Selecting new areas with cursor or Push/Pull on existing faces

Hi. I am a property developer but new to Sketch Up and I have just created my first model of a house we hope to build. Increasingly, as I have created my model, it has become difficult to select an area on a face to push / pull. For example creating doors in walls is almost impossible. If I use the orientation key and try loads of different positions I can randomly select the area required but it has become harder and harder to find a position that works. I have now got to the stage of putting in smaller details and I simply cannot get it to work at all. PLEASE someone help as I am close to giving up and trying a different program. Thank you in advance for any help.

Share the SketchUp file so we can see exactly what you have going on and we’ll help you.

@JamieS, before anyone can trow you a life buoy, you’ve already started swimming to the next boat?

As mentioned by @DaveR, please share the model file to go along with your description which is kind of hard to follow.
Have you applied groups and/or components at all?

Hi DaveR and Wo3Dan. Thanks for coming back to me. Is it possible that my groups are too big. I have grouped by floor with everything within each floor in the same group?

We can only guess as long as you are keeping us blindfolded. One thing is for certain, Push/Pull doesn’t work on groups or containers. You need to open them for editing until you get to the faces within. Push/Pull will only work on faces.

Hi Dave, yes I understand that and this problem is random. some faces work OK, others won’t select. I’ll to share the file.

Hi Again

Are you able to see this?


Forum Model.skp (269.6 KB)


Which faces are you trying to use Push/Pull on?

If you are trying to use Push/Pull on the curved surfaces on the “front” of the building, keep in mind that Push/Pull only works on one face at a time and the curved surfaces are made of multiple faces. Since you’ve made groups you do have to open the groups for editing to modify any of the geometry inside.

Your model is located about 50 meters from the origin. I moved it over to the origin for my screenshots.

You also have reversed faces that should be taken care of.

You’re also using layers incorrectly. ALL edges and faces should be drawn on and remain on Layer 0. Only groups, components, and text should get assigned to other layers.

When I opened your file, it had back edges displayed. That option lets you see where the back edges are, but you can’t select the faces they would define. Pressing the K key should turn them off.

Beyond that, as @DaveR requested, please be more specific about which faces you are having issues with.

Hi Dave. As you can see I have been able to create openings in the curved surface by push / Pulling the sections of the curve. The latest problem was with creating the banisters on the first floor. I made the corner posts and then added rectangles to pull for the railings. I eventually managed to get them to work but it took ages to be able to select the rectangles before I could pull them. Each time I clicked on them it highlighted the face behind.

@JamieS Take a look at Curic’s list of extensions on the Extension Warehouse, in particular Curic DIO (Draw In Object) and / or Curic IO (which unfortunately doesn’t appear on Extension Warehouse yet, but look on their FaceBook FanPage) as I think there is something there that may accomplish what you have in mind (it looks like you’re working in groups mostly), to an extent anyway. They have some nifty tools all included in their Curic Tools pack (includes the aforementioned and then some). You could also search for videos of their work on Youtube.

There are other extensions that makes it insert doors / windows without having to first actually create a hole in the wall.

  • Look for FlexTools Pro - this can configure rudimentary doors / windows and automatically place them in walls without having to create a hole first.
  • There is also Face Cutter that will help place components in walls without first creating holes for them, you have to have the component first though.
  • Double-Cut will help place components in walls without first creating holes for them, you have to have the component first though.

Also remember to keep your models organised and in layers for ease of use (and machine performance).

One thing that might be causing you problems in this model is that you are creating it as if the entire floor and all of the trim and furniture are carved out of a single large block. This means everything is stuck together and hard to work with.

It might be that you need to be working in the Monochrome face style instead of Hiddeen Line with Back Edges turned on so that you only see the immediate faces and not the ones behind.

And just a side note: Before you start looking at the extensions Julian mentioned, you should get proficient with the native tools and the process of working in SketchUp.

If all edges and faces are on layer one, how should you, for example, hide the roof in order to be able to see inside?

You also have a construction line located an insane distance from the model. It causes strange effects when one orbits or does zoom-extents. You are working in parallel projection, which tends to mask this kind of problem.

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Put the group containing the edges and faces of the roof on a “Roof” layer and turn off the visibility for that layer when you don’t want to see it.


Thanks everyone for all your comments and help which I have taken on board. However I still have the problem of not being able to select many of the faces in my model and that problem changes when I orbit and try to select faces from a different direction. Does anyone know what could be causing that?

Is it possible that my groups are too big? What are the rules of thumb for grouping?


Here’s a version with only the specific problems I identified fixed. See whether you can work better with it, though the things @DaveR has been discussing still remain.

Forum Model.skp (246.4 KB)

Your groups are too large only in the sense, as @DaveR has noted, that they contain geometry (edges and faces) that correspond to more than one conceptual object in the model. This causes unrelated things to stick to and intersect each other. It also makes it more difficult to hide things that are in the way of what you want to select.

Try with the model I uploaded and see if that helps. If not, please say more about how you orbited (i.e. what view of the model are you seeing) and what are you trying to select. If you know how to create an animation showing the issue, that would also help.

A further thought: you might benefit from activating View->Component Edit->Hide Rest of Model. It’s possible that you are trying to select a face from some part of the model that is not inside the currently open group. You can’t do that! Making this setting will cause the rest of the model to disappear when you open a group, and that may eliminate your problem.

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Hi Dave

That’s brilliant. It now works perfectly but I still don’t know exactly what you have done.
If you could give me a brief list of what fixes you did I would be extremely grateful.

Huge thanks again.


Thanks for that but I don’t think that is what I was doing because it was an intermittent problem. I could try to click on a face and I would have to try many times in different places before I could select it and when I clicked in a place that didn’t work it selected the face behind it. Whatever Dave has done??? has fixed the problem completely and it now works perfectly.

Thanks again to all for your help.