Orbit around view, not mouse (for interior)


I really want to use SketchUp because how quickly I can model/add/remove shapes; I can make a box, draw a line and just extrude it without having to go delete some old/extra geometry or add a circle and make a hole, and etc. It’s really convenient!
The problem is navigation makes it far too difficult/inconvenient to use it the way I want to, making me have to choose to either suffer for one convenience or sacrifice it to be comfortable.

So let me explain:
I like to work on objects from inside a room, the problem is that when I orbit around something, I often go through a wall and then have to orbit back through the wall and then try to re-orbit around the thing I wanted to orbit around in the first place.

Zooming/orbiting around the point the mouse is currently located works great for when you’re outside or want to quickly change what you’re looking at, however I generally prefer to stay where I’m located whilst zooming/orbiting; I’d rather rotate around the center of the object that I focused on, rather than around the point that I selected…

So is there a plugin or something I could do to enable this, or would this be strictly a feature-request?


Use a combination of Walk and Look Around to stay inside the room.


Like @DanRathbun said, follow this screenshot.


I already thought of that. When figuring out what was so different about navigating in sketchup vs another program, I found that despite how slow they move, walk/look-around does pretty much hand the movement for me; not how I want (like fps), but good enough.

But this still doesn’t take care of the issue of sticking to the center of focus, it just presents a way to maneuver around it without walking through a wall.

There are two objects next to each other in a room a room and you focus on one of them (or one next to a wall), while working on it, you have to view it from multiple angles, so walking around and looking is not going to save you any time here, so you’ll have to orbit it to see it.
Well now you orbit too far and are now inside another object (or wall); in order to orbit back into view, you have to angle it just right or you’ll stay behind the wall.

Insert walk/look, you drag yourself back into the room and then refocus on the object; you have solved the problem of being stuck behind the wall, BUT you still have to orbit that model to work around it, the difference now being that you’re reminded that you’ll get stuck behind a wall again if you’re not careful.

That last part is the problem; if my center of focus didn’t change every time I move my mouse, I wouldn’t have to worry about getting stuck like this and having to realign the view to continue working.


• Organizing a model into Groups and Components makes it easier and faster to build, edit and navigate.
• A keyboard shortcut is faster than the mouse.
• A programmable mouse button is faster than reaching for keys.

Fast Navigation Commands
• Standard Views (7 views)
• Zoom Extents
• Zoom Window
• Zoom Selection
• Previous (6 views)
• Orbit Tool > Double-click (Moves the center of view to the cursor location)
• Face Context Menu > Align View
• Axes Context Menu > Align View

Notice Aidan Chopra’s keyboard shortcuts on Mac for all Standard Views

Fast and Powerful Visibility Commands
• View > Component Edit > Hide Rest of Model
• View > Component Edit > Hide Similar

Assigning keyboard shortcuts — SketchUp Help

3D Connexion Mouse

In addition to @Geo’s list, you can use section cuts to get a better view to your interior and scenes to get a quick access to often used views.


A couple of quick tips for internal stuff;

Click on the zoom tool and double the “field of view” to 70 rather than the default 35
(Just type 70 [return] and it goes into the measurement field at the bottom right)

Another thing I sometimes do is set the “back” faces to a stupid colour you would never use in your model (bright pink or neon green) and make this 99% transparent. The only problem comes when you don’t actually realise that there is a face in front of you.

I would also echo that once you have a nice camera position, just click to add that as a “scene” - then you can quickly return to it by just clicking on the tab at the top of the view. (I would set one up for each room, then you have a good starting point for “normal” navigation without having to zoom through walls.)