Rotation tool orientation

Hi, I am trying to follow the sketchUp official tutorial-> rotation tool section to fold an airplane. It says I can define the orientation by dragging my mouse button. I can not achieve that because It only gives me the blue colour protractor guide, I wish to rotate it under the green colour guide, no matter where I move my cursor it won’t change the rotation plane. I hope someone can help me out with this question. Thank you very much.

It’s a ‘Click’ + ‘Drag’ operation—both as a unified gesture.

Just dragging without holding down the click at the same time gives you the default performance of the tool… which is to orientate itself onto the surface plane which your moving on/over.

try drawing a simple box and you should that you can also change its position depending upon what surface of the box you’re hovering over. . . in this manner holding down the ‘Shift’ key will also lock in the orientation of the tool to whatever plane/direction you are on. And to this method of locking in a direction—it’s often nice to draw in a reference plane just so it can be used for locking in a tools orientation.

you can also set orientation with the arrow keys… left arrow, up arrow, right arrow.

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Here’s a quick demo of the Click Drag Orientation.
Click hold drag release to set the rotation axis, then Click release, to grab a relevant point on the object, move, then click release to finish the move.


Per Box’s demo which I had not seen before, I always have used the arrow keys while the rotate tool is selected and it will change the protractor to the green, blue or red (or pink) to change the axis of rotation. ANother way I have gotten in the habit of doing this is to rotate the model and move the rotate protractor into the space of the orientation you want, then you can shift hold to lock it in that orientation while selecting the item to rotate. I think the arrow keys might be the least click heavy solution?

The method Box shows has been around much longer than using the cursor keys to set the axis of rotation. The exact same method also works for any off-axis rotation as long as there’s an edge or guideline to reference.

Thank you so much for the help. This is a really clear instruction.

Thanks JimD, it is awesome to know various method to achieve the same goal. Very helpful.