Zoom through walls horribly slow


I’m sure this has been asked many times, but a search of this forum did not find a solution.

When zooming out, if you go through a wall accidentally (very easy to do if you’re trying to get the best perspective from the corner of a room) then try to reverse and go back a bit, zooming slows waaaaaaay down. You have to scroll and scroll and scroll to push through the wall, then it speeds way up again, putting you too far into the room.

Who thought this was a good idea, and why isn’t there at least a preference to turn this annoying behavior off?



Hi Michael,

When you find yourself suddenly boxed in; stop. Click … Camera > Previous

SketchUp stores the camera position every time you pause.
IIRC the camera position buffer retains six previous positions.
There’s an extension which boosts the buffer to twenty.

Previous is also one of the native tools of the Camera Toolbar
Camera Menu (Windows)



If all you want to do is get out of your wall fast, try panning or rotate sideways, I find it’s the quick simple solution.
Also, if you use scenes a lot, make a hotkey to the next or previous scene that way you can get out of the wall with the least mouse clicks/key press. I use " ` " as mine as it’s free and near all of my common hotkeys.


As previously stated, panning is a good way to get out. Just hold SHIFT while orbiting with the middle mouse button to pan. Camera -> Previous is very handy at times, but I tend to use other methods because if I’ve backed into something, it’s because I actually WANT to have my camera at that perspective to get a better view of what I’m working on. So I like to focus on hiding the wall I backed into, instead of re-positioning my camera.

Here are semphasized textome ways to temporarily hide things like walls in order to provide you with a better view of what you’re working on: The key to these methods is setting up custom keyboard shortcuts so you can quickly toggle them.

  • I set N to Edit -> Hide, and J to Edit -> Unhide -> Last. So when I find myself trapped in a wall, I just select the wall I’m in (Simply by clicking anywhere on the screen with the Select tool, lol), and tap N to hide it. When I’m done and want to bring the wall back, I tap J to “unhide last”.
  • If I’m editing a group, and find myself backing into geometry that’s OUTSIDE the group, a use the “Hide rest of Model” setting found in View -> Component Edit -> Hide Rest of Model. I set a custom keyboard shortcut for that too, assigning it to the letter X. I toggle this on and off ALL the time when modeling.


Thank you, everyone, for the replies. The Camera > Previous command is helpful.

My real question, though, is what is the purpose of this seemingly idiotic behavior? Does slowing way down when you are against a wall help in some way? Why not just always zoom in and out at the same speed? Why can you back up through a wall quickly but have to go forward so slowly? Makes no sense.



The reason is simple … distance.

Theoretically, SketchUp’s model space extends to infinity.
In practice, SketchUp is capable of models several kilometers in size.

Thus urban planners can use SketchUp to create very large models encompassing many city blocks.
While others can use the same SketchUp tools to model much smaller objects, say, a faucet handle.
SketchUp’s camera behavior supports both.

As you zoom by rolling the mouse wheel the Camera travels straight towards or away from the exact point in 3D space upon which you have placed the cursor.
The distance the camera travels with each revolution of the scroll wheel is proportional to the distance between Camera and cursor location in 3D space.

That is…
The greater the distance between Camera and cursor location in 3D space …
The greater distance the camera travels with each revolution of the wheel.

That proportional behavior enables the camera to traverse great distances efficiently while providing increasingly precise control as the distance from camera to target becomes less and less.

Consequently when you back the camera through a face the distance from camera to target (face) is minimal and camera travel per revolution of the scroll wheel is, as you now know, in proportion to that tiny distance.

It’s best to stop the moment you’re lost inside geometry or inadvertently zoomed into outer space.
New users tend to continue flailing about zooming, orbiting and panning which readily purges the desired view from the camera buffer.



Position your cursor over some geometry for spatial reference when zooming.


Use a 3D connexion 3D mouse and walls aren’t a problem anymore. They should ship a 3D mouse together with SketchUp! I can’t live without one for working with SketchUp.


Good Point! Yes, a 3Dconnexxion mouse completely eliminates this from happening.