vertex snapping is impossible when the handle sits right on the vertex. I’m not sure why you got such defensive response for suggesting the feature could be toggled. You are not alone.

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This forum would not function as the very helpful place it is without the skilled regulars and the time they put into it. And some ideas that are put forward on the forum comes from not knowing best practises yet. I’ve posted some of those myself. So I agree there should be some degree of pushback to make one defend ones ideas. But also sometimes its a bit too much. I certainly prefer pushback to not having anybody commenting… It’s not so easy to be a perfect human being I guess.

Myself I have trouble finding my scale handles sometimes, as they are inside the wall of the window opening I’d like to scale. I know, I can always toggle transparent on and off.

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Far more helpful than this one especially if you didn’t know one could do that and avoid the red rotation handles.

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Well maybe I was too harsh, but the notion that you don’t ‘need’ to click the object when moving is an assumption that ignores the ‘needs’ of the user, and incorrect since clicking the object is necessary for vertex snapping at least.

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It’s just a simple fact that if you choose you can execute a move operation without clicking on the object. Sometimes this is very helpful when moving lots of small objects around like this. Believe it or not, I was trying to help, knowing I could not magically make the handles go away. So I suggested trying something that would or could be of use. It was not a dismissive or defensive suggestion, and it was anything but unhelpful. I am a seasoned sketchup user with a lot of experience, and nothing about my comment was naive, thank you very much. And to imply I’m not understanding the issue is, well, naive.

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Doesn’t work for Scale, either. Just saying . . . :slight_smile:

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somethings up with angles when using the rotate-in-move.
I start rotating, type 90, hit enter, and get 180.

There is subtlety at work here. Unlike the rotate tool which begins all rotations at 0˚, the rotate handles of the Move tool are relative to the objects bounding box position and also relative to the global axis, giving this tool different capabilities and uses. For all objects 0˚ of rotation is on the right hand side, or 3:00. When viewed from the top this is outward along the red axis. , 90˚ is outward along the green axis, 12:00, or 90˚ CCW. Negative 90 (-90) is out the dotted green, and 180 and -180 are the same direction, out the dotted red axis form the top, or 9:00. For the various sides of the bonding box (like the bottom) this can be reversed, but 0˚ is always at 3:00. Each red handle of a given object starts the rotation from a preset degree position relative to the global axis, and that degree position is determined by its location relative to the bounding box and the global axis. If you change the global axis, 0˚ will change accordingly. Perhaps I’m doing a bad job of explaining, I feel like I’m making it sound more complicated than it is, but it’s a use-full feature. The take away is that like so many tools in SketchUp, where you grab the object matters.

So what you do in your example is grab the -90˚ handle (see how the VCB starts at -90 when you click to start), and ask that handle to move to the 90˚ position which is effectively 180˚ of rotation relative to the object. If you had grabbed the 0˚ or the 180˚ handle and typed 90 you would have moved either of those to the 90˚ position, 90˚ CCW or CW respectively. If you grab the 90˚ handle (green axis or 12:00) and type 90˚ you get no move, because that handle is already in that position.

This this behavior of the rotate aspect of the Move tool allows of a different set of uses and workflows than the Rotate tool.