Point relative to another

Many times I want to start a point at some relative coordinates to another. Meaning something like 10 along the red axis, 5 along the green and 20 along the blue. In order to do it, I need to draw lines from the base point and erase them afterwards. When it is the end point it is more annoying since sometimes I’m in the process of creating a path only to realize I need to stop, draw the guide lines, continue the path and then erase them.

Instead, would be nice to have a command like autocad’s ‘fro’. Maybe typing ‘f’ when creating a shape, then I select the base point, a small axis appears (so I know where red, green and blue go) and then I can type my relative distance from them. With a line in a direction locking, there is just one number to input which is the distance from the base point. Another option is for a distance between planes perpendicular to the line where one contains the base point. Maybe this can be combined with inference to say “stop X distance from inferred point along inferred axis”

Are you familiar with the bracket options?

[x,y,z] for world coordinates

<x,y,z> for relative coordinates

see… https://help.sketchup.com/en/article/3000090

Yes, they can help me draw a line by specifying the end point relative to the starting point. What I want is for the start point to be relative to another point or the end point to be relative to another point.

Use the tape measure tool to set a guide point as the start of the next line.

I specifically wanted to avoid creating and then deleting these lines. Especially if creating a path, where a relative end point requires me to stop, change to the tape measure, create the guideline and continue. Plus, it would be nice that a click on a point would present the axis, otherwise it is hard to orient (esp. when dealing with groups that have been rotated, or components)

Try S4U’s LineTool. You can change between GuideLines and Edges on-the-fly. Also switch between Guide stipples on-the-fly. (“on-the-fly” means via right-click popup menu.)

It’s not perfect but it’s better than the native line tool.

I’m sure I’ve asked for this before as well (or agreed with someone else asking for it): a way to position and move the cursor relative to where it currently is - use the inference tools to get to a point, hover to get a popup, then use this as a temp origin so that you can type in an x,y to move the cursor… then [return] to act like the first |click|

I listened to the video on “move” but it never covered global or local referencing
with [] or <> brackets

I have been trying for about an hour to get the software to recognize i wanted
the .specified start and end points of a line. but it seems it does not recognize
the brackets.

Perhaps I am not following a sequence. can you provide me with a step by step instruction sequence that causes a line to move to the location specified by [x,y,z]?

thank you

Try using the semicolon ; as field separator instead of the comma.
The comma may be your decimal separator, depending on your keyboard settings (non US).


I tried your suggestion without results.

BeIng a novice, believe I am doing something wrong that is more basic. (I have never created something with sketchup intentionally!)

Here is what I am doing:

  •     Selecting the line tool
  •     Bringing the tool over the canvas but not left or right clicking
  •     Typing the following into the measurement box:   [5’,5’,5’]  then hitting return
  •     Nothing happens. I expected the cursor to go to location 5,5,5
  •     If I left click at this point….it is as if I had never entered anything into the measurement box (lower right)

Am I missing something?

I did watch the 1st three novice videos…and I am experimenting and investing time…but it seems I am way off

The mark.

Any help will be appreciated


This is where you go wrong.
As I said in your other thread, you can’t specify an exact location before drawing anything.
You’ll just have to click and start drawing. Then you can type the length and hit [Enter] to get your second endpoint.

An important hint: look at the hint SketchUp gives you while using a tool, the line down left beneath the drawing area. It says: `Select start point. And after the first click you do have two options: Select end point or enter value (and hit [Enter])

You need a slight tilt to your thinking: Typing in values does not move the cursor, it re-positions the start/end points of the entity’s just drawn.


Thank you for being so patient with me. I am not dumb but being 71 years old sometimes gets in the way.

I will try many more experiments until I can get [x,y,z] which I am assuming is an END point (now that I get it)

Maybe the paradigm that I should keep in mind with sketchup is that it is much like building assemblies before

The whole project is finished. Then move them in place.

So on a micro scale…I build a line….and then put it in place.

Is that a good way of looking at what I am trying to do?

Much of what I do (inventing) constructing objects measured in multiples of feet but the accuracy required in locating

And sizing is down to the thousandth.

To work with such a span of dimension, perhaps zoom is an important tool for me? Or am I using the wrong application?

Of course autocad is probably my best bet but I just can not afford the product.

Thank you, once again…for taking your valuable time to help me out.


Once you’ve drawn an edge you move it into position to … where?
B.t w. 71 isn’t too old to learn SketchUp.
Once you’ve drawn your first edge the second one has its reference, it’s (most likely) connected to the first one at one of its endpoints or somewhere “along the line”.
In the end you may want to move the (half-) finished object into place.
Right now I can only suggest to watch some basic videos and start drawing with basic tools (Line and Rectangle) without bothering about exact lengths of edges. Also use the Move tool to move edges and endpoints.

I did watch videos 1 through 4 at least 3 times. The demonstrator moves quickly and so I suspect I do not catch critical information.

I think I will draw with lines and rectangles and circles using the concepts introduced In the first four videos. I will then find out what I know and what I do not know.

Then I will go back to the videos and see if I can pick up on what I am missing.

I also found that some of the videos on the tools were good, albeit the demonstrators moved

Fairly quickly there as well and tend to gloss over features (For example, they talk about [x,y,z] but never use it!!! as far as I could see)

Thank you once again for your encouragement. I think without it I would have quit. At the moment sketchup is not

Intuitive for me. But I have so many items I want to draw….I will hang in there and learn the concepts well enough to

Become productive.

I thank you for your generosity