Text entry fields in SketchUp

Is it just me or does anyone else find it intensely frustrating when text entry fields stay highlighted after entry?

As I use a lot of single key shortcuts instead of clicking on the tools, I often find I have entered a definition or label name and then hit a key for another tool only to find the layer or object renamed to Z or worse still, [space].

I accept this is mostly down to my years of habit but surely it must be a very simple adjustment of the code to automatically deselect the field once the [enter] key has been pressed? It would certainly help a seasoned, habit-entrenched user like me. Any chance?

Yours achingly,


Yes, this complaint has been raised many times before. It is very annoying! I have no idea how difficult it would be to change this behavior, but I wish they would.


Ahh, I did try searching for a topic but there isn’t even a tag for “annoying text entry”.

I confess to attempting to engage with Sketchup long before even Google got their stickies on it but my complaint fell on deaf ears back then.

Having done a little coding, the standard method is for a text entry field to become deselected upon confirmation; I believe this is also the default method used in X-code. This suggests that someone (a long time ago) must have put some effort into making the field remain active.

Nothing wrong with a little more nagging…

Absolutely! The only way Trimble can gauge priority is by how many users gripe about a particular issue.

+1, this is really annoying

They did (for the Text callout objects) because they wanted an ENTER to insert a line feed, rather than force the user to use a “soft return” (ie, SHIFT+ENTER).

So this means that to signal SketchUp that you are done with text entry,
you must double click the ENTER key, (Ie, carriage return on a blank line.)

I agree this is behavior is outside the norm. I would support some user settings in the Preferences dialog.

(I myself am more used to using the soft return for line feeds in multi-line text fields.)

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Re, the Entity Info panel. This one is also annoying.
It takes double TAB to advance to the next field. (ADD: on PC.)

(Moved to Feature Requests.)

Thats interesting, I just tried double Tab to advance but it does not work on a Mac.

It is the behaviour in the Entity Info panel that most frustrates me as the focus remains on the field unless I click back somewhere in the model or select a tool by clicking. It would help enormously if there were a key press to cancel the focus, such as pressing the escape key after entry.

If anyone else finds this frustrating, please add a comment (or +1) and perhaps it may galvanise some action from Trimble.

Thanks. Just what I needed. I would still prefer the soft return rather than the double return.

The double enter to exit 2d texts is quite annoying. I’ve always just assumed you have to hold shift to get a line break because that’s the convention for text inputs that supports multi line input but primarily are used for single line input. The double enter for closing also prevents users from making double line breaks (very useful to logically group comments). It had annoyed me for some time that the second enter press exits the text even when I hold down shift and I haven’t even noticed SketchUp ignores shift being pressed. I think this part of the UI could really benefit from adhering to the convention, i.e. submit text on enter and making line breaks on shift+enter.

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I’ve messed up the naming of entities and layers so many times because of this user interface design decision, and often I don’t realise until long after I’ve done it, usually when I’m tearing my hair out looking for the thing that I’ve accidentally renamed with a keyboard shortcut.

I don’t know that I understand the ‘double-enter’ thing, but it doesn’t appear to work on Mac.

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Pressing enter twice, double tab, double return, shift-enter, escape key. None of these work on the Mac and there is currently no way to move the focus from the text entry box, whether it is layer name, component name or any other field box. This means that if your next keyboard press is a shortcut then you will rename the text. Despite knowing this for years, it still catches me out and I find layers titled with a space and have to spend time fixing my error to avoid enormous difficulty down the line or within Layout.

What frustrates me most is that this is an easy and quick fix for the coders and a simple check box in the general preferences would allow users to amend the apps behaviour. There is certainly no shortage of comments and desire for such a simple amendment.

a single tab, after a single enter, works on my iMac…

how do you have ‘tabbing’ set in System Preferences?


a single tab moves the focus on to the next text field on my Mac, but that just shifts the problem on to the next field in the panel. An action that removes the focus from text entry fields altogether is what’s required.

I recently discovered that if an object is selected at the time, Command-Shift-A for Deselect All does so and seems to close the text entry. That doesn’t solve all cases.

that’s better than nothing! Thanks.