Embedded Images in Layout Disappear

We are a solar installation company that uses Sketchup Pro and Layout to create installation and permit drawings. Over the last few months, we have had more and more Layout files that have dropped embedded images. These are not imported SketchUp Models - they are things like logos and jpgs that we have had in our drawing templates for years without problems.

Often the drawing will be fine, then the next time we open it some or all of our embedded images have a grey box with a red X through it. All four designers use Sketchup 2018 running on PCs. We store our Sketchup files and Layout drawing in Dropbox folders. If you go into Document Setup \ References, the File Names are gone from the missing images. We have used the same work process for many years and have not changed anything, apart from upgrading to Sketchup 2018.

We have used Sketchup since 2007 with no major issues and love the software, however, we will be forced to use something else if this problem can’t be solved.

Hi Shawn we are looking into this. I know that we have had other users with issues using Dropbox but I am not sure if this is related.

I will see if I can reproduce the issue on our end.


Could this be an issue where Layout is not referencing the correct Temp file folder? We just had a case where there where two temporary folders that where created.

. The Layout file had missing images, which where all located in one of the files. Once these files where transferred to the other Temp file, the images reappeared in the Layout file.

Hmm… I think you might be on to something with this… You mention cut and paste from one drawing to another. We have had reports from users who use this method vs. file\import… where links can get lost. I have not been able to reproduce this but it seems like the cut an pasted image is linking back to the original file temp location. Then once original file is closed the temp location is no longer present causing the red x. This may be compounded with the use of Dropbox folders… but again… I have not been able to reproduce the lost links yet.


Hi Trent-

I redid the drawing template and made sure all embedded images were added using Fire > Insert and not just copy and paste, and still we are having issues with the grey box with a Red X. Attached are two examples of this.

When this happens, two temp folders are created. The temp folders have the same name, except one has NR at the beginning. Why would Layout create two temp folders? On Dropbox we have a folder with all of the embedded images in it. We can copy these images into the temp folder with NR and things seem to work. Any more idea on this?


Here are the images

I’ve had a series of similar layout files that all of a sudden have multiple grey boxes with red “X” through them. (imported images photos and inserted logos).
Is there a way to trace the problem and fix it?
i haven’t found a cure for this.

Any word on this issue? I’ve totally remade our template and used only the File > Insert method to embed images, yet we are still having the issues with the grey boxes. Is there any support information I can send you that would help?

Getting pretty desperate with the issue of greyed out inserted images. 100s of hours of lost work. Any progress on your end?

Hi Shawn have been actively digging into the issue but have not uncovered anything internally yet. CharlieSolar on Embedded images - #20 by Anbender might have found something that could help you.

We are having the same issue - any answers? I have a layout file I haven’t opened in several weeks, just opened it today and the images are all grayed out with a red “X” and gone - super frustrating!

One thing I’ve noticed is that images that originally reference a Temp file can be problematic. Do you still have the images in a directory on the computer? An image that was copied to the clipboard and then pasted doesn’t have a good reference. I’ve never had a problem with images getting lost if I make sure they are in a more permanent directory.

Thanks for replying - I have used older versions of layout for several years and have always been able to copy and paste images in from the clipboard and have them “live” on the Layout page for years. Having to manage their original source location is going to be time consuming and problematic as I am starting to work with multiple people and we simply don’t need another thing to keep track of.
If the answer is that is how Layout is going to work now, I will have to adapt and stop using it with images the way I have been. In the past, it was really easy for me to add images and my clients liked to have their photos on the pages with the drawings, but I’m not going to keep track of another file directory and would just like to see if there’s an answer to why it’s not working like it used to?

I’m not telling you how to handle images on your end. I’m only saying I’ve never had problems with losing images but I’ve always kept a folder with the reference images. I’m not just copying and pasting into the LO file. Trent said they are looking into and provided a link to another forum post related to this issue. Did you read it?

Thanks - I did read the link, it appears to involve the issue but with scrapbook images. Doesn’t answer my question about why the new version doesn’t work like the old and if there will be a fix so I guess for now we wont use images until there is a fix and I’ll keep watching

DaveR, could you tell me the PROS/CONS about this workflow compared to yours:

Insert the images in a SketchUp file, create scene for each of them and finally send them to LO.

Waste of time? Lower quality/resolution of the images?

I’m really going to appreciate your answer.

Are you taking about inserting JPG or PNG images into SketchUp so you can display them in LO? No. I certainly wouldn’t do that. I can’t really think of any prosbut there are a number of cons that come to mind. Resolution would be decreased, it would take extra time and work, and if you find you need to edit the images, it will be much more involved.

Put the images into a project folder and use File>Insert to insert them directly into LayOut.

Yes i’m talking about PNG & JPG images and yes, I will adopt your advice as workflow.

I am very thankfull for you help.

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After almost 10 years of using Sketchup/Layout we are having to switch to autocad. The grey box issue has nothing to do with our process. Trimble must get to the bottom of this or risk losing more customers.

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