Shift key not locking to axis

Hi, Just completed an excellent two days training on Sketchup Make, and during training often used the shift key to lock drawing processes to specific axis.

Now back home on a MacBook Air, this really useful feature does not work. Any ideas?

I checked the keyboard setup, and tried both European and US layout options.

Otherwise, really looking forward and excited to enter the SketchUp world!


Hi Mike,

Shift should lock the existing inference direction on Mac OS X or Windows

Perhaps reviewing the procedure will help.

Inference Locking

Thanks Geo for your reply!

In fact I can lock to axis by inference using the shift key with the line tool, but not the rectangle tool.

Maybe drawing rectangles by inference is not possible?

Anyway, really appreciate your reply, and more to pointing me in the direction of the excellent YouTube coaching videos!


The rectangle tool requires you to click on two points that are on its diagonal, and the sides are then drawn parallel to the current axis. So a rectangle that locke to an axes with the Shift key would compress to a single edge. To create a rectangle that is not parallel to the red-green axes start by orbiting to a viewpoint that is nearer to a front or side view (or infer to an existing face that is parallel to the rectangle you want to create. For rotated rectangles SketchUp has the Rotated Rectangle tool.

Here is a link to all there video playlist that will come in handy and are a must. The Inferencing Engine will work with ALL the tools in SU. Anssi explanation is far better then anything I could apply. As it took me sometime and you have to JUST use it to get a feel for it. What helped me was to run the courser with cross hairs attached. It helps you to line up to the points and their axes. I am on a PC but from the selection on top. From Window> Preferences>select Drawing and in the misc. selection area, select cross hairs this will set the pointer.
So you have the fixed Origin Axes of the template and as you navigate you have another one so lining up and understanding , helping to keep your bearings…Peace…

Thanks to everyone who replied and offered help and advice; worked out the issue and solution with the ideas and responses above - thanks!
Still working hard to build my Sketchup Intuition!!