UPDATE: THESE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS ARE FOR SKETCHUP VERSIONS 8 AND EARLIER.
One of the quirks of learning SketchUp is that the obvious way of doing something isn’t necessarily the best way. The tools on the toolbar are easy to figure out, and if you hover the cursor over one of the icons a tag will appear that tells you what the tool does. But when you’re hard at work on a model, moving the mouse to the toolbar and back again takes more time than you might think. One of the keys to efficient work is using the SketchUp keyboard shortcuts instead of clicking on the tool icons. A single letter will bring up the most commonly used tools, and there aren’t that many to learn. Nine shortcuts will let you do almost everything you need to do.
You can find the shortcuts in a couple of places. There is a pane in the System Preferences Window that lists all of the commands in SketchUp, and it shows you the assigned shortcut if that command has one. If you want to add your own, you can. Just click on the command to highlight it, then type the shortcut you want to add in the “Add Shortcut” area in the upper right and hit the plus sign.
You can also find the shortcuts on the menus. This is a view of the tool menu with the shortcuts listed as capital letters after the tool names. Most of them are easy to remember, the first letter of the tool name is the shortcut most of the time, except for Rotate. “Q” is the shortcut for Rotate, because the rectangle tool got in line first and grabbed the letter “R”.
I’ve created a PDF file as a handout for this year’s SketchUp classes, that lists the basic tools, their shortcuts, what they’re good for and how to use them. You can download this file for your own use by clicking on the link below.
SketchUp Tools Shortcuts Free PDF Download
If you want to learn how to use SketchUp for woodworking, check out my digital book in enhanced PDF format:
It combines illustrated text and videos in 184 pages, starts with how to set-up the program, make efficient models and mine the information in those models to take to the shop.