One of the best ways to model efficiently is by using keyboard shortcuts for the commands you use most often. There are a few limitations to what you can do with shortcuts, so here are some guidelines to help you understand what you can and can’t do:

  • You can’t start with a number. Numbers are reserved for some very specific commands or for adjusting measurements. 
  • You can use modifier keys. Shift, Alt, and Ctrl can all be used in combination with other inputs. 
  • You can’t use shortcuts reserved by your operating system. If you try to use a shortcut already in use by your OS, SketchUp will let you know. 
  • You can reassign existing default shortcuts. SketchUp assigns shortcuts to a few commands by default. You can always change these default shortcuts to something that works better for you. 

Tip: Take a look at SketchUp’s Quick Reference Cards for shortcuts to all listed tools and features. 

Creating and Editing Shortcuts

You can create and edit shortcuts in the Shortcuts section of Preferences. Your Shortcut interface may look a little different depending on your operating system. 

The Function section lists all commands that can be assigned a shortcut. You can use the search bar at the top to find a specific command or filter what you see in the Function section. When searching you can use all or just part of a command’s name. For example, typing “zoom” filters the list down to Camera/Zoom, Camera/Zoom Extents, Camera/Zoom to Photo, and Camera/Zoom Window. 

To create or edit a shortcut:

  1. Find the command you want to assign a shortcut using the search bar and select that command from the list in the Function section. 
  2. If the selected command already has an assigned shortcut you will see it listed under Assigned (Windows) or Key (MacOS). 
  3. Type the shortcut you want to assign to the command in the Add Shortcut box (Windows), or the text box in the lower-left of the panel (MacOS).

Caution: Do not hit Enter. This will erase the entered value. 

  1. (Windows Only) Click the + to add your shortcut. 
  2. Repeat these steps until you’ve assigned all the shortcuts you want. 
  3. Click OK.

To reset all shortcuts to the default settings, click Reset All

Importing and Exporting Shortcuts

SketchUp saves your shortcut preferences anytime you make any changes. If you use SketchUp on different computers or are upgrading to a new one you may want to export those preferences and import them into SketchUp on the new device. 


To export your file preferences: 

  • Click Export
  • Choose a location where you want to save your exported preferences. 
  • (Optional) Your keyboard shortcuts preferences will also be included in this exported file. To exclude them from the export click Options and deselect Shortcuts. 
  • Click Export to save the file. 

To import your file preferences: 

  • Click Import.
  • Locate the exported preferences file in the File Explorer window. 
  • (Optional) If you do not want to import shortcuts preferences from the exported file select Options and deselect Shortcuts. 
  • Click Import to import your preferences. 


We do not support transferring shortcut preferences on MacOS at this time.

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