• Drawing 3D models in SketchUp requires a lot of back and forth between your keyboard and mouse. As you become a more experienced SketchUp modeler, you develop a sense of what commands and tools you use most often and what you do and don’t like about the default keyboard and mouse settings.

  • If your model is geolocated with the Add Location feature and you want to display it in Google Earth, you may need to take a few extra steps. Here’s a quick overview of the tips and tricks that help your model looks its best in Google Earth:

  • In LayOut, you can bend lines and shapes — no telekinetic powers required! All you need is LayOut’s path editor. Okay, that might be a tiny fib. You need the path editor and a little knowledge about editing vector graphics and Bézier curves. After you know the tricks, however, bending lines and shapes is easy, and this article explains all the basics to help you get started.

  • To draw the most basic lines in your LayOut document, you can use the orderly Line tool to draw straight lines or its freewheeling cousin, the Freehand tool, to draw loopy swerving lines any which way you like. You see an example of both in the following figure. Each tool has a few tricks and secrets, as explained in the following sections.

  • If you’re new to creating documents and presentations in LayOut, a quick tour of the interface and few mousing tips can help orient you to LayOut’s basic tools and features. Parts of the LayOut interface, like the Measurements box and some of the mousing tricks, look and feel like SketchUp. Other parts, like some menus and dialog boxes, are unique to LayOut. Ready to tour the interface? Let the following sections be your guide.