I like drawing with the tab key for dimensions. I’ve been doing that in PowerDraw/PowerCADD for over 30 years now. In particular, it works very well with the Wacom tablet: once you hit Tab, it stops tracking the mouse position for drawing purposes, so your hand with the pen is free to move about. Not so with SketchUp which is entirely designed around the assumption of a three button, wheel mouse which will stay PERFECTLY still when you take your hand off it. The mouse position has to stay perfectly still, or the number you type in the VCB gets wiped out. Just try typing a number and then bumping the mouse with your hand and see what happens. It’s impossible to hold the Wacom pen perfectly still. I have adapted as best I can, and the one savior of the VDB feature set is that you can type a number after you clicked to set a value. I draw in the right direction and click to set some arbitrary value (which frees up the pen to move), and then type the value I want in the VDB. In fact, like the array tool, you can type different numbers and return over and over as long as you don’t start another drawing operation yet.
I’ve thought of asking for a feature to use the Tab key, but never bothered as I expected the responses as you see. The one possibility is to have two modes of numeric entry:
- Exactly as it is now for everyone who likes it that way so long as you don’t hit Tab, which you’re told not to do anyway
- A field based alternate system that is invoked by hitting the Tab key.
That way everyone could have it their way, but I doubt there’s much motivation to implement this.