Do you Click-Move-Click, or Click-Drag-Release?
A reader of my book recently asked why his mouse was not working like my book explanations. While drawing a line with the Line Tool, he could not get the mouse to “click-move-click”, rather he was required to drag the mouse by holding down the left mouse button.
In the book, I recommend not dragging, rather adopting the click (and finger-off) moving, then clicking again to end the line. My recommendation was based on watching students struggle with SketchUp when trying to use the drag method. I think students had trouble making lines at exact length by typing in the length. But now I’m not sure why there was so much difficulty with this method.
Back to the readers question how to change the behavior of the mouse….. I had forgotten that SketchUp includes setting options for mouse behavior. From a document viewed on SketchUp’s Help Center, the mouse options are described as:
Use the Drawing preferences panel to define global mouse (or other input device) behavior.
The Click Style options allows you to define how your input device reacts to clicks.
Click-drag-release: Use the Click-drag-release button to force the Line tool to draw by click and holding the mouse button to define the start point of the line, dragging the mouse to extend the line, and releasing the mouse to establish the end point of the line.
Auto detect: Use the Auto detect button to use either Click-drag-release and Click-move-click as necessary.
Click-move-click:Use the Click-move-click button to force the Line tool to draw by clicking and releasing the mouse button to define the start point of the line, moving the mouse to extend the line, and clicking again to establish the end point of the line.
Continue line drawing:Use the Continue line drawing checkbox to force the Line tool to treat an end point as the start point of a new line, saving you one extra click required establish a new start point for the second line.
And you can set these options by opening the System Preferences dialog box – Window/Preferences/Drawing – see below.
The reader had the “Click-drag-release” check box selected, therefore causing the difference from my book instructions on placing a line. The default setting by Google is “Auto-detect”, and that is what I have been using (but without knowing it). See dialog box below:
For experimentation, I changed the setting to “Click-drag-release”, and to my amazement, I was able to use the mouse effectively, and easily remove my hands from the mouse to type in the exact length. So I’m not so adamant about the choice of this setting. Note: I did not do a full-scale comprehensive test of line placement with this setting, so I can’t be sure of some hidden quirks.
Aidan Chopra in “Google SketchUp for Dummies” recommends the click-move-click setting and explains that “you will have more control and your hand won’t get as tired”. He also suggests that with the drag method “you’re a lot more likely to drop your line accidentally”.
I will certainly not change my choice of mouse behavior – keeping the click-move-click operation. This is how I learned and I don’t see any advantage to changing. However, I suspect there are users happy and effective dragging the mouse.