Spacebar in SU

The default in Sketchup is for the spacebar to do the same thing as the Escape key. For a right hander like me, I tend to have my thumb on the spacebar and my ring finger on the Escape key and use the two interchangeably. But I don’t really need both options.

If I remember, with AutoCad, the spacebar is used to re-invoke the last command. This is extremely useful and saves a lot of dancing about the keyboard. But AFAIK, you cannot designate the spacebar to do that in SU.

I am posting here in case anyone knows a way of achieving this. If not, perhaps I should move this topic to Feature Request?

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Does anyone want to make a repeat command extension (if there isn’t one already)?

I guess you jest, but of course Redo is different from re-invoking last command since it includes what you did with the last command. As an example, if I invoked the Move command and moved a component, I would like to be able to hit the spacebar to invoke the command again to move a different component (and not the same one the same distance). As things stand, I either have to use a KB shortcut or use the menu or the icon., none of which is nearly as fast.

I always feel as if I am whingeing when I make requests like this. I tend to get deluged with responses along the lines of “it’s pretty easy pressing keys”. But the point is that for things you do repeatedly, even a very small improvement makes an enormous difference. I am sure that a time and motion study would prove that.

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I totally agree that a “re-invoke last command” button would be a huge time saver.

Great idea! So you select a component, then hit spacebar (or whatever shortcut you choose in the preferences) and it will invoke the last command.

It’s the kind of thing @slbaumgartner and @eneroth3 are wizard at. That’s if the SU setup allows it to be done at all, of course.

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Here’s what I’m thinking…

Line = After using the line tool to draw a line & escaping the command, you can click a starting point & press the repeat button to create a new line going in the same direction that’s the same length.

Follow me = After using the follow me tool to extrude a face along a path, you can select other faces & press the repeat button to extrude those faces along the same path.

Eraser = I’m not sure how repeating the erase command would be useful.

Select = I’m not sure how repeating the select command would be useful.

Move = After using the move tool to move something, you can select something & use the repeat button to move your selection the same distance in the same direction.

Circle = The repeat tool creates the same circle.

Arc = The repeat tool creates the same arc.

Rectangle = The repeat tool creates the same rectangle.

Push/Pull = You can double click to repeat this command in Sketchup already.

Offset = You can double click to repeat this command in Sketchup already.


You cannot repeat a commited operation (because it would do exactly the same thing on the same entities).

  • You may want to repeat what an operation did on different entities (but keep parameters etc.) like pushpull with the same extrusion length. But this is up to the specific tool to implement. There is no cross-extension standard interface how to call an extension’s method that executes an operation.
  • You may want to select the previously selected tool again. For this you can use Eneroth Tool Memory.

You may be but I’m not!

When you want to do anything in SU, you have to start by invoking a command, Move say. You then select the item, click on the start point, click on end point, Escape. If I want to move something else, I start again by invoking the Move command. The space bar would do that instead of the usual way, but the point is that it would do it whatever the previous command was.

I know that with certain commands like Move you can invoke the command before you choose the object but I don’t think that applies to all commands.

Thanks for this suggestion. I will do a trial.

It’s still not as good as the Autocad way as it uses a modifier key rather than the single spacebar hit. That means that you have to use two fingers and possibly some contortion. At present, I have used up all the character keys nearest the Cmd key for shortcuts!

I guess that just because AutoCad has achieved it doesn’t mean SU can as the software set up may prevent it. I am no programmer, but in my dissection of the use of the Move command, the software would have to log the sequence (which it must already do for the Redo command) and recognize the difference between command invocation and the rest. Then, when you press the spacebar, it would iterate back to determine the last command invocation and use that again.

Not sure why you hit escape at that point, but It’s worth pointing out that, on windows, escape and space are different.
Escape basically releases whatever you where doing and leave you with the current tool ready to start another action.
Space activates the selection tool.
This may be different on Mac.


Ah, well that explains a great deal. Sounds like the function I am after is built in on Windows but may be a limitation on a Mac. Shucks!

no, it is not. esc is for ‘setting the active tool back to its starting point’ (except the select tool :thinking: )
spacebar is just activating the select tool (standard, can be set to another key)

I think the main 'problem ’ is the habitual selecting entities before an action, most tools can be used without selecting.


Jack, that is an interesting point. You are hinting at the fact that I may have got into bad habits by selecting entities first. You could be right. I do tend to do that. Maybe that’s an old Autocad habit that hasn’t worn off! Must try harder.

Without selecting first, you’ll get better results with the obstacle course:

Hitting Space is not the equivalent of Esc

Esc cancels a current unfinished operation, and stays in the active tool. It’s a hard-coded command.

Activating a different tool also cancels a current unfinished operation, by exiting the active tool.

Space is simply a keyboard shortcut for activating the Select tool.

Hitting Space during an operation is merely canceling the operation by switching tools midstream.

The function of canceling the current unfinished operation by switching tools is not unique to the Select tool.


Esc and Spacebar are very different in SU. Esc resets the active tool (e.g. drop what is being moved or the start point of a line) while Space activates the select tool.

In some programs, e.g. AutoCad, select is fundamentally different, and is the tool you “back” out to when pressing Esc. In SketchUp Select is equal to the other tools (perhaps just a bit more equal as it has the biggest button on the keyboard).

Unfortunately some plugin developers don’t know this difference and makes their tool activate select tool when done drawing, or from a special “Exit” button, even though Select has no special standing in SketchUp, adding to this confusion.

EDIT: This is a good example of why I think SketchUp should create UX guidelines for plugin developers.


:+1:t5: x42!

And I’m just the crazy guy that remapped most of the shortcuts to mimic Adobe software, where Space is the hand (pan) tool, and V is the select tool. :slight_smile:

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Me too. PowerCADD has a pan tool identical to Adobe’s, so I mapped that to spacebar, and assigned orbit to the spacebar in SketchUp.

What’s hard for me with custom key commands is when I’m teaching at school, all the machines have default settings, so my habits from home mess me up working on those machines.

I have a Mac and use only one keystroke for the Eneroth Tool Memory, haven’t needed to add a modifier key.

Several of the most useful tools don’t work with the ETM extension, hopefully developers will make the suggested changes to their scripts (?) so that more tools are compatible with Eneroths time saver.

Then there’s the issue of missing Icons from certain tools; however, that’s probably a topic for another thread.