improting pdf drawing

Hi I am snipping pdf drawings & importing them but they seem blurry and then when I scale the drawings and then go to trace up the layout of walls nothing matches up I have also typed up the measurements off plans would like assistance

The best way to import drawings is to take the largest screen shot of the drawing. I use FastStone capture and i only capture the info that I need, EG I try and get the largest dimension in the screen shot and the plan. If you know the person that created the drawing get them to export as an image instead of a PDF. there are also programs that allow you to break the PDF document and export it as a JPG. I do not use them as I find the screen shot to work ok.

I am guessing that you are trying to create cut lengths or re produce a plan for submission? If you are simply doing a feaso then you probably do not need to be exact, simply trace outside the line. Better to allow more than less. :slight_smile:

If you can attach the plan that you are trying to capture I will see what I can do for you in a tutorial.

Hi Everyone,

Please check out the link below. This was suggested by a user and it has been found very effective. Matt Donley has posted on SketchUcation a procedure that will allow you to import PDF’s. This is a great way to import clear plans. … conversion

This process uses Inkscape, Inkscape is a free program that allows you to ‘Save As’ DXF File. Below is a direct link to the download page of there site.

Kind Regards

This is an amazing free program, which will allow you to turn your PDFs into lines, so that you can scale and then trace plans, with 100% accuracy.

Love it!

Hi Guys, I am in the process of my first construction drawing on PlusSpec.

I want to place the survey drawing under my drawing for reference and have it stay in my drawing for all its information. I have used this Inkscape (which is great by the way) BUT and a big BUT I am finding you cant import the text of this file into sketchup :confused: This is not good, and when I use snipping tool it is too blurry for a construction drawing. I even tried to bring it in in Layout but still no good.

Can I ask does this FastStone capture give a crisper snap shot? or do you know of another way I can get the text from the survey in my final drawings

Cheers Sam :smiley:

This may be down to the issues SketchUp has with importing text. See this post discussing the problem. … iles/10174

If the text is visible in the DXF file then you could try importing the DXF into Doublecad first

This free cad software allows text to be exploded in DWG/DXF files which will then allow it to be displayed after importing into SketchUp (see settings in the above thread). Alternatively you could try installing TIG’s ‘Import DXF Text’ plugin also discussed in the above forum thread.

thank you Kenny, I’ll take a look. Big disadvantage of Sketchup, I feel its a lot of mucking about to see the text which is something so so necessary!!
Thanks again, I’ll let you know how I go

Hi Guys,

Thank you Kenny for helping out, great answer.

How did you go with this Sam?

Kind Regards

Ive put it in the too hard basket right now Dean, Im concentrating on drawing the plans then I’ll look at importing the survey drawing text, but I’ll let you know when I do :slight_smile:

That is fine, it is not the easiest task for a new SketchUp user.

Kind Regards

Great topic and of interest to us as a general contractor wanting to use PlusSpec for QTO (quantity take off). Converting PDF to TIFF or JPG does not work for QTO as we “trace drawings clicking on line snap points”. Redrawing over the project by entering line coordinates or dimensions isn’t an option for our QTO needs (man-hrs).

We tried INKSCAPE which worked good on 1 sheet AFTER it was sized to fit the page in Inkscape but with 200+ pages in most all of our sets it wouldn’t work for our needs doing this sheet by sheet. Apparently in REVIT there is an “export to .dxf” option making this conversion easy and not time consuming for the architect, but does AutoCAD have the same function? If not it would be impractical on large files for anyone to save each sheet 2ce.

Please advise if you know of a solution we are not aware of.

Michael M

Hi Michaelm,

All CAD software (that I am aware of) allow drawings to be saved in dwg or dxf format. Rather than trying to manipulate or convert PDFs into line work, I would suggest that you request the Architect or Designer to provide you with dwg/dxf formats along with PDFs for your quotation.

If you cannot have the source of the drawings convert them into these formats (dwg/dxf) for you, then you are stuck with PDFs - and there is no super quick way to convert these into line work (such as INKSCAPE) en-masse, that I am aware of.

I hope this helps.

Drew, I was asleep at the wheel and had forgotten about the dwg/dxf as I realized that SUP works with dwg the issue pretty much clears up … thanks

Guys, I always used a screen capture program to import my PDFs into Sketchup on Windows (Mac does it out of the Box). I had a large set of PDFs that would have taken too long to do individually so I did some research and came across this program It does cost $30 USD however it works fine and does multiple PDFs and adds them into their own folder. You can use it for free by clicking “Start Converting Now”, it will open up a buy page which you can simply close, you will notice that the files will be created in a folder which automatically opens. You can then drag and drop the files straight into PlusSpec or use file import. Note, if you want higher resolution image input, go to teh Sketchup Window menu, Select preferences, Open GL and tick “Use maximum texture size”
Note each image you import will add file size. In my use case I found, each image was under 2 meg, If i imported all, i would have a 10 meg file before I draw a line, so you should really only import what you need. You can also delete these images and purge the model once you are finished with them.

I also have at tip that may help a lot of people who always works from A3 drawings.
Basically I set up a template that has an A3 sheet outlined and dimensioned at 1:1 scale. This could be used to screen captured and printed to scale before going to layout. I would use this type of template for many things including tracing over a drawing that has been produced in A3 so I can quickly draw it in PlusSpec. The benefit is the imported PDF screen shot will be very close to scale. I’d always use the :selection-scale: to double check.
Here is the download, I hope it helps.
Importing A3 PDFs to Scale in Sketchup.png

Guys this is an old threadand it has not been answered correctly. I hope this helps to get a clear PDF import to trace or draw over in Sketchup.

First the tape measure icon :selection-scale: then select PDF import icon and a menu will appear, before you press import you need to select the import quality in the drop down menu.
See the following image (NOTE step 3 must be done before importing):How to Import PDF into Sketchup via PlusSpec so it is clear.png

If you still have trouble go to the “Window” menu inside Sketchup select “preferences” scroll down to “open GL” and then select maximum texture size SEE IMAGE:
maximum texture size inside Sketchup for PDF import via PlusSpec.png

I made this video for importing PDF into Sketchup