Importing pdfs into Layout

There seems to be a major problem with Layout, that i don’t see mention of, so it might be just me?!
First let me explain what I need to do;-

In the Uk, all applications to Planning and Building Control need to have a scale map attached, showing the location (1/2500 or 1/1250 scale) and the site boundary (1/500 or 1/200 scales)
There is no debate on this. If you don’t include the map, the application will not be accepted.

So this is the process i follow, which isn’t working for me;-
i go to one of the approved websites and identify the maps i need, and download them as pdf files.
i did one yesterday and the 1/500 plan was a 1.6mb pdf
the 1/1250 plan is a 2.3mb pdf
So I start Layout with a new A3 sheet, zoomed to ‘Zoom to Page’, and import the 1/500 pdf.
I also bring in a 1/500 scale bar from Scrapbook.
The pdf comes in the wrong size, so i have to grab one of the corner toggles and stretch it .
A process of up a bit / down a bit, and eventually it scales correctly.

Now, if i try and zoom in, one short zoom leaves me with a spinning basketball for at least 30 seconds ; maybe a MINUTE , just to refresh the screen.

It doesn’t matter whether i scroll-zoom with my mouse, use View > Zoom In, or the little box in the bottom right corner, it all take ages!!!

I use a Mac, and a Mac mouse, SketchUp Pro 2021 (21.0.392), Layout 2021, and very few extensions (1001 bit tools, Solar North, SU Podium, Solid Inspector)
i zoom in using the (virtual?) scroll wheel on my magic-mouse

This is a newish 2019 Mac 3.2Ghz 6 core i7, with 16GB of RAM, running os 11.3, but i had the same problem on my last Mac and all previous operating systems.

The same problem has existed for years. On different Macs, earlier versions of Sketchup, and earlier versions of the MacOS. So i don’t think it can be an issue with my hardware.

I’ve tried PNG’s too, so its not just PDF files.


is it just me that has this problem?

I too am in the UK and make Planning Applications.

Layout can import DWGs directly but I haven’t had much satisfactory success with this (perhaps I need to spend a bit more time looking into this).

This is what I do…

I purchase an OS DWG of the area which I use for the 1:1250 Location Plan and various site and block plans that the project need.

I have a dedicated SU Location Plan template into which I import the DWG and save.

In a dedicated Layout Location Plan template, I then insert the SU Location Plan model at 1:1250 scale.

Simple - only takes a few minutes.

For the other plans I will import at the required scale and typically will explode the model into vector linework for editing.

1 Like

Hi Paul.
I haven’t seen sites where i can download OS maps in DWG format, so that’s news to me and a useful workaround for the future!
Unfortunately I have an account with a supplier already, and they only do pdf’s.
If anyone has a solution to the PDF problem please let me know (or am i the only one?!?)

If you are happy with the accuracy in PDF files and they are vector-type, you can use free or paid software to convert them to DWG or DXF format (Inkscape, Illustrator…).

OS DWG - I use MapServe Paul, but there are other providers around.

That’s good to know.
Though I’d be happier if someone just said “they work if you import them in black & white” or “you need a new foo-foo valve”… (or even “it doesn’t work”)…

if you import a pdf with the dimensions for, let us say, A4 make your layout paper larger ex. a3, a2 etc… once imported you can set the papersize back to A4 again. Then the scale would be correct

Thanks, however I use my own Layout templates for drawing sheets, so can’t do that. But if i did, it would still take me five minutes to zoom in and zoom out again.
Resizing an import is not the problem, the issue i am stuck with is the time it takes to zoom into a pdf.