Repeat last tool? (access tool history)

Am I searching this forum badly, or there is not mention of this?

I found one in a closed thread that is not in the “feature request” section and one in a thread about multiple features, so I don’t think it is appropriate to answer there.

So, I guess everybody knows what I’m referring to. It would be nice to have a “repeat last tool” command, like in Autocad.

Even if sketchup work a lot with keyboard shortcut, I think it still would be nice. I do not assign shortcut to EVERY tool I use, nor prentend I could remember all of them. It’s why I think it would be pretty handy.

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I brought this up a while ago. See Spacebar in SU

AC annoyed me a lot and in general SU is much easier to use and more intuitive. However, there were some things AC got right and this was one of them. I am not sure whether it is difficult for developers to implement or whether they feel there is just insufficient demand.

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Eneroth has a tool for $15 that repeats the last tool etc…

There is a very old [and somewhat clunky] one over at SketchUcation - “Recall_last_tool” -
BUT I don’t recommend that you try it at all - because it will just crash v2019 as it starts !!!
Its tool-observer is as flaky as can be !

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Interesting. Although it does require a modifier key by the looks of it.

Incorrect. (you both)

AutoCAD has commands. SketchUp has tools. There is a huge difference.

AutoCAD has a command console, and is a command driven interface. There is no default command, the prompt sits there and waits for the user to start some command either via the menu, or via keyboard command inputs (ie … Z then W = Zoom Window).
When the AutoCAD command is complete, it again waits for a command in prompt mode. This causes the user to enter another command, or CTRL+Y or spacebar to again use the previous command.

SketchUp does not have a command driven interface. Once a SketchUp tool is activated, it remains active until another tool is selected. This means a user can use the MoveTool successively on as many objects as they wish … no “repeat” necessary.

And it was explained quite well (by several sages) in that thread also. Jack even posted nice videos.


Ok, you’re right. Sketchup does not work like Autocad and so does not need the same repeat last tool than autocad…
But actually I don’t care. I’d still like a repeat last tool shortchut. Or do we really have to call it “repeat the tool before this one”? Fine.

So, Sketchup works with tools, and when you switch to another tool that play on the view (rotate, pan…) you can even recall the tool previously used, and finish your action. that’s great and probably saved me many dozens of work hours.
But in some situation you 'd like to recall the previous tool, one you don’t know the shortcut, or that has no shortcut.
HEnce the feature suggestion.
I still think it would be great. I’m sure thousands of people would use this shortcut and be very happy about it. And I d’ont really see why it would be super complicated to implement, or where it could be a problem in the workflow. If you don’t want it because you’ve attributed shortcuts to every sketchup tool and know them all by hearth… Don’t use it. (and I’m totally jealous of your memory)

If you use the center mouse button/wheel for navigating around the model, you never actually drop the tool you were using. When you stop zooming, orbiting, or panning, you continue with the tool you were using. You can also keep the same tool when switching editing different groups and components.

You could learn the keyboard shortcuts so you can always select the tool you want to use. Your request for a recall last tool shortcut would be more limiting than actually learning to call the desired tool with a specific shortcut. And what happens if the tool you want was used two or three or more steps back? Then your recall last tool won’t call the tool you want.

You can make shortcuts for tools that might not already have them.

Oh well … an activate previous tool(s) (accessing tool history) is a different matter.

Yes you might have realized that each model object has it’s own “tool stack” (a FILO memory stack of object references.) As mentioned above there are a few extensions that leverage these tool stacks to give the user access to a reverse sequence of tools used.

I would not be against the application getting a native implementation of a “tool history”.

I’d wonder what the access key chords should be. In a browser we’d likely use ALT+LEFTARROW.
I don’t know if SketchUp will allow this as it uses the arrow keys for axis locks.

Perhaps the BackSpace key? (But then I can see users getting upset if they’re typing and needed to back up and correct a booboo, and hitting the BS key caused an inadvertent tool change to occur.)

(I just notice that ALT+BackSpace is set to Undo.)

Perhaps CTRL + BackSpace ?

If this feature was “nativfied” it would also be nice to have a drop down tool list (similar to the Layer toolbar) so that a user could say choose the 3rd previous tool in the stack.

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I have to agree with @DaveR. There would have to be some keystroke or button to invoke the “previous tool”. But that is the same amount of work as just pressing a shortcut key or button for that tool again! No net savings!

Or: choose a previous tool, including the used dimensions.

Push/Pull 30’’
Rotate 35•
Move 12’

Then, there would be something to gain…

Provided you know or remember what the key is. I still after 10+ years can never remember what the key for the Rotate tool is.

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Oh, that’s because it is the totally obvious ‘Q’ :wink:

But to my point, if you invoked rotate a minute ago you clearly knew then what the shortcut, toolbar button, or menu item was. One would have to be seriously memory-challenged to have forgotten (which raises the question of how that person knows the previous tool is what to use again).

Well this would be a Repeat action (CTRL+Y) feature which is a bit different, but still would be nice.
(Deserves it’s own FR thread.) Note I personally do not like SketchUp using CTRL+Y for Redo. This isn’t what the precedent has been set for this key chord in Windows applications.

Steve and Dave. It is not just a matter of memory. Some people run SU with toolbars off to maximize modeling space. Moving again way up into the menu or way over to the side to click a button, is not always desired by all folks.

The idea of a tool history is not outlandished. Other applications have it. It is something that could be easily implemented. (Not extremely difficult programming wise.) I’m always in favor of letting the user use the product the way they wish if it’s possible.

Those that love tool key shortcuts can ignore such a feature. It isn’t going to hurt them in the least.

For others hitting CTRL+ESC (or CTRL+BACKSPACE) a couple of times until they see the desired tool cursor appear is less brain power and more welcome for them.

IMO, the more flexible the UX for SketchUp the better.

There is a time saving when it comes to tools that you use quite rarely and don’t bother take up a shortcut for, but once you use them, use them several times. I would also argue it’s faster to use a single cycle command than moving your hands between several different shortcuts, especially for repetitive work when you switch back and forth between just two or three tools.

It’s an extremely small difference each time, but personally I think my tool memory increases my flow when working. It’s not about time as much as avoiding a “micro distraction”. I created my extension much as an experiment to see if it was doable, but now I do miss it when using SketchUp without it.

Hehe, I guess the stack is my brain’s favorite data structure :stuck_out_tongue: .

For the record Eneroth Tool Memory only records tools, not commands. You can think of a tool in SketchUp as something you pick up in your hand and that changes what happens when you poke click at the model. For instance clicking can select, move, rotate, scale and draw lines. It does not record actions such as saving, switching to parallel projection or printing.