Who uses the stretch modifier key?


Continuing the discussion from Geometry check please:
About the differences of the move tool and the pushpull tool; it looks like you pushpull a face when
you move a face in a perpendicular direction of the face, but you are actually ‘stretching’ the adjacent geometry behind it. In simple geometry like straight beams it doesn’t make a difference if you use pushpull or move (on a single face)
If you click the + modifier key (Ctrl for Windows,Alt for Mac) you will see the differences between the two.
There is also a stretch modifier key with the pushpull tool, which is kind of ‘hidden’ ( eg. it is not mentioned in the lower left statusbar, only in the instructor .gif)
The only difference between moving a (single) face and pushpulling with the stretch modifier key (Alt for Windows, Cmd for Mac) is that with move, you can go any direction, whilst with the pushpull, the direction is constraint by the normal of the face.
Btw, Does anybody out there even uses the stretch-modifier?

Push and pull tool

I have to admit I was not aware of that function, instead I use the move tool to create similar results but I will be trying this shortcut now!


I don’t use any modifier key, as a mechanic with no cad experience I really just struggle with the basics, the only reason I started using SU was to be able to make things to a plan as my woodwork skills are only fractionally better than my SU skills


Doesn’t work on my machine. Alt just brings focus to the menu bar. Alt works as modifier key in Move tool though, and several of my own extensions where I have onKeyDown return true when Alt is pressed.

Since 2017 (I believe) there is also a Perpendicular to Face inference that gives this functionality to move tool.


Unlike the Ctrl, it is not a toggle… maybe an extension is conficting?:smiley:


I use them both but rarely and vary rarely on the P/P one, and I would never suggest them to a beginner as I think they are just a bit too confusing.


I think the autofold modifier with the move tool confuses a great number of new users, too. Sometimes, depending on the student, I do not reveal the modifier key’s at all! (At least, in the first two hours or so)


Got it to work now. Apparently you have to hold down Alt when picking the face and not once you have picked it which is how all other modifier keys I can think of work in SU. I’m glad this feature isn’t mention in the status bar as it is extremely counter intuitive and rather difficult to use. I wouldn’t mind if it was hidden from the instructor too so people don’t run into problems using it.


As it is now, the modifier does what Move would do but restricts the movement to perpendicular to the face. It might be more useful if it could stretch the adjacent faces without changing their direction, like this:


I have to say I was unaware of this modifier. I find myself routinely turning to the move tool because more often than not, I’m stretching something more complex than just moving a face, so, when it is just a face, I turn to the move tool anyway out of habit.

Fredo’s Joint Push Pull does this, I believe. There are so many options, however, I don’t remember how without looking at documentation.


I too, never realized that the stretch modifier exists. I just tried it, and for sure I will use it when I want the face move to be constrained.

Thanks for bringing it to light.


doesn’t work on my windows machine


Don’t hit [Alt], hold it down first and only then apply ‘P/P’ tool.

p.s. same procedure applies to pulling a face perpendicular with the ‘Smove’ tool and mofifier key [Shift] . Hold down [Shift] and while doing so select ‘Smove’ and move a face perpendicular (along its normal) instead of in vertical direction.


A good example of why I never teach it.


I think also there is a plug-in called “Smart Pushpull” made by a4chitect that does this. I didn’t see it on RLD so maybe it’s on SkUcation.


It was a student who pointed me on this, actually.
I always tell them to have the instructor panel open in the beginning, for quick reference of what the active tool is all about. I wish the instructor panel could be used to show quick GIF ‘s of extension tools, too!
That would really speed up the learning curve on all the different extensions!
I even have someone in mind to produce the various gif’s :wink:
@Anssi : I do not think in terms of ‘more usefull’ then this or that, sometimes this is preferable, sometimes another (extension) method.
@Wo3Dan: perhaps the smove tools originated from the modified pushpulll, back in the day’s? My earliest version is 7, the modifier key is there.


Fully agree. This would be a really great addition to the help tools, and is even more needed (on an ongoing basis) than the instructor for the native tools. (Once you’ve learned the tools, it’s rare that you’ll use/need the instructor for them). Has anyone filed this as a Feature Request?

This is because of the variation in methods and UI that extensions introduce — it takes a long time to internalize all of the different approaches — and it’s disruptive to workflow to have to search tutorials / pdf manuals / author websites to remind yourself again of how your less-used extensions work


Good teachers are those that remember what it was like to learn.
I started teaching ‘my trade’ when I was a 17 year old apprentice. I remember telling my first class that I didn’t know everything, but what I did know they were welcome to. Turned out I knew more than I thought and continued to learn more and teach more. But I do my best to never forget those little eureka moments where I suddenly got the point of a fundamental concept.

Those fundamentals have never included the weird rarely used unknown modifiers. Those come later when your muscle memory is already working well. For me, even explaining Cardinal points is borderline. They are so incredibly simple but I remember being totally confused by them when starting. Coming to understand scaling the geometry of a circle on one axis can create a cone is one thing, but then being blown away later when you can do it with just the move tool in my mind needs to be at a later date. Learning anything should come in increments, steps that can be remembered which reinforce the logic of the lesson.
Simple version, if you learn how to stitch two different sized circles together to create a smooth curved face you may come to understand the basics of the geometry. But if you were taught to use curviloft for this action you’d be limited in your structural understanding and only ever be able to create the face with a plugin.

All of the brilliant little hidden gems within the software are there for those that continue to learn after they have ‘mastered’ it.
I love it when a student comes to me and says, ‘look box did you know you could do this!’ …my students have ‘taught’ me so much.

RTFM, watch the vids, wander through the endless tutorials, never stop learning and use and practice what is good for you.
Others will do things other ways, be open to their ways, but only if they are better for your specific workflow.

I think I have wandered way off topic. Sorry about that.


it can…

The getInstructorContentDirectory method is used to tell SketchUp the directory containing your Tool's instructor content. To use this, create a custom instructor directory, put an index.html file inside of it, and then return that path via this method. If the SketchUp user has the Instructor window open when they activate your tool, they will see your html file.

few have ever used it…



That sounds promising!