Chapter 3. Navigating and Configuring the Drawing Area

Although SketchUp consists of many different interface elements, such as toolbars, dialog boxes, and menus, the drawing area is the main element that will catch your attention because it makes up the bulk of the interface. You can think of the drawing area as looking at the television screen instead of the remote. Learning to control and use the drawing area can make a huge difference in your comfort level with SketchUp. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to rotate, pan, and zoom the view.

The drawing area has numerous settings that you can use to provide thousands of different ways to look at your scene. This chapter includes all the details you need to make the drawing area reveal its secret.

Understanding 3-D Space

It seems silly to be talking about 3-D space because we live and move in 3-D space. If you stop and think about it, 3-D space is natural to us. For example, consider trying to locate your kids at the swimming pool. If you're standing poolside, the kids could be to your left or right, in front of you or behind you, or in the water below you or on the high dive above you. Each of these sets of directions represents a dimension in 3-D space.

Now imagine that you're drawing a map that pinpoints the kids' location at the swimming pool. Using the drawing (which ...

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