Sketchup on Laptop without a mouse

Im trying to decide if I should buy a laptop. The one I want does not have a 3d capable graphics card. I am only using sketchup for landscape design. Do I need the 3d card or not?

Orbit and pan, while possible using just trackpad and keyboard are considerably less effortless than using a mouse. Most other drawing operations aren’t an issue, at least for me. But there is really no reason you can’t use a mouse with a laptop.

I just use the trackpad for everything, it works well.

Me too, trackpads can work very well (but one needs to have spent some time using them, think of how much time you have spent with a mouse).

Laptops do work with mice, too. Your question is a bit unclear and seems to mix too separate decisions. Why would you want to stop using a mouse if (as it seems) you perceive it as a downside of laptops?

I’d strongly advise to always use a mouse when modeling in SketchUp. Laptops can work great though.

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Im trying to decide if I should buy a laptop. The one I want does not have a 3d capable graphics card. I am only using sketchup for landscape design. Do I need the 3d card or not?

To be honest I get away with using the trackpad for everything these days, I was for a time carrying around a wireless mouse but now I don’t even bother with that.

I actually use a graphics tablet as the main input now over a mouse anyway if I am at my desk.

But as to your other questions, AFAIK ideally you need a 3D capable graphics card.

Most laptops today have at least integrated graphics. In principle these are capable of the OpenGL 3D features SketchUp needs. However, their performance may be limited and the Intel HD graphics are notorious for problems with their OpenGL drivers. Windows 10 has a bad track record of automatically installing bad drivers. If you can afford it, you will be have fewer issues with a discrete graphics card. Nvidia have the fewest reports of problems.


Yes and a mouse as well.
Generally, one can upgrade the CPU and RAM of a laptop, but not the GPU
Thus, if you spend good money on one with only Intel integrated graphics, you’re stuck.

I purchased one of Dell’s base model G7 15" laptops just prior to Basecamp.

• Numeric Keypad
• Matte Screen
• 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8750H Processor (6-Core, 9MB Cache, up to 4.1GHz w/ Turbo Boost)
• GeForce 1060 6GB GDDR5 video memory
• 8 GB RAM
• 256 GB SSD

There’s room for a second drive and easy access to upgrade RAM.

Hello @s.ztaylor and welcome to the SketchUp Community Forum!

I would strongly advise against purchasing a laptop that does not include a 3d capable graphics card if you intend to use it for working on SketchUp projects. As others have pointed out, it makes sense to pair the laptop system you decide to buy with at least a 3 button mouse. This will greatly enhance your ability to pan, zoom and orbit around your models and you will rapidly develop a series of work procedures using the mouse specifically. Once you gain some familiarity with modeling using the various tools you choose, you will never want to do without them.

I agree with @slbaumgartner that you will encounter fewer issues with a dedicated graphics card and I highly recommend that you seek a graphics adapter from the nVidia line. Some of these are reasonably priced and are included in many Windows based computers.


Thank you all! i bought a lenovo flex 5! it is fully capable of running SketchUp.

I just activated my windows but since then I can’t zoom in by using my fingers on the track pad, which was possible before. Now it’s annoying coz now I have to use the “Z” shortcut {keyboard} is there any solution for this?

Are you saying it used to work on this computer but since a Windows update it doesn’t?

Use a mouse.


As I understand the scrolling on the trackpad does not work in all applications, not specifically in SketchUp. So this is a SketchUp-unrelated problem to solve.

  • First, I’d go into the operating system preferences and verify the trackpad preferences are still set as desired (sometimes disabling and reenabling finger scrolling helps).
  • You may either be using a generic driver (from the OS vendor for all such input devices) or a device-specific driver from the trackpad manufacturer. In that case, go to you notebook brand’s website and download the latest trackpad driver updates if available.
    (off-topic: Hey, evil Lenovo and Synaptics, how you dare to stop updating drivers after 1 year and let my trackpad break on Windows while open-source Linux drivers keep it still functional after 6 years? Stop the electronic waste mountains! I saved 10kg by not replacing the notebook yearly.)
  • If the latest manufacturer’s driver does not work, you may try uninstalling it completely in favor of the generic driver. Usually that provides basic functionality except non-standard features (extra mouse buttons, fancy gestures, scroll speed fine-tuning).

I have a trackpad working on Windows 10, and zooming works in SketchUp. The touchpad settings are confusing though, and I don’t see a way to turn that feature off. But apparently there is a way.