Importing PDFs into SketchUp Pro


I have imported a site plan for tracing into SketchUp. Imported "Use as Texture"
I made it a group. However, the image resolution is very poor. Also, when I use the SCALE tool to size the image, it does not resize consistently. It becomes elongated and distorted.
How can I: 1. improve the resolution of the image? and 2. Scale the image consistently and correctly?


I imported the file as PDF first, then as a JPG. Both times I have the same issues as above.


The best resolution you’re going to get will come with selecting Use Maximum Texture size but it’s still not going to be incredibly sharp.


Thanks. What about SCALE and resizing? When I resize the image distorts and elongates and is not possible to tell if it is accurate.


The first thing to do is as Dave mentioned: set SU to use Maximum texture size (Preferences > OpenGL), which is 2048 x 2048 image resolution. Beyond that, if necessary, you can split your image into pieces in a bitmap editor, bring them in separately, and assemble the pieces in SU.

However, if you have an independent source of dimensions for the objects in your plan, you should be able to get away with the lower res image.


How are you going about that?

You should bring the image in as an image, resulting in an object that behaves a lot like a group. That will scale more reliably, and that’s best for tracing.


Thanks, I actually had better luck just dragging and dropping the PDF onto SU.
And was able to make it a group finally. The SCALE tool I’m not sure is uniform resizing even when the diagonal dashed line appears.


Dragging and dropping the resolution is better also. I did go to Max texture size but going thru the import process the resolution did not seem to change.


Uniform scaling with the scale tool can be done by using the corner grips ir you can hold down the ctrl/command key to scale about the center.

If you need to scale the image to 1:1, you can use the tape measure tool

Here are some videos:

ScaleTool -
Tape measure tool -



If the pdf contains vector lines, why not import the pdf to Inkscape (open source), export from Inkscape as dxf and import the dxf into Sketchup? Saves a lot of time and far more accurate.


Thanks. I’m on to another issue now:
I just dragged and dropped a PDF site plan into SU, made it a GROUP and tracing the contours. Here are the current issues I need help with:

  1. When I trace the site plan I am not able to see my lines drawn, which makes it nearly impossible to trace the site plan with any accuracy, unless turning off the layer.
  2. I am able to ‘snap to’ lines on the imported plan with the LINE tool in SU, but only occasionally. Any idea what I can do to snap with more consistency?
    Thanks again.


Thanks, I’ll try it. I’m on to new problems now (below).


I want to trace the contours of this site plan. My line can be seen behind or underneath the imported image. But when I draw on the image the line is not visible. Can someone tell me if I can draw over the top and trace the contours and if so, how? Thanks very much.



You can change the color of the lines to make it easier to see to something like red. Just go to window/styles then on the "Edit" tab choose the cube made of edges(left) and pick the color below.
(see the green rectangle on the image for an easier location)

For the lines behind the pdf or image, as an alternative you can make the faces transparent if you go to View/Face style you can choose X-ray. That will help (can’t remember if that option came with the shortcut, if not I recommend to set it, check "Adding and Editing Keyboard Shortcuts." )