Application Preferences dialog box (Mac OS X)

Application Preferences dialog box (Mac OS X)

SketchUp's application preferences are used to set various global behaviors for SketchUp. Activate the Preferences from the SketchUp menu.


Use the Applications preferences panel to identify the application used to open an application for editing image files.

Default Image Editor
Use the Choose button to display the Image Editor Browser. Use the browser to locate an image editor for your image files.


Use the Drawing preferences panel to define global mouse (or otherinput device) behavior.

Click Style
The Click Style options allow you to define how your input device reacts to clicks.

Click-drag-release: Use the Click-drag-release button to force the Line tool to draw by click and holding the mouse button to define the start point of the line, dragging the mouse to extend the line, and releasing the mouse to establish the end point of the line.

Auto detect:Use the Auto Detect button to use either Click-drag-release and Click-move-click as necessary.

Click-move-click: Use the Click-move-click button to force the Line tool to draw by clicking and releasing the mouse button to define the start point of the line, moving the mouse to extend the line, and clicking again to establish the end point of the line.

Continue line drawing:Use the Continue line drawing checkbox to force the Line tool to treat an end point as the start point of a new line, saving you the one extra click required establish a new start point for the second line.

The Miscellaneous options define other global mouse behaviors.

Display crosshairs:Use the Display crosshairs checkbox to display a set of colored crosshairs (corresponding to axes colors) when drawing.

Auto-activate paint tool:Use the Auto-activate paint tool checkbox to automatically activate the Paint Bucket tool after you select a color swatch.

Disable pre-pick on Push/Pull Tool: By default, you can select a face with the Select tool, orbit the model (even so that the pre-selected face is hidden), click on the Push/Pull tool and push/pull anywhere on the screen to push/pull the pre-selected face. This feature allows you to push/pull faces that are normally hard to select. Check the Disable pre-pick on Push/Pull tool checkbox to disable this pre-pick feature.

Bounding box only
Click the Bounding box only checkbox to toggle between displaying only one bounding box or displaying a bounding box for each component and it's corresponding edges when selected.


Use the Extensions preferences panel to add or remove SketchUpextensions. An extension can be an add-on tool or feature created by SketchUp that is not necessarily a part of core SketchUp functionality.

Select the checkbox next to the extension that you want to enable in SketchUp. The extension will be available (menu items and optional toolbar) the next time your run SketchUp.


Use the General preferences panel to define global save and settings.

Create backup
Use the Create backup checkbox to automatically create a backup file whenever you save a drawing. The backup file is the previously saved version of the file. This file will be saved to the same folder as the drawing file. For example, if your drawing is hotel.skp, the backup will be called hotel.skb.

Use the Auto-save checkbox to automatically save changes to your drawing into a temporary file at specific time interval. This temporary file is available on the file system should SketchUp abnormally exit. Type the auto-save interval, in minutes, into the minutes field.

The temporary file's name will be a combination of the word 'AutoSave' with the original filename, such as AutoSave_hotel.skp. This file is saved in the Autosave folder under /Library/Application Support/SketchUp/Autosave if the model has never been saved. SketchUp puts the auto save file in the same directory as the model file.

SketchUp strongly recommends you keep the Auto-Save option checked to ensure that your valuable work is retained.

SketchUp checks your model for unrecoverable errors during the auto-save, preventing the overwriting of a good auto-save file. Sketchup will display a dialog box in the rare case that unrecoverable errors are found in your model. This dialog box contains the option to quit SketchUp and send a report. SketchUp recommends you click on the quit SketchUp and send report button to terminate SketchUp and preserve your previously valid auto-save file. This report contains valuable information regarding the unrecoverable errors.

Check model for problems
The Check model for problems options allow you to enable problem checking for your SketchUp models.

Automatically check models for problems: Selecting the Automatically check model for problems checkbox causes SketchUp to check for minor problems with your model. These problems can occur given the infinite flexibility that SketchUp provides when designing in 3D. Your model is assessed for problems when it is loaded or saved. SketchUp strongly recommends selecting this box to ensure that problems are corrected proactively, allowing your model to perform optimally. You must manually check for problems using the Fix Problems button in the Statistics panel of the Model Info dialog box if you leave this checkbox deselected.

Automatically fix problems when they are found: Selecting the Automatically fix problems when they are found checkbox causes SketchUp to fix problems found in your model automatically (without having to display a dialog box). Leave this checkbox deselected if you want SketchUp to display a dialog box (with the Always fix my models, Fix it now, and Fix it later options) when a problem is found.

Scenes and Styles
The Scenes and Styles options allow you to enable warnings for style changes.

Warn of style change when creating scenes:Use the Warn of style changes when creating scenes if you want to be notified when a style has changed when adding scenes to your file.

Software Updates
The Software Updates option allows you to automatically check for software updates.

Automatically check for updates: Check the Automatically check for updates checkbox to allow SketchUp to automatically check for updates to the application when you are connected to the Internet.


Use the OpenGL preferences panel to define how the OpenGL standard should be applied within SketchUp.

Note: You might notice intermittent streaks or small spots of light within face shadows. A minimal amount of these artifacts is to be expected on most systems, and can vary greatly with the quality of your OpenGL driver.

Caution: Certain OpenGL drivers do not fully support casting shadows on faces.

Caution: SketchUp's Shadow feature can have a severe performance impact on slower computers or those using software rendering.

OpenGL Settings
The OpenGL Settings allow you to speed up OpenGL drawing.

Use Hardware acceleration: Use the Use Hardware acceleration checkbox to use the hardware acceleration features of a video card. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of 3D drivers in the consumer video card market are 100% OpenGL compatible and can use this feature (though many cards claim to be 100% OpenGL compatible). Most 3d drivers are designed for games, and are rarely tested using other 3D programs. Consequently, numerous incompatibility problems can occur requiring a fix from the video card manufacturer. Disable this option if you are having problems with the 3D rendering of your models or if your video card is not 100% OpenGL compatible and does not support hardware acceleration.

Note: Hardware Acceleration might only be available on your system for certain resolutions and color depths. Check the system settings for your graphics card to see if it supports hardware acceleration (using the System Preferences on Macintosh OS X).

SketchUp cannot control the quality of the OpenGL driver on your computer system. Video card device drivers are proprietary and are maintained solely by the manufacturer of the video card in your system. Therefore, We cannot guarantee that SketchUp will work with hardware acceleration on your system. Refer to the OpenGL topic for further information.

Use maximum texture size: Selecting the Use maximum texture size checkbox uses the maximum texture size supported by your graphics card. This option might result in a slowing of SketchUp unless your graphics card and computer can handle what is advertised.

Use fast feedback: Selecting the Use fast feedback checkbox increases performance when editing large models. SketchUp runs a test to assess whether your video card can support this option on startup. SketchUp will activate this option if fast feedback is supported. You can also attempt to use this feature by selecting the Use Fast Feedback checkbox manually; however you will be warned by SketchUp that enabling this option could cause problems on your system if fast feedback is not supported.


Use the Shortcuts preferences panel to define keyboard shortcuts for most SketchUp commands.

Assigning keyboard shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts can dramatically speed up your drawing by allowing you to change tools while keeping the mouse cursor near the drawing area. To assign a keyboard shortcut:

  1. Select the command to which you will assign a keyboard shortcut (within the Function list). Existing keyboard shortcuts for this command will display in the Key column.
Note: The list of commands available in the Shortcuts panel is dynamically generated and includes all menu items and active context menu items. Some context menu items become active only after performing another task. For example, select a face to activate the Reverse Faces command and then open Preferences > Shortcuts to set a keyboard shortcut for Reverse Faces.

  1. Type the keyboard shortcut key sequence in the text field at the bottom of the panel. Shortcut keys can consist of any keyboard key, except number keys, with a few exceptions. Any key that can be used as a shortcut can also be assigned a modifier key like Shift, Control, or Option. SketchUp will indicate when a key or key combination cannot be used or is already assigned.

SketchUp will prompt you before allowing you to assign a keyboard shortcut that is already assigned to another command. Some keys are reserved for use by Mac OS X and can not be assigned as a keyboard shortcut.

Note: Keyboard shortcuts are saved to Home/Library/Application Support/SketchUp/Shortcuts.plist. You can copy this file to other users or computers.

The Measurements toolbar and keyboard shortcuts
Temporary focus is given to the Measurements toolbar when you type a number while in the drawing area. Therefore, numbers cannot be used as shortcut keys. The letters S, R, X, and the symbols / and * can be used within keyboard shortcuts and as you enter values in the Measurements toolbar. Add a prefix to any of these letters with a number in the Measurements toolbar to ensure that a command with a corresponding keyboard shortcut letter is not invoked. For example, 7s would be the correct entry to redefine a segmentation in the Measurements toolbar. However, s7 will activate whatever command is invoked with the letter S as a keyboard shortcut.

Do not use the spacebar or backspace keys as keyboard shortcuts to avoid conflict with values entered in the Measurements toolbar.


Use the Template preferences panel to designate a SketchUp file that you would want to use as a template for all of your subsequent models.


Use the Workspace preferences panel to make changes to your SketchUp workspace.

Tool Palette
SketchUp has two differently sized tool pallets. The large tool buttons are easier for some users to see and use (they provide larger areas to click with your mouse) and are easier to use with a pen and tablet. Smaller buttons save screen space, allowing a larger drawing area.

Use large tool buttons: Use on the Use large tool buttons checkbox to toggle between large and small tool buttons.

Main Window
The Main Window options allow you to set the behavior for the main SketchUp window.

Cascade main windows: Select the Cascade main windows checkbox to place newly created drawing windows lightly below and to the right (cascaded) of the previous drawing window. This feature is useful if you want to see all of your drawing window title bars. Newly created drawing windows will appear directly on top of each other when this option is not enabled.

Save current window size:Click on the Save current window size button to save the window size for the currently active drawing window as the default size for SketchUp.

Reset Workspace Button
Use the Reset Workspace button to reset SketchUp to its default configuration (all dialog boxes are closed).