Moving Objects to a Fixed Distance in Layout Essentials course

Hi- this seems like it would be pretty basic and obvious but for some reason I’m struggling.

I’ve taken the “SketchUp Fundamentals” course to get a basic understanding of it and now I’m taking the “LayOut Essentials” course from the SketchUp Campus.

I’m following along in the video and I’m trying to move the square to the right by 2" along the red axis. I’ve selected the square and begin moving it to the right slightly (just like in the video) and type in: 2". Unfortunately, the box on the bottom right corner keeps saying “Invalid String”. The box never changes to say “Measurements” though when I start typing 2".

I attached a screenshot for reference. Thank you!

Here is another screenshot I took of the actual course video. In the bottom corner it says “Measurements” when he enters 2.

I think that might be the issue with me not being able to move it to the right 2".

I also cannot copy multiple squares by typing in “x3” for three copies of the square. It says the same thing “Invalid String”.

Are you typing the quote mark when you enter the distance? Are you clicking after moving the rectangle?

I tried it both with and without the quotation mark. I was practicing again and somehow did it by accident but now I can’t do it again.

I’m not clicking after moving the rectangle.

Check your PMs.

If the Units in Document Setup are set to Inches, you don’t need to enter the quotes at all.

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Make sure smart quotes are turned off on macOS. They cause open and close quote characters instead of the “dumb” double quote that SketchUp expects.

For anyone chancing across this, I have a new support case with the same symptoms, and in trying to reproduce the problem I was in a mm units LayOut file, moved a new rectangle some amount, typed 10 Return, and got the invalid string error.

I then could not make it happen again. Trying now to figure out what was different the first time, but it certainly isn’t to do with typing the unit symbol, because I didn’t do that.

Did you release the mouse button before actually moving the object? I can get “Invalid string” if I click on the object and release before typing. If I click and hold to move the object, then release and type, it works fine. Or if I click and hold while moving but then click release after dropping the object I get the Invalid string. Since there’s no move indicated with either click and release action, it makes sense that there’s be an Invalid string message.

I was using my trackpad, and it’s hard enough to keep that pressed and type at the same time, that I’m sure I didn’t do the first thing you suggested. It’s not out of the question to accidentally do an extra click as you are trying to just release, but I don’t think I did.

If LayOut missed the release event it could explain it. If you had an input device that was set to tap-to-click, that would increase the chances of an accidental extra click at the end, but my trackpad isn’t set up that way.

I’ll keep trying, there may be another cause that made it happen so much for the OP, and my new support customer case.

I’m just getting started on using Layout (23.0.418) and also have a problem with copying in the same manner as the instruction video. Unlike Sketchup, which allows the user time to manage an action by slightly delaying the input window “closing”, Layout has no delay and it’s nearly impossible to click, hold, push down modifier key, and use the input box at the same time and in the right order.

There also seems to be a glitch: The move/rotate/size/hand icons sometimes do not always appear when I select an object and I need to close the document and reopen to see them again.

#featurerequest #layout:feature-requests :

Have the Layout user experience match the Sketchup user experience as closely as possible, including common keyboard shortcuts and input box delay.

I think you’re missing something in the process. There is no timeout and you don’t need to:

This has never been my experience…

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Here’s an example.

Select the object, hold the modifier key and left mouse button, drag the selection, let go of the mouse and then the modifier key, go out for lunch if you want, type the move distance, press Enter. Click on the picture.

And a longer version showing there’s no timeout for entering the move distance.

Thanks Dave, I suspect my problem has to do with the idiosyncrasies of my input devices (a tablet and a touchpad). I’ll keep at it.

That could be. Both SketchUp and LayOut are really designed to be used with a mouse.