Scale Tool: How to enter an exact distance in inches?

Hi, Using the scale tool in Sketchup 2016, I can, for example, scale a group in the ‘Red’ direction to exactly 50mm by picking on the Red scale handles, starting to drag, and then typing in ‘50mm’ and pressing enter.

I want to do this with inches, say, scale a group to exactly 6" long. However, when I try to type 6", I have to press the shift key to type the " and shift modifies the scale tool to scale in all directions, and I can’t type the ", or when I do, it disappears when I release the shift button.

How do I scale to an exact dimension when using imperial units (inches)?

Sorry if this has been asked elsewhere, I didn’t find it using search.


Just scale the object and immediately after you released the mouse type the value, then hit Enter.

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Finish the size first. size whatever direction you want, release, then type your measurement.

What is it that you’re scaling? As ely862me said, you should just be able to let go of the mouse and type 6" with no problem.

With metrics you don’t have to finish the scale, just enter the value and hit enter. The imperials are a bit tricky because you need to press shift, and that will mess everything.

Dave, did you not have to click a second time, that is, finish an initial scaling before typing 6"? The problem is that shift is wired in as the toggle between uniform scale and per-axis scale, so if you type it while the initial scaling is underway (as necessary to type "), the quote character is ignored. This is a rather funky aspect of the mode-change keys they selected, and as @ely862me said, affects only feet and inches.

I must have been doing it wrong because I didn’t click a second time. I Just clicked and held while dragging the scale handle. Then I let go of the mouse and typed the distance with the ". It doesn’t appear that the quote mark is being ignored on my installation.

The key difference is that you dragged the handle rather than clicking and then moving the mouse.

Yes. A subtle difference, too. :slight_smile:

But it does work to enter the quote mark for inches.

Ha, now I am dazzled as I don’t know how I was doing it click pull click or hold click pull release click.
It doesn’t matter though, you still need to end the scale before entering an imperial value.

IMHO the scale tool has the least intuitive UI of all the standard ones in SketchUp. It has too many modes of operation and some arbitrary behaviors. This variation depending on whether you click, move, click vs click-drag-release is one. The way that the corner handles default to uniform scale whereas the other default to per-axis scale is another.

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I agree. I also find it usually isn’t the appropriate tool for things I need to resize. It mostly gets used to make a copy of a component big enough to get around the short edge/tiny face issue.

Thanks DaveR, that is a very subtle difference. You are correct - if you Drag a random amount, release, and then type in 6", it works.

That’s different than what I was doing, which was click (release), move mouse with the scale still active (waiting for second click). In that case, you indeed cannot type the " character.

I would have never tried the mouse-down-drag to perform scale, and if I did, I certainly would have expected that when I released the button, the scale operation was finished and I wouldn’t be able to enter a value.

Thanks for showing the subtle difference!


Dave, we’re on the same page. Like you, I usually model furniture. Aside from the small edges issue, when I want to resize something I normally want the effect as if I magically added more wood between the ends without changing the shape of the ends themselves. Scale does not do that, it resizes everything. Selecting the ends and moving them is what I want, because SketchUp automatically stretches the other edges to keep them attached to what I moved. You know that only too well, I mention it here only for the benefit of others.

Eric, I’m glad that helped.

@slbaumgartner, yes, I usually want to employ the board stretcher without stretching end details and the Scale tool isn’t appropriate for that. There is Fredoscale but I like to use the Move tool instead because I think I have better control over what gets stretched and what doesn’t.

Actually you can, just click pull click enter value hit Enter and you’re done. Click pull click = hold click pull release click

The scale works also as the pencil or the rectangle tool . You draw a random length or size then you enter the new value/s and the first length/sizes are changed.