Import pdf files


How do I import a pdf files/drawings for use as a base layout drawing in SketchUp


It helps to know which OS you use. Windows or OS X


One fast way is to use a screenshot of the pdf content as an imported image instead.


Hi Geo, I’m working in Windows. I’ve looked at the extension warehouse with no luck. Thanks for your help.


SketchUp for Windows does not support pdf import.
The simplest approach is the one Cotty suggested.
Acrobat Reader has a Snapshot tool if you prefer.

You can also avoid clicking your way through the import process.
Simply drag and drop your image file, say, a .jpg, directly into the SketchUp modeling window


Windows comes with a utility called “snip it” It is in the accessories menu. This will work great for your purpose.


Thanks guys I’ll try these. I’m surprised SketchUp doesn’t support pdf file format. Exchange of documents in pdf format is widely used in Construction and Architectural.


SketchUp Pro supports DWG and DXF import and is used extensively in AEC businesses.
DWG and DXF can be exported from vector pdf files by a number of applications.
All somewhat academic, when one considers SU Pro imports and exports DWG and DXF


Nice tutorial: PDF -> DXF -> SU PRO:


SUP does support the PDF format… for exporting 2D data.

As Geo already said, for exchanging 2D CAD data the DWG/DXF format is the common industry standard, not PDF.


I switch between SU on the Mac and Windows. The Windows version operates a number of plugins specific to my industry (acoustics) that haven’t been worked through to OSX (as the end analysis software is on Windows anyway), The Mac imports PDF, which when you allow the large images setting, are the best things for basing a new model on as a base plate. Importing DWG/DXF is fraught with missing references, over complicated layering etc, whereas a PDF is exactly what your client has issued you with. In some cases or previous SUs, the PDF vector information was snappable too.

You can also take a PDF image, explode it, and snip parts of it to use and to clean up the process. At least you could until v2016, when this has stopped working effectively (the image planes created go blue and lose their image mapping, it seems). Luckily I kept 2015 on hand.


DWG/DXF is the industry standard for exchanging 2D CAD data between CAx systems, nothing else.


But it doesn’t work well in this context, as I don’t want to exchange CAD data, I want to use a scaled image as supplied as a basis for a model. Often DWG/DXF CAD data won’t get released to sub-consultants as it contains so much information not relevant to my task. It also becomes unwieldy to use, with hundreds of layers and often with Xrefs missing.


Hi Guys, I think I can help here.
I understand why it is good to import the PDF as the annotation text is missing in the DWG import, If you are fortunate enough to have access to the DWG you can overlay the DWG over the screenshot so you have snap points. Don’t forget to clean up layers and purge file before exporting from CAD, try and get all geometry on one layer yet sometimes I find myself using 4 or 5, depending on the project. You may also need to use maximum image size: Window>preferences>openGL and tick the box next to “maximum texture size”. This way your screen shot will have sufficient resolution.
I created a free plugin that allows you to scale the screen shot and DWG independently to each other and the model which is the only solution that I know of (for windows) at this stage. The Plugin is on extension warehouse and it work in Make and Pro, here is the link.
It will save you hours of time scaling screen shots accurately.
Here is a Youtube Video on how to import a PDF into Sketchup


Trying to convert a completely curvilinear logo from .pdf to .skp.
Using Mac OS 10.10.5 Yosemite, Sketchup Make 2017.


Hey everyone, I know this is an old post, but it took me/us ages to create PDF import for Windows/PC, and while we were at it we pimped the import for Mac as well.

Yup, now you can import PDF’s straight into Sketchup and do it fast.

We have added it to PlusSpec Pro for the time being, it includes:
Multiple resolution imports
Import on all axis
Import multiple or selected pages
Automatic Layering + more
… and because it is in PlusSpec, you get wall tools, floor tools, roof tools and estimating.
BTW this is the first time this is public and it is mainly for existing PlusSpec users because the team has not had time to create tutorials as yet.
There will be a low-cost version available in the next week or so, you could do the free trial and then get it when PlusSpec Lite comes out.

Click here to get PDF importer for sketchup in PlusSpec


Hi Brian we just added it to PlusSpec Pro yet that is a lot of cost if you only want to use the PDF importer. I added a link below to take a look yet you should PM me as we may be able to get you a pre release of PlusSpec lite which will only be $10.
Actually on second thoughts here is a link to PlusSpec lite, you can register there. BTW you are the firsts to get the link as the page is not live to public. I hope it helps.
PlusSpec Lite Pre release registration Link with basic PDF import Windows/PC


This sounds fantastic - While Plusspec is an impressive system, I wouldnt use many of the functions however would love the PDF importer (and would happily pay for it as a standalone extension)

Does it detect vectors and allow me to snap to them in Sketchup? Does it support PDF layers?



Hi Sam, unfortunately, it only comes with PlusSpec Lite and PlusSpec pro as it integrates into the system. PlusSpec lite is $10USD/month for everyone that pre-registers. It comes with wall, window roof, concrete, framing tools and basic estimating + more, so it is great value, yet more for the DIY and rendering people here in the community. PlusSpec Lite has not been released yet, but it is impressive and affordable.
The answer to your question is Plusspec PDF importer does not import Vectors YET, it will be a free upgrade for Pro once we get the vectors import/working without bugs.
You can find out more here