Scanned PDF Import


Would anyone have any thoughts on importing this PDF into SketchUp so that it imports clean?

I had instruction from Colin at SketchUp in the past and had great results, but this time around I’m not getting the same results from Colin’s two methods of import.

Not sure if the issue is because my file is a scanned image this time around? Colin’s instruction are listed below and my file attached.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

scan139.pdf (105.1 KB)

Colin’s past instructions:

1. You can open the PDF in Preview and export it as PNG, with the DPI set to 300. That will give you a huge image with a lot of detail. You also would want to go into Preferences, OpenGL, and check the box that says Use maximum texture size.

2. Alternately, if you have Adobe Illustrator, or another application that can read PDF and export DXF, you could export the PDF to a DXF file, and import that into SketchUp. It would then look perfect, and you would have actual geometry that you could use, instead of having to trace everything.

You won’t get results with the second option. Pretty sure most conversion utilities and programs like Illustrator require vector data to be able to convert to another format.

I’ve done the Photoshop or Preview option.

I brought it in without any intermediate steps, and then scaled it to one of the dimensions on the plot. Looks fine to me.

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It’s a shame it’s a scan of a printed document and doesn’t contain vector line work. Do you have access to any other forms of this information that have vector line work? If not, @bmike’s suggestion of importing it as a raster image and scaling it so you can trace it makes the most sense.

I wouldn’t work too hard to trace it, though. Mostly use it as a reference. From what I can see the scan’s aspect ratio doesn’t quite fit the original. Not unusual from scanners.

I should note that I did nothing special and just brought it in… (but have in the past done the 300dpi trick).

I also made sure my OpenGL settings were set to maximum texture.

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What is this dimension? Is it one hundred feet and thirteen sixteenth inches or one hundred feet, one and three sixteenth inches? Hard to tell by comparing the text with other text on the page.
Screenshot - 2_8_2023 , 9_48_57 AM

You’d think 3/8 in. over a hundred feet is pretty trivial but evidently that kind of precision was important to someone when you see other dimensions on the sheet like 102’-3 21/64".

Dave, it’s not 3/8”, it’s 13/16”!!! Accuracy, please. :wink: - the lack of a zero in there is disturbing though.

I’m guessing the draftsman might now know how to change the dimension setting for rounding fractions. But who knows…

I once sent a job to the shop in 64s just to be a smartass. Heads exploded, thankfully I had the drawings printed in sets of three and only the first set was ‘wrong’.

Ha! I was referring to the difference between 13/16" and 1-3/16".


Ahhh. I was thinking - wow, over 100’ on a site survey will they really measure in 1/16s?

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I’d guess not. This is probably a case of some sort of automatic dimensioning and the person doing it not knowing how to set rounding as you mentioned.

It still breaks my heart to see someone having to struggle with a scanned version of something that was clearly originally created in a computer and not hand-drawn.


Thanks for all the feed back.

Dimensioning lesson since learned - this file done a while back and computer no longer exists.

Thanks for the feedback.