How to Draw 2D in Sketchup

Featured image_How to Draw 2D in Sketchup

For this tutorial, we’re going to teach you how to draw 2D in Sketchup by going back to the basics. It may sound simple, but 2D drawing is a foundational principle for anything you do in Sketchup. Before getting into 3D modeling, it’s important to take the time to familiarize yourself with the 2D drawing tools so you can create better geometry in your final models. Once you’re comfortable with the basic tools, you can move on to more complex models and drawings. Let’s get started!

Start Drawing 2D in Sketchup

Draw a Rectangle. Click on the rectangle tool and draw a rectangle from the origin point. One common mistake people make when using Sketchup is drawing on different axes. To avoid this, make sure the tool reads “on face” when you hover over the rectangle.

draw 2D in SKetchup rectangle

If you connect any two lines across the rectangle you drew, they will always be on the same plane.

draw 2D in Sketchup on the same plane

Erase Lines. Now that you have a shape drawn on your rectangle, you can delete the inner face. Click the eraser tool and hold “ctrl” while dragging over the lines to hide them. Select the inner face and hit “delete.”

draw 2D in Sketchup star

How to Use the Freehand Tool

Another way to draw 2D in Sketchup is by using the “freehand” tool. Keep the rectangle plane and select the “freehand” tool. Make sure you are drawing on the face, and click and drag the mouse to create your shape. Keep in mind, this isn’t a perfect tool so you won’t end up with perfect geometry. If you want more precision, use tools like the line tool or circle tool.

draw 2D in Sketchup with the freehand tool

How to Use the Circle Tool

Draw a Circle. Select the “circle” tool and draw a circle on your rectangle plane.

Find the Center Point. Identifying the center point is useful for creating objects like domes or cylinders. Before you start modeling, you’ll want to mark the center of your circle. Find the center point of the circle by mousing near where it should be and use the line tool to draw a vertical line. You can always hide or delete it later, but keep it for now.

draw 2D in Sketchup circle center point

Edit the Number of Sides. When drawing a circle, you can edit the number of sides by typing a number into the “sides” box in the lower right corner. The higher the number of sides, the smoother your circle will look. If you want to draw a polygon instead of a circle, use the polygon tool to create a shape with a specific number of edges. You can basically use the circle and polygon tools interchangeably. The difference comes in when you push/pull them. A push/pulled circle will have softened edges. A push/pulled polygon will have hard edges.

draw 2D in Sketchup polygons

How to Use the Arc Tools

Sketchup has a few different arc tools you can use depending on what you are trying to draw. If you have a reference image, the “three-point arc” is probably the best one to use. Alternatively, you can use a different arc tool to select the center point and then the angle of the arc. The final arc tool allows you to select two endpoints and then the radius.

When using arcs to connect flowing lines, you want to make sure they are tangent with each other. Use the “rotate” tool to align the arcs as best you can.

draw 2D in Sketchup arcs

Hopefully, this tutorial has taught you some basics tips on how to draw 2D in Sketchup! If you’re looking for more advanced tutorials or you’re just getting started, check out our tutorials page! There’s something for every level.

Happy Hacking!


  1. allstarcarpetandtiles June 24, 2019 at 10:31 am #

    Great tips. I’m bookmarking this page. Its a great resource to keep. Thanks for sharing.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

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

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

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

    Really helpful website

  8. 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.

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

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

  10. 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

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

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

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

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

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

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

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

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

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

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

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

    Nice post

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

    Great post!

  18. 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.

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

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

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

    Thanks! Great advice

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

  23. 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

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

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

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


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


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

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  27. 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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