How to Move Things in SketchUp - dummies

How to Move Things in SketchUp

By Aidan Chopra

To move things in SketchUp, use the Move tool. The Move tool is the one that looks like four red arrows. Using this tool involves clicking the entity you want to move, moving it to where you want it to be, and clicking again to drop it. The maneuver isn’t complicated, but getting the hang of it takes a bit of time.

Here are tips for using Move successfully:

  • Click, move, and click. Don’t drag your mouse. Just like using the Line tool, try to avoid the temptation to use the Move tool by clicking and dragging with your mouse; doing so makes things a lot harder. Instead, practice clicking once to pick things up, moving your mouse without any buttons held down, and clicking again to put down whatever you’re moving.

  • Click a point that will let you position whatever you’re trying to move exactly where you want when you drop it (instead of just clicking anywhere on the thing you’re trying to move to pick it up).

    The figure shows two boxes that you want to stack on top of each other precisely. If you just click anywhere on the first box and move it over the other one, you can’t place it where you want; SketchUp just doesn’t work that way.


    To stack the boxes precisely, you have to click the bottom corner of the soon-to-be top box to grab it there and then move your cursor over the top corner of the bottom box to drop it. Now your boxes are lined up perfectly.

  • Press the Esc key to cancel a move operation. Here’s something beginners do all the time: They start to move something (or start moving something accidentally) and then they change their minds. Instead of pressing Esc, they try to use Move to put things back the way they were. Inevitably, they don’t, and things get messed up.

    If you change your mind in the middle of moving something, just press Esc, and everything goes back to the way it was.

  • Don’t forget about inferences. To move something in one of the colored directions, just wait until you see the dotted On Axis linear inference appear; then hold down Shift to lock yourself in that direction.

  • Don’t forget about the Measurements box. You can move things precise distances with the Measurements box.