Layout export to pdf visibility

Hi I am having a problem where my exported Layout file is missing a pile of information. It is only happening with the one layout file. I use different layout drawings to show different aspects of the project but using the same sketchup file. So my drawing set for site works is missing a lot of line work and all the text when I export it and open in Acrobat reader.
But a different set for the elevations using the same layout template and sketchup model shows up fine in acrobat.
Strangely I wasnt aware there was a problem as when I export the pdf comes up in microsoft edge and is perfectly fine. Today the client got in touch to say he cant open some of my drawings on his lap top but can on his phone.
First image is a screen shot of the layout drawing second is what I see opening the pdf with acrobat

I have downloaded a couple of free pdf readers and it reads fine using them and Microsoft edge, seems like just Acrobat. When I drag mouse over the screen it highlights the missing test in grey blocks almost like the layers have been switched off in acrobat, if that makes sense. My simple solution is of course to get the client to use a different programme like edge but I am worried that I may be doing something wrong and when I submit the drawings to the local authority I am not sure what programme they would be using. I hope someone has some advice.

Can you post an example file, both LayOut and PDF, that shows this problem? Preferably pared down and with no personal information, as this is a public forum.

Trimble corrected some missing PDF lines problems for the 2020 and 2021 versions. Does switching to Raster rendering in the SketchUp viewports help?

Hi Anssi

Thanks for getting in touch with me. I will have a go exporting a raster version tomorrow morning but am not sure how that would help as the title block and layout text don’t show in the pdf when read using acrobat reader. I will upload the Layout file with redactions and a pdf export in the morning as well. I appreciate your time spent looking into this

Best wishes


Hi Anssi have uploaded the layout drawing and a pdf0 series site and site sections.layout (15.6 MB) 0 series site and site sections.pdf (710.7 KB)

This is a little concerning…!

I loath Acrobat so much - I had to download it to test this and it’s f#@*%ed windows explorer.

Anyway free PDF readers show everything and Acrobat doesn’t.

If this is not specific to your file Malcolm then I wonder how many of my clients who are using Acrobat are not seeing all the information in my plans…

Hi Paul
its a worry for me to as I do a lot of warrant and planning applications and they are submitted through the government planning portal so now I dont know for sure what is visible. I have never had a problem with Microsoft Edge to read the pdfs but would seem I may need to check the pdfs using acrobat to see if there is a problem. But even if there is I dont at present know how to sort it as the problem only seems to affect some but not all the drawings

same here

The PDF shows OK in Chrome, but freezes my old Acrobat Pro. I’ll go on testing.

EDIT: The PDF also shows OK in PDF XChange Editor.

I tried exporting from LayOut first by changing the viewports to Vector. File size went down bu the result was the same, Acrobat freezing. I then exported with Raster rendered viewports. The file size went up to about 3 MB. Saving it as “optimized” reduced it to 765 KB. That opens OK with Acrobat.

In my experience huge amounts of graphics on top of each other tend to confuse Adobe Acrobat. I have had the same problem often with PDF exports from CAD where vector lines have been drawn over scanned high resolution images. The files either don’t open, open very slowly or are impossible to print. My workaround has been the same: I use raster graphics instead of vector. Attached are my non-optimized aond optimized exports.
0 series site and site sections3.pdf (764.8 KB) 0 series site and site sections2.pdf (2.9 MB)
@adam, I think the files posted in this thread might be of interest to the developers…

From Anssi’s response could it be the PDF file that messed with my computer and not Acrobat…?

Even after I uninstalled Acrobat my computer wasn’t very happy for some time until I finally managed to delete Malcolm’s PDF and the PDF that I exported from his Layout file.

Windows explorer was a bit messed up and I noticed com.surrogate was using 30%+ CPU which I have never noticed before.

I wonder if the surveyors CAD topography drawing which I imported into the sketchup drawing is a potential issue. I have seen that even simple CAD files when imported can dramatically increase the size of the file. That said I did clean up a lot of redundant info from the cad import and purged the file before moving it to Layout. The other drawings produced in layout such as elevations etc which dont include the topo information dont seem to have the same problem.
Thanks so much for spending your time looking into this.

My apologies Paul if my file has caused issues. Unfortunately IO have no idea what com.surrogate is other than it has something to do with thumbnails. I hope everything is working fine again for you.

Thanks Malcolm, managed to get things back to normal.

If anything it’s reminded me how much I dislike Acrobat and that in future I will advise clients to not use it…!