Rotating in Layout

I am trying to figure how to do something that is probably easy if you know how. But I don’t.

I want to rotate an imported SU window so that a particular line that is off axis is perfectly on axis in LO. The problem I am having is that the rotate point is not a handle, so wherever you place the handle, the rotate point is somewhere else.

I could go into SU and find out the precise angle I need to rotate but that is long winded and may not be 100% accurate.

This kind of thing is easy to do in SU but not in LO. Unless I am missing a trick of course.

Any ideas?

Simon, can you send me your LO file so I can see it? I can help you get it sorted.

I would but the file size is too big even after purging. This forum only allows files up to 3Mb which is pretty small. Not sure what to do now.


I have managed to reduce the file size. See attached.

If you do it please explain the process so that I know next time!

Garden Room.layout (602.7 KB)


First, I fixed your model and the scene. I turned off the extension lines (at least temporarily) and updated the style. I also set the camera to Parallel Projection and made a top view of the model followed by updating the scene called “scene”. After saving the changes to the SKP file, I updated the reference in LO and reconnected the viewport to the correct scene. (How am I going to convince you to quit modifying viewports?)

Next, I rendered the viewport in hybrid so I have vector lines to look at. And I drew a temporary horizontal line in LO. I made it red to make it easier to see. That line is snapped onto the endpoint of the edge in the model we’re using for alignment. I also turned off grid snapping in the Arrange menu.

I moved the rotation point to the intersection of the red line and the end of the edge in the viewport, grabbed the Rotation handle and rotate the viewport. It’s much easier to rotate if you drag the handle away from the center of rotation.

If you want the extension lines to show in the style, turn them back on in the style in SU, update the style and save the changes. Then update the reference in LO. Display features like extensions just get in the way while modeling. Save them for the final display tweaks if you want to use them.


Firstly, a lot of the issues you identified are because I had to create a new SU and LO file to avoid the size constraint that prevented me sending you the original. In the original the scene is in parallel projection and it was converted to a hybrid rendering. So I don’t modify viewports normally except by mistake.

I did exactly what you describe so I am struggling to see where I am going wrong. I think the issue lies with your comment that [quote=“DaveR, post:5, topic:42349”]
I moved the rotation point to the intersection of the red line and the end of the edge in the viewport

The handle and the rotation point are separate and AFAIK, you cannot grab hold of the rotation point itself. Or can you? That would solve my problem at a stroke.

You wouldn’t want to grab the center of rotation. Think of the handle as being the end of a lever. If you grab at the center of rotation you have no control. Grab the handle and you do have control. Make the lever longer and you have better control with less effort.

When you grab the thing to move it, you will be placing the center of rotation.

I put the center of rotation on the red line to make it easier to see in the animation. The little + to the right of the center shows the starting reference position.

What you show there is what I normally see but I still haven’t understood how you get perfect alignment. You can get it roughly right by eye or if you know the exact rotation angle beforehand. What I was hoping for was something that worked a bit more like SU itself with the protractor tool, which depends on snapping points.

I cannot see from your animation what you are snapping to in order to get perfect alignment. Is the plus sign relevant to this? I always wondered what it meant.

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I just rotated it by eye. You could measure the required rotation angle in SketchUp and enter that after you start the rotation.

Aha! So I take it from this that it is actually not possible to rotate in LO with normal CAD levels of accuracy.

I did exactly what you suggested by reading the angle in SU and then used that in LO. Trouble is, SU only reports angles to the nearest tenth of a degree. Doesn’t sound a lot but I found that one fairly short wall shows as being 2mm out of true when using the dimension tool in LO. Setting out, say, steelwork over this kind of length needs to be much more accurate than that.

Maybe I could create a new scene in SU with the rotation already executed before importing into LO. Would that improve it do you think? I hoped to avoid having yet another step in the process.

Trouble is, you have pretty low precision settings in your template. I was within .001° of accuracy. That’s 0.175 in 10,000. I’d bet my lunch money the real house will be out by more than that.

You could rotate the model in SU so that it is aligned with the model axes so the standard top view would work.

Increasing precision does make all the difference. I can now read off angles in SU to three decimal points and that allows a sufficient degree of accuracy for the rotation in LO. So, Dave, you have solved the problem again! Though I would have to say that I hoped for something a lot faster and simpler than going to and fro between SU and LO to achieve it.

Many thanks.

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Happy to have helped you get it sorted. I guess the faster method would be to align the model in SU from the beginning. I can see reasons not to. And when you have multiple angles to deal with, that can make it tricky.

Out of curiosity, when do you need to rotate it anyway?

As you were able to see from the drawing, this building has two different sets of axes, one set by the main house, the other by the outbuilding and new infill extension. In general, it made sense to allow the main house to align with normal X and Y grid lines. But for detailing the garden room part of the extension, it would look clearer to rotate the window to suit that part. It also allows a larger scale to be used for a set paper size as the plan is rectangular and in line with the paper shape.

If I had my time again, I might review the decision to have most of the drawings set to the axes of the main house as we are doing very little to that, but I can’t face changing the whole document set now. A lesson for the future perhaps!

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I do think it would make the most sense to align the important part of the model with the axes in SU. That would make it easier to add details like the table and chairs, too.

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I still think that this thread speaks to a larger problem with the basic functionality of the grip tool which could be improved upon, especially for precisely rotating anything (viewports, lines, groups, etc) that is already off from horizontal or vertical. Seems like it would be an easy fix by making rotating with the grip a 3 step process: move grip center to point of rotation, move handle grip to point of alignment, rotate to desired alignment edge, point, etc.


I agree, Stephen. I have long been hoping for the ‘3 step process’ that you describe. It seems so elementary to me that this should be part of Layout.

Thanks also to simoncbevans for bringing to light a problem that has existed in Layout for years.

SU views are one thing that can be sorted out in SU. Lines and other graphic elements are something else.

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Agreed. But why not have another set of drawing axes in another rotated view in SketchUp and save that in an extra scene. So don’t rotate the model but only the axes, then align the view of the extention to be horizontal on screen, then save an extra scene that you pick up in LayOut. It won’t affect your model in any way but is perfectly aligned in LayOut.


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