Maintaining scale in Layout



I am using Layout to draw a simple elevation on an A1 sheet using the Draw to Scale facility. The drawing started out well. But now, although the group view shows it is still a 1:20 drawing, whenever I select a drawing tool to add an element the drawing responds as an unscaled drawing. In other words I can’t input scaled dimensions, only true dimensions. Any ideas?


Open the group that contains the scaled drawing before drawing the new lines. Or start a new scaled drawing.


Thanks for responding. The group seems to be open (there is nothing in the dialogue boxes that suggests it isn’t). Starting a new scaled drawing within the existing one seems to work. It certainly picks up the previous datums and allows me to draw to scale from them. I just feel that something is going on that I should understand!


If the group is open for editing, you will see the blue dotted lines surrounding it and the page outside the group’s limits will be faded. If you don’t see those dots, the group is not open for editing. Double click on the group to open it for editing the same way you’d open any other group in LayOut.


Yes, I can identify the group using the Select tool and get the dotted blue lines and the scale information text framing the drawing. But as soon as I select a drawing tool the blue lines vanish and it behaves like an unscaled drawing.


Hmmmm… I see this.

Can you share the LayOut file?

I just tried the same thing on the Mac and see the same behavior as above. Nothing different.


According to your profile, you are a Pro user. Why would you be trying to do all this in Layout and not in Sketchup? Layout does now have some powerful drawing capabilities but it is still mainly a presentation tool.


While I agree with you, Simon, that drawing the elevation in SketchUp has advantages, the OP’s issue of not being able to continue scale drawing in LayOut is the main point of this thread.


OK, Dave. Like you, I have no difficulty drawing to scale entering real world dimensions, providing the scaled drawing has been re-opened before you start drawing. If the dotted blue outline isn’t there, you probably haven’t opened the scale drawing.

But using SU is a workaround and one that will make his life overall a lot easier! Only downside is that you end up with two files, SKP and LAYOUT.


I wouldn’t really think of that as a work around. More like the proper approach to drawing the elevation.

I don’t see that as a downside. Just “part of doing business.”


I freely admit that it was an experiment to assess the capability of the latest Layout.

There are times when Sketchup is invaluable. I modelled the entire house to assess proportions, linkages and a fair degree of detail. But there are times when - rather than model in Sketchup, then translate to Layout, then tidy up the drawing, label, annotate and so forth - it would be quicker and cleaner to do the entire thing in 2D from the start. At the moment I am producing working drawings for the kitchen units so an electronic drawing board is all I need.


35A units 130618.layout (21.8 KB)


You’ve got several groups nested together and only part of it is drawn using the Scaled Drawing feature. To add more scaled drawing entities, you need to drill down further.

Here I’ve moved the only Scale Drawing part of the whole thing.


No, it was all drawn using the Scaled Drawing feature. The subsequent groups were added when the first group didn’t allow me to continue drawing in scale.


The file doesn’t indicate that you drew all the lines using the Scaled Drawing feature. I’m only telling you what I see in your file. Perhaps you ungrouped at some point which would remove the scale. The only thing that is scaled in the LO file you shared is what I show.


You are right. I did ungroup, but only after the original drawing failed and I wanted to see whether if I ungrouped and re-grouped it would restore the ability to draw in scale.

But the same thing has happened with the supplementary drawing that you seem able to draw into. I can’t, except in a non-scaled way. But it started out ok.


Ungrouping will remove the scale and grouping won’t put it back.

I think you still aren’t getting the scaled group opened before drawing.

I ungrouped the parent and then cut the unscaled lines to the clipboard. Then I opened the scaled group for editing and paste the lines I cut.

35A units 130618.layout (18.8 KB)


Ok. This is going to sound absurd, but how do you ‘open the scaled group’. The only way I know is to use the Select tool, which brings up the dotted blue margin. But then when I select a drawing tool the blue margin vanishes. What am I missing?

Thank for your time by the way!


I’m not begging the question because I am genuinely interested in knowing how drawing in Layout can be a better experience than starting in SU as normal.

What tidying up do you find you have to do?

I often do kitchen layouts and I do sometimes find it easier to work in 2D. In SU, all that really means is working in parallel projection. If you set out the plan and elevations in SU as you would on a sheet of paper, you can get away with a single scene that you can enlarge/reduce/reposition in LO.

But, different strokes and all that…


I think I’m finding that isn’t a better experience! But as I said, it was an experiment.

The tidying is because I model in SU to give myself a way of tweaking the visual appearance in the perspective views. Often I do non-buildable tweaks because it is the appearance I am interested in, not the actual structure (so, for instance, I may use the extrusion tool to pull a surface which means a void appears behind it). So I either have to edit the original model, or transfer it to Layout and tidy it up there. Since by the time I get to that stage I know all the dimensions, I was experimenting to see if LO would let me do a clean 2D scaled drawing.