Apparent bug: Changing number of pages to print changes what's shown and changes scale

I have a weird problem printing to scale from SU 2018, even after re-starting SU and reopening the drawing.

I’ve drawn an angular scale which I’m trying to print full size on landscape A4 paper.

I set Page Setup to Landscape, 100%.

I set Document Setup to print to scale 1:1.

I go to Print, and get a plausible preview - the top part of the scale almost fills the page, and it says it will take 2 pages (or sometimes 4, depending on how tight I have set the SU window round the relevant parts of the drawing). I set Vector printing, Extra High quality, and Line width 0.25 points.

But if I now change from Print All to Print page 1-1, the preview of page 1 shrinks, it clips the drawing at the bottom and moves it down the page. (Or, I later find, it does this if I change anything on this dialogue,like changing from printing double sided to single.)

Alternating between Print All and Print page 1-1 eventually shrinks the preview to where everything disappears, and the preview says it will now print (nothing visible) on one page.

Here’s the file:
Angle cutting guide.skp (234.9 KB)

And here’s what successive changes in pages to print looks like:

… and after a few more repeats, disappears almost completely

Why not set it up in LayOut and export a PDF for printing?

The scale isn’t accurate, though. Is that what you want?

Two (not very good) reasons why not.

  1. I just wanted a quick printout.
  2. I’m still not very familiar with Layout, although I know in principle how to use it (thanks largely to an excellent personal tutorial from you a year or more ago).

Besides, although I know printing to scale from SU has always been hit or miss, I really think the latest version 2018 OUGHT to have addressed the various problems in this after something like 10 years of repeated complaints from Make AND Pro users, who think it just ought to work.

Given my problems with this particular file, I expect I’ll put in the effort to set up a few templates in Layout, and learn to use it.

But I resent having to… I still very much like SU most of the time and it ought to do 99% of what I find myself needing.

Well, if you open the SU file, insert the Fence component with its bottom left corner at the origin, and rotate it, its outer edge should line up with the scale correctly - at least it did, if the file itself isn’t corrupted.

The lines on the scale are angled to where the offset edge of the fence is positioned when you rotate it.

Might seem a bit weird, but that’s the way the guide works on my tablesaw - the fence itself is home made.

You can see the same kind of scale on a benchtop mitre saw.

the drawing isn’t to scale?

it’s bigger than an A4 page…


It seems pretty clear to me that changing the way printing to scale works in SU is very low on the list of priorities. It works so much better in LO and you can create better looking output with vector lines in LO than the raster output of SketchUp.

the fence rectangle is in there. I didn’t know there was anything in the file other than your scale. I see why it is laid out as it is.

Doing this in LO doesn’t require that you set up a template and it won’t take long to do. Real time:

angle scale.pdf (5.7 KB)


I know, but the top (graduations/scale) will (just) fit on A4 Landscape as the first print preview image shows.

I’ve got it done now, via Layout, though I needed a bit of head scratching to get rid of the background colour - the checkbox is greyed out so I can’t uncheck it (I have to go back to SU, change background there to white, and then work out how to refresh the link from Layout), and to reposition the view on the Layout page.

Also, had to set up a Top scene to simplify linking to LO and avoid the (Modified) reference to the file which DaveR emphasises is key to working in LO.

Thanks for the demo. Yes, I should get used to this - once I get the hang of it, I can see that it will be quite easy.

Took me longer, but I got there, just before seeing your video.

Thank you again.

PS. Just downloaded your PDF.

It shouldn’t fit on A4 portrait.

In my original, measuring on red with the tape measure, the scale is 10 3/4" from the line up left of 60° to the degree mark right of the 0° label.

And it’s important that the dimension between the vertical line and the scale mark for 0° should be exactly 2 1/4 inches, which is the fence offset between its pivot and its right edge.

Did you change the size somewhere, Dave?

I did try scaling the drawing before I realised that I had to preserve the absolute offset as I wrote just above - I didn’t save that version to upload, did I? Apologies if so.

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I changed from A4 paper to A3 so the whole thing would fit on a single sheet. You can print it without scaling and make it run over more than one sheet.

I didn’t do anything to the model except change the style to get rid of the dreary gray background and create a scene. In LO, I set the viewport scale to 1:1. That’s it.

Thanks. I hadn’t spotted it was A3.

Will that print as two sheets landscape on a A4 printer? My A3 home printer died several years ago!

You should be able to set up the output from the PDF reader. At least you can do that in Acrobat or Adobe Reader. This is what I get when I set the paper to A4 Rotated.

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