Newbie with questions

I need to find a way to talk to someone who will help me get answers to the many questions I have about sketchup. I’m a brand new user and boy do I have questions

You should ask your question. Be specific and if you want to you may include several related issues in one post. Otherwise, for many questions, organize them based on the relevant categories and submit the questions in different posts.

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Thank you JV (may I call You JV?). Yeah, I botched the first question. Is SU Pro the only SU that one can purchase? I’ve looked to buy SU Make but can’t find it. I can’t afford SU Pro …I’m 74 and I doubt that I would get enough return on my investment.

I have many questions but I guess I should limit them to one question per post.

SU Make is free. SU Make comes with a 30 trial of SU Pro. After the 30 days, you will have the option to continue on using the free version.

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That’s what most of my clients and many of my friends call me, so, sure.

Go ahead and ask questions to your heart’s content. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how responsive this forum community is.

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Wow, I want to thank you for your speedy reply. As you may imagine I have lots of questions, but I will limit them to one question at a time.
First: I started a new drawing…I built all the components of my new work bench, one at a time, created groups as recommended. Then I proceeded to putting it all together and managed to print a copy. The next time I opened SU all my work had disappeared, ie: in other words all my words everything had been deconstructed. What did I do wrong, I thought I had saved the drawing when I exited.

Could you expand on that a bit.
It’s not clear what you mean by “all my words everything had been deconstructed.”

I can only speculate that you may not have specified a location to save your work, but it is likely that there is a way to recover the misplaced files. SketchUp will automatically back up files. These will always have a .skb suffix rather than the usual .skp extension. You can recall such files by performing a search if you remember the file name used when last operating the system. If you don’t remember, then do a general search for “*.skb”, without the quotation marks. You can pare down the search results by referring to the date to further hone in on the desired files as you should have an idea as to when the work was created.

Obviously, you can’t upload a file that you are not able to find, but for future issues, you should include the skp file whenever possible to assist others in responding to your concerns.

It’s good form to locate all of your working files in a central, easily accessible location and copy (or save) these to their own folder location when the work is to be stored as part of your “project workload”. It’s also a good idea to save your work frequently at various intervals during the design process.

Can you upload the file here? Click on the icon with the arrow above the bar.

Sorry Geo, I’m afraid sometimes I’m as confused as I sound. I had created a drawing of a workshop work bench. after creating each and every part (ie: legs, shelf, framing, and top) I made groups of each. then I pains takingly put them all together into a complete work bench. I printed my drawing and closed the file. The next time I opened the file, the drawing I thought I had saved was not to be found.
Today I deleted the 32 bit version of SU and installed the 64 bit version. I am not sure that this was the reason it didn’t save properly but I’m trying.
Geo(rge?) I am 74 and learning new software is always a challenge for me, this may account for the reason why I don’t always know how to explain a problem I’m having with software. Never-the-less, after years of having to settle for doing 2D drawings on AutoCAD lite, I became very excited about the possibility of doing 3D drawings on SU. I no longer have a professional need to do drawings, but if it is the last thing I do in the crazy world, I want to learn how to draw in 3D. :slight_smile:
Thanks for your help.

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There may be an issue with your graphics driver. Test that in SU by going to Window > Preferences > OpenGL and disable hardware acceleration. Restart SU. Can you see the model now?

Sharing the file here will let others test out some other things by poking around the model.

I deleted SU 32 bit and downloaded the 64 bit version. I may have been using SU without actually down loading it properly. Is there a way to change my preferences in SU? I’d like to have a default tool setting. I had that option in AutoCAD and I really like that option.

Even after deleting the 32-bit version and installing the 64-bit version, if your working file was saved (or autosaved), you may still be able to recover the file.

Try the suggestions I offered earlier in this thread:

I propose to put our conversations on hold for the following reasons:
When I tried to follow your suggestion to go to …Window>preference>excelerator>open GL etc, etc. I didn’t even know how to get to Window. I’ll have to ask one of my sons to show me how to get there before I can ever start finding preferences. I would upload my drawing but I have no clue how to do that.l attempted to work on my drawing again and everything I did was one step forward and two steps backwards. Ex: I created one board, copied it with move command. I wanted the boards to be 3" apart …result one end of the second board was 3" but the opposite end was 3 3/16" apart. I tried correcting the misalignment by moving the one end of the board but that failed miserably. Any thing else I tried just got me deeper in trouble.For these reasons I have concluded that SU is out of my league for the time being. I will continue viewing as many videos I can put my hands on to let the functions sink in better. If you have a tutorial that you recommend for me to focus on I would appreciate your suggestions.
I want to thank all of you who tried to help me, but I think I am just wasting your time. Right now I don’t know what I don’t know so I can’t even ask intelligent questions.
Hope to resume our conversations soon.

email or visit Newbie with questions in your browser.

With SU open, go to the Window Menu. From there, click on Preferences. When Preferences is open, click on OpenGL option. Try unchecking the Use hardware acceleration checkbox. Restart SU. Some of the issues with disappearing model may be related to graphics card/driver issues. This is a troubleshooting step to check with graphics card issues.

You are spending a lot of effect describing your issues in writing. Upload the SKP files you are working on. It will give us a lot more information on what is going awry if we can poke around your model. With a chance to examine your files, we can provide you with some tailor-made advice on the issues you are encountering.

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It’s ok to be a little frustrated when becoming familiar with a new software package; just as with any new tool or device it will take some time to get used to it. A little patience goes a long way. This is a relatively simple software to master, just give yourself a chance with it.

I recommend you conduct a Google search for “The SketchUp Book” by Bonnie Roskes. This text will help you get up to speed quickly and is worth the cost. The videos found on the SketchUp site are great, but for many folks a book is the absolute best type of learning resource. The book I just recommended is a wonderful supplement to the video tutorials and it was of paramount significance in my learning how to use the program way back when; and even though I now consider myself an advanced SU user, I still refer to the book frequently.

Ask your questions and don’t be concerned about whether anyone else may consider them to be “dumb questions”. One of my professors always admonished students to ask because the only dumb question is the one that was not asked. I echo @catamountain’s reply to you also. It always helps to post your skp file so that others can review it and offer constructive criticism on your work. To upload a file you simply click on the upload arrow icon in the reply box. (it’s the 7th graphic symbol from the left), navigate to the file that you want and select it by dbl clicking and following the on screen prompts.

Bon chance,


Links to Bonnie’s books are listed in this section You can find them at her website and at Amazon. Also try your public library.

Wow, you folks are really dedicated to helping new users aren’t you? You did say as much in an earlier email.
Those of us who grew up learning in the stone ages learned by using books we never had computers. So thanks for the recommendation.
I looked for the book by found that most if not all of the “Sketchup books” were written for sketchup Pro. Is there a huge difference between SU Make and SUpro? For that matter most of the tutorials on line are dedicated to SUPro as well.
I haven’t yet found the book by Bonnie Roskes, I hope it not out of print.
Well it’s late and I need my beauty rest.
Thanks for sticking with me.

All of the operational commands and procedures are the same in both Make and Pro. There are some functional differences between the two; one of the main differences is that Make is not able to import (or export) dxf or dwg files from (to) other CAD programs. There are other differences but Make can do almost everything that you can do with Pro. Some of those differences can be addressed with various plugins.

See this article for info on the features of SU Make:

FYI, many folks on this forum are dinosaurs who began their technical careers before computers became omnipresent, so you’re in good company!

JV,I’ve run into a different and strange glitch with my drawings. I was creating a series of 1 X 4, 2 X 4 pieces of lumber, saved them in groups but when I came to edit them in length using push/pull I found I had a bunch of hollow tubes instead of solid lumber. Any suggestions.