Black and white layout drawings?

Once i have created my model and rendered it in Sketchup and layed out my various scenes in Layout ready for printing is there a way i can produce black and white versions of my drawings, I have used the monochrome option when printing but this doesnt really produce the desired effect. Is there a plugin for sketchup that changes everything to balck and white ? Any help would be appreciated.

In the SU top menu bar click on: View>Face Style>Monochrome. Everything is now black and white. Update in Layout and your scenes should change. Hope this helps. I just did it to make sure it works.

I would rather use the Hidden Lines display style. What Monochrome looks like depends on what colours you have assigned to your Default material (front and back faces) in your style. Also, the Hidden Lines style will still respect transparent materials, whereas in Monochrome everything is opaque.


Thanks for the answers, however I need to retain the renders i have applied to the surfaces, using these methods removes the renders. I just need to produce a better looking monochrome version of the rendered model.

So you want a greyscale version? I would say your best option is to export your LayOut file as PDF, PNG or JPG images and convert it to greyscale in Photoshop (or your favourite image editor). A straight conversion (like printing to a monochrome laser printer) often looks blurry and flat so you will have to apply image adjustments anyway.


Thanks Anssi, i was hoping not to have to use another program to alter the images but it looks like I have no choice. Oh well…

In Layout first open the SketchUp model window from the window menu. Then select the model image that was imported from SketchUp you would like to be a monochromatic. In the SketchUp window go to the style side, from there you can adjust the model image to different settings. (no additional software needed). Try the straight line styles. I think this will do what you are looking for, but there are lots to mess with.

Hopefully this helps.


Hello spmcgill81

Thanks for the response, unfortunately using the sketchup styles removes any renders i have applied, I can retain the renders in the “consruction document” style but when printing in monochrome or grayscale from my layout drawing this gives a poor and blurry black and white print


What quality settings are you using (Document setup>Paper)? I always set Edit quality to Low and Output quality to High. If your output is set to Medium or Low, using the highest setting should reduce the blurriness a little.

I have also found that when outputting PDF files out of LayOut documents, using any PDF optimizers (like the Reduce File Size function in Adobe Acrobat) has for some reason a much more adverse effect on output from LayOut than from many other applications.



thanks for the advice, my output settings are on high and I try not to export as a PDF file unless it is for emailing to a client for approval. I have started altering the colour of the applied renders in sketchup so that when I bring it into layout they look black and white and I can then print without having to select monochrome/greyscale, this tends to give a reasonably good result but is extremely time consuming

I have the same issue. Our local building department requires black and white drawings in order for them to scan the drawings into their system. They claim that that my black and white prints of a full colored and rendered pdf result in unreadable drawings with rendered areas being too dark. I also have to create a copy of the sketchup file and adjust each of the materials to a grayscale version in order to get them what they want.

A “convert materials to grayscale” plugin or style would be very helpful.

Anyone have any new ideas?

Would you happen to be willing to post an example color Layout File that doesn’t convert to black and white well? I send out my drawings in color, but they often come back to me in black and white, but quite readable, so it might help us help if we can see what you’re working with.


Thank you for the reply. That is a tricky thing to answer because the printed drawings in black and white (from a color layout file) look good to me as well. The building department’s issue seems to be after they scan in with their Microfiche.

BUT!!!..with a bit more research I found this plugin from Jim…


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Luckily that is something that time will probably heal. In our parts, with quite many building departments, all the permit sets can be already transmitted electronically, with no paper involved.


Old thread, but I just figured this out today. You can do a rendered bite of you model in SketchUp, but for sending to layout for CD sets, do a color by layer scene. Apply color patterns to each layer (ie: exterior walls) with you custom hatches PNG and then you can maintain the render quality of your model and still have another diagrammatic style for 2d. This is how Skalp works also.

The best way I’ve found to convert Sketchup up to black and white is to open a new project in Sketchup and when it gives you the option to select a template, choose construction drawings. Then copy and paste your work into this window and choose Face Style = Hidden Line.

This will give you a blank white background and black lines for your work.

That’s a lot of work Carlos. It’s easier to just edit the style in the existing file.

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