Importing DWG files into Layout

It would be very useful to be able to open DWG files and see them pretty much as they appear in AutoCad. Layout appears to be the tool to use. I have just tried importing a DWG drawing I did some years ago and I have tried altering all the various import settings. I can get the Paperspace stuff looking right but not the Modelspace stuff. I have read the help file but cannot see what I am doing wrong.

If I tick the SU model reference box, LO seems to recognize that something should be there but it just shows as a bounded blank. If I don’t select that option I just get all the Paperspace stuff (as you would expect). Here are some screen grabs:

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Or Trimble Connect, it has a better ‘native dwg’ viewer.

with a view to edit/modify…?

curiosity got the better of me

uploaded a measured survey DWG (by others) to Trimble Connect, I think I’ll stick with TrueView

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Or DWG TrueView from Autodesk. It’s free.

If you want to see your DWG modelspace annotations, you have to use the Modelspace or Paperspace option when importing. The former leaves out everything that you have drawn in Paperspace.
The “SketchUp model reference” option uses essentially what is the SketchUp DWG importer to import what is in the model space of your DWG, so, no annotations.

When I used Autocad (or latterly Draftsight) as my day to day CAD package, I used Paperspace just as I do Layout now. In short, all text and dimensions in Paperspace only.

The middle screen grab above is what happens with that DWG if I don’t tick the SU model reference box. The other two are what I get if I do. The last screen grab is what you would normally see and the top one is what you see if you select the imported data. None of them looks like the original DWG drawing.

I do use Trueview which does show the drawing properly and allows you to measure things etc. Very useful. I had just hoped that we might be able to do the same without having to upload things online. Maybe what I want is simply not possible yet?

I have DWG TrueView 2021 as a downloaded and installed application. I know Autodesk also has a web based viewing service but I don’t use that.
After looking it up I noticed that the installable version is Windows only…

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Yes, I wish there was a Mac version to download. Having to upload works fine, but you have the hassle of having to sign in (remembering another password!) and then it can take quite a while for a drawing to upload. You have to be prepared to wait. Maybe I’m just impatient.

Hi simoncbevans, could I take a look at your dwg file?

I know that if a Acad viewport does not have a scale applied we will not be able to place the data into a scaled drawing or SketchUp model viewport.

I am curious to see if that is what is going on.


There might be sensitive info in that file so I have PMd you.

I used to use DraftSight to view DWG files since it was free for Mac users. That no longer applies but I have just downloaded Dassault’s eDrawings viewer. That may be an option for Mac people.