Newbie struggling with the scale tool



I’m trying to teach myself SketchUp using a tutorial I found on Lynda. The first video I selected is about creating a scene using photo match. It gets to a part where it’s showing how to model the geometry of window frame, draw two lines, select it, copy it, use the scale tool to mirror it so you can use it on the other side of the window. Here is where I’m struggling… when I select the scale tool after duplicating the lines, it shows something VERY complicated looking, like a weird 3D objection with a bunch of different grip points. I tried looking on the forums and on google to identify what the heck I’m doing wrong but I can’t figure it out. I took a video of what I’m doing. I know the scene is very imperfect… it’s literally my first time using Sketch Up so apologies. Any help would be VERY appreciated, I have no clue what I’m doing wrong.


You should start with the very basic tutorials to understand the tools first.
Spend a bit of time with these and you’ll save yourself days in the long run.


Subscribe to the official Trimble SketchUp YouTube Channel.


I recommended you watch the basic videos because the fundamentals are essential to using sketchup, but I had a minute to make a scale gif.
Getting to grips with the scale grips is pretty simple once you understand them.
In their most basic form they are simply the corners and midpoints of the faces of your shape. As you see in the gif I can grab the corner of the block and scale it, or the face and scale it. It’s all about the 2 and 3 dimensions. A face is 2D and will only give you one plane of handles, a box will give you 3d, an edge that is off the global axis will give you 3d options, but an edge that is on axis will give you no scaling options.
ctrl and shift will also modify the way scale works.
Play with the handles and see what you get. I remember the -1 scale was a revelation way back when I was learning.
This is only a scratch on the surface of what you can do with scale.


Until you learn to work with the Scale tool for mirror, you could use the Move tool instead, with the same result in this case.

But if you still want to use the Scale tool, then make sure you copy the two lines in the same plane. Then use the scale tool, pulling one side in the opposite direction (-1).


As Box says, the -1 on the scale tool would do this to mirror that line ( see gif) alternatively you can add a temporary perpendicular line and then use “flip along an axis” ( green in this case) then delete the temp line.

Not that it’s needed in this case, but Fredo’s “box scaling” tool is a way to scale a line about its own length and not change its angle which happens with the SU scale tool.