PDF support!

Are they being charged to export from SketchUp or Layout? We can do that now in each program,wouldn’t importing be covered if they are paying to license exports?
don’t know just asking…

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I’m not entirely sure, but my understanding is that to be able to export from certain file formats is allowed, and you need to pay for a license if you want your software to import from it (with certain file types). I know parasolid file types are like that in Rhino. Rhino exports to parasolid but won’t import them because of the license fees to use it.

That’s about all I know.

I’m exactly the same. I get the image I want from the model in layout and then export the PDF right away into Affinity Publisher for compiling my presentation work.

I can understand perhaps not allowing PDF import into the sketchup model space per se due to accuracy and snapping etc, but not into layout. That simply makes no sense at all.

They have a full page layout software at their disposal, yet take the knees out of it by not allowing you to import PDFs to complete your presentations!

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if the PDF has Vector information in it (and most of them do) that is what i need and can use in Sketchup and would save me and you a step. Like i said above this is a function of AutoCAD that they added in just the last couple of yearly updates.

It converts from the PDF all the vector information as well as images if I want them and I use that to import into SketchUp to build what I need for my work. If its a scale model as most are in Paper space autocad files it will convert it to full size for me ready to use. That would be worth something to me to have this conversion happen directly in Sketchup .


Agreed. Now we’re getting into the world of translators. I would love to see that also. PDF is now industry wide and accepted, so we should be seeing adoptions made to allow us to use it.

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I have used pdf files in my CAD work for years. I find that the linework is generally a mess (all cut up, dashes as separate line segments etc.) DEPENDING on how it was made. And I find pdf from CAD sources no different in accuracy than CAD if I bring it in at 1:1 scale. Both need to be treated as suspect and used with your own judgement for laying out work etc. Also people might like to have a nice clean vector image to work from as a reference background.

I’ve done models sitting on drawing sheets, using bitmap images. It’s OK but would be better with pdfs. That said, if it’s such a hard thing (and it would probably make SketchUp files even slower), then I guess: don’t try.

I also use pdf in LayOut if I want something crisp for logos or borders or to incorporate as drawing background (from consultants etc.). I don’t see it being replaceable by bitmap images in regard to quality. Anyway having the facility in CAD operations over the years has been important for many uses. I don’t see why people are eager to point out they’ve never wanted it, so you are foolish to suggest it.

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Just about every document I get sent for large construction projects these days is in pdf format so I use screen snip to capture whatever page / diagram I need & save as jpg to mainly import into S.U. for reference image to model off. For instance, today I’m importing detailed survey plans into S.U. to try and align objects etc. in reference to the plans, & it would be cool if I could import the pdf & still be able to zoom in & not get blurring. I can’t read the text on them anymore (large area so scaled up from A1 to about 10 km²) which means I have to have the pdf open on another monitor and zoom in on it to read it. It would definitely streamline my work process if I could work directly off pdf’s in S.U. at least. I don’t use LO heaps, mainly doing ArchViz animations. I also know bugger all about graphics & like all things, the devil’s in the detail I guess. Cheers.


No offense DaveR but it just sounds like you’ve never put together a set of architectural plans. An architect is not the only involved consultant on a building design, there are other consultants that are typically involved and they have their own set of notes, plans, etc that are usually always in a pdf format. This is then where the designer creates a dedicated page for that consultant and then attaches there notes to the drawings set. This is an insanely basic feature request for something that is necessarry on every single plan set for every single jurisdiction that requires consultants other then just the designer and in almost every case, there is at the very minimum a structural engineer that gets involved in every project and surveyor who both have their own pdf documents to attach to a final drawing set.


I never ‘attach’ the SE documentation (or other consultant’s) to my own documentation. And in my notes and annotation I only note or annotate to refer to the latest SE details.

If I were to produce one big PDF set of construction documentation and wanted the SE drawings as part of that, it would be a simple process using my free PDF writer to append those documents to mine.

But I would never do that. I keep all other consultants’ documentation separate from mine and issue a document issue sheet that outlines all of the relevant documents.

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needs to be licensed of course.

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It’s just one more extra step / piece of software that has to be used in the process which really shouldn’t be necessary.

I don’t think any of us edit outside consultants drawings as they are not our drawings and we are not responsible for their content.

If we are using LO as the primary method of producing design / construction drawing sets, it just makes our lives that much easier to have everything within one program than have to constantly track which version of drawing is where when using additional software, and add more notes etc when not actually necessary.


That’s definitely one approach. From a liabillity standpoint, you mention not wanting to include other consultant documents into your plan set. For me I like to deliver a beautiful and easy to navigate all in 1 document for all parties to view under the online table of contents where they can read the entire document online, navigate it very easily and this way each consultant can see exactly what they need to and what matters to them. For the liability of merging their documents with my plan set for a project, all I do is put a disclaimer on every page that is not mine, pretty easy. There are tons of architects who include pages in their design set called “E1.01” for example, instead of “A”, this is where the designer would have attached the engineer drawings to their plan. The way I do it makes reading and navigating easy for every consultant involved who is viewing a plan set. This is an insanely basic feature request for layout and it’s ridiculous that it’s not an option.

Actually you can import pdf into LayOut. On Mac anyway. Catch is you have to “insert” on an oversize page first or it will scale down. I import pdf to LayOut on a 5’ x 5’ custom sheet, then copy and paste onto my D size paper file.

Should be for Windows too, but I think not?

No comment on how you want to compile your drawings, but a consultant may also use the same process to import the Arch’l background drawing, and there are other uses, such as a standard border or details from a library.

To clarify, I wasn’t at any point talking about editing a consultants drawings. Having the ability to import a pdf on windows is an obvious feature that should have been available a long time ago. That’s the point.

It’s contrived for people to say that only some architects add engineer drawings to their drawings and others don’t, there are tons of architects who do this and it’s pretty much standard practice in my experience here in north america. All I’m saying at the end of the day about this feature is that it should be an option already and it’s embarassing for 2020 that it isn’t. It’s 2020. PDFS have been around forever.