Move settings

Yeah, but only for following axes or parallel/perpendicular. And that’s cool. But selecting object snaps still depends on some mysterious SketchUp magic, which is often useful, but in complex models is just as often useless, necessitating a zoom in or out to isolate/find the end, midpoint, center, etc. I want a way to place the cursor on the object (edges are where this is most important) and using the keyboard or a context menu, select the end, mid, center, point even when it isn’t visible, or is enmired in visually cluttered geometry. Or just turn snaps off temporarily during the immediate operation. Having to go to a menu option to turn them off or select a particular snap out of all the possibilities would be a grand time waster, and I doubt it would be very popular. Does that make sense?

Yes, it would be really helpful if they could be disabled. I never use them, but i’ve accidentally clicked them many times…

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I very often grab objects by a snap at midpoint, and SU tends to favor grabbing the nearest rotate marker instead of the midpoint, especially when the object has a narrow aspect ratio and two of the rotate markers are placed very close to a long edge. When I have the move tool selected, this really pisses me off because my opinion is that if I had wanted to rotate, I’d have used the rotate tool.

With that said, I understand some people have made those rotate markers part of their workflow and would like to keep them. I feel like the rotate markers should have been a convenience feature that is invoked with a modifier key, not something that is active by default within the move tool. If I were implementing this “convenience feature,” I would have implemented it on the rotate tool such that the rotate markers are active when the rotate tool is selected and can be used just like they are currently used on the move tool, but you could still click somewhere else to set the rotation center and then click-drag with the normal rotate tool behavior.

Some of the developers’ choices make little sense to me, and this rotate tool within the move tool is one of them. I never use this rotate feature because it is not a precision modeling feature, and it really only has use when laying-out and arranging items like furniture in a house model or trees on a landscape where the placement is not exact. When it gets in my way when I am trying to do exact movements with the MOVE tool, it’s a pain in the butt.

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I think the SU developers should provide a reason for putting such an imprecise rotate feature with the modes of the move tool. No SU developer asked me if I wanted them, so why like markitect2025 should I have to justify my reason for wanting them removed or the feature changed?


It rotates around center, it’s the easiest way to do so. You can use it to inference any other point in the model, or you can type in the desired degrees directly. How is it imprecise?

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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