Progressive Dimensions


Ii think this option existed in my old beloved Generic Cadd. It allowed placing dimensions with multiple points rather than just two. The case example is a shelving unit. Vertical standards with multiple shelves and such. The design I’m working on has close to 30 measurements. The GCadd would allow you to click the first point and you could keep clicking and it would just keep marking how far from the original point you were without having to add 30 dimensions.

I don’t want to have dimensions between the various shelves because most woodworkers know, you want to measure from one point, not multiple. Otherwise minor thickness changes in your materials will add up and you will have a bad day.

Anyway…thoughts are welcomed.



Like so …

Incremental Dimensioning, distance between as you describe, invites the accumulation of error.
Absolute Dimensioning, distance from one point, is doable in SketchUp, but it’s not an automated feature.


You will also have a bad day if the folders won’t fit in any of the comportments due to minor thickness in your shelves…
Most of the times, I stack all the shelves and measure the space that is left and divide that through the number of shelves+1
If I need to have specific space between two shelves, I just cut a board of that size(+2mm) and use that as spacer…


@MikeWayzovski, please, if possible, provide an image to support your text.


here you go!

So, basically, you only need to know the size of the divider in some cases


Sounds like you’re describing a dimension tool that works like this?:

Along similar lines, architects sometimes set a datum and mark heights from that datum, which is kind of a different way of doing the same thing:


The term is “Ordinate dimensioning”. Yes, most CAD applications have it but SketchUp doesn’t.
(@RTCool, is that Vectorworks?)


@Anssi, no, this is PowerCADD. Historical perspective (IIRC): In mid 1980’s, the first few years of the Macintosh, both MiniCAD (which morphed into Vector Works) and PowerDraw (which morphed into PowerCADD) looked to MacDraw as the model for how a Mac CAD program should work. That gives them a similar look because they were both copying from the same master. MacDraft and Apple’s own Claris CAD did as well, and to a certain degree, Adobe Illustrator did too.

Wait, which one do you call “Ordinate dimensioning,” the former (with strings of dimensions to a common point) or the latter (reference markers to a datum)?


I used Claris CAD occasionally on my Macintosh Plus and the Macintosh II that I had after that.

Both. They both use a datum, but differ in their graphical format. A third format shows relative coordinates in both x and y directions.


Thanks for the replies. Seems like a nice option that SU doesn’t have. Cheers.


The above is an example of baseline dimensioning.

The above is an example of ordinate dimensioning, sometimes also called datum dimensioning.

When each dimension begins with the previous dimension, it is called cumulative dimensioning and is not recommended because it compounds errors more and more with each measurement.