Embedding Files into Layout

Hi folks!

I am having a huge Problem with a Layout-File that I’ve worked on for quite some time over the past 3 days. It contains ALOT of embedded clippings (screenshots) or so I thought. But now I realize - no they are “linked” or better “where” linked because the sucker cannot find them anymore. Fortunately I figured out where Layout stored them and I can recover the links one by one but I want to really embed them instead of linking them to be sure this doesn’t happen again. Any ideas? There is no button “embed”.

The links point to the temporarily unzipped LO file Ref folder. It looks like you were copying the image files from somewhere and pasting them into the LayOut. That’s not a good workflow because there is no path to the original image file. In the old days LayOut would show the reference path to the temp folder from the Copy action. Later, when the operating system deleted the contents of the folder, the references would be totally lost. In the last version or so of LayOut the reference automatically gets embedded instead. It’s still possible that the references would get lost but it’s not as likely.

It’s unfortunate that you have so many missing references. It’s going to be slow going. At this point I would make a copy of the LayOut file and extract the Ref folder out of it so save in your project folder on your internal drive. Then relink the references one at a time to the images in that folder.

In the future it would be safer to use File>Insert to add the images and keep the originals in the folder for your client’s project so you always have the originals available.

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Hi Dave - thanks for the quick reply! Yes - that’s exactly what I did. I had to make a whole bunch of screenshots of tiny parts from our website to link them together in a meaningful way. The weird bit was, that the file initially had 90 MB and after saving, it suddenly had something like 800 kB.

I recovered everything from the temp-folder, renamed the files and relinked them. Now - what I would like to understand - there is a button called “Delete Links”.

When I select all images and click on “delete link” Layout says that all files are now “embedded”. Before it said the files are “up to date”. Ok. I understand this from the likes of affinity and so on but what I do not get is this: both Layout files (embedded and not embedded" do not change in size - which would mean that the images are inside the Layout-File in both cases. What’s the point of that button? What would be best practice. We want to use this file as a template for diagrams so it is very important that the images “are carried with the file” no matter where I open it.

Yes. There would be no change in file size when you embed the references. The LayOut file is a zip file. In its Ref folder it contains copies of all of the files you’ve referenced. That includes images, SketchUp model files, spreadsheets, etc. If you insert the references correctly, LayOut will contain a copy of the file but it will also check to see if the original file has been updated. You’ll see that if you open a LayOut file after modifying the .skp file it references. LO will alert you to the fact that its internal copy is older than the original and prompt you to update the reference.

When you unlink a reference LayOut stops looking at the external reference file to see if there have been changes. It only looks at the file in the Ref folder inside the LayOut file.

I embed things like logo images, proxy .skp files, and boilerplate text/spreadsheet files for templates. I don’t unlink references specifically related to the project, though. That can create all sort of problems.

The other time I would use Unlink to embed files is when I am sent a LayOut file to fix. I do that because the LayOut file will call the references “Missing” because my computer is not connected to the computer of the person who created the file.

Best practice for your images would be to save the screenshots into a folder for the job. Then use Insert to insert those images into the LayOut document. This will result in viable links to the folder on your internal drive where the original image files are saved. It will also populate the Ref folder with copies of those images. If you later have a reason to edit any of the images or replace them, you’ll do that with the files in the job folder. Then when you open LayOut, you’ll get prompted to update those changed references.

As far as the size of the LO file goes, keep that under control. Make your image files appropriately sized for the way they’ll be used. Assume your PDF will be printed at 300 dpi. An image that will be printed on the page at 3 inches wide doesn’t need to be more than 900 px wide. Any wider than that and the extra resolution will be wasted and the image will be larger than it needs to be. That just creates file bloat. (I’ll leave you to make the metric conversions. I’m typing on my phone.) This sizing thing is exactly the same thing with SketchUp files. Excessively large texture images and unneeded edges and faces just bloat the file and slow things down without any benefit.

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Hi Dave,

ok - got it. Thanks for all the help! Have a nice Easter-Holiday!

Good deal. You have a good holiday, too.

FWIW, I thought of a couple of things to add regarding the embedding of files.

I embed common template files like logos and proxy .skp files because I don’t need LO to check external references for those things when I start a new project.

I embed references in those LO files I get from others especially if I have to edit them. For example, if I have a need to edit a SketchUp file from the LO file and I don’t embed the thing before I send the LO file back, when the user opens the file it’ll likely prompt to update the SketchUp file from their copy. If they do that they undo all the edits I made.