How to Draw and Erase a SketchUp Model’s Edges

By Aidan Chopra

Being able to use the Line tool without having to think too much about it is the secret to being able to model anything you want in SketchUp. You use the Line tool to draw individual edges, and because SketchUp models are really just fancy collections of edges, anything you can make in SketchUp, you can make with the Line tool.

SketchUp models are made up of edges and faces. Any time you have three or more edges that are connected and on the same plane, SketchUp creates a face. If you erase one of the edges that defines, or borders, a face, the face disappears, too.

Drawing edges is simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Select the Line tool on the Draw menu (some people call it the Pencil tool).

  2. Click where you want your line to begin.

  3. Move your cursor to the desired endpoint for your line and click again to end.

    When you draw a line segment with the Line tool, notice how SketchUp automatically tries to draw another line? This is called rubber banding — the Line tool lets you continue to draw edge segments, automatically starting each new one at the end of the previous one you drew.

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  4. When you want the Line tool to stop drawing lines, press the Esc key to snip the line at the last spot you clicked.

SketchUp lets you draw lines in two ways: You can either use the click-drag-release method or the click-move-click one. You’ll have more control with click-move-click, and your hand won’t get as tired. When you draw edges by clicking and dragging your mouse (click-drag-release), you’re a lot more likely to “drop” your line accidentally.

Because the Line tool draws only straight lines, think about using it less like a pencil (even though it looks like one) and more like a spool of sticky thread.

The Eraser tool is specifically designed for erasing edges; use it by clicking the edges you don’t like to delete them. You can also drag over edges with the Eraser, but that’s a little harder to get used to.