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Sketchup Shorts #1: Zoom-Zoom (and Keeping it dialed in)

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 03-05-2009 07:06 PM 11924 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Sketchup Shorts series Part 2: Outliner - Component Selection - Anywhere, Anytime »

I see a lot of great Sketchup tutorials online (here and there), and while they do discuss different techniques, tools and what not – you really have to follow through from start to end, and go along a somewhat complex path to get the hang of things. one more thing – while on that road – one’s eyes are focused on the end result, and sometimes one can miss the fantastic little tips along the way.

This tutorial is one of many short – tip/tool specific – tutorials that can help people get around Sketchup and have an easier time around.

Zoom and Center ALL

Sometimes you add a new component to your model (or you’re working inside a small part (zoomed in)) and want to see the “whole picture” zoomed across the entire screen, and centered.
Zoom Out

This is possible using the ’camera-zoom-extent’ feature. click the zoom-extents button or press SHIFT+Z (this is the default hotkey) and Sketchup will zoom and fit everything in your model into view and center it across your screen:
Zoom In

Zooming and Centering Specific Parts in your Model

Sometimes you want to zoom and center on a specific piece in your model (a specific component, or a specific surface/line/arc/circle/etc). Sketchup can do that too.

Select the part you want to zoom and center upon (in this example, it’s the circle for the hole):
Select part

right(ctrl for mac)-click on it, and select ”zoom-extent”, it will zoom and fit that part in the center of your screen:
Zoom Extent

The later zooming technique is referred to as ‘edit-zoom-extent’ and can be assigned to a hotkey of your liking- more about that in a later tutorial.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.



9 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3110 days


#1 posted 03-05-2009 07:49 PM

DaveR- that is true there is a button in the default toolbar for Zoom Extent.

I find that using hotkeys is the way to go (Photoshop, Maya, Final Cut, Sketchup, you name it) I dont like searching around with my pen/mouse for buttons to click when I can blindly click a hotkey instantly – or better yet – a sequence of hotkeys. this is the equivalent of creating a rectangle in Sketchup by clicking, dragging to the exact sizes in both dimensions, clicking – OR – clicking, typing dimensions, and pressing Enter :) gotta love speed.

I personally hardly ever have toolbars visible on screen (this tutorial wasn’t done on MY computer) I find that they take off too much of the real estate that can be used to see more of the actual work surface. I use hotkeys religiously.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3110 days


#2 posted 03-05-2009 08:14 PM

time for a change ;) just kidding… point taken – added a fix

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

938 posts in 2855 days


#3 posted 03-05-2009 08:54 PM

Purplev, have you tried CAD?

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3110 days


#4 posted 03-05-2009 09:02 PM

Doubthead – yes I have. I’ve also used FormZ, and SolidWorks, but was favoring Maya for my models since I was using it anyways for animation work, and was extremely comfortable with it’s environment and controls – I find that Maya is far from being Woodworker friendly, but it was just what I was used to.

When Google bought Sketchup and made it free, I gave it a try, and instantly dumped everything else I was using for woodworking… compared to them all, Sketchup is lightweight, easy to use, inch/metric friendly I like the auto-glue-to-geometry, and is becoming very popular which equals more users sharing more knowledge and models being readily available to cut down on design time.

PS. nice new Avatar ;o)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

938 posts in 2855 days


#5 posted 03-05-2009 09:30 PM

lol…..in the middle of the jungle!

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View John's profile

John

3 posts in 2495 days


#6 posted 02-15-2011 09:59 AM

Great article, though I am keen for my staff to gain knowledge of program through face to face training. This approach will ensure that they can use the tools properly. Your guidance may used as a prompt in the future. Well done!

-- John | http://www.cavalok.com/

View joeCommercial's profile

joeCommercial

7 posts in 2042 days


#7 posted 05-04-2011 09:08 AM

Thanks for the enlightenment and again for the great tutorials.

-- Joe - http://www.litecraftcommercial.co.uk

View BrianLuntz's profile

BrianLuntz

11 posts in 2130 days


#8 posted 07-08-2011 05:42 AM

I like the scalability of AutoCad but for ‘everyday’ basic drawings I find SketchUp easier to use. Great tutorial by the way, thanks.

-- Brian - http://arlington.floorcoveringsinternational.com

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3110 days


#9 posted 07-08-2011 03:27 PM

I find all modeling apps have their uses, but for everyday throwing things together for woodworking purposes, I think SU is just the lightest and easiest to use.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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