Inserting PDF file to correct scale into Layout PC

I feel that this has not been addressed… I have spent hours trying to figure out the best way to do this. Looked at ABviewer, but honestly scared to download anything these days. Read about coreldraw, than, illustrator. Than i finally looked into Auto cad cause they have a simple button, but it comes with a price.

Any simple reply for this? would make converting pdf to layout so much easier so i can actually be out in the field checking on jobs than frustrated with a sore but.


if the PDF (meta format) does contain vector data (not only dumb raster data) open in free Inkscape and export to DWG which you then can import into LO.

As always, confingure the used unit during the import of a DXF/DWG into LO to avoid scaling effects (metric: x10/100/1000 | imperial: x25.4).

Thanks SketchUp3D_de for the suggestion.

@nbdesign, unfortunately we do not support importing of a pdf into SketchUp or LayOut within Windows. This is currently only an option for both on the Mac.


iirc raster data (= as image) only because no own PDF interface but the PDF engine of the macOS is used.

Thank you…

and lastly, from what I understand sketchup was for pc only. and its a super disappointment that this option is available only on MAC… SUPER …

Just needed to vent.

I have tried inkscape and even bought the pro version to make this easy. Its not… I was hoping for a link to a good tutorial for PC…

It would help me in my work tremendously, tired of working till 3 am, opening PDF, using snipping tool and loading up to sketchup not to scale, than spend another 30 minutes trying to scale it.

Any link suggestion would be greatly appreciated, I know there must be an easier way… HELP>>>>

I wonder why you came to that understanding.

Its not that easy. I dont understand why the dwg inserted into LO is not to scale.

I am using ABViewer 14 and when saved, i use the EXPORT function

when I import the dwg to LO, and it opens ( i seleect Model space an also set to inches. When it loads up to LO and i use the measure tape,

LO will show (i.e.) 10-1/2" but the dwg will show, 1’ 8".

so I also tried to change scale but that did not make it better.

would appreciate any help to get me to the next level. PS I have a sketchup pro license …

I first met sketchup when they first started around 2002… later for mac… What i was trying to say, was Im irritated that this has not been resolved for pc users since it was first on pc operating system…

The option is available on Mac due to the Mac operating system’s offerings. If Windows offered the interoperability with PDFs like Apple does, we’d be able to import PDFs into SketchUp and LayOut on PCs, too.

Thats what I have been reading and struggling with…

I have been able to insert a file to layout from a converted floorplan using ABViewer, but its not scaling correctly…

I really hope I can figure this out…

I almost bought a autocad lt subscription to do this fast, but I’d wanted to try ABviewer since I had already paid for it…

Thank you for your input. truly appreciate it.

the PDF format ist not a CAD data exchange format but for representing documents in the original layout on every device, therefore PDF data doesn’t need to be represented in true sizes but might be scaled depending what the creator has be configured during PDF creation.

Ask the creator to provide you with a DXF/DWG instead, if not feasible scale the imported geometry by calculating the scale factor dependend on a known length of the geometry.

Hi nbdesign I will try to give you a few options you can use to get your file to the proper scale. As SketchUp3d_de has explained, the pdf most likely was not at a scale when exported to dwg therefore not coming in correctly. When this dwg is import into LayOut it is placed into a Scaled drawing at a scale to fit your current paper size. The scale of this Scaled drawing (if the original file was to a scale) can changed based on your needs. In your case the scale is incorrect.

Option 1: Scale within LayOut
Ideally you would have something in your drawing that you can base the scale (dimensioned wall, door width, etc…) and I will state that I know LO is not the best tool to scale an object.
In this example I brought in a file and the scale is wrong, I know that this should be 4’

So currently at 1/4"=1’-0" it is reading 3’-7"
In LayOut select Scaled Drawing then Make Scaled Drawing.
Choose a scale 1/4"=1’-0"
Invoke the Line tool and draw a 4’ line or other shape that you will use as a reference.
Press esc to close the Scaled drawing

Now move this entity to the area you want to use as a reference.

Select your imported geometry, Rt click and select Remove Scale (notice dimension now reads 57/64")

Drag the precision gizmo from the center of the selection to the starting point of one edge or your object.

Selecting the corner grip drag and while holding down the Shift+Alt (win) or Shift+Cmd (Mac) to proportionally scale about the center. (dimension now reads 1")

Rt click on the select Group and select 1/4"=1’-0"

Option2: Scale within SketchUp
If your file contains text or dimensions than this option may not be the best as they will be lost when they come into SketchUp
Import the dwg into SketchUp
Invoke the Tape measure tool
On an object you know the scale give it the start and end point then type in the known value. Select ok to scale the model.
Save and Send to LayOut.


thank you I will try tomorrow super appreciate it.

I had to send this twice and separate the one email… If was rejected said new users can only upload one photo. I have paid for sketchup PRO for almost 10 years now and I get this… FOR REAL? JUST SAYIN… Youll get a second email shortly which is a continuation of this. TY


Unless I am doing something wrong I will proceed in saving files to DWG / DXF using the ABViewer program (INKSCAPE) . As I did in the past to

get to where I stopped and emailed you with the scale not being correct

in LO, inserting I selected:

  1. model only

  2. space units : feet

  3. Entity type: Sketch up model

Question: which format is best to save pdf in, DWG or DXF? I also notice that the

There are several options in saving file. Not sure which one is best (DWG or DXF).

The other day I tried DXF files and when inserted to LO, it got to where I emailed you the other day:

  1. was able to insert

  2. not to scaled.

I don’t mind going around about the extra step (converting to DWG/DXF using ABViewer/Inkscape), but it sure would save me a lot of

precious time, if i can simply insert PDF using a few LO commands.

PS. ABViewer is what is being sold when you to to Inkscape (in my case I needed more than 2 files per day) I believe I paid an extra $134 …

I was able to get to this point. when I tried to remove the scale from the DWG, it did not show an option to remove scale… only scale.

I’m not quite sure about your workflow, but perhaps a monthly subscription to AutoCAD LT would be an option? I’m self employed and so time is money and I couldn’t be exporting and importing files
all the time , it’s just not time efficient.

Please be aware my background is 20+ years of AutoCAD as well as SU, so I am biased. There are many cheaper vector based programmes out there that may do the same thing. I only use CAD because that was the programme used in my first job when I was 16 years old.

I hope this helps, I’m genuinely only trying to help and not cost you money.

Yes. For Real. Your authorities when you use this forum are completely independent of the amount of time you’ve used SketchUp.

The details are:

And at the time you made the first post, you were at the “New User” level.

To remove the restriction, you only need to do all of the following simple tasks on the forum:

  • enter at least 3 topics
  • read at least 15 posts
  • spend a total of 6 minutes reading posts

By the stats on your profile, it appears that, subsequent to the post where you were limited to one image, you’ve already done all of these. So you should no longer be restricted to 1 image/post.

Thank you for your response. I actually started at autocad lt subsription, it was about $50/month, but because it was the weekend probably, I called and than shot out a message to auto cad, with… well get back to you… being stressed on a deadline, I went with whomever I could get a fast response. I could definitely look into autocad lt… I used it for a couple months about 9 years ago and couldnt learn fast enough as I started a design business on the fly… never to late to go back to school I guess… Appreciate your notes…