How to Start Using Google SketchUp 8 - dummies

How to Start Using Google SketchUp 8

By Aidan Chopra

With Google SketchUp, you can make a simple model step by step, spin it around, paint it, and even apply styles and shadows. So what are you going to build? Perhaps a doghouse. The nice thing about doghouses is that they’re a lot like peoplehouses in the ways that count: They have doors and roofs, and just about everybody has seen one.

But before you start building, you need to set up the program. And, yeah, setup is boring, but you need to make sure you start in the right place.

Follow these steps to get ready:

  1. Launch Google 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.

    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 steps list.

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

    If you’re using the Pro version of SketchUp 8, 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 Help Center. Choose Help, Online Help 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, just open the Window menu and deselect each window to close it.