Can I scan in an existing outside floorpan and trace it or duplicate it into Sketchup?


I have an existing floorplan that was drawn on another program and printed. I have a pdf. copy and would like to copy it into my Sketchup to render it. Is there a way to scan it, import it into Sketchup and then trace it to rebuild it?


Yes. Make a raster image of it (PNG or JPG) or since you are using Mac, import the PDF as an image and import it into SketchUp using File>Import. Set the import option to Use as image.

Place it in the model and get to tracing. Don’t worry about the size immediately. You can adjust it afterward. Once you have a few lines drawn, measure one of them with the Tape Measure tool making sure to click at each end. Then type its real dimension and hit Enter. You’ll be asked if you want to resize the model. choose the affirmative response and go on with the tracing.

Be aware that if the PDf has been scanned, the dimensions may not be accurate in both directions. You may need to make some adjustments to your drawing. Just don’t get overly fixated on following the image in that case.

Once you’ve completed the tracing, select and delete the image.


PDF is a ‘wrapper’, if it has a ‘vector’ and not just an image [‘raster’] , there is a command line tool to convert to dxf…


It doesn’t work on all PDF’s, and I often import both the pdf and the dxf to help cleaning up…

text can be an issue, but it can be left out…



This is also a trick that Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw and Inkscape (free) are able to do. I found pstoedit and Ghostscript rather challenging to use (years ago, they might have developed since).



Inkscape use pstoedit internally so I do the same from SU with ruby, which you can’t do with Adobe/CD…

if SU updated there PDF calls to a newer pdf lib version then it would be native…