How to Change Units in Sketchup: Switching Between Imperial and Metric

Featured Image_how to change units in sketchup

Ever been modeling in Sketchup only to realize you’ve been using the wrong units? This tutorial will show a quick tip on how to change units in Sketchup! You may want to switch between metric and imperial units if you are working on an international project or want more precise measurements. Whatever project you’re working on, no one wants to find out that they have been modeling for hours using the wrong units! Check out this simple tutorial to learn how to change units in Sketchup and quickly switch between imperial and metric.

Steps to Change Units in Sketchup

Open up the model you want to change units for, or start a new model so you can get the hang of switching between units first.

change units in Sketchup beginning measurements

Window > Model Info > Units. In order to change units in Sketchup, you’ll have to open the “model info” window. To do this, hover over “window” and select “model info” from the dropdown menu. Then, select “units” from the side menu. You will see format and precision options for both length and angle units.

change units in Sketchup with model info window

Format. Right now, the format is set to “architectural” and there are options for “decimal,” “engineering,” and “fractional.” When “architectural,” “decimal,” or “engineering” are selected, the “inches” option is locked and you cannot edit it. The only way to get metric units is by setting the format to “decimal.”

change units in Sketchup with format dropdown menus

If you select the second dropdown menu next to “format,” you will see options for different units. The options are “inches”, “feet”, “mm” (millimeters), “cm” (centimeters), and “m” (meters). Select “mm” and you will notice the measurements in your model have switched from feet and inches to millimeters.

If you’re converting measurements from an existing model that was modeled in a different metric, it’s likely there will be a lot of weird looking numbers. We haven’t messed with the precision yet. Don’t worry, it’s an easy fix!

change units in Sketchup to mm

Precision. Next is the precision settings. Once you have changed your measurements to imperial units, you may want to change the level of accuracy so there are fewer decimal places. To do this, go to the “precision” dropdown menu and select the number of decimal places you want to be displayed. Now look over at your model and you will notice the number of decimal places has changed. Select the option with the level of accuracy you want and close the “model info” window.

change units in Sketchup with precision

And there you have it, the quick and easy way to change units in Sketchup. Make sure you always double check that you are working in the correct units before starting a project! Looking for other quick tips for Sketchup? Check out our tutorial on creating polygons in 5 seconds here, or use our list of 5 Sketchup tips you may not be aware of. If you want to see a full list of our Sketchup tutorials, go to our tutorials page here.

change units in Sketchup finished model

What units do you use the most often in Sketchup? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Hacking!

24 Comments

  1. 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.

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

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

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

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

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

    Really helpful website

  5. 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.

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

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

  7. 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

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

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

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

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

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

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

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

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

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

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

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

    Nice post

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

    Great post!

  15. 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.

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

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

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

    Thanks! Great advice

  18. 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.

  19. 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?

  20. 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

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

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

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

    Paige,

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

    Best,
    Tony

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

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  24. 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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