Text tool caught me out!

2017 version Hi guys, I just fell foul of the text tool’s ability to show the 3D co-ordinates. I had an issue closing a face which I resolved by checking the co-ords and after having fixed it I had to do little resizing using push pull. I then wanted to do something else and from my other experiences was expecting the co-ords to update but noticed that although they moved with the face they were exactly the same so I guess the clue was the tool is named Text tool and not co-ords.
The 2 screenshots are just to highlight the point. I pulled the face of the cube an arbitrary distance and you can see the upper red and green co-ords remain the same. I then used the text tool on the lower corner to give the accurate coordinates which I can get for the the others by deleting them and redoing them.
Is there any way using native tools to automatically update the spacial co-ords or am I stuck with this clunky way of doing it? - not that I have much practical use for it, just working my through the program’s foibles!
Screen Shot 2021-05-26 at 14.07.18

The Text tool creates fixed text that doesn’t change after it is placed. It is not specifically a coordinate tool. What you see is normal operation for it. What the tool shows initially depends on what you anchor it to. If you click on an edge it gives you the length initially, if you click on a component it shows the component’s definition name.

The only way to update the coordinates is, as you have found, to replace the label with a new one.

Thanks Dave that’s exactly what I thought as it is called Text tool. I know it’s purpose and therefore limitation so won’t get caught out again.

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I had a look to see if there’s an extension that would place dynamic coordinates but haven’t found one. To be honest, the only time I have ever been interested in showing the coordinates of points in the model is when I’m troubleshooting models I get from other users and I want to show them that they’ve gotten things a little off axis. In my own modeling I’ve never found any use for them. But that’s just me.

Just out of interest is there a way of entering a 3D coordinate directly - just exploring the program!

I think you can use absolute coordinates inside square brackets, as a target for Move tool at least, and probable wherever you could otherwise specify a point by inferencing. Or inside angle brackets for a relative (to current start point) location.

I see DaveR replying - he will likely have a definitive answer.

You can move something to a 3D coordinate point or end a line at one if that’s what you mean. Start moving the object or drawing the line and then type <x,y,z> for relative coordinates or [x,y,z] for absolute coordinates.

You could also place a guidepoint at coordinates using the same methods but using the Tape Measure tool after clicking on a point.


Be aware that if you bring your model into the Layout program the Layout dimensions will adjust as the model changes.


That’s the one for me, I’ll give it a go.

Chris makes a good point about LayOut however since you are using Make, that’s not a thing for you at the moment. Of course you could always upgrade to Pro and get LayOut.

Thanks Chris. I’m still working 2017 and free web as a woodworker, and am assessing the need to upgrade to pro. I manage ok at the moment,

Thanks Dave I was just replying to Chris when your response came in.

You’re welcome.

Depending on what you need from your SketchUp models you might find a lot of value in going to Pro and including LayOut in your workflow. It’s handy for creating plans, patterns, CAD exports for CNC, and other things.

Recently I designed an outdoor dining table for a professional woodworker client. I was able to give him dimensioned drawings to work from as well as a PDF to print full size to make patterns from. This is a screen shot of it without the dimensions and some other details.

Later he found a guy would cut plywood patterns with a CNC router. In a few seconds I created a dxf file from the LO file to send to that guy and presto it was done.

Thanks Dave.

See this SU file for ideas, using the Dimension Tool. Use the Push/Pull tool or the Move tool on this cube to see how the dimensions are updated automatically. It is not as compact as the Text Tool but it might be a valuable alternative in some cases.

Dimensions update.skp (88.7 KB)

Thanks for this.