Drawings for production. Automatically shortened areas

Hi there,

I am from Europe and use SketchUp for to draw steel sections (beams). For production I would like to create print out in “shortened view”. In fact a beam of 10.000mm length but only 200mm height that have 2 punches at each end can not be printed out in useful view. There is only a line and dimensions at the end can not be interpreted. I am looking for an add-on / extension that shortened areas without informations needed for production. For instance: Length of beam 10.000mm, at each end 2 punches with distance of 100mm from the end. So 9800mm in the middle of the beam are without any information needed for to produce it. There are professional cad-programs only for steel-work which shortened this “empty” areas down to a handy format. This routine can be customized by parameter: Direction: “X (Y or Z)”. Empty length: >500mm. Percentage reduction: 95%. This will bring down the 9800mm down to 490mm. At the end dimensions of the beam at the print out will be height: 200mm, lenght: 100mm + 490mm + 100mm = 690mm. But the dimension between the punches are dimensioned as 9800mm. For to indicate the middle dimension is not scaled correct, the dimension will be underlined.
I really hope someone can help me. Here in Europe nobody can help…
Sorry for my bad english, I am native german speaker.

Best regards


It’s a little hard to understand what you want but I recommend that you upload your LO file so that we can see what is going on. If there is any important text in the file, it would be helpful if you could translate it into English.

I am also “from Europe”.

Dear Simon, thank you very much for your answer. I just add a pic that should display the problem. This should normally not be a problem of an “big” cad-program like Bocad. But Sketchup is an software for construction and not for production. So this service to scale down “non important areas” is not contained. On the other hand there are hundreds of clever guys who create perfect add-ons. So I hope there will be a add-on or a solution to help me. Best regards from Switzerland


Firstly, you didn’t upload anything. Secondly, what is needed is the actual file or one that demonstrates the problem. I know they say that a picture paints a thousand words but in this case, that isn’t so. It only paints a few but it is the drawing file that paints a thousand words.

Hold on, I expect you mean the image you uploaded in your first post, right?

Is this what you want to do?

Dear Simon, yes! I would like to scale down. This can be made by a “break” -displayed in your drawing- or it can be made by underline of the dimension. Here is a youtube tutorial that belongs to an other software but displays the need quite good:

I am looking for a solution for a very long time. Up to now I must export the drawings and import it with an other cad-software. But that did not work perfect.
Best regards


Sadly, despite being a fellow European, I don’t understand German and my attention span won’t allow me to sit through 8 minutes of a language that means nothing to me.

I still don’t understand what you want to achieve. I hoped by seeing a Layout file, I might be able to guess. But you’re holding out on me so I can’t really help. Maybe there’s a German speaker here who can?

If you edit the dimension it will stay as typed…


Here is my LO file so you can see what I did in case it is of use.

Beam.layout (143.9 KB)

Of course, you don’t have to have a blank space between the windows but it helps alert people to the fact that you are not showing the whole length of the beam. If you edit the dimension as @john_drivenupthewall suggests, you break the dynamic link between object and dimension and effectively show a different scale in one dimension from the other.

Dear John, yess that is how I handle it at the moment. My problem is Sketchup seems to be never made for to create production drawings. In fact it takes quite much time to change dozens and dozens of sections by hand. My hope / idea was a addon which makes it more user friendly. I will search for a solution and come back when I have found a good solution. Best regards Bernhard

My effort is very similar to simoncbevans, and figured I would share anyway. (created LO file before seeing his)

PersistentID_LODimensions.skp (107.0 KB)

@BernhardB If your trying to do what I think you are This is how I think you should do it. Layout will report the actual distance between to points even if they reside in different scenes. If you change the length of the beam you may have to adjust the scene on the end that moved. You could set up a template for your shop drawings do this very quickly.


Dear Ccaponigro,
sorry for the long delay. That is really the best solution! Creating a few scenes and send them to Layout.
Simple ideas are the best solutions!
Unfortunately the dimension in the middle will not be displayed on my system. So at this moment I have to
organize position of the dimension on the left or right end.
Do you have any idea what is my mistake that dimension (inclusive dimension line) is not displayed in the middle?
Thank you very much!
Best regards from Switzerland

Are you adding the dimension in LayOut as @Ccaponigro did? Or are you adding it in SketchUp?

This is from a project I’m working on right now. It isn’t complete. The part is dimensioned in LO across the break. If I were to change the length of the part in the SketchUp model the dimensions would automatically update in the LayOut file.

There’s better control over the appearance of the dimensions in LO and you don’t have them cluttering the SketchUp model.


Dear Dave, that is where I am looking for since years… I am using SU2019pro but never ever saw what you got. It looks absolutely professional! grafik
How did you make it? Any plugin needed? Thank you very much for your help! Best regards Bernhard

The break lines are just something I drew in LayOut. No plugins needed. I created a scrapbook for break lines and when I draw a different style of them I add it so I don’t have to redraw them.

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Dear Dave, do’nt smile… my mistake is that I use dimensions from SU layer and do not create dimensions in LO. When I create dimensions in LO it works properly. I will work on it and come back with my result. At this moment I am looking for a tool that shifts dimensions flexible between left and right end. Best regards Bernhard

In LayOut you have a lot of flexibility over where the dimension text is placed. No special tools required. You can place it outside to one end if you wish or off center between the extensions lines. Leaders are created automatically for tiny dimensions and arrows will go outside like the 5/8" dimension on the left. Also text size and dimension style are separately controlled. The arrows, for example, are not dependent on the size of the text as they are in SketchUp.