Higher Resolution Output for PDFs

It’s been discussed before, but I want to make a formal feature request.

Please allow an increase DPI output to double what it is now (or let us choose)!

I can’t imagine why this would be difficult to implement.

Current resolution looks fine on screen at 100% zoom, and when printed… but we usually zoom in on things to read details. Using extra sheets for enlargements is clunky, annoying and slows Layout down even more.

Rendering in Hybrid takes forever and doesn’t always solve the problem.



some thoughts…

are all materials optimised…
is the model set for AA texture…
is SU set for Max Texture size…

if not LayOut can not ‘increase’ those parameters…


Good thoughts - this feature would improve that, but also improve simple cad-style outputs consisting of flat shaded faces and edges.

The issue was discussed here previously:

I’m fully aware of resolution/vector rendering, and have some workarounds…just need a native (or extension-enabled) 600dpi output :smiley:

I’m not against the idea, but to clarify something, when zooming in on LayOut text you’re seeing vectors, and can zoom in any amount and still have crisp text. So do you mean text that is in a SketchUp scene that is set to Raster?

One work around that would give you twice dpi if you are printing on A4 would be to work in LayOut as A3.

Hi Colin
Nope the text is all created using LayOut and appears in vector.
It’s the skp geometry (faces, edges) that is appearing blurry.
I’ll send you a PDF output file.

Regarding the A3/A4 thing - yes that is one of my workarounds - good output, except when client want to print and they get confused and all my titleblocks, scales, etc are set up for a3 not a1.


You had said zoom in to read it, that’s what made me think it was text. What I said about using A3 instead of A4 could still help.

How are your printer settings?
As far as I know, anything above 300dpi is regarded ‘useless’ for publishing stuff.
A four color printer of 1200dpi is merely 300dpi per colour (C-Y-K and black), blended.
Whereas the settings in output are low-medium-high (96-150-300dpi), the screen resolution is counted in ppi (points per inch) eg, not comparable, I guess.
I run some tests (draw rectangle in LayOut with a circle and two diagonals, inserted a Viewport with the same drawn figure in SketchUp and set to scale 1:1, set to raster and copied that Viewport and then set to Vector) and then printed with a (printer setting of 600dpi.

Hardly see the difference ( I am 52…) on the printed pages if any difference at all

Segments set to 96 in SketchUp to bypass the raster Viewport segment look.

What gives? Do we need vector Viewports at all?
I did the test because I was attending a SketchUp Cafe event and discussed with one of the developers of Skalp (not @Guy ) the fact that they actually only used raster in LayOut to produce their architectual drawings.

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Is your Output resolution set to High (File>Document setup>Paper)? In technical terms High means 300 PPI which is the practical maximum of all colour printing, and it requires a colour printer with at least1200 DPI or a 300 PPI dye sublimation printer to be of any use besides bloating the file size.

Yes…we definitely need vector viewports.

More importantly we need Layout to be able to output the same quality of line work we see in the Sketchup Model space…and why it can’t is beyond belief!!!

For years the whole raster - hybrid - vector mode has (in my opinion) only been a way for lower-end computers to lower the speed-to-render the image display (on screen) and move around quicker in the LAYOUT space.

Everyone says…“just output to Hybrid or vector once you have done “laying-out” your project” …but as I’m sure you’re aware of the bug in Layout that prevents any linework (profiles / edges) behind a transparent surface from being displayed when in “hybrid” mode. And forget about “Vector” mode, as no textures or materials are EVEN displayed. So again whats the point of getting nice crisp lines at the cost of the transparency bug in “hybrid”, and the loss of transparency and materials in “vector”.

“Raster” mode does display both transparency and materials, but at the cost of crappy, jagged, lines no matter what setting you output / export to PDF. Aliased lines (jaggies) are horrible for presentations and harks back to my original point… if SKP can display sharp crisp lines / edges / profiles…then why the heck does Layout offer such cr@p options???

@Trimble - jump in here anytime to explain this to us all!!!

When is @Trimble going to fix this bug???

And I’m tired of all the BS work-arounds and having to up-scale models just to get a sub-par treatment/output of line work in whats supposed to be a PRO software.

Typically 150dpi resolution is enough to convey linework and photographs on non-photo paper stock, ie: Laser Printer Paper.

240dpi - 300dpi is what high-end, glossy magazines are printed at, but they are not done on desktop printers…they are typically offset printing presses. While you can have modern laser printers and inkjet printers print at 300dpi (or higher), as you mentioned there will be little if any noticeable difference to the human eye.

Photographers will print at much higher resolutions than 300dpi, but again on specialty papers and often for gallery display scenarios, or high-end prints. Most poster art, large format prints for displays, trade shows, signage etc…is all done at 150dpi, and when viewed from about 3’ (1m) away from surface, the 150dpi is more than adequate for photos and line work.

Don’t forget that the need is to export PDF and be able to zoom into it without things becoming blurry. The limitations of printers and paper are not part of the problem.


Low, Medium, High and Custom (with an additional text field) would be good I think. Non-tech people could just use the plain phrases without having to worry about numbers and units and what that all means, but more technical users would still get that extra control.

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Almost there, :wink:
Low, Medium, High and Super High.

I love the idea for a higher printing resolution, specially for tight drawn hatches.

I like the idea of antialislasing applied to LO pdf outputs (user selectable)

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I think Pro users can handle seeing what the resolution is at all settings.
Low or “screen” (96dpi)
Medium (150dpi)
High (300dpi)
Ultra (600dpi)

In fact, such examples of Simple+intelligent info displayed next to each other is a valuable learning mechanism.

User-selectable dpi might be handy and wouldnt make the interface too much more complicated…

…though if going to more effort then why not add jpg compression, lineweight ‘thickeness multiplier’ and user-selectable antialiasing settings to the PDF & image output menus? (the template page setup isnt as convenient, imo)

…and then why not go the whole way and mimic a typical Adobe PDF virtual printer driver, with added ‘advanced’ overrides for page size, orientation, scale factor, font rasterising, etc?

(i like software that is simple and easy for newbies but that also has the little [•••] “advanced” button for more settings; anyone who uses android will understand this).


it should be built right in…I can’t think of a scenario when i wouldn’t want “clean” crisp lines…??

I couldn’t agree more…if it’s meant to be a “layout” program, then give users of all levels greater ability to control “how it looks” on paper or .PDF…it’s a no brainer…Just wonder if anyone @Trimble reads or takes on board what is being passed around in these forums?

I wrote a long treatise about lineweight and LayOut, but thought the better and offer instead this summary. LayOut is today capable of giving you all the resolution you can use, though we have simplified the UI to keep beginners out of trouble.

On average, the thickness of a human hair is .1mm, In ISO standards, the finest hairline recommended for CAD drafting is .13mm. In traditional drafting, the finest technical pen (ex. Rapidiograph) available is also .13mm. Given the angular resolving power of the human eye (20/20 vision) is about .008deg, the thinnest resolvable line viewed from arms-length is about the same.

The finest hairline you can render with a 300ppi laser printer is .003 in (.0762mm). Similar resolution is achievable on modern ultra-high resolution (ex. Apple “Retina”) displays. You may have a printer that can print 600 or even 1200ppi. Don’t be confused by this unless you plan on viewing your drawings with a microscope. Typically, anything above 300ppi is just an interpolation.

Spare yourself the computational burden of shuffling around bitmap images that are bigger than you need. 300ppi images at architectural sheet sizes are impossibly huge, even if you are opening them in Photoshop. An empty 24x36 bitmap at 600ppi is close to 16mb in Photoshop, even compressed and optimized.

Yes- I regularly read and comment on issues raised in these forums. In fact, the initial builds of LayOut allowed users to choose arbitrarily high resolutions for rasterization in LayOut. I should know, because I designed that feature :wink:

In practice, because most folks misunderstand the relationship between rasterization and the human vision system, people habitually set the number way too high and brought LayOut’s overall performance to a crawl. Without really improving the sharpness or clarity of their drawings at all. So we made a change.

I’m sure you’ll take issue with my calculations, but know that before I took on my role as Dir. of Product Management on the SketchUp team, I was a practicing architectural designer just like you. I have quite a bit of practical experience with this issue, and some scar tissue earned by waiting endlessly while too-large bitmaps spooled endlessly to my company’s plotter on the night before a big presentation. For example, here’s me wondering if we would ever finish plotting our competition entry for the Auswärtiges Amt competition in Berlin back in 1995. That’s my boss, Ivan Reimann, asleep on the floor in the background.


Almost the same: