Importing only a few elements from DWG file into SketchUp Pro 2017

hi - i run sketchup 2017pro and want to continue working on a project i drew a decade ago in autocad.

importing the dwg files is very disappointing - no, useless.
i have a dwg/dxf viewer that shows a very detailed 3d drawing in model space and also a series of layout in paper spaces

but after importing i only find a few pieces of furniture and few more lines in sketchup
all the layers (hunderds of them) are there, but no content

i wanted to include screenshots but do not find howto
can anybody help?


You could upload the DWG file, if it’s not too large, so we could have a look.

And regarding screenshots. Win + PrtScn (Print Screen) captures a screenshot of your current screen and saves it under the Screenshots folder in Pictures. (It also saves it on your Clipboard, which is a virtual, temporary “information saving place” so to say.

You can either drag the picture from the Screenshots folder into the reply section here or press Ctrl + V to directly upload from the Clipboard.

Win: “Alt+PrintScreen” captures a screenshot of the active window only w/o any desktop stuff etc.

Windows XP and newer versions of Windows include the Snipping Tool that permits you to drag a window around the screen area you want to capture, and to add simple highlights and notations. In my Windows 7 it is in Start menu>All programs>Accessories. I pinned it into the Taskbar.

Paper space elements cannot be imported into SketchUp. I don’t know that they could be imported into any other application either. Generally speaking, only AutoCad can use the DWG Paper space. Many applications, including Sketchup pro (via LayOut) can export to paper space.


And to complete the info, on Mac command-$ (command-shift-4) initiates a drag window screenshot. You can then open the screenshot in Preview which has a toolkit for rudimentary annotation and editing.

87 88-obra.dwg (2.6 MB)


before i uploaded the autocad file and a screenshot of the sketchup file wherein i imported the autocad file succesfully

hereby screenshot of the autocad file viewed in autocad viewer
we view the model space - other tabs are paper spaces (also with perfectly in order drawings)

in the same job we also have another plot about 200 m away
for that plot i have another autocad file of about the same date
exactly the same happens here -= only a few pieces of furniture + a few lines show after a successful import …

is i t possible the age of the files - and thus the version of autocad - is playing a role here?
autocad files are almost 10 years old

The terrain contours you are missing are not in the file you posted. Apparently they are inside an Xref, as DWG TrueView reports of missing XREF files when I open your DWG. SketchUp doesn’t import Xrefs.

Also, SketchUp is not very good at importing Nurbs (spline) -based AutoCad surfaces or solids. Polyline- based things import well, as does face geometry.


i am aware of the XREF problem
but that is only the minor part of what is missing in the sketchup file

i have a copy of the ref file and can import it separately into sketchup i suppose

what is mainly missing is all that should be under the cupulas …
in sketchup file you can find all the layers, but not their contents
and they are mostly not splines but planes - as walls and slabs and so on tend to be…

The ignored items in the import report made me suspect that the original file was not created in “plain vanilla” AutoCad.

SketchUp, or any other application besides the original cannot read special objects created by AutoCad add-ons like AutoCad Architecture (Formerly Architectural Desktop) walls or similar. These incorporate an “Export to AutoCad” feature that must be used in the original application to export from it DWG files that only consist of standard AutoCad objects like lines, faces and solids.


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The drawback is that it doesn’t automatically save a file under the Pictures > Screenshots folder. You need an image editor to save it manually, which is a slightly longer process.


For reference, here is the SketchUp Help Center article on preparing your DWG/DXF for import into SketchUp


got you - that will be my problem

since it is about 10 years ago i drew these things in autocad - and yes architectural desktop does ring a bell - and then moved to sketchup, i have no more copy of autocad program

i understand that i need an autocad program to ‘export to autocad’ - right?
must i turn to autocad for a solution to my problem?

thank for your views and explanations.

i am installing trial of autocad architecture … i’ll keep you posted
thank you

the outlook changed completely
i did expect some work at the files, only did not think i would need to install autocad ever again …

thank you very much - problem solved in a real short time

About Archiving Drawings with Xrefs (Binding)

Have you tried looking at There are plugins for AutoCAD and SketchUp. It will allow you to select the specific geometry you want to exchange between one software tool and the other without having to deal with trying to send things you don’t even want. We don’t have tutorial videos for the AutoCAD plugin just yet as its in beta release but its essentially the same as how our SketchUp plugin works. You can see some videos here: There is a 30 day free trial by default for you to try.