So let me get this right

I’ve been using drawing software for almost 30 years. Every program I’ve used has a simple menu option to align objects to each other - visio, illustrator, etc. I’m now starting to work in 3D and am trying SketchUp before buying it.

I’ve two cubes, and want to align the center of the two along an axis (think of a tower of cubes, centered on top of each other, each one smaller than the last). I found a help article that refers to an align menu, but there doesn’t seem to be an align menu anywhere I can find (if I’m blind, please let me know). I guess I’m expecting to be able to multi-select the objects, right click, pick align, then choose an axis, and then pick ‘align center’ or ‘align right’.

The only other articles I’ve found look like it takes many steps to do this - what am I missing?

Here’s one way to make a stack of centered cubes. Draw the first one and make it a component. Open it for editing and use the Offset Tool to draw one face of the second cube. It will be centered on the larger cube. Cut that face, close the first cube component, and go to Edit>Paste in place to place the face atop the first cube, but outside the component. Use Push/Pull to make the second cube, and make it a component. Repeat until you have all the cubes you want in your stack.
There may be a plug-in that handles the align function you’d like, but I’ll let others steer you to it.
Hope this helps.

That must relate to Layout, the 2D page layout application that is part of the SketchUp Pro package.

The software you refer to is 2D. A functioning 3D align system would perhaps be a non-trivial task. AutoCad has one, sort of, but it is rather non-user friendly.


To align objects use inferencing to say center of circle if cylinders, or for boxes mid-point of edges [x2], or other parts of their geometry or guide-points/lines to snap to etc… also consider Xray mode for ‘internal’ points…

There are several plugins available.
A simple search at SketchUcation’s PluginStore returns 12 hits - I guess that half of those are something like you suggest - aligning in 2d and 3d…

There are also tools to add a guide point at the bounds-center of an object… e.g.

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If you can construct your cube using the polygon tool rather than the rectangle tool, this will give you a center inference. As always, you should be in the habit of making these groups or components.

Another method would be using Fredo’s MoveAlong plugin. It can capture the center inference of any face of your cube.

Also, xray mode may be helpful in this effort.


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Very simple. No plugins needed. Draw the first box to the size you need. Make it a group. Beside that one draw another at the smaller size you need. Make it a group. Now using the move tool grab the center of the bottom edge of the smaller cube (a blue dot will show that you are at the center point) and move so that it aligns with the top edge of the first cube in the center. Rotate your view slightly then grab the bottom side edge of the top cube in the center, hold down an arrow key to keep on the axis and move the top cube until you get the center inference of the first cube (along the side). Now you have two cubes aligned.

Hello, see the video I made using one technique here: Stacking_Boxes

You are going to use the rectangle shape tool, the offset tool, and the push/pull tool.

I used random sizing of inches and feet, but you can keep it consistent and only decrease the size of the stacked cube by an inch at a time, or whatever you feel! I hope this makes sense. There are many ways to do what you are asking.


I believe the fastest way is as @TIG described …To align objects use inferencing
Infer and then click the Move tool on the bottom edge midpoint of a cube.
Then take that known point to another known point … the top edge midpoint of another cube.
That aligns their centers along one axis.
A second move, inferring to midpoints and constrained to the other axis, aligns their centers.

See: Inference Types — SketchUp Help … and then read Gully’s more eloquent description below.

To have a button to align the geometry as you described as with other software, basically just does that, Then you would need a button for another specialist task and so on it goes until a get an interfaced filled with buttons. The beauty about Sketchup is its simplicity in that a command can be modified, a input changed and give you alternatives on the run. So “M” for the Move, changes to copy when control is pressed, Shift lo lock the alignment, once placed you can change the distance, maybe / or x to do an internal or external array, not happy with 4 copies then enter 5. So looking at the the interface there does NOT seem to be many tools. But they are there with the various modifiers. You end up using both hands, but less work with not so many mouse moves, clicks etc

This what makes Sketchup great!

@sdmitch has an align&distribute tool available for sketchup… may or may not be of interest to you.