Sketchup Tips For Woodworkers

by Dan Phalen

The Sketchup toolbar is nice at first, but moving the mouse from the drawing area to the toolbar and back becomes tedious and needlessly takes your eye off your work. To save time, I forced myself into the habit of using the keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) provided, and I'm glad I did.


Hotkeys Make It Go Fast

Here are the Sketchup toolbar keyboard shortcuts from the Sketchup menus. You should memorize the frequently used at least, if you haven't already. I wish there were more, but these definitely speed up the process for me.

skup keys

Note that these are one-key shortcuts. Just press the letter key, no Ctrl, Shift, Alt or Option. Easy, fast. With a little practice, using the hotkeys becomes an automatic, almost thoughtless step.


  • Space bar - deselect the tool currently in use. Restores the black arrow cursor.
  • R - draw a Rectangle--the most basic woodworker starting point.
  • O -rOtate the camera in 3D.
  • P - Push/Pull a surface.
  • H - pan the camera up, down, right, left (remember H for Hand).
  • Z - zoom the camera in/out by holding left mouse button down while moving mouse forward/backward.
  • M - move the object. Corner-to-corner is the best for moving wood workpieces.
  • T - Tape measure, for dimensions, dotted line references.


  • L - draw a Line.
  • C - draw a Circle.
  • A - draw an Arc.
  • B - paint a surface or object (B for Bucket).
  • Q - orbit an object about one of the three axes.

Thanks for looking, and I hope you enjoyed your visit.



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