Insert a pdf to trace it

I have a floor plan in pdf format. How would I do to import it into my SketchUp Make 2017 and be able to trace it? I know SU does not accept pdfs.

Thank you.

Does this mean you’re using windows? I would make a snapshot of the floor plan in Adobe Reader or Acrobat and create an image–PNG or JPG–from it. Then import that image into SketchUp.

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I have SU Pro and run it on a Mac. No problem importing PDFs for over-tracing, although the image quality is pretty poor so traces will be inaccurate.

One oddity is that if you put your PDFs on a common layer, you cannot then lock the layer. Don’t know why, but that can be a nuisance.

not needed, simply do a “File > Save as… > Image > PNG”.

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I do as I described because I rarely want an image of the whole sheet. I don’t need to import borders and title blocks and such into SketchUp since I won’t be tracing them anyway.

sure but a screen shot is in (often low) display resolution whereas saving via Adobe allows to configure the resolution as well as the color space etc.

If stuff outside the drawing not needed cut it away with Windows Paint or free

Different strokes.

One thing I’ve done with raster scans of scale images: Using Photoshop or whatever, crop the image to some easy to understand dimension. Lets say you scan a sketch on 8 1/2" x 11" paper that is at 1/8" = 1’ scale. An 8x10 crop corresponds to 64’ x 80’ in the real world, so draw a rectangle in SU that size to bring in the image and fit the image to that rectangle.

easier and more accurat is drawing a line in the length of a known geometry and scale the image to be congruent.

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For best results, as long a line as possible. If you have a 10" drawing and make a 1/8" line to represent 1’ and scale everything to that, any error in scaling the reference line will be scaled up 80x in the over all drawing. Ideally, you want a reference line that’s about as big as the longest dimension of your drawing. That way any error in scaling is scaled down for everything within the drawing.

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I have Adobe Acrobat Reader DC and it doesn’t give me the option to save as
any other format, only to save it as a PDF to another folder.

What I’ve done is to use the “Snipping Tool” and take a shot of the PDF and
have a PNG image which I can imported in SU Make.

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As I suggested. I find that works well.

  • Tools
  • Create custom
  • Scroll left Column down to Bottom
  • Expand “Save and Export”
  • Last item: “Export all Images”
  • Click to move to right Column
  • Name the Toolbar
  • alt: Drag to top toolbar for having it always handy

If the PDF is a vector file you can try a couple of routes to get the geometry into SketchUp.

  • import the PDF into AutoCad (v2017 or newer), Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw and save as a DWG, import into SketchUp Pro
  • import the PDF into AutoCad (v2017 or newer), Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw or Inkscape and save as a DXF, import into SketchUp Pro or, with a plugin, into SketchUp Make.

A PDF is generally not as dimensionally accurate as an original CAD or BIM file.

For pdfs with vector lines, I convert them to dxf using Inkscape. You need (someone with) SuPro to import the dxf. There is a free dxf importer plugin (see Sketchucation) but I never tried that one.


I use CaptureWiz - it has variable res and formats plus save, copy, print or email. Great little program for this and much more.

The free way to do it is to screen capture, save as JPG and import you can import on Mac by default.

The fast way to do it is a Plugin, here is a youtube link It can be done in PlusSpec lite yet it is more than a PDF importer it draws walls adds windows and roofs etc. It is $10 per month. Here is the link I hope it helps :slight_smile:

Presumably, you’re using Windows, otherwise on a Mac you would just open the PDF up in Preview and then save it as a PNG.

you just use the PDF…