How to Align Objects in Sketchup (the easy way)

Featured Image_how to align objects in Sketchup

In this tutorial, we’ll go over how to easily align objects in Sketchup! If you use the rotate tool, it can be difficult to get the angle just right. Even if you are off by the slightest degree, your object may look out of place and it can affect the rest of your model. This is especially important if you are modeling something that needs to be extremely accurate. One wrong measurement and everything snowballs from there and then suddenly you’re left with a model that is inaccurate and can’t be used! To avoid making a mistake like that, follow these steps and use this simple method to align objects in Sketchup!

The Easy Way to Align Objects in Sketchup

For this example, we are using a drafting table model downloaded from the 3D Warehouse. We will be aligning the construction drawing to the slanted drafting table top.

Make a Component. Select the object you want to align. Right click and select “make component.” The “create component” window will open. If you want, rename your object by typing into the “definition” box under “general.” This will be helpful if you have multiple components in your model and you want to easily identify between them.

make a component to align objects in Sketchup

Align. Under “alignment” there is a dropdown that says “glue to.” From here, select “any.” You can also select “horizontal,” “vertical,” or “sloped” if you want your object to align only to a specifically oriented surface.

select any to align objects in Sketchup

Select Component Axes. Once you have selected the general and alignment settings, click the button that says “select component axes” in the “alignment” section. Sketchup will give you an axis to select. You want to be sure that you select the same axes as the global axes. If you switch any of the axes, your object will turn upside down. If you try to move your object from here, it won’t glue to anything. To properly align your object, you’ll need to use the default tray.

select axes to align objects in Sketchup

Open Default Tray. If you do not have the default tray open already, you’ll want to go ahead and open it now. To do this, simply navigate to “window” > “default tray” and select “show tray.” From this dropdown, you also want to make sure “components” is selected. Now, select your object from the “component” dropdown in the default tray and drag it to the object you want to align it to. Once you have it aligned to the surface, you can use the rotate tool to turn the object horizontally or vertically if you wish. From here you can snap to a corner or edge of the surface because it is properly aligned.

final step to align objects in Sketchup

Now that you know how to easily align objects in Sketchup, you won’t have to worry about inaccuracies or spending forever trying to perfectly align your objects! Did you find this tutorial helpful? What other quick tricks do you want to learn? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re looking for other Sketchup tips, take a look at out our tutorial on how to scale objects in Sketchup or check out our full list of tutorials here!

Happy Hacking!

26 Comments

  1. hamzakhan17826 May 19, 2019 at 7:16 am #

    Ok sure, I will follow your steps before going to do exams. I hope your article will help me more.

  2. karlmistos May 14, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll definitely share this with my classmates at de la salle zobel.

  3. classboat01 October 17, 2018 at 7:37 am #

    Hello there and thanks for your information, I have certainly picked up allot new info from right your post. You are also provided information about best tips for exam,Which is very helpful to me and other people also.

  4. mikemoreno September 5, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

  5. jogesh12345 August 14, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Very effective and informative article.Thanks for sharing such an important tutorial.

  6. FLMIMA August 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Really helpful website

  7. Rumi July 15, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  8. RJennings April 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for this website. The practice questions are helpful.

  9. Scott March 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Taking this test on Saturday. Last 4.0 exam to complete for the trio, then on to 5.0. This site is my go-to place when organizing what materials I’ll be studying

  10. shozab January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

  11. dyba January 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

  12. KendraShirley January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    This is my favorite site for practicing for my tests! Great advise and super helpful.

  13. reximagetrim January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Nice post to read. A complete guide that can help all of us.

  14. tylerstockholm December 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

  15. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  16. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  17. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  18. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  19. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  20. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  21. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  22. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  23. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  24. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    Paige,

    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.

    Best,
    Tony

  25. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  26. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

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