We get questions about scaling and units a lot in Support, so I’m posting here so that I can send a non-current user this way for help. This covers every way I can think about precise scaling and units and printing to scale in Layout, so one of these will probably help most situations. It’s also in chronological order of workflow, so the printing part is at the end.
First, how NOT to scale drawings:
The “Scaled Drawing” window in Layout does not scale the SketchUp model viewport, or the Layout page. Rather, if you draw lines manually in Layout and make them into a group, you can add a scale to that group with this menu window. Selecting a scale in the Preferences also does not scale the page, it’s just a list of scales available to apply to individual viewports from a different menu, in case you want to add a custom scale or remove the ones you’ll never use to tidy up the list.
HOW TO scale the drawing and the page:
Make sure the SketchUp model is scaled properly in SketchUp Pro. This article describes how do that: https://help.sketchup.com/en/sketchup/scaling-your-model-or-parts-your-model
For orthographic view, such as a Front or Top View, please ensure that your Scenes in SketchUp Pro are set up as “Parallel Projection”. The only way to print to scale is to use these orthographic parallel projections.
To do this, in SketchUp, select Camera > Parallel Projection and then select the desired View state by navigating to Camera > Standard Views > and selecting from one of the defined view states.
Also, naming Scenes in SketchUp is a good way to keep track of the different views later on in LayOut. Make sure to save the scene after updating it, and then save SketchUp, and then update the model reference in Layout to see these changes.
In LayOut, verify that the Units for the document are correct and the Page Size is set to the ideal format for your project:
- To set the Units, go to File > Document Setup > Units
- To set the Page Size, select a pre-made template from the LayOut Startup Screen or go to File > Document Setup > Paper to manually change the size. Make sure the Units are set correctly first.
- Next, right-click on any geometry within the LayOut SketchUp Model Viewport and select the desired Scale. Another way to do this is in LayOut’s SketchUp Model panel. Here you can select the desired scale or create a custom scale, but only if the SketchUp Viewport is selected on the page.
[ Note: It is important that you select “Preserve Scale on Resize” in the SketchUp Model panel to ensure that your scale does not change when altering the Viewport. ]
- When creating Dimensions, select the desired Units before creating dimensions.
To do this, select the Dimensions tool, then navigate to the Dimension Style panel and select the desired type of unit and format. If you need to, you can select dimensions and then change the units in the Dimensions window after the fact.
- Finally, if you plan on creating similar drawings in the future, it is a good idea to save these unit settings in a Layout Template for future use.
To do this, copy your work file that has all unit settings chosen correctly, then strip out all specific content, select File > Save As Template… Once the template has been saved, you can access it from the LayOut Startup Screen in the future.
- If the difficulty is in printing to scale, the issue is commonly with the printer settings adding borders or not having the correct paper size. Instead of printing directly from Layout, I recommend exporting the file as a PDF, and then print from the PDF file. If the print settings scale is set to “Scale to Fit” then there will be added margins, so make sure the printing scale is set to 100% both for PDF printing or printer printing, and that the print settings aren’t adding borders.