Shortcuts, quicker ways to do things?

First: I’m not an architect. I’m using SketchUp to make models to help me work out perspective and design things for illustrations.

Recently I”ve been making skyscrapers for an art-deco cityscape I’m drawing. See the picture for an example. As I was working, I was thinking that SketchUp pros (iPad only - not interested in hearing solutions for desktop) must have a more efficient way of doing certain things. Take this skyscraper as an example.

To make the windows, what I would do is make a grid using the line tool. First I would use the measure tool to make evenly spaced guidelines on the surface where the windows would be (tediously, one at a time) and then use the Line tool to make lines on those grid lines (tediously, one at a time). I would then use the offset tool to create separation between the lines (again, one at a time) and then push/pull the resulting square inward to make the window, one at a time. Again, this is for illustration.

This was all pretty tedious, as I wrote. I’m certain that SketchUp pros would have a better way of doing this that isn’t so tedious. In this specific instance, I would imagine there should be a way to select a face and create evenly divided lines or grid lines vertically or horizontally across that face (Blender would call this a loop cut). Then, it would be nice if I could select all of those subdivided faces and offset them all , and then push/pull those resulting squares all at once. I’m only two buildings into my skyline, so I’m writing now to see if there are any tricks and tips that could save me time in the future, thanks.

Yes, I’m aware of the fact that after my first push/oull, I can just double-tap successive ones to do it more quickly, but I still have to do each square one at a time. Also, with offset, I have to use the select tool to choose a new face before double-tapping to offset it. Again, more tedium.

Draw one window, make it a component and then use the Move tool in Copy mode to create arrays of windows?

Move Tool | SketchUp Help

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That’s a good idea, much less effort. I suppose that’s the best solution - I could have selected whole rows of windows and then used to move + add tool to duplicate rows. Thanks. I still think SketchUp should allow us to select multiple faces and do the same operation on all of them at once.

I agree, especially with push pull and offset.

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Learning and understanding the fundamentals of sketchup itself will help you use the Ipad version better than learning how to use the Ipad version.

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How will learning features and plugins not available on the iPad actually help me with the iPad version, other than to frustrate me with the limitations of the app? Keep in mind I’ve been involved with 3D for 20 years now, already familiar with Blender, Cinema 4D, and (way back in the day) Strata Studio Pro. I know the fundamentals of 3D already.

Because the fundamentals of using copy and array are identical to both platforms and are the actual solution. Are you comfortable and familiar with the divide and array functions?

It’s not exactly the same as selecting multiple faces but if you’re using components all of the faces (or edges, etc.) are ‘selected’ and can be modified at the same time (e.g., push-pull, offset). If you also use Make Unique, those (arrayed) components can all be modified at the same time as well.

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In your example I can see a parent component repeated four times and they also repeated mirrored four times. They all make up the four facades. Inside this parent there are a lot of nested component instances (windows) all with the same definition.
Basically you only have to model 1/8 of that building, except for the globe ontop.
Component arrays and the mirror function are your friends here.

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But if it exists on the iPad, I still don’t understand why I would need to learn the desktop version.

I’m guessing your edited posts may have be directed at my comment, if so.
In your original post you expressed an interest in Not hearing from people with desktop experience.
I suggested you would benefit from learning the fundamentals.
Sketchup has been a desktop application for more than 2 decades and an ipad one only very recently.
Making demo vids/gifs with the desktop version is very simple. A screen grab software and you have a demo in seconds.
But with the ipad it is a nightmare, you need to set up a webcam of some sort overhead at just the right angle to capture what you do with the stylus without being blocked by your hand or your head or with light reflections etc.
This means there is a limit to the available useful videos for the ipad version and as such you are far better off learning the fundamentals of the software via the campus and other appropriate videos that mostly use the desktop software.
Once understood, those fundamentals are quickly translated into the slightly different arrangement of tools in the ipad version.

Short version, there are a lot more instructive videos available for desktop and they translate easily to Ipad.


It’s a total breeze. There’s a screen record button and it allows 3 hours natively without any fuss. Just sayin.

Also… In the settings you can assign a tap of the finger to be the select tool. Instead of going back with the pencil and changing tools, just tap the next select with your finger and then use the pencil as the tool.

For what it’s worth, I learned how to use SketchUp for iPad almost exclusively by watching videos meant for desktop. I find just about everything native about the two is the same in function if not in tool usage.


Screen recorded Tutorials on the ipad are next to useless as you can’t see what the stylus or fingers are doing.
Just sayin!

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I’m not avoiding any tutorials, but my initial comment was made to head off any comments about opening my doc on a desktop and doing it there. As long as it can be done on an iPad, I’m open to anything, but I’m traveling and don’t have a laptop and don’t plan on getting one. As a consequence, any feature on a desktop that can’t be accessed on an iPad is a waste of time and attention.