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!

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