Google Sketchup - Come Along for the Ride #2: In the beginning.....

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Blog entry by Betsy posted 07-18-2008 03:14 PM 5704 reads 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The Beginning Part 2 of Google Sketchup - Come Along for the Ride series Part 3: Baby steps, the blind leading the blind »

So the journey begins. The trip is short this morning because I’ve got to start work shortly.

I’m a beginner at this program so thsy’s where we are starting. I will do my best to answer, or find answers to all questions. Everyoneis welcomed to chime in with questions, answers, or corections to my answers.

So like I said short and sweet this morning.

First – definitely get a mouse with a scrool wheel—even if you have a laptop. I got my mouse out last night and it makes a HUGE difference in using the program.

Next when you open a new sheet there’s this man standing there. Ten points to the one who can tell me his name! I know it already. Anyway – I don’t like the guy. He’s a sexist slob. How do I know this? because he appears to be walking and he has his head turned in the “Wow that’s a good looking woman” turn. :-) Just kidding guys.

To get rid of the little guy – use the select tool, the little arrow in the top left corner to select him and then right click and scroll up to erase or hide. You can also just click on him and then right click.

I believe to make him go away permanently you need to make a template. I’ll get into that later this weekend when my home internet is fixed and I have more time.

“Snip”——you know what that is right—- snip a stray thread off your shirt or you snip at your wife—- wait that must be snap at your wife——sorry. :-)

Snip is how you can stop what ever you are trying to do from happening again. Say, for instance you are drawing a line and are done and want now to draw a circle. You move your cursor to select the cricle but you are still dragging a line along for the ride to the circle tool.

To stop drawing your line, or rectangle or circle, etc. when you finish with the action press the “esc” or escape button. This “snips” off the line,ectangle, etc. and you can go merrily to another action.

OK, gotta go for now. Will do more exploring and more indepth blog this weekend.

Thanks guys and rememberEveryoneis welcomed to chime in with questions, answers, or corections to my answers.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

9 comments so far

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3752 days

#1 posted 07-18-2008 03:20 PM

Thanks Betsy!

I am happily sniping away- snip-snip-sn—oowww! ;>)


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3954 days

#2 posted 07-18-2008 09:17 PM

I always get a chuckle when I see someones SU drawing and that guy is still there! I always erase him…I don’t like the way he looks at me. The ESC key is also useful when using the tape measure tool. It is in mark mode by default, which means it will leave snap marks when you measure. You can turn this off using the CNTRL key to toggle back and forth between creating construction geometry or not. An easy way around this is just start the tool, click on where you want to start your measurement, then just let the cursor naturally snap to the point you want to finish your measurement…but don’t click. Once you get your measurement just hit the ESC key and you will reset the tape without leaving a snap mark. Previous versions of SU the tape tool didn’t leave marks until you hit CNTRL..I liked that better!

One little tip I would like to put out there is..explore keyboard shortcuts. It speeds up drawing and is allot more convenient than clicking on icons. Some of the shortcuts come pre loaded but if you go to the top menus :Window/preferences/shortcuts, you can change/setup the shortcut keys the way you want them. I usually have:
space bar = select tool
l = line
E = erase
H = hide selected
CNTRL+H = unhide all
P = protractor
Q = rotate
A = arc
F = follow me tool
O = offset tool
S = scale tool
Z = zoom
M = move
C = circle
Like I said allot of these are already there. If you print out the quick reference card they are noted on there also next to the commands.


View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3893 days

#3 posted 07-19-2008 07:32 PM

Thanks Brad. I hope you follow my series and interject some advise along the way. I really don’t have a clue what I’m doing, but I’m trying hard to learn the program.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3954 days

#4 posted 07-19-2008 10:27 PM

Your Welcome!
Hey, everyone starts off “not knowing anything” about something they want to learn. I am following your blog to learn as well as possibly help. I always say that no matter how much you think you know about something you can always learn more. I think your ambition and drive to tackle the SU learning curve might help along some other people on LJ that want to learn SU but haven’t started or tried it and got frustrated by it.

Something that helped me immensely and I always thought was great about SU was the amount of video tutorials there are available. When I started with SU, there was no Youtube, but there was tutorials on the SU website. Don’t just watch them…open SU and follow along, try out the techniques. The key to getting good at SU is to have a good grasp on how to use the tools. When you don’t have to think about how to do something, then you can concentrate on the creative side and really use SU as a tool.


View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3893 days

#5 posted 07-20-2008 12:42 AM

Thanks Brad—- I’ve been working today trying to solve a problem and can’t find the answer. When I opened SU today, all I get is a white screen—no axis lines, no little man, nothing and nothing I can find to fix it. Everything is hidden. Even if I select a tool and “draw” something nothing shows. I’ve been all over the net with no luck.

Any ideas?

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3936 days

#6 posted 07-20-2008 01:14 AM

Betsy, I’m following. I have nothing to add, but I want you to know that this is good and I will be keeping it for reference.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4074 days

#7 posted 07-20-2008 01:47 AM

Betsy . . . I just about fell out of my chair laughing when you said. . ”I really don’t have a clue what I’m doing” I’m still going to read your blog though. :-)

-- BLOG -

View ryno101's profile


388 posts in 3662 days

#8 posted 07-21-2008 02:26 AM

Another quick tip for you… the setting that shows the little sexist guy is for general “Architectural” type drawings… gives you a bit of scale to see…

I almost always use the “woodworking” setting, which pops a little framing square up instead of that guy…

To change (which will maintain that setting until you change it again) go to Window, then Preferences. Click the “template” setting, and you’ll have a pulldown menu to choose from. I use Inches (Woodworking) 3D, which gives much more granular measurements by default.

FYI, if you change that, you’ll still see the guy… unless you start a new drawing, in which case you’ll see the little square.

I haven’t yet read the coming parts… maybe you’ve figured this out, or maybe not… I’ll keep reading!

-- Ryno

View dusty2's profile


323 posts in 3426 days

#9 posted 01-07-2009 01:59 PM

I am a rank amateur with Sketchup but I think I might be hooked. I find myself making boxes, rotating them, changing shapes, etc. Haven’t learned to draw much that meaningful or useful, yet.

BTW, I think his name is BRICE. I heard that somewhere. Somehow, I can’t yet give a tutorial about how – I have exchanged BRICE for a framing square.

-- Making Sawdust Safely

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