SketchPad 2.0


A while back, I created a keypad controller for SketchUp, called the SketchPad. I launched a kickstarter campaign and posted it here for comments. My campaign was not successful (halfway funded) and I learned a lot from all of you.

I’m here to get back on the horse and give it another go; incorporating the things that I have learned. I’ve learned that I need to have a separate version for Mac and PC and I’ve also learned which shortcuts will be more useful (users will need to set up some of these shortcuts themselves, which is pretty straight-forward).

Here is a look at the new button layouts for your comments and suggestions.

New_Layout_PC.pdf (731.6 KB)

New_Layout_MAC.pdf (731.9 KB)

It’s good to see you haven’t given up on this.

I guess for me I probably wouldn’t go for this. For some of the important functions, it seems like more work/extra keystrokes than just using the regular keyboard.

What are the buttons with the hand icon?

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I agree with this.

My guess is they open and close groups for editing.

If that’s what they are for, they’d be useless for me.

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The hand icons are hide and unhide.

How does unhide work? Is it Unhide all? Or just Unhide selected?

I couldn’t agree more. I think this says a lot more about how well icons communicate in the first place than anything. An area I have several years experience in.

I would prefer the keys had the words on them instead of icons, but that’s just me.

You make a good point. We can just have words instead of the icons for ‘hide’ and ‘unhide all’ (or would you prefer ‘unhide last’?)

I really don’t hide stuff enough to need a dedicate set of keys, personally.
What I DO have a shortcut for is Hide Rest of Model while editing groups/components, so that would be far more useful for my workflow.

the primary reason for icons is internationalisation…

a 3 char word in English may be 12 chars in German and a single char in Korean, etc…

the various translations for an icon can be in the users manual…


Until such time as all keys are user programmable this will never rise above the level of a novelty item for the majority of users.


The use of Hide and Unhide, in my opinion is poor workflow and I would never recommend or encourage it. Hiding things as you work is another route to madness within SU. Unhide is context sensitive so if you have hidden something then left its group/component neither ‘Unhide’ nor ‘Unhide All’ or even ‘Unhide Last’ will make it visible.

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Can I test this out on my Mac?

Maybe I’m too late to this game, but is this for using with a touch screen? As @DaveR says, it’s just easier to keep one’s hand on the mouse or keyboard. If for use on a laptop, the screen real estate is already limited, I wouldn’t put up an image like this when the already on-screen menu icons for these functions exists. I might be coerced into changing my mind if this thing was customizable and was a pop-up on demand that could replace the on-screen menus (on my laptop) to give me more screen space for drawing.

@dintymoore’s proposal is for an auxiliary keypad with keys set up for specific SketchUp functions, not an on-screen pop up.

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Oh. Hardware?

Yup, hardware. A small keyboard/keypad specifically for use with SketchUp.

I’ve already got a lot of this programed on my keyboard. There are numerous open keys + modifiers that can be used already. For example, I’ve made K “paste in place” and J “delete guides” as I use these commands a lot. Another one of my favorites is to change G to “Exit Group” rather than “Make Component”.
Any commands that I use a lot and require utilizing a drop down menu to get to them, I program to the keyboard.
Don’t really need more “stuff” on my desk. If you persue this, it MUST be wireless.