Using the Scale Tool

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The third big transformation tool is the Scale tool. Scaling, like rotation, also depends on the pivot point, which is the point about which the object is scaled. When the Scale tool is made active,the object or entity is surrounded by grip handles that make it easy to constrain the scaling to a specific axis.

The Scale tool lets you change the size of the selected object. To select it, choose Tools ➪ Scale, or select it from the Edit or Getting Started Toolbar, or by pressing the S hotkey. Once selected, the grip handles appear at each corner, face center, and edge midpoint on the selected object.

Scaling along a single axis

Dragging on one of the corner grip handles scales the object uniformly in all axes, but if you drag on an edge, you can scale the object within a single plane. If you click and drag a face center grip handle, scaling is constrained to a single axis, as shown in Figure 6.5

FIGURE 6.5 Grip handles appear when the Scale tool is selected


If you press and hold the Shift key while dragging any of the grip handles, the entire object is scaled uniformly along all axes.

Scaling to a precise value

If you want to scale the selected object a precise amount, select the object to scale and start drag- ging in the direction that you want the object to move. This causes the amount that is dragged to be displayed in the Measurements Toolbar in the lower-right corner of the interface. When a value appears in the Measurements Toolbar, you can type a precise value and the object will be scaled to this value. Scale values are measured as a percent of the current size with 1.0 reflecting the current size. Scale values less than 1 make the object smaller; values larger than 1 make the object larger. For example, a scale value of 2.0 results in an object that is twice as big as the original.

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Stretching entities

If you select an entity and rotate with the Scale tool, the connected entities stretch as the selected entity is moved, as shown in Figure 6.6.

FIGURE 6.6 Connected entities stretch when selected entities are scaled.

Tutorial: Rearranging the furniture

One real-world use for SketchUp is to visualize how stage productions are laid out, but this same idea can be used to rearrange the living room furniture using the transform tools, which you do in this example.

To rearrange the living room furniture, follow these steps:

1.   Open the Living room.skp file from the Chap 06 folder on the CD-ROM. This file contains a simple set of furniture components from the Components library.

2.   The first problem to fix is that the room is much too large. Click on the back wall with the Select tool to select it. Then choose the Move tool (M), and click and drag the wall forward toward the other furniture pieces. Drag until the green inference line is visi- ble and release the mouse.

3.   Select the couch with the Select tool and select the Rotate tool (Q). Click on the floor to place the protractor guide, and click to set the initial rotation point. Then drag the mouse cursor until the couch is rotated 90 degrees. Use the Move tool to move the couch back against the wall.

4.   Repeat step 3 for the coffee table and position it in front of the couch. Figure 6.7 shows the resulting layout.

FIGURE 6.7 Furniture repositioned compliments of the transform tools.

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