SketchUp Tutorial | Getting Started Toolset

  • Getting started toolset, These are the tools you will start out with when launching SketchUp and are very important to know before starting to 3D model an object. We will start by adding the view toolbar (if they are not already activated), View->Toolbars, then select the Getting Started box. This will bring up a tab that looks like this:
  • Selection tool, this tool is used to select objects, lines, and faces. To use select the icon and left click the object you want to select. Or hit your spacebar on your keyboard for a keyboard shortcut. Icon:

  • Eraser tool, this allows you to erase lines, components, and groups with ease. To use select the eraser icon from your toolbar and hold left click over the lines you wish to remove. Icon:
  • Pencil tool, this tool allows you to create line segments from point a to point b. To use select the tool and hold left click and drag until you get the length you want. Or left click once to start the line and left click again to finish it, then click escape if you are not going to continue the line segment.  Icon:

  • Freehand, (found in the dropdown from pencil tool) this tool allows you to draw freehand, it is very hard to work with and I would not suggest it if you are trying to be accurate. To use select the tool from the toolbar or hit "L" on your keyboard and hold left click and drag. Icon:
  • Two point arc, (Found in the dropdown from arc tool) this tool allows you to create an arc from two points and then lifting up the arc. To use select tool and left click two points in your model then lift up to the desired height. Icon:
  • Three-point arc, (Found in the dropdown from arc tool) this tool allows you to create arcs from the midpoint then creating a partial or full circle. To use select tool and left click to place the midpoint of the arc, then pull out to create the radius of the circle. Now simply pull mouse and left click when you have the satisfactory arc. Icon:
  • 3 Point circumference, (Found in the dropdown from arc tool) this tool allows you to create a circle from two points then will bulge out the arc. To use select two points in your model and drag out until you get the desired arc. Icon:
  • Closed arc from a center, (Found in the dropdown from arc tool) this tool allows you to create a closed arc from the midpoint. To use select tool and left click once to create the midpoint, then select another point to create the radius, next select another point to determine the how much of the circle you are going to use. Icon:
  • Rectangle tool, (Found in the dropdown from the rectangle tool) this tool allows you to create rectangles/squares. To use select the tool and left click once where you want to start the corner of the rectangle and left click in another location to finish the rectangle. Icon:
  • Rectangle face, (Found in the dropdown from rectangle tool) this tool allows you to make a rectangle from three points rather than two and can be more accurate. To use select tool and left click to start then left click again up or down from your starting point to make the length/width and finally finish the rectangle by going the opposite direction from the second point. Icon:
  • Circle, (Found in the dropdown from the rectangle tool) this tool allows you to create a 2D circle. To use select tool and left click to create the mid-point for the circle, then select another point to finish the circle. Icon:
  • Polygon, (Found in the dropdown from the rectangle tool) this tool allows you to create any sort of polygon you want. To use select tool and type in the number of faces you want for your polygon and click enter. Next left click to create the mid-point for the polygon and select another point to finish the polygon. Icon:
  • Push-Pull tool, this tool let you make 3D objects from 2D faces, for instance, you can pull up a rectangle and make it into a 3D one. To use, select the push-pull tool from your toolbar, or press "p" on your keyboard for a shortcut, and select the face you wish to extrude. Then drag your mouse and click again to finish. Push-pull icon:
  • Offset tool, this tool allows you to offset 2D faces, for instance, if you want to create a square inside of another square you can do this very easily. To use select the offset tool from your toolbar, next select your 2D face and move your mouse in or out to offset the border, or type the angle you want. Offset icon:
  • Move tool, this tool allows you to move objects in any axes of your workspace. To use select the move icon, or press "m" on your keyboard for a shortcut, and select your object, then move your mouse to where you wish to place it. Icon:
  • Rotate Tool, this tool allows you to rotate objects quickly and easily. To use select the rotate tool from your toolbar and select the objects you wish to rotate. If you want to rotate 90d you can start the rotation and then type in "90" and hit enter. Rotate Icon:
  • Scale tool, this tool allows you to scale objects to make them larger or smaller. To use select the objects you wish to enlarge or decrease and select the scale tool from the toolbar. Select one of the yellow boxes that will appear around your model and move your mouse out or in to scale your model. Scale icon:
  • Measuring tape, this tool allows you to create dotted construction lines along your model to then use as a pattern to draw lines. To use, select the tool from the toolbar and left click once on a line segment to start the construction line, then select another point/line segment to finish it. Icon:
  • Text string, this tool allows you to add notes to your model that has a line segment from what you attach it to with a note box at the end. To use, select the tool from the toolbar and hold right click from a point you want to add a note to. To change the text box double tap left click and this will let you change the note. Icon:
  • Paint bucket, this tool allows you to texture objects in your model. This will give you perspective and speed up the designing aspect of your model. To use, select the paint bucket icon from the toolbar and it should open up a tab on the left side of your workspace titled "Materials":
  •  You can select preset materials from the dropdown or upload your own. To upload your own select the icon: 
  • This will bring up another tab entitled "Create material..." you can edit textures here too. To upload your own textures select the folder icon: 
  • Next, select your filetype. Once uploaded, you have several options. You can set the size of the image texture as well as the Opacity, color, and basic patterns. Select OK when finished. Another option you have is to pick color tool, this will allow you to select pre-existing texture colors in your model. To use, select the dropper icon and select a face. Dropper Icon location:
  •  To paint your objects select the texture you wish to use and right click the faces you want to texture. Bucket Icon: 
  • The most common is the orbit tool. To use hold your middle mouse button down and slide mouse around to get different perspectives of your model. Or select orbit icon from the view tab and hold and drag left mouse button to move perspective. Icon:
  • Panning tool, the panning tool is to move across the view face in a left, right, up down way. To use this tool hold shift+middle button and slide mouse across the screen. Or select the hand icon from the view tab and hold left click and drag to move your perspective.  Icon:
  • Zoom, the zoom tool is to get a close-up or zoom out of a model. To use, scroll middle mouse button forward and backward to zoom in and out of your model. Or select icon from view tab and drag left mouse button up and down to zoom in and out. Icon:
  • Zoom fit, this tool allows you to zoom out until the model fits your perspective screen. To use, select tool from the toolbar and will bring the perspective to see everything in your model. Icon:
  • Open Warehouse, this will bring up another tab called the warehouse, you can find models that other people have uploaded by using the keyword search at the top. To import models, select the model you want and select the red download button at the bottom. Open warehouse icon:
  • Extension warehouse, this allows you to download extensions other people have made for SketchUp, such as exporting to certain file types that SketchUp doesn't normally do. This speeds up the process of doing menial tasks as well as creating something that isn't even in SketchUp naturally. To use, select the extension warehouse tool from the toolbar and it will bring up the extension warehouse tab:
  • Search the extension you wish to add. Then press the download button to upload it to SketchUp. Extension warehouse icon:
  • Send to layout, this tool allows you to send your current model to layout for further documentation. To use simply select the send to layout tool from the toolbar and this will open layout with your model already imported. Icon:
  • Extension manager, this allows you to view your current plugins installed and managing them such as removing and updating. To use select the extension manager tool from the toolbar and this will bring up a tab showing the current extensions installed. Icon: