Please help..New to SketchUp and so lost

Hi everyone,

I’m new to Sketchup and having trouble doing the simplest things. Things will work and then they won’t. My problem now is not being able to see anything less than a few inches…like, if I want to set something to 1/4" it shows up as a tiny dot and I have to zoom in so much (to where I can’t even work with axis lines) just to see anything at all.

I’m going out of my mind. Would so appreciate any help.



Maybe you could share the SketchUp file so we can see what you are seeing?

Ok…let me try… might take a few minutes—I’m super new

Save the file and then drag the .skp file into a reply window.

That’s what I’m seeing after entering a value of .25"

Well, that’s not the .skp file but you do just need to zoom in on what you’ve drawn. The figure is there to give you an idea of the scale of things.

Best practice when you are modeling is to start on or near the origin and work from there. If you want you can delete the figure although you might find it easiest to leave her there until you get your model started. I always start my models on the origin and work from there as the axis lines are good references.

What is it you are planning to model?

I’m sorry…I actually don’t know how to create that file-- I’m on a Mac if that helps. I’m sure it’s possible but I’m not familiar with doing it but there’s a screen shot of what my .25" line looks like. As you can see, I’ve zoomed in really far.

This happens even when i start at an origin point, too.


I don’t see anything wrong in your file except that the little short edges you’ve drawn are a long way from the origin relative to their size.

Here I’ve drawn two edges at 0.25 in. long near the origin. I have a small model in for reference.

Hmm, let me try again…

Okay…here’s another one where I entered in the .25" value but it shows up as a bigger value.

So zoom in closer now. If you deleted the figure, hit the Zoom Extents button right below the magnifying glass Zoom tool icon on the right.

What did you type in the measurements box for the length?

I typed in .25" for each side of the box.

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I think you’re missing something. You have units set to Architectural for one thing. For something that size you would be better served to set Units to Decimal inches or Fractional. See Window>Model info>Units.

Are you clicking in the Measurements window before typing? If so, don’t. There’s never any need to click in the Measurements window.

Also, it worked for me a couple times before but now it doesn’t. Like, I used to be able to see my work at the right measurements without zooming in like that. Now it won’t even set my lines to what I want and I can’t even see what I’m doing unless I zoom way in.

Sure, any live help would be great!

I sent you a PM

It’s like a little real world, and you have to get your eyes closer to see small things. So you do have to zoom in. To work on something that small your eyes should be only a couple feet away at the most. Nice thing about the computer you can put your virtual eyeball right up to it if you like.

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Try THE LEARNING CENTER this is a good place to get your feet wet + interactive.

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Another great tip I’ve seen is when you have to work with models that are very small, make the model at a larger scale and then scale down proportionally when completed. For example, if your object is 1/4", make it 1" in size (or bigger if need be), then scale it down to 1/4". This also helps when you have to get super close and you get view clipping, which gets very annoying.

Sounds like you should look over these 12 videos first, they will give you the head start you need to get around. Best place to start and it will give you a better heads up of what SketchUp can do.