PDF support!

I know users have been griping about this lack of functionality (in Windows) for a while so I’m just trying to get an update pushed through.

I’m just one of the hugely frustrated users that can’t believe that Sketchup/Layout STILL does not support PDF imports and/or drag n drop functionality.

The benefit to be had for easily dropping in vector logos / floor plans (with embedded line weights!) into Layout would allow it to be used as a very effective presentation package. It is designed for that, so why not allow the import of vector PDFs???

Essentially you’re just forcing everyone to go buy ANOTHER page layout program to do what Layout should already be doing. What’s going on here…


I’m not saying it wouldn’t be useful for some users to be able to import PDFs into LayOut or SketchUp but I’ve been using SketchUp since 2003 and LayOut since the first version and can’t think of a single time I wanted to import a PDF into either program.

There have been a few users who have requested that as an option so maybe one day.

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I agree there are users that may not use PDFs. I still feel that as Layout is specifically designed as a page layout presentation tool, it MUST have PDF functionality. Maybe I do a lot more presentation work than you… :slight_smile:


Like DaveR I have used LO since it’s inception and have not once needed to import a PDF.

I guess it depends on what kind of presentation one is doing, I do a lot of ‘presentation’ work in the form of construction documentation…

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I can’t help but feel you guys are missing the point here. Page layout software has PDF support and functionality built in as a basic fundamental. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but LAYOUT is a page layout piece of software.

Just to clarify, construction docs, although they do need to read well, are not considered presentation drawings. :slight_smile:


What exactly do you consider presentation drawings?

I’ve never needed to import PDFs in other page layout software I’ve used. Maybe I’ve been doing it wrong.

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Typically when I’m compiling a presentation I will use the source file, be it .psd / .ai / dwg / etc. In the cases where the software does not allow imports of such formats, PDF is the go-to format because it holds all the original data in a clean presentation vector format.

Everyone has their own way, and I don’t think you are doing it wrong. Once you start using PDFs to their full capacity, you’ll never go back!

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I agree about the need for PDF imports into LayOut.

At the moment LO can only be used for the export of a Sketchup model into a PDF document. Its a very specific use.

If LO could import PDFs as well, and if it had some better word processing cababilities (including a table of contents), then it could be used to create a complete Design Presentation document.

At the moment we still need InDesign to do such a task, which is a shame because that involves a lot of tiresome linking/updating references, etc.


Interestingly I can’t think of a single time I’m using layout that I don’t want to import one. Frustratingly I have to export pages and use another layout program to build a cohesive presentation with all types of assets. AK_Sam pretty much said the exact same thing.


I do this in LO for constructional notes. I use a word processor to create the text so that I can get text wrapping, columns, etc. Then I make it a PDF (easy on a Mac). Then import to LO and adjust scale to fit. If I amend the text file, I overwrite the old PDF and then update it in LO. Whilst I wish there was a more direct way to do it all in LO, it’s a system someone else here alerted me to and it works well.

For me it would be useful to have PDF Import directly into SketchUp. We are working primarily in SketchUp and Layout. I work with a lot of outside Architect, contractors, and other vendors. Most of them send me PDFs or send me to a web site where I can download PDFs of a project.

Currently I use AutoCAD’s function to convert the PDF to Vector files then import the resulting DWG into SketchUp for use. I am lucky to have AutoCAD at work to do this, but it is an extra step that I wish I didn’t have to do.


PDF and other vector file importing ability (wmf, svg, emf, etc…).

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Another use case that I frequently have need for, is the import of PDF floor plans. I use a Mac, so importing a PDF saves time, the process being very straight forward. Especially when the PDF source is vector in origin. Even raster based PDFs can save time. I also prepare PDF based presentation packages, using SU/PDF export features.

I have been considering switching to a Windows machine because of my feeling that SU/Win gets more/better support ( another contentious topic ! ) . But will hold off until this capability is available in SU/Win.


I do design and custom fabrication, i cant think of a week where i didn’t need autocad or rhino to convert PDFs to cad files to bring back into sketchup :shushing_face:

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Ever since I first started using Sketchup (2003), and from the first time I used it I’ve constantly looked for and needed PDF functionality in the program. PDF has become an industry standard and for the most part is included in most everybody’s daily workflow and lives.

The one thing Trimble is succeeding with what appears an intentional effort to not incorporate PDF functionality when it can be, is losing business to other software. Not quite a smart business model…

Part of the reason may be due to the fact of incorporating all of these extra features may and will drive up the price, Autocad and some others are great if you can afford them.

That’s a possibilty. Does a license to import PDF formats come with a hefty price?..

If it saves having to buy and use another page layout software (expensive), it’s very likely worth it.

Design Presentation documents include page layouts that combine technical drawings with paragraphs/columns of text and various inset images (photos, renders, detail views) …plus whatever else the designer wants to use to communicate the project’s design intentions and outcomes. Usually it’s presented to the client or a civic authority.

My presentation documents range from about 5 to 30 pages depending on the project scale and number of drawings included. The pages are generally indexed (eg title page, contents page , etc).

Since architectural and landscape designers often use SketchUp to prepare the Preliminary and Concept design phases of a project, this is also commonly the phase where the “Design Presentation Document” is utilised most.

At the moment it isn’t practical to create such a document in LayOut, so a designer must use LO to export a series of PDFs that are then compiled into a document created using other software (most often this is InDesign).

It is frustrating that LayOut acts only as an output of SketchUp when it has a wide range of tools that could be used to create a decent-looking presentation document.
Increasingly, these documents are utilising formats such as animations (avi), interactive PDFs (layers) and rotateable 3d views. It’s 2020 after all. Enabling a rotateable 3d model view (eg SketchFab) is where SKP+LO could have a real advantage over the competiton!


Yes, some of my construction documents are actually that, albeit not at the level that you are at judging by the nice looking work examples you’ve shared.

I do the occasional D&A, heritage statements and appeals but have used MS Word, Publisher or Google docs. But then the nature of these types of presentations are suited to using that software and it’s only text and jpgs (photos and SU exports).

I’m using LayOut less and less for layouts and instead just to create the drawings themselves. I can’t remember when I last made the full presentation in LayOut and not used it to export drawings that were later inserted in InDesign.

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