How to move objects in SketchUp?

move objects in sketchup
Logo CAD by DBS – Daniel Bieńkowski – SketchUp plugin developer Daniel Bieńkowski
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All General

So you create in your SketchUp 3d model few objects and now you need to move them. It's simple task. You are familiar with native tools.

But what if the precision is required?

Or moving plane is not obvious?

What if this is repetitive task?

In this article you can find information about:

  1. SketchUp move tool
  2. SketchUp rotate tool
  3. Tips and tricks
  4. Open close plugin
  5. Movable joints extension

How to move around in sketchup?

The SketchUp Move tool is a powerful feature that allows users to precisely manipulate and reposition objects within a 3D model. With this tool, you can easily move entities.

To use SketchUp move function simply select the tool from the toolbar or pressing the "M" key.

sketchup move tool menu

Starting from beginning you need to know that there is a difference if you select first entity and activate the tool or you do the opposite way. When you activate it you gain access to a set of interactive handles. These handles enable you to grab and manipulate objects along specific axes or planes.

Look at the status bar to check all possible modification keys.

sketchup status bar

Next important area is "Distance" status bar in the bottom right corner. During the move there is a exact movement distance value. Notice that it is shown with model unit and precision settings.

When the tool is activated and object is moving you can use numeric keyboard to set precise move distance.

sketchup measurement bar

Moving in XYZ (red, green, blue) axes is quite simple. To make sure that movement axis will be on one of those, use arrow keys to lock move vector.

If you need move SketchUp object in specific direction watch below video to learn how to move in SketchUp along the edge.

SketchUp rotate

To rotate entities you need to use SketchUp rotate tool. You can do that from tool bar button, Main menu in the Tools section or with "Q" keyboard short-key.

select sketchup rotate tool

Same as with move tool when you activate it check status bar to see possible modification options.

Around the cursor you will see protractor drawn. It shows the rotation SketchUp plane. It changes colors accordingly to the red, green, blue axes.

To lock rotation plane use SHIFT key.

sketchup rotate status bar

In the measurement bar there is an move "Angle" shown.

sketchup rotate measurements bar

To see how to move entity on the specific plane and around the specific point watch below video.

Tips and tricks

Among many tricks you can use look at the one presented on that video. You can easily check the distance between SketchUp entities during move by placing before dimension between them.

Open close plugin

Need precise move or rotation?

Use free SketchUp Move Rotate extension.

Movable joints extension

Advanced extension allows in SketchUp move objects in specified way. Configure joint chains with many entities one time and use this move and rotate extension to make it easy to position 3d objects.