How to Set Up SketchUp - dummies

By Aidan Chopra

Setup is boring. Who wants to flip through all of SketchUp’s menus and options dialog boxes instead of jumping in? Keep this short and sweet. Just make sure you start at the right place.

Follow these steps to get ready:

  1. Launch SketchUp.

  2. Choose your default settings.

    If you’ve never launched SketchUp on your computer before, the Welcome to SketchUp dialog box appears. Here’s what to do if it pops up:

    1. Click the Choose Template button in the upper right.

    2. Choose one of the Architectural Design templates — it doesn’t matter if you prefer Feet and Inches or Millimeters.

    3. Click the Start Using SketchUp button to close the dialog box and open a new SketchUp file.

    If the Welcome to SketchUp dialog box doesn’t appear, someone (maybe you) has told the dialog box not to show up automatically on startup. Don’t worry — just follow these steps to set things straight:

    1. Choose Help→Welcome to SketchUp from the menu bar.

    2. Follow Steps a and b in the preceding step list.

    3. Open a new file by choosing File→New.

    If you’re using the Pro version of SketchUp, the Welcome to SketchUp dialog box looks a little different — it includes information about your software license. The best place to go for help when you’re having trouble with your license is the SketchUp Knowledge Center. Choose Help→Knowledge Center to go there directly from SketchUp.


  3. Make sure that you can see the Getting Started toolbar.


    If it’s not visible in your modeling window, choose View→Toolbars→Getting Started to make it show up. If you’re on a Mac, choose View→Show Toolbar.

  4. Clear your modeling window.

    If this isn’t the first time your computer has run SketchUp, you may see dialog boxes all over the place. If that’s the case, put everything back where it belongs by resetting your workspace:

    1. If you’re using Windows, choose Window→Preferences . . . On a Mac, choose SketchUp→Preferences . . .

    2. Select the Workspace panel (it’s last in the list on the left of the Preferences dialog box).

    3. Click the Reset Workspace button.