Suggestions for Aaron

As a newbie to SketchUp, I have a couple of suggestions for Aaron to explore in his YouTube videos:

  1. While stumbling around learning SketchUp, I somehow create lines that shouldn’t really be there. I’m in the process now of purging my model from all sorts of extraneous lines - some that screw up something else I want to do (like punching a hole in a wall) and others that really need to be there (thank goodness for Ctrl-Z). Any suggestions from Aaron will be appreciated.

  2. Drawing a rectangle should be simple enough, but getting it drawn in the desired plane is often a challenge. Having clicked on the starting point for my rectangle, SketchUp seems to be confused about where I am going to get the second point. How’s the best way to do this?

  3. I’m beginning to get the hang of Groups, but in the process, I’ve made a mess of things with some lines being inside a Group and some outside. Arghhh… How is the best way to clean this up?

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Tap one of the arrow keys to toggle the plane SU draws the rectangle, if it is normal to an axis.
Up - normal to blue
Right - normal to red
Left - normal to green

If not ‘on axis’, then try:
Down - parallel or normal to a line you have hovered over, or the edge of the face you hover over (only in the last few versions of SU). Otherwise, Shift did much the same in older versions.

Hold Shift key down to constrain movement - either on an axis, or along a selected edge or face.

When trying to punch an opening in a wall with thickness, make sure you are in the same context as the face(s) of the wall (if it’s a group or component, which it should be, open it for editing) then hold down Shift once you have an ‘On face’ inference showing (a bluish purple diamond and a tooltip ‘On face’ showing) to ensure you are in the plane of the face.

See and follow the Fundamentals of Sketchup series if you aren’t clear about some of the basic techniques of drawing in SU. Or turn on the Instructor window (Window/Instructor) and follow the help there.

Mostly, it’s better to use Components rather than Groups. You MUST learn to use one or the other to stop geometry sticking together.

Assigning Tags (formerly Layers) ONLY controls visibility, and with rare exceptions, leave the default Tag as Untagged (or in older versions, the Layer as Layer0). Draw all geometry with the tag Untagged/Layer0, and assign tags or layers only to groups or components, or non-geometric objects like dimensions or text.

If you have a group or component with some of its geometry inside the object, and some outside, select the geometry that’s outside and copy it to the clipboard, open the object for editing, then Edit/Paste in place to put it inside. I find it’s well worth while making a shortcut for Paste in place (I use Ctrl+V on Mac, or you could perhaps use Alt+V on Windows, or Ctrl+Shift+V?).

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Thanks for the input! I smell at least one video in this list!

But in the meantime, John (and other that are sure to be along) seems to have some great advice!

There’s the Paste-in-Place function as John mentioned, which I rarely see shown off in tutorials, Aaron’s or otherwise, but is vastly useful for just what you want and much more. My chosen hotkey for p.i.p. is Shift+V

If you feel like you can’t tell what should go in the group or not, you can select everything in a giant select-square and move-copy it to the side, then right-click explode to get rid of the group(s), and try sort things out. This isn’t necessarily faster, but forces a review all your choices and accelerates getting to know how geo works in SU.

I show that feature quite frequently in my tutorials.

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Item 3: I like “Outliner”, and would place a set of lines inside a group as follows.
Say I’ve got a group “Box” with three lines I’ve accidentally drawn outside the group.
First I make the lines into their own group.

Now, in Outliner, I drag the grouped lines to the box group.

Still in Outliner, right click “The three lines” and select explode.
Four lines! :joy: