How to Use the Select Tool in Google SketchUp 8 - dummies

How to Use the Select Tool in Google SketchUp 8

By Aidan Chopra

If you want to move (rotate, copy, and so on) something in your model, you need to select it first. When you select elements, you’re telling SketchUp that this is the stuff you want to work with. To select things, you use (drum roll, please) the Select tool, which looks exactly the same as the Select tool in every other graphics program on the planet — it’s an arrow. Here’s everything you need to know about selecting things in SketchUp:

  • Just click anything in your model to select it (while you’re using the Select tool, of course).

  • To select more than one thing, hold down the Shift key while you click all the things you want to select.

    The Shift key works both ways when it comes to the Select tool. You can use it to add to your set of selected objects, but you can also use it to subtract an object from your selection.

  • Selected objects in SketchUp look different depending on what kind of objects they are:

    • Selected edges and guides turn blue.

    • Selected faces look covered in tiny blue dots.

    • Selected groups and components get a blue box around them.

    • Selected section planes turn blue.


  • A much fancier way to select things in your model is to double- and triple-click them. When you double-click a face, you select that face and all the edges that define it. Double-clicking an edge gives you that edge plus all the faces that are connected to it. When you triple-click an edge or a face, you select the whole object that it’s a part of.


  • You can also select several things at once by dragging a box around them. You have two kinds of selection boxes; the one you use depends on what you’re trying to select:


    • Window selection: If you click and drag from left to right to make a selection box, you create a window selection. In this case, only things that are entirely inside your selection box are selected.

    • Crossing selection: If you click and drag from right to left to make a selection box, you create a crossing selection. With one of these, anything your selection box touches (including what’s inside) is selected.

By default, selected stuff turns blue in SketchUp, but you can make it turn any color you want. The “selected things” color is one of the settings you can adjust in the Styles dialog box.

Just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t selected. Whenever you make a selection, it’s a very good idea to orbit around to make sure you have only what you intended to get. Accidentally selecting too much is an easy mistake to make.