Agile Modeling Guide

My free online guide containing tips on how to keep a model file size small and ensure that the model renders quickly and smoothly.

SketchUp For Dummies


This is the BEST SketchUp book that I've seen for beginners, regardless of the title's effect on your self-esteem or the age of the book. The author, Aidan Chopra, worked at SketchUp since before it was called SketchUp. You can skip around the chapters if you know basic SketchUp skills. Here are my favorite parts:

  • Chapter 5: Falling in Love with Components (which you really will, if you learn all about them)
  • Chapter 7: Keeping Your Model Organized (ESSENTIAL reading)
  • Chapter 8:
    • Great info about working with photo textures.
    • pages 245-258 are essential if you work with imported CAD files


The SketchUp Forum

I recommend that everyone join this forum. It answers your questions about SketchUp, Extensions, Layout, the 3D Warehouse, the mobile viewer, and has a tutorial section. Feel free to tag me there (@katyakean) when you ask questions, and I’ll answer them!


SketchUp Update Newsletter

Subscribe to official SketchUp news here!


SketchUp Video Tutorials on YouTube

Most of those videos are only a few minutes long, so if you can watch one a day, you'll be a pro in no time.

Also, here are some of the "New in 2016" short videos:

The first of the Nick Sonder videos:

His new book can be found at on Amazon


The Extension Warehouse

Another excellent source of Extensions are found on Many SketchUp extensions are found on commercial websites, as well, and require a manual install. Smustard's MakeFaces plugin is one example, which is very useful when working with imported line drawings.

Here are a few easy Extension Warehouse extensions that most people want to use at some point.

  • DropGC: Drop selected groups/components onto geometry below.  Useful for getting entourage (cars, people, plants, etc.) from an elevated site plan down onto Google Earth terrain.
  • Weld: Select multiple connected edges, curves, and/or arcs ("connected" means having common endpoints), then use the Weld tool to join them into a single "polyline".
  • PathCopy: PathCopy allows you to select a path (edge, curve, or polyline*) and then select a group or component to copy along the selected path.
  • 1001BitTools:  Before you try to make stairs or a Hip Roof yourself, try it with this instead.


SketchUp Shortcuts Printout

This handy printout shows shortcut codes to common tools. The entire SketchUp Help Center is invaluable, and definitely worth exploring.


Resources for Textures/Materials
(plus your basic Internet Image searches, of course)



People often ask about the ergonomic mice I use, so here they are! Make sure you have a 3-button mouse for SketchUp, whatever you choose.

  • Wow JoyPen (needs mousepad)
  • Logitech Wireless thumb-trackball (no mousepad needed)
    The best part about this mouse is that it can be used on any surface (such as a couch cushion).