My first thought was “Why limit it to TAPE and LINE MEASUREMENT tools?” Why not make it apply to ANY tool that uses the Measurement window? Even the Rotate tool could toggle between Degrees and Radians! So, at least in my mind, I’d already expanded the concept.
While I personally haven’t come across a case where this would be a significant timesaver, I can see how it might be useful. Then my thoughts turned to what key might be used for the toggle.
As I’ve never used SketchUp on a Mac, my analysis of keys is Windows centric.
My first thought was “This is, functionally, a temporary change to how dimensions are displayed in the Measurements box - each time you hit the toggle, you get an Alternate measuring system. That let to my thinking the “Alt” key would be perfect for this!” I wonder if it’s taken?
Alas, it is already taken. By (at least) the Move tool, where the Alt key toggles auto-folding on and off. Ctrl is also taken (toggles between Move and Copy). As is Shift (constrains movement to current direction). All 4 arrow keys are already taken (toggling movement direction constraints in various ways).
Then I thought of the TAB key. Hmmmm. I can’t recall it being a modifier to any existing drawing tool. But it might interfere with custom keystrokes associated by an individuals Preferences/Shortcuts. Then I realized that I didn’t know if TAB was even ALLOWED to be a shortcut key, so I tested and …
SketchUp doesn’t ALLOW the TAB key to be a shortcut! In this context, that’s a good thing! It makes it a possible modifier toggle key for this purpose.
Then I tested using TAB while the Move tool is actively moving an object. And it DOES have an effect - It goes into the Measurements window as entered text!
Now I can’t think of a circumstance where anyone would ever actually want to enter a TAB character in a measurement.
So my conclusion is:
The TAB key is available for this function - as long as the Measurement window is somehow changed to ignore TAB characters.
I’m neither agree or disagree with this proposal. While the fact that I don’t see it useful to me, I wouldn’t care if it’s implemented. What I DO think is that, IF implement, the TAB key is a good candidate for the toggle key - even it it means adding a bit of complexity (to ignore TAB characters in the Measurements box) under the hood.
And I don’t see the necessity of toggling BACK to the model units before entering a measurement! SketchUp could (easily programmed, I hope) accept a measurement entered in whatever system the Measurements box is currently using - even if different from the model units! In fact (as I just tested), SketchUp can already accept dimensions in mixed units! I entered “10”,25.4cm" while drawing a rectangle, hit ENTER and created a 10" x 10" rectangle (or 25.4cm x 25.4cm if my model units are centimeters).