Replicating base when creating topo/contour lines

Last year I was able to create topo lines with Sketchup Make 2015 in Windows Vista. I have just tried to do it again using Sketchup Make 2016 in Windows. I do not know how or where to type in the contour interval and the number of replications. I thought it might be Measurement but the box does not seem to accept type. Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

Where you using the Sandbox Tools extension ?

If so, turn on it’s toolbar via the menu: View > Toolbars…

Thank you. I’ve just tried that. It doesn’t seem to make any difference. I’m following the instructions at At about 5 minutes into the video, summarizing the instructor (Shi Ming), he says press Control key, press + sign next to cursor, press Up key, enter size of interval and then number of intervals/replications. Nothing seems to happen when I press + sign (which is subscript and not superscript as in the video).

The operation you’re trying to accomplish is called a Linear Array.

Here’s help with creating linear and radial arrays:

Many thanks for that information. That’s a useful video. But I’m still having difficulty opening the box to enter the intervals and the number of replications.

Are you speaking of the Measurements entry control ? Also referred to historically as the Value Control Box (aka VCB.)

EDIT: (Reviewed the video.) Yes you are. Be aware that the tutorial appears to use a special accessibility feature that magnifies the controls when activated. This magnifying will not happen in the course of normal SketchUp use.

SketchUp comes installed with it (the Measurements entry control,) docked to the right end of the status bar (which is at the bottom of the SketchUp application window.)

But it can be undocked, by activating it’s toolbar (alter-ego.) As a toolbar it can be floating anywhere, docked to any of the toolbar docking areas, or even closed. (I myself have it docked in the second row of the upper-left toolbar docking pane.)

So if it is not hard-docked into the status bar, check the View menu > Toolbars… dialog, to see if it is unchecked (ie, not visible.)

You can also right-click the status bar, and a popup context menu will appear, and the “Measurements Value” and “Measurements Label” can be toggled back on.

I’ve got Measurements open and somehow I did enter an interval and manage to replicate intervals. It seems tortuous but I’ll persevere. Many thanks for your help.

I believe you are missing a fundamental of Sketchup. You don’t need to click in the box, in fact you can’t click in the box. The box is only a visual display.
Click and release to Start an action then let go of the mouse and simply type what you want (in mid air, doesn’t matter where the cursor is) and hit enter to complete the action.

Many thanks. I’ll try that.

Many thanks to everyone for their help. I finally managed to do it.

Best wishes


I don’t know when it started, (and personally I want to find a way to turn it off…) but most tools will actually work with dragging when the mouse is down rather than the suggested [click to attach to mouse] move [click to place end point]

Note that it’s not a great way to work and it can lead to errors and finger strain when you are holding the mouse button down all the time… but it does work.

‘Preferences’ >> ‘Drawing’ >> ‘Click Style’ affects more than just the Line Tool [regardless of what Help says…]



Yes, tools work with click and drag, but as with any software, once you learn the various options you find a multitude of possible techniques.

Sketchup has a very simple set of rules that govern basic manipulation. Once you learn them almost anything is possible. But there are always other ways to do things, and it comes down to personal preference and individual workflow as to how you work with the tools.

Where people get caught out is expecting one thing and not actually educating themselves enough on how the software works.
To look at in a real world sense, take one broken car, and a box of tools. How many people could look under the hood and know what tools were needed in what way to fix the car?

I’m just trying to make the point that Educating yourself is critical to how well things will work.

As a simple pair of examples, if you don’t know not to click in the box, or that the rotate tool orientates with a click drag, then you’ll have problems. Neither of these are obvious and need to be learnt.