On the fly TOGGLING UNITS for distance DISPLAY with TAPE and LINE tools

Hello. Is it possible for you to improve the TAPE and LINE MEASUREMENT tools with a modifier key to toggle the distance DISPLAYED between inch-feet-metric on the fly without changing the units for the model? This is how it would work:

User picks the line or tape measurement tool. Selects the initial point. At this time the Sketchup will let the user to toggle the measurement units displayed every time the user clicks this modifier key . But when the user is ready to click the mouse a second time to commit to add a “guide” or a “line” the user would have to toggle back to the model units otherwise Sketchup will not let him complete the operation.

I have to convert units a lot when I am working in a model fitting parts from different country origins.

Thank you.

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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).

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I wonder if you could create an extension that watches the dimensions text, and parses it into a converted string. Anything that was apparently imperial would be converted to decimal. So, inches would be centimeters, and degrees would be radians, and vice versa (though I don’t think you can enter radians in SketchUp).

If you chose to type the size of a rectangle as being 50.8mm,2", the converter extension would show that as 2",5.08cm (if you had set cm as your preference).

Something like that would give a constant conversion for anyone who needs it, and wouldn’t tie up any modifier keys.

If the model units are metric, and you enter imperial dimensions as ft, in and fraction values, for example 1’8 5/16, these can be mangled on entry, and produce unexpected and wrong results if you use just feet followed by a foot mark (’) then inches and fractions without the inch symbol (").

It’s been partially corrected in SU2019 onwards, I think, so if you use both ft and inch quotes, you get the right answer. So 1’8 5/16" produces the right length in mm, but 1’8 5/16 doesn’t.

See SU doesn't recognise fractional inches (e.g., 1/2") as an imperial measurement when units are mm