# Another Sketchup question - the dimension tool

• posted on May 23, 2014, 2:10 am
I am starting to use the dimension tool and I have a problem.
Here is my example case:
Starting at the origin, draw a 3 inch line along the red axis.
From the end of that line, draw a 4 inch line parallel to the green axis.
From the end of that line, draw a 12 inch line parallel to the blue axis.
Finally from the end of that line, draw a line back to the origin.
The length of the last line is 13 inches. (It is part of a 5, 12, 13 right triangle. The 5 comes from a 3, 4, 5 right triangle.)
However I cannot get the dimension tool to give me the length of that last line. It keeps wanting to give me a projection on the red/green, green/blue. red/blue, or some other plane. I.e it will give me: 3, 4, 12, 5, or 12 21/32 inches. The last two values are projections to other planes.
Does anyone know how to get the dimension tool to give me the actual length of the line. I.e. 13 inches.
Note: The Entity Info box and tape measure tool do give the correct length of 13 inches.
Dan
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• posted on May 23, 2014, 5:15 am
On 5/22/2014 9:10 PM, Dan Coby wrote:

Good question. IIRC this was possible in the past, I recall doing that.
But if you simply need to show the dimension in the drawing you can use the Entity Info to tell you what the length is and then use the "Text" tool to extend a leader from the line to a Text Box that you can fill manually with the info of your choice, in this case the actual length.
Alternatively you can make a copy of that line and rotate it to be parallel to either of the 6 axis and the use the dimension tool... the Text with leader tool leaves every thing in place however.
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• posted on May 23, 2014, 7:41 am
On 5/22/2014 10:15 PM, Leon wrote:

If I create a surface that includes the line in my question as one of its edges then I am able to get the dimension tool to give me the line length.
This situation occurred while I was trying to determine some pipe routing. I was using lines to represented the center of the pipe. So I did not have surfaces associated with the lines.
Dan
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• posted on May 23, 2014, 12:47 pm
On 5/22/2014 9:10 PM, Dan Coby wrote:

Select the 'Axes' tool|change axes of the line|Set your dimension|change the axis back.
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• posted on May 23, 2014, 12:57 pm
On 5/23/2014 7:47 AM, Swingman wrote:

Well I wondered WTF that tool was good for. ;~) That works!
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• posted on May 23, 2014, 1:18 pm
On 5/23/2014 7:57 AM, Leon wrote:

LOL ... "mixed plane" 3D dimensioning is problematic because the program can't read your mind and so does what it does - measures lines in reference to a plane.
Making a solid is one way, but the 'changing the axes of the line' trick to conform to how the programs works is much quicker, IME.
Bring the mountain to Mohammed ... ;)
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