Problem of export from Layout (no viewports being exported)


This has been a frustrating issue for me for many years. The viewports in Layout will simply not export as DWG. Only the linework actually created in Layout will export.

Drawing as PDFs should look like this:

Export to DWG looks like this:

Operating system:

macOS Catalina
Version 10.15.1 (19B2106)
MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) Processor 2.6 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7 Memory 16 GB 2667 MHz OOR4 Startup Disk Macintosh HO
Graphics AMO Radeon Pro 5300M 4 GB Intel UHO Graphics 630 1536 MB

Any ideas?

Most likely problem is leaving viewports rendered as Raster. Change the rendering mode to Vector or Hybrid so there will be vector lines to export.

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Which version of SketchUp/LayOut? I understand version 2020 fixes some of the problems LO has had with newer versions of the MacOS.

When you export raster rendered viewports to DWG, they will export as image references. People who receive your DWG-s usually expect vector content.

Thanks for your replies. The viewports are well and truly vector not raster. Using su2020 but I’ve had this problem for years (since at least su2014) My workaround has been to open the PDFs in illustrator then save them out as dwgs that way so I definitely know the content is vector.

Do you have a simple document that shows the problem? I can export DWG or DXF of a document that includes a model set to vector, and I do see the SketchUp edges in the DWG or DXF. I’m on macOS 10.15.3, but I don’t see why 10.15.1 would not work the same.

Thanks Colin,

Here is the Layout file and sketchup reference.

This is page 3 of your file exported as DXF, and imported into LayOut. I deleted some text things that came out huge, and some sideline items. Does this look correct?
dxftest.layout (184.3 KB)

Can you post also the DWG or DXF you get when exporting? The black text backgrounds in your PDF make me wonder if there is some kind of colour profile issue where the viewport lines are exporting with a totally white RGB colour instead of the AutoCad standard colour 7 that shows as white on a black background and black when the background is white. What application are you using to view DWG files?

Thanks again all. I did the same as Colin and the drawing looked ok when I reimported into Layout (as he did). I don’t use Autocad so my only reference for how the drawings look is by viewing them on AutoDESK viewer website ( and they come up looking incomplete. I’ve sent the CAD backgrounds onto the builder and we’ll see if there are any complaints.

Cheers everyone…

You can upload and view .dwg and various other file formats in Trimble Connect.

Thanks Mike. Good tip.

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