What tools can you use in a section cut?

Ok. I drew up a building, and I did the exteriors. I didn’t draw a single interior. I know that seems bass ackwards. What can I say? But now I want to draw a few interior walls in just one room out of all that are in the building. How do I do it? When I select my section cut area, and I try to use the off set tool - it doesn’t work. Nor can I draw any lines.

On one of the on line videos - by Adrien Chapra he mentions you can work on your model after making a cut, but doesn’t elaborate. After looking at a few more videos - I find no one explains exactly how one does that.

So? How is it done? I just have to draw a few walls and open up a door and some windows in the one store. I don’t care about anything else in the building. Just the room the construction work is being done in.


The section plane tool displays just a " visual cut" of your model, not a real one. You cannot work on top of it, unless you right click on it and select “create group from slice”. This group will be created at the exact position in which your section plane is, so you won´t see it unless you turn it temporary off.
I´m not sure what you want to do, but I would draw any interior wall starting from the floor plane.

1 Like

That makes sense. I ended up making a copy and erasing wholesale stuff that was in the way so I could draw the new walls. I can make a scene of that and put in the layout plans.

There must be an easier way to do it. I have a client that changes her mind constantly and moves walls around. Since she is hand drawing the plans, it is easy for her to modify the plans, but it sounds much harder in sketchup. I didn’t realize that aspect of the program.

I guess I really need to learn to use groups and components - I saw a video where the speaker simply moved parts of the house out of the way and put them back later. That would have made it a lot easier to move walls around, if they were a separate component or group.


I have several projects where I just used SU for the exterior perspectives and elevations and no interiors, so you’re not alone. Every time you start to make something in SU, you need to ask yourself what your end goal is to get out of it, then you either be sure to include what you’ll need, or not waste time on what isn’t necessary.

Section cuts sometimes help for editing and sometimes not. For example, if you do a section plane in plan (looking down), you’ll see the bottoms of your walls where they meet the floor, but not the tops of the walls where they meet the ceiling. That makes it difficult for a task like moving or adding walls; you can’t see some of the stuff you want to select and work on.

Absolutely. Lesson one for every SU user is that once you get beyond a dozen or so lines and faces, everything you draw in SketchUp must be part of a group or component. If you model a building by mimicking a BIM program by making the floor a solid group and each wall a solid group and the ceiling a solid group, you can not only move them around and edit them more easily, you can temporarily hide parts like the ceiling to look inside and work on the model. The approach can introduce lines where you don’t really want them, and dealing with that can lead to a really long discussion. BIM programs have a system of approach all laid out for you, but SketchUp gives you the freedom to create your own approach, and people have written whole books on their own systems of approach.

Another way to look at interiors that’s not often considered is not to model and group the solid things that make up a building, but rather the spaces that make up a building. I’ve done this at times, but that idea will probably get a lot of blowback from others.


yes, and …

That is a ridiculous workflow. Modelers need to learn to group or componentize features of their designs and associate these with display layers. Layers can then simply be switched off (hidden) to get at other things when they are “in the way.”

Also, each entities context can have it’s own set of section planes, of which one cut can be active at a time. So IF your building was a component of it’s own, you could have an internal section cut for it (let’s say horizontal) allowing you to see down inside it,…

… and then you CAN draw outside that context through the buildings section cut, but inside the building. You can do this because you are outside of the context that “owns” the section plane. (Meaning, a Sketchup::SectionPlane object is a subclass of Sketchup::Entity and therefore is one of the entities owned by an entities collection, …ie, the model, or components.)

So like any entity object, if you are outside of that geometric context, you do not need to worry about what you are drawing interacting with geometry in other contexts.

Stop guessing. This is one of the first workflows you should have learned with SketchUp. It is essential.

1 Like

Well, When I first started drawing it, I didn’t know there was work on the inside of the building. All I needed was a birds eye view of the building on the lot and a couple elevations. Then they told me about the interior work - which I didn’t think was all that much of a big deal to add later. Well, I was really wrong in that.

Question: I am going to load my model in Layout, which the last time I attempted to use, nearly drove me around the bend. Tonight, I opened one of the landscape A3 sheets with the title block on the side which I want to use for all the sheets, however, it makes a cover sheet that does not have the title block on the side. The rest of the sheets have the title block on the side. I can’t seem to delete it. Is there a way to get rid of it? I just named sheet 1 cover sheet as a work around.

The title block and other entities are assigned their visibility individually for each page in the Layers window (Windows>Layers). Navigate to the page you want to edit and in the layers window click the eye to toggle visibility for a given layer, or delete.

thank you very much guys for all the replies i’ve seen here. really useful for me. thanks again! i was just wondering if i might come back here asking questions in case i would have some? i ask it as i’m new here. thank you

Well, I mostly use SketchUp for drawing small stuff like drawing things i need fabricated, such as custom drange hood ducts flashings for the sheet metal on top of wood beams and sometimes I use it to draw up a room addition for client to help visualize what they want me to build.
In the past I would just draw something up on SketchUp and give it to a draftsman who drew it in AutoCAD for submittal to the city.
This is a similar project in that they want me to strip all the stone veneer off this building but I have to get it permit so I thought I’ll just use SketchUp to draw the plans. I’m not selling my services as an architect if that’s what has you flummoxed.
Most of the stuff that I’ve done in the past I didn’t need components and I didn’t need groups because it was so minor, which is how I find myself in this mess because I never learned how to do it because I never needed to.
I hope that clarifies it for you.

This is the Layout stuff that drives me crazy:

  1. no pan tool. It is really slow to use the sliders to move around in the page

  2. I open a blue box - import one of the scenes I have saved. I get it positioned, scaled, dimensioned. Then I try to open a blue box on the same sheet to insert another scene. I click on the select arrow, I look through the menus. I can’t find anything that says what to do. I think - maybe I need to insert the model. I click insert and the model pops up in a new blue box, I go to the next scene, fiddle around with it, go to position it and find my first blue window has changed the scale and everything is messed up, half the dimensions have changed and some have not. So I have to redo it.

  3. I put my logo on the page, but I can’t figure out where or how to insert it into the red your logo goes here box. I look at some videos and can’t find any that address how to make a title block. I give up, and move the red box away and erase it since I can’t find out how to put my logo in it. I move my logo over to the title block. But on the next sheet it is not saved.

  4. I use the dimension tool and scale my lot to 100 ft. But for some reason the dimension is not perpendicular to the model. I think I’ll just tweak it a bit, so i select it to move it, and suddenly it thinks my model is 17 feet long. So I delete the dimension and redo it.

  5. I read somewhere that LO has all the textures that are found in SU so I don’t put textures on my model, because it won’t show up on hidden line. So the one I want - crushed stone - would be really easy to apply if there were a paint bucket tool. But no. Now I have to go watch some videos on how to do that.

  6. The preserve scale button keeps unchecking itself

  7. I was told I need to learn the program - but I look in vain to find out how to insert my logo. I spend more time looking at videos in the hopes they tell me how to work the program. For a good tutorial that is aimed at a person who isn’t familiar with it and doesn’t omit steps, or blaze past them so fast I can’t follow what is being done.Trying to learn it this way is crazy.


About #1, do you see a Pan option in the View menu?

Not in LO I don’t. Oh - it is in the pull down menu. Oy vey! How do I move the view tools onto the menu?G

I know how to do that on Mac, not sure about Windows. With Mac you can command-click on the tool bar to customize it.

Meanwhile, typing h will show the hand tool.

A couple things - first I was amazed to find I had the same questions when I first tried LO, which I discovered when I asked the same questions today. Duh! But the answers given then helped me a lot now. I haven’t touched the program in a few years.

I managed to get the plans up and ready for printing, despite my wining and crying as posted above. Now that I have crossed that hurdle, I have to admit I feel better about the program.

So thanks for the answers and putting up with me once again.


This topic was automatically closed 91 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.