Problems With Stacking, Aligning, and Sticking of Objects and Components

I originally posted this on StackExchange the other day, but haven’t had any response whatsoever. This issue is really blocking me and I’m not able to move forward until this is resolved. Thus, I created an account so I could try to post for help here.

NOTE: To complicate matters, the search terms I have come up with to search on are turning up many false positives about “sticky notes” and such, (because apparently that’s something people want to do with SketchUp for some reason).

Also, I searched and this post was the closest I found to asking the question I am asking, but although several attempts at a solution are offered, no actual solutions are given or acknowledged.

Here is the full text of what I posted to StackExchange. Thanks in advance for your help!

Sketchup How To Create Two Rectangles and Stack Them on Each Other Without Being Sticky and Distorting and Locking Together?



I'm new to Sketchup and I'm following the **[ SketchUp 2015 Essential Training](** tutorial. But I've run into what to me seems like it would be a "fundamental" issue that would have been addressed myriads of times - aligning and stacking newly created simple shapes (like rectangles) and retaining their independently functioning ability. For instance, if I create one rectangle, then create another smaller rectangle within the first (which is handy because Sketchp snaps to the bottom rectangle easily) with the same origin, when trying to move the top rectangle it appears to "stick" to the bottom rectangle and distort it, while the top rectange keeps its dimensions and shape perfectly. Unfortunately, the closest I can find to anyone addressing this issue gives a possible "solution" as either making the top rectange a group or an object, but doesn't explain why.


* SketchUp Pro 2015 * Windows 10, 64-bit


  • Making top rectangle into a “group”
  • Making top rectangle into a “component”
  • Creating top rectangle directly on bottom rectangle
  • Creating top rectangle off to the side somewhere, then using move tool to move it onto the bottom rectangle. This seemed promising, but the two rectangles would not align properly, possibly an issue with “snapping and hidden geometry” … ok, but WHAT hidden geometry? I only have the two shapes and I just created them!
  • Making the rectangles on two different layers to isolate them from each other. No-go. The shapes are still sticky even though they are on different “layers” and even if the layers are hidden (doesn’t appear to work like layers in Photoshop or even a CAD program). :frowning:


I have experience in CAD programs, building vector-based images in EasyCad and TurboCad. Unfortunately, bother products are extinct in 2015. Too bad. All I really want to do is type in my dimensions and make a 2D exploded box model of a room in a house so that I can print it, cut it out, and fold it together and thereby make a paper 3D model of said room. I was able to do this easily in TurboCad, but last year the best I could find in a web search was that I should try to use SketchUp. SketchUp seems like a fun and great program to use, if I could just get past this fundamental hurdle. I recognize that a big part of why I was not able to find a solution through my own research may be jargon-related, as in I'm ***not asking the right question***.

I’m also open to using other programs, if anyone can offer a simple, free, type in your measurements tool that I can print the result.

Any help is appreciated. I’m a newbie at posting about Sketchup, so please let me know if this is not in the right forum, or if you require more details. I have included screenshots to help illustrate the issue as well.

Thanks again.


(Small rectangle is created on top of bottom shape:)

Small rectangle is created on top of bottom shape

(When moving small rectangle, it keeps its shape but distorts the bottom shape:)

When moving small rectangle, it keeps its shape but distorts the bottom shape

(Result of creating top rectangle off to the side, then trying to move on top of the bottom one: Not properly aligned!)

Result of creating top rectangle off to the side, then trying to move on top of the bottom one: Not properly aligned!

You need to use Groups or Components effectively. You must Group/Component a set of geometry before you draw additional geometry. If you do so, the new stuff will not “stick” to the old. But once the geometry sticks together, the only way to get it apart again is to erase and start over. To get corners to line up perfectly, watch for the inference engine to popup tooltips as you hover near a snap point.

you can group after drawing, but it must group before any moves…

1 Like

Thank you @john_drivenupthewall! Your answer was the most helpful, especially the animated gif you included – how did you make that?

I was successfully able to create two individual shapes and as long as I turned them into a group right away.

NOTE: To anyone who can’t tell from the gif (and thereby who might be stuck or confused), you must doubleclick on the shape immediately after creating it to get the option “Make Group” to apear in the context menu.

The only thing that is still troubling me is … okay, now I have 2 rectangle groups, how do I get them to align to each other? For instance, in the gif you provided there is a long rectangle on the bottom and a thin tall rectangle on the top. What I want to do is after creating long rectangle on the bottom, then move it so that the top left corner of top rectangle aligns with top left corner of bottom rectangle.

Thanks again for your help.

Thanks for your reply @slbaumgartner. I was able to successfully create my rectangles as groups, however now I want to snap upper left corner of top rectangle to upper left corner of bottom rectangle. I am not getting any tooltips or inferences when for that corner and I’m not sure why … any ideas? (I would make a gif showing what I mean for clarity if I knew how).

Thanks for your help.

Just pick the rectangle from the corner then go to the other rectangle and click on the corner.

1 Like

Thanks @ely862me – that worked! :slight_smile:

I use a small free app called licecap…


Thanks @john_drivenupthewall! I think you mentioned that to me before, but I finally Googled, found it, and just downloaded it. Another thing that I think ought to exist in some repository of collected wisdom that is easily discoverable by newbies!

My guess would be that the two rectangles are not in the same plane.

For the first time in my life, I had a very specific question about a somewhat esoteric program, Googled exactly what I wondered, clicked the first link that came up, tried the offered solutions, and they worked perfectly.

My mind can’t handle s**t like this. But thank you, thank you, thank you! I was certain the rest of my day would run aground on some doldrum island trying to find the answer.

Thank you!