Why Can’t I Offset in SketchUp?

Why Can’t I Offset in SketchUp?

If you’re unable to use the Offset tool in SketchUp, don’t worry! You’re not alone. Many users encounter this issue, but luckily, there are several common reasons why this problem occurs and easy solutions to fix it.

1. Incorrect Selection

Problem: One possible reason why you can’t offset in SketchUp is that you’ve selected the wrong entity or group.

Solution: Before using the Offset tool, ensure that you’ve correctly selected the edges or faces that you want to offset. Use the Select tool (shortcut: Spacebar) to select the desired entities. If you’ve already selected them but still can’t offset, try unselecting and reselecting them.

2. Non-Coplanar Faces

Problem: Another reason for the offset issue is non-coplanar faces. SketchUp’s Offset tool requires all faces involved in the operation to lie on the same plane.

Solution: To resolve this problem, check if any of your faces are not coplanar with others. Activate the Tape Measure tool (shortcut: T) and click on each face to verify their alignment. If you find any non-coplanar faces, use SketchUp’s native tools like Move or Rotate to align them properly.

3. Insufficient Geometry

Problem: Sometimes, when trying to offset a small distance or working with very thin geometry, SketchUp may refuse to perform the operation.

Solution: To overcome this issue, try increasing the offset distance or thickening your geometry before attempting to use the Offset tool again. You can use the Push/Pull tool (shortcut: P) to give your geometry some thickness and then try offsetting it.

4. Non-Planar Edges

Problem: If you’re trying to offset an edge that is not planar, SketchUp will not be able to complete the operation.

Solution: To fix this issue, ensure that all edges involved in the offset are planar. You can use SketchUp’s native tools such as the Line tool (shortcut: L) or the Move tool to modify or adjust any non-planar edges before attempting to offset them.

5. Incorrect Face Orientation

Problem: In SketchUp, face orientation plays a crucial role in determining whether the Offset tool will work correctly. If your faces are reversed or flipped, it can prevent successful offsetting.

Solution: To resolve this issue, make sure that all faces have the correct orientation. The front face should be facing outward, while the back face should be facing inward. Use SketchUp’s Reverse Faces tool (shortcut: Context menu > Entity Info > Reverse Faces) to correct any flipped or reversed faces before attempting to offset them.


In conclusion, if you can’t offset in SketchUp, check your selection, ensure coplanarity of faces and planarity of edges, verify face orientations, and consider adjusting geometry thickness. By addressing these common issues with their respective solutions, you’ll be able to successfully use the Offset tool in SketchUp and continue your modeling journey without any obstacles!