Something About DWG Import/Export


Sometimes you only need a siteplan without modeling. Import DWG-files and prepare them for Layout to ad the information you need.

SomethingAboutDWG-ImportExport.pdf (657.0 KB)

First Step

Import DWG-file to SketchUp and check the scale.
Use tape (T) on a dimension is shown, type the length in the measurementbox and resize the model.

If you have a JPG-file to import, you can bring it to scale this way.
Measure a lenght you know and type the real lenght in the measurementbox, resize the model.

Clean up
Delete all empty layers. If you are lucky, the textfont and dimensions come in seperate layers, else delete them manually. Don’t worry about lost information, you can see them by free DWG-Viewer or PDF, you should have one.

Check how many groups come in by Outliner. If there are groups in groups you can move them outside by drag and drop. You can hide groups or move them to a layer by Entity Info.

Second Step

Make a new style for DWG-import.

  • Edit “Edge” and choose “Color: By material”. Now you can play with different colored lines or mark them as you like.
  • “Profiles” means lineweight in pts. Edges always have 1 pt you will see in fillings.

Or use another method that I prefer:

  • Edit “Background” to light grey.
  • Edit “Modeling” and choose “Color by Layer”

Change the Layer colors and keep Layer0 white. Now you can see on wich layer you are working on.

Note: If you cklick a color in “Material” Tray the hook “Color by Layer” will disapear. So you can only toggle between these two methods but not use them both at the time. It’s just good to know how to control this.

Third Step

Start moving the linework for windows, doors and hidden lines to layer “Linework”. You can see what is done by color or make the Layer invisable.

Make a group of the walls only and lock it in Entity Info.
Now you have only walls in a seperate Layer. Clean up the brocken polylines as good as possible and then start with fillings.


Sometimes it is very easy, just trace a small part of the wall and the filling is done.
Depending on DWG import mostly this will not work. The line will never snap to the direction or point you want, there are too many choises for SU. So use the Rectangle-tool to trace the wall and modify with Line-tool, erase all edges you don’t need.

Don’t worry about the walls, the group is locked and protected from erasing

Forth Step

Organize the DWG files each in one SketchUp file for each floorplan.

If you like to make seperate szenes for walls and linework for each plan.

Unlock all layers with locked walls. Now you can insert the SketchUp file to LayOut by Copy and Paste or Drag and Drop if you don’t want to “Send to LayOut” by SU.


Ad all items you need to the plan in LayOut.
Export the finished siteplans from LayOut.

Note: All vectors, text and dimensions will be exported. Images (raster) will be listet seperatly.

This is what comes out from Layout. The Layers come according to Layers in LayOut.

Welcome to our forums! Please introduce yourself :)


Thank you for taking the time to create this tutorial. I appreciate your putting this together in a step by step manner. Even though I consider myself an advanced SketchUp user, I find this information to be helpful, particularly because the way you approach using Layout is described, which differs somewhat from the way I and others may work with the software.

Thanks again for this thoughtful submission!


Your welcome.
I think twentyfive years on CAD is enough. Mostly using only up to 20% of the software. Now I’m disovering SetchUp and can use 90% by low cost. A lot of things can be done by SU, not all, but it is very close to.


Your step 1 should include checking the import options, especially the import unit. Doing that will make the next step (rescaling within SketchUp) unnecessary.



That’s right, Anssi, I can check my settings, but I can’t check the the savings made on the other system. So I will always proof it.
I believe in SketchUp, but not in unknown systems. :kissing_heart:


checking the size is required of course, a scaling in many cases not if configuring the appropriate import unit typically millimeters for engineering or design stuff or meters for architecture documents.

btw, because of the artefacts created at the hard constrats of e.g. shop drawings don’t use the lossy JPEG format for scanning technical illustrations or drawings, do prefer the lossless PNG format instead.