Need to adjust from an approximate to an exact length

I’m using sketchup for wordworking and simply love it, neophyte that I am.

Every once in a while, I find a part of my structure that’s an odd length. I try to keep my dimensions to fairly even numbers and not 11-27/64". But in spite of my best efforts, every once in a while, something goes awry, and while I expected a length to be 10-1/2", it’ll say something like ~10-17/32. That “~” is what’s throwing me. If it was exactly a 32nd long, I could push/pull and specify 1/32. But to my limited knowledge, “approximately” is forever. My only solution is to create that piece again from scratch.

Is there any way to use push/pull (or something else) so that I can change the length to an exact dimension? Even if I could just make it round up to the nearest whatever, then I could do the rest.

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Go to Window/Model info/units and adjust the precision setting.
That should remove the tilde.

One fairly straightforward way is to draw a line the correct length next to the defective part (but where it won’t stick to anything) and then pushpull or move the end of the defective part until you see an inference to the end of the corrected line.

This kind of issue typically arises in the first place either from not typing the desired value into the measurements as you initially draw, or from not watching for inferences as you add more geometry.

Box is correct that increasing the precision may eliminate the ~ but only if what you drew is accidentally exact at a smaller fraction. When I get sloppy that is seldom the case.

Edit: Replying to Box here.

Sadly, that didn’t work. I set it to 1/16. It didn’t fix the “approximate” length that already existed, and I was still able to create a rectangle of an approximate size.

Set it to a higher number. 64ths for example.


A way to push/pull to a exact dim, is to select and push or pull in the desired direction,then type in the exact dim you want to move before hitting enter.

Apologies. I’m not used to this specific forum software. I can’t figure out how to reply with the original poster’s message quoted. This reply is to slbaumgartner.

I created a box with an odd size, and although I’m able to draw a line next to it, if I draw it away from the box so that it doesn’t stick to it, it’s out in the ether somewhere and not aligned with anything.

Hmm… I think I’ve stumbled on how to quote a message.

It was actually at 64ths before I changed it.

Not for me. If I enter an exact dimension and push/pull, it’ll add exactly that to what I had approximately before, and I’ll still have an approximate value.

Using inferencing, you should be able to align the line with the box. But if you make the box a group or component (which you should, for woodworking) you can draw the line directly atop it without opening the component for edit. The open and edit the component.

Yes, but it is the ScaleTool that you use. If the object is a group or component instance, click it to select it. If it’s some primitives, window select them.

Activate the ScaleTool. Click ONCE on the middle scaling handle at the end of the object or selection bounding box. The Measurements box is ready for input. (It has focus, do not click in it, just type.) Enter the dimension and hit ENTER.

(Note that if you enter a decimal, it will be taken as a scaling factor. So use a " mark to denote inches, if your units are set to decimal inches.)

SketchUp User Guide: Scaling Your Model or Parts of Your Model

Ok, I finally got it. It’s one of those things you have to accidentally do it right to understand how it’s done. I tried using the line and push/pulling, but it wasn’t till I pushed and then moved the mouse over the end of the line when it snapped into place.

Does that line remain as part of the structure? Should I delete it?

And yes, I make groups of everything. Pretty much every “board” I create becomes a group. I’m still coming to terms with components.

What @DanRathbun suggests will work well for simple shapes such as a rectangular board. However, if the board has a more complicated shape, all of its features will get scaled along with the total length - which is likely not what you wanted.

Yes, delete the reference line once you have used it.

When this happens to me, most of the time there is some other part of the piece I am modeling that I can use for inference snapping the correction, which avoids the need for the helper line. For example, if the board is a shelf that should meet a side, draw the side at the correct location (use the measurements box and inferencing to get it there) and then pull out the shelf until it meets the side.

By the way, I would strongly recommend that you learn about components, as most woodworking projects have multiple identical parts, and components are the right way to handle them.

I have the general idea about how components work, but I’ve got to spend some time and get comfortable with them. So far, I haven’t had a LOT of need for them. I’ll have a few parts that should remain identical, but not a ton.

You enter the dim after you start the command, not before.