Sketchup offers "templates" to control the appearance and behavior of your sessions. Here's a template specific to woodworkers. Use these settings to make your experience easier and more woodworker-friendly.
When you download SketchUp, you are asked to select from several included templates, such as: Simple Template, Architectural Design, Engineering, Product Design and Woodworking, Plan View, and Beginning Training. Woodworkers naturally select "Product Design and Woodworking" and that's probably a good starting point. Although that template has been improved in recent SketchUp updates, you might consider tweaking it.
The following steps show how to modify and save certain settings as your personal template.
1. Click on Sketchup's Window menu tab and select Model Info from the drop-down menu.
2. In the "Model Info" popup dialog, select Units. Make sure Fractional is selected as the units format, and set Precision to 1/64". Check Enable length snapping and change the length snapping value from 1/64" to 1/16".
3. Still in the Model Info popup, select Text. I like to set Screen Text to 12 points font size, and I recommend you change Leader Text to Font size 10. You can come back later and change these to your liking, but remember to repeat Step 8 below to save any changes you make.
4. While still in the Model Info dialog, select Dimensions. Set Text to 10 points. Set Leader Lines Endpoints to None and select Align to dimension line, setting the default alignment to Outside.
5. Close the popup dialog and again click on the Window menu tab, and select Styles.
6. In the Style dialog, click on the Edit tab to display the Style selections. Then click the Edge Settings icon (far left). Make sure that the Profiles setting is unchecked.
7. Click on the Background Settings icon (middle). Make sure both Sky and Ground are unchecked. To set the background color to white, first click the box next to Background (hand cursor below). In the "Choose Color" popup dialog, set the R, G, and B values to 255 each, as shown below. Click OK when done.
8. Now click the Update Styles with Changes icon (see red rectangle below). This saves your work on styles.
9. Close the Styles dialog and once more click on the Window menu tab. This time select Layers.
10. In the Layers dialog, add the following layers:
Close the Layers dialog.
11. Click on the File menu tab and select Save As Template.
12. In the Save As Template dialog, name your template and provide a short description. Make sure that Set as default template is checked.
Click on Save.
Now when you open Sketchup, your personal settings will automatically be in place and ready for you to begin designing. You can always come back to the Window menu and change any of the steps above, selectively. Just make sure afterward to save your work to your template (Steps 8 and/or 11).
NOTE: Be sure to check out my Sketchup hotkey tips!
Thanks for looking, and I hope you enjoyed your visit.
*Many thanks to Tim Killen and the folks at Fine Woodworking for the headstart on this page.
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