Hand drawn scans into Layout

Hi, I intend to import scans of some garden plans (which Ive hand drawn at 1:50) into Layout. here ive got some pre saved templates with a branded title block. I intend to label the drawings, add the required text, then print them off at the same size/scale to colour render them by hand.
Is this possible? Does Layout keep the image the same size and scale? Will the printed image have high resolution?

Many thanks in advance


Raster image files are not inserted to a scale. You can resize the image as needed after it is imported. You could make a temporary Scaled Drawing to use a guide for the 1:50 scaling.

You can then export the PDF and the images will remain the same size as you set them on the page.

The output from LO won’t be any higher resolution than the images you insert but you can choose High quality for PDF exports to get the highest quality output.

Probably better to export a PDF and print that than to print directly from LayOut.

Thanks for your speedy response, sorry to be obtuse, how would I make a temporary, scaled drawing?

In the Scaled Drawing panel click on Make Scaled Drawing. Select the scale and the appropriate units (probably meters in your case). Then either draw a rectangle or at least a couple of lines at right angles to each other that match know distances in your drawing. The resize the inserted image to align with the scaled drawing. You can delete the scaled drawing object once the image is correctly sized.

Thanks very much :grinning:

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Best of luck.

Here’s a quick example. In this case I was only concerned with the longest dimension and I have no idea how long this garden is really supposed to be. I just scavenged an image out of a freely available PDF.

Assuming the garden to be 10 meters long, I used the Scaled Drawing feature to make a scaled 10m long line at 1:50. Then adjusted the size of the inserted image to match. You don’t need to add the dimension in there. I just did it for the example.

When you resize the image, use a corner handle and hold Shift to maintain the aspect ratio of the image. I suggested using a rectangle or two lines at right angles so you can confirm the aspect ratio of the scanned image is correct. My experience with scanned images is that the A.R. is often out by a little bit. Might not be a problem in this case but it’s good to know up front.


I don’t do very much landscape design but this thread suggests a way of working that might be useful to those who do.

You could do a scale drawing of a garden in SU in the normal way, leaving out the “entourage” (plants, etc.). Print it out and use it for drawing in the entourage by hand/watercolour, etc. Then scan that and use it as an overlay to the SU drawing when brought into LO. That ensures scale remains accurate.

Easier in Powerpoint, do it all the time !

Good to know. If you have Powerpoint!

I’ve used this technique more times than I can count in PowerCADD over the years. Just recently, I had to start a project by scanning a paper print of a survey because we couldn’t find the surveyor right away. Nice thing, at least on a Mac, if the source is a flatbed scanner, it knows the physical size of the image, and it just comes into PC at the paper scale; you don’t need that resizing exercise @DaveR describes earlier. You do have to do that step if the source is a camera like using your phone to take a picture of a drawing.

Edit: I just tested a file in both programs, and a scan that just imports into PowerCADD at scale doesn’t work that way in Layout 2020 on the Mac. If this feature were to be worked out in LO, it might be a MacOS thing.

Further testing reveals more complexity. If I insert an 11"x17" scan on 11"x17" paper in Layout, the program scales down the image by some amount, and it’s not to scale. If I insert an 11"x17" scan on 24"x36" paper, it comes in at paper scale correctly, no further action needed. If I copy that and paste to current layer in the 11x17 document, it’s still to scale.

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Many applications, like InDesign, for instance, can perform the trick of reading the original size information embedded inside an image file but many others cannot, which is annoying. LayOut is one of them.

I have made a paper size 60" x60" and import my pdf drawings (usualy 36" x 24" )into LayOut that way. It doesn’t reduce. It’s relative to the paper size. (probably an easy programming fix?).

Then when from LayOut to LayOut you copy to a regular paper size document it does not reduce the size. It stays true “paper space” scale.(like you found)

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Sounds like there might be a print margin in there somewhere causing the rescaling?