Positioning the cursor in 3d space


since objects are ‘sticky’, i create new ones where they won’t touch anything in the main part of my drawing with the intent of moving them later, after i finish building them.

is there a way to specify where in space the cursor is positioned? i’m finding that when there’s no reference, sketchup just decides where in the Z plane of the display (not the drawing) to put the cursor, so that the new object is often a gaziliion billion gazillion miles away from origin, and then it’s so tiny i can’t even find it again.

thanks in advance for any help.


I suggest taking a different approach: use components and/or groups to address any unwanted stickiness issues, then rely on SketchUp’s inference engine to place subsequent entities in relation to existing entities.

For example to draw two boxes that are touching: draw a rectangle, and extrude it with the Push Pull tool. Triple-click on some part of the resulting six-sided object (to select it all) and make it a component or group (e.g., via right-click context menu). Then hover the mouse near an appropriate corner of that existing box, wait a second for SketchUp to show a little tool-tip saying “endpoint” or similar, then click and create the base rectangle of the second box. Use Push-Pull to extrude the second box, triple-click on a part of it to select it all, and create a component or group with that geometry.


That’s very helpful- thanks.

I thought I had been using groups as a work around, but your answer tells me that this is a ‘go-to’ tool.


Components and groups are indeed a major part of SketchUp’s model building feature set. In my opinion all edges and faces should end up in a group or component (in a serious project, at least).


That’s great input- thanks. I take it to mean that groups/components are a key organizational tool in addition to being key construction tools.


Yep. By the way, I break my models into components that represent the individual physical piece-parts of reality (or something that could be made in reality, if the model represents a fictional subject). For example, a model of a classic pencil would have a component for the wood body, a component for the graphite core, one for the metal ferrule holding the eraser, and one for the eraser. I generally avoid putting the geometry of two “things” directly into a single component (not to be confused with making a hierarchical object formed of multiple sub-components).


Interesting. You’re validating some of my instincts. Of course when I’m doing it I wonder if it’s a good use of time, but then I remember what it will take if I have to make changes.

Thanks Again.


Another way of approaching: make a component in its own window, save to a collection THEN import it into the model


Just type the coordinates into brackets. For example, [0,0,0].


That will allow you to specify a point in space to move something to or where to place the finish point of an edge, but it doesn’t allow you to specify the starting point of the cursor. There is no option for setting a start point via the keyboard, only manually via guides, endpoints, inference points etc


Yeah. Guides, endpoints, and inference points are all great ways to position the starting point… and even the next point in most cases. I rarely use the bracket coordinates, but occasionally it’s a time saver.