How to Enter Dimensions in SketchUp

The 3D design program Google SketchUp has at least two ways for users to enter dimensions. One is through typing a dimensioning figure either during or immediately after you draw a shape such as a line, rectangle or circle. Another way is by using the mouse together with the Dimension tool. With the first approach, you can enter dimension figures in any common unit such as inches, feet or meters. The units of the second approach are in inches by default.

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The “Model Info” window lets you select default units for SketchUp models.

Type Dimensions

Step

Open SketchUp, then click the toolbar’s “Line” tool.

Step

Drag a short distance. SketchUp displays a text box showing the length of the line.

Step

Type “40’” to extend the line to 40 feet.

Step

Type “40”” to shrink the line to 40 inches. You can enter other common units of measurement, such as “cm” for centimeters and “m” for meters.

Step

Press “Enter” to finish the line.

Step

Click the “Rectangle” tool on the toolbar, then drag on the ground plane to define the rectangle.

Step

Click to finish the rectangle, then type any two numbers separated by a comma. For example, type “20”,40”” to specify a rectangle measuring 20 by 40 inches. As with the line drawing, you can specify abbreviations for common units.

Step

Click the toolbar’s “Circle” tool, then drag to define the circle, followed by clicking to finish this shape.

Step

Type a dimension number as you did for the previous shapes. This number tells SketchUp what radius to draw the circle to.

Use the Dimension Tool

Step

Open SketchUp, then click the “Rectangle” tool on the toolbar.

Step

Drag on the ground plane to grow the rectangle, then click to finish the rectangle.

Step

Click the “Tools” menu heading, then click the “Dimension” item in that menu.

Step

Click the end of one edge of the rectangle you drew in Step 2, then click the other end. This tells SketchUp that you want the Dimension tool to display the length of the selected edge. That length now appears atop the edge.

Step

Drag the mouse away from the rectangle. The dimension text follows the cursor. This action lets you pull the dimension text away from the object it’s measuring, which is essential for clear drawings.

Step

Click the mouse to finalize the dimension label.

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Press “Space” to pick up the Selection tool, then click an edge of the rectangle adjacent to the one you applied the Dimension tool to.

Step

Click the toolbar’s “Move” tool, then drag the selected edge to move it. The Dimension tool’s text automatically changes to reflect the current length of the edge it’s measuring. This means that you can enter precise measurements by using the Move tool with the Dimension tool.