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CAFull_RM.

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Chief Architect® X2
Reference Manual

Professional Design & Drafting Software

Chief Architect, Inc.


6500 N. Mineral Dr.
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83815
www.chiefarchitect.com
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Copyright © 2009 by Chief Architect, Inc. All rights reserved.

No part of this book or the accompanying software may be reproduced or transmitted in any
form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any
information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from Chief Architect,
Inc.
Chief Architect® is a registered trademark of The City Blueprint and Country Blueprint
Chief Architect, Inc. fonts are © 1992-1999 Payne Loving Trust.
All rights reserved.
The Sentry Spelling-Checker Engine
Copyright © 1994-2003 Wintertree Software
Inc.
All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of Chief Architect, Inc. or their respective
owners.

Printed in the United States of America.


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Contents

Chapter 1: Program Overview


Chief Architect Full vs Interiors vs Lite..........................................26
Startup Options .................................................................................27
The Chief Architect Environment ...................................................28
Toolbars..............................................................................................31
Menus..................................................................................................32
Dialogs ................................................................................................33
The Status Bar ...................................................................................34
Preferences and Defaults ..................................................................34
Drawing a Plan ..................................................................................35
Viewing Your Plan ............................................................................37
Program Updates...............................................................................39
Getting Help .......................................................................................39
About Chief Architect .......................................................................40

Chapter 2: File Management


Compatibility with Previous Versions .............................................43
Organizing Your Files.......................................................................43
Chief Architect Data..........................................................................44
Creating a New Plan or Layout........................................................45
Saving a Plan or Layout File ............................................................46
Saving a Plan Thumbnail..................................................................48
Auto Archive ......................................................................................48

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Undo Files........................................................................................... 50
Opening a Plan or Layout File ......................................................... 50
Template Files.................................................................................... 51
Searching for Plans ........................................................................... 53
Exporting an Entire Plan.................................................................. 58
Closing Plans and Views ................................................................... 60
Exiting Chief Architect ..................................................................... 60

Chapter 3: Preferences & Default Settings


Defaults and Preferences .................................................................. 63
Default Settings.................................................................................. 63
Dynamic Defaults .............................................................................. 67
General Plan Defaults Dialog ........................................................... 68
Reset to Defaults ................................................................................ 69
Preferences Dialog............................................................................. 70

Chapter 4: Toolbars & Hotkeys


Toolbar Arrangement ..................................................................... 107
Customizing Toolbars ..................................................................... 107
Toolbar Configurations .................................................................. 112
Restoring Toolbars .......................................................................... 113
Hotkeys ............................................................................................. 114

Chapter 5: Layers
Displaying Objects........................................................................... 117
Layer Sets ......................................................................................... 118
Layer Set Management ................................................................... 119
Active Layer Set Control ................................................................ 121
Layer Display Options Dialog ........................................................ 121

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Select Layer Dialog..........................................................................124


Layer Tab .........................................................................................125
Layer Painter and Eyedropper ......................................................126
Layout Layer Sets............................................................................127
Exporting/Importing Layer Sets ....................................................127
Layer Set Defaults Dialog ...............................................................129

Chapter 6: Editing Objects


Architectural vs CAD Objects........................................................131
Defaults and Preferences ................................................................131
Snap Behaviors ................................................................................133
Object Snaps ....................................................................................133
Angle Snaps......................................................................................135
Grid Snaps........................................................................................136
Edit Behaviors..................................................................................137
Undo and Redo ................................................................................141
Creating Objects..............................................................................141
Selecting Objects..............................................................................144
Editing Line Based Objects ............................................................147
Editing Arc Based Objects..............................................................150
Editing Open Polyline Based Objects ............................................155
Editing Closed-Polyline Based Objects .........................................160
Editing Box-Based Objects .............................................................164
Editing Spline Based Objects .........................................................167
Editing Circles, Ovals and Ellipses ................................................171
Architectural and CAD Blocks.......................................................174
Displaying Objects...........................................................................175
Moving Objects................................................................................177
Aligning Objects ..............................................................................180
Resizing Objects...............................................................................183

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Reshaping Objects ........................................................................... 184


Rotating Objects .............................................................................. 188
Reflecting Objects............................................................................ 190
Copying and Pasting Objects ......................................................... 191
Deleting Objects............................................................................... 196
Trim and Extend ............................................................................. 198
Transform/Replicate Object Dialog............................................... 200
Union, Intersection, and Subtract.................................................. 202
Converting Objects.......................................................................... 205
Select Same / Load Same ................................................................ 208
Edit Area Tools................................................................................ 209

Chapter 7: Walls, Railings, & Fencing


Wall, Railing and Fencing Defaults ............................................... 215
The Wall Tools................................................................................. 219
The Deck Tools ................................................................................ 221
The Fencing Tools ........................................................................... 221
Exterior and Interior Walls............................................................ 222
Foundation Walls ............................................................................ 222
Pony Walls........................................................................................ 223
Railings ............................................................................................. 224
Invisible Walls.................................................................................. 224
Polygon Shaped Rooms and Decks ................................................ 225
Hatch Wall ....................................................................................... 226
Break Wall ....................................................................................... 226
Deck Railings ................................................................................... 227
Deck Edge......................................................................................... 227
Fencing ............................................................................................. 227
Drawing Walls ................................................................................. 228
Connecting Walls............................................................................. 229

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Displaying Walls ..............................................................................230


Editing Walls....................................................................................231
Editing Straight/Curved Wall Combinations ...............................234
Aligning Walls..................................................................................235
Attic Walls........................................................................................238
Double Walls ....................................................................................239
CAD to Walls ...................................................................................240
Wall Type Definitions......................................................................241
Wall Type Definitions Dialog .........................................................243
Exporting Wall Type Definitions ...................................................246
Importing Wall Type Definitions ...................................................247
Stepped and Raked Walls ...............................................................248
Wall Specification Dialog................................................................249
Wall Hatch Specification Dialog ....................................................264

Chapter 8: Rooms
Room Definition...............................................................................267
Floor Defaults...................................................................................267
Room Material Defaults..................................................................267
Floor & Ceiling Heights ..................................................................268
Selecting Rooms ...............................................................................270
Room Types......................................................................................271
Room Labels.....................................................................................273
Decks.................................................................................................275
Editing Rooms..................................................................................277
Special Ceilings ................................................................................279
Room Polylines.................................................................................282
Room Specification Dialog..............................................................283
Room Finish Schedules ...................................................................291

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Chapter 9: Doors
Door Defaults ...................................................................................293
The Door Tools ................................................................................ 293
Displaying Doors.............................................................................. 295
Editing Doors ...................................................................................296
Changing Door Swings.................................................................... 297
Centering Doors and Windows ...................................................... 300
Special Doors.................................................................................... 301
Door Specification Dialog ............................................................... 303
Door Schedules ................................................................................ 314

Chapter 10: Windows


Window Defaults ............................................................................. 317
The Window Tools........................................................................... 317
Special Windows.............................................................................. 319
Grouped Windows........................................................................... 320
Make Mulled Unit ........................................................................... 321
Window Levels................................................................................. 324
Displaying Windows........................................................................ 325
Editing Windows ............................................................................. 326
Custom Muntins .............................................................................. 327
Bay, Box, and Bow Windows.......................................................... 328
Bay, Box, Bow Windows & Roofs .................................................. 330
Window Specification Dialog ......................................................... 332
Bay/Box Window Specification Dialog .......................................... 349
Bow Window Specification ............................................................. 351
Window Schedules........................................................................... 351

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Chapter 11: Multiple Floors


Floor Defaults Dialog ......................................................................353
Working With Multiple Floors.......................................................354
Floor Tools .......................................................................................355
Adding Floors...................................................................................355
Exchanging Floors ...........................................................................357
Copying Floors.................................................................................357
Deleting Floors .................................................................................358
Floor and Ceiling Platforms ...........................................................358
Rebuilding Walls, Floors & Ceilings .............................................358
The Current Floor ...........................................................................358
The Attic Floor.................................................................................359
Reference Floor................................................................................359

Chapter 12: Foundations


Foundation Defaults ........................................................................363
Building a Foundation.....................................................................366
Displaying Foundations...................................................................367
Editing Stem Wall Foundations .....................................................367
Editing Slab Foundations................................................................368
Aligning Foundation Walls.............................................................368
Deleting Foundations.......................................................................369
Foundations and Rooms..................................................................369
The Slab Tools..................................................................................370
Editing Slabs ....................................................................................371
Editing Piers and Pads ....................................................................371
Slab Specification Dialog ................................................................372

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Chapter 13: Roofs


Roof Defaults.................................................................................... 375
Automatic vs. Manual Roofs .......................................................... 375
The Roof Tools................................................................................. 376
Build Roof Dialog ............................................................................ 377
Roof Planes....................................................................................... 385
Displaying Roof Planes ................................................................... 387
Editing Roof Planes ......................................................................... 387
Roof Plane Specification Dialog ..................................................... 392
Automatic Roofs .............................................................................. 396
Roof Baseline Polylines ................................................................... 401
Roof Baseline Specification Dialog ................................................ 403
Curved Roof Planes......................................................................... 404
Ceiling Planes...................................................................................408
Ceiling Plane Specification Dialog ................................................. 409
Gable/Roof Line............................................................................... 412
Skylights ........................................................................................... 414
Roof Hole/Skylight Specification Dialog ....................................... 416
Dormers ............................................................................................ 417
Editing Auto Dormers..................................................................... 419
Dormer Specification Dialog .......................................................... 420
Roof Returns and other Details...................................................... 423
Roof Pitches in Degrees................................................................... 426

Chapter 14: Stairs & Landings


The Stair Tools................................................................................. 429
Anatomy of a Staircase ................................................................... 429
Drawing Stairs ................................................................................. 430
Displaying Stairs.............................................................................. 431

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Merging Stair Sections ....................................................................431


Editing Stairs ...................................................................................433
Winders ............................................................................................434
Stair Landings..................................................................................435
Maintaining Tread Width...............................................................439
Flared Stairs and Curved Treads ..................................................440
Starter Treads..................................................................................443
Wrapped Stairs................................................................................444
Other Special Railings & Stairs .....................................................445
Creating a Stairwell.........................................................................448
Rooms Below Staircases..................................................................449
Staircase Specification Dialog ........................................................450
Stair Landing Specification Dialog ................................................458

Chapter 15: Framing


Framing Defaults .............................................................................461
Manual vs. Automatic Framing .....................................................462
The Framing Tools ..........................................................................464
Build Framing Dialog......................................................................467
Framing Reference Markers ..........................................................480
Bearing Lines ...................................................................................482
Joist Direction Lines........................................................................482
Displaying Framing .........................................................................485
Editing Framing...............................................................................487
Keeping Framing Current ..............................................................488
Framing and the Materials List .....................................................489
Framing Specification Dialog .........................................................490
Post Specification Dialog.................................................................492

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Chapter 16: Trusses


Truss Defaults .................................................................................. 495
Floor and Ceiling Trusses ............................................................... 495
Roof Trusses..................................................................................... 495
Editing Trusses ................................................................................ 498
Editing Truss Envelopes ................................................................. 499
Truss Details ....................................................................................499
Truss Labels..................................................................................... 500
Mixing Trusses with Stick Framing............................................... 501
Truss Bases....................................................................................... 501
Truss Base Specification Dialog ..................................................... 504
Hip Trusses ...................................................................................... 505
Step Down Hip ................................................................................. 506
Drop Hip or California Hip............................................................ 507
Subgirder Hip .................................................................................. 508
Girder Trusses ................................................................................. 509
Scissors Trusses ............................................................................... 509
Roof Truss Specification Dialog..................................................... 510
Floor/Ceiling Truss Specification Dialog ...................................... 513

Chapter 17: Electrical


Electrical Defaults ........................................................................... 516
The Electrical Tools......................................................................... 518
Creating Wiring Schematics........................................................... 519
Auto Place Outlets ........................................................................... 519
Electrical Library ............................................................................ 520
Displaying Electrical Objects ......................................................... 520
Editing Electrical Objects............................................................... 521
Electrical Service Specification Dialog .......................................... 522

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Chapter 18: Trim & Molding


Corner Boards .................................................................................529
Corner Board Specification Dialog................................................530
Quoins...............................................................................................531
Quoin Specification Dialog .............................................................531
Editing Corner Boards and Quoins ...............................................533
Molding Profiles...............................................................................533
Symbol Moldings .............................................................................534
Molding Polylines ............................................................................535
Displaying Molding Polylines .........................................................537
Changing Profiles on Existing Moldings .......................................537
Frieze Moldings ...............................................................................538
Molding Polyline Specification Dialog...........................................539
3D Molding Polyline Specification Dialog.....................................541

Chapter 19: Cabinets


Cabinet Defaults ..............................................................................547
The Cabinet Tools............................................................................548
Cabinet Fillers..................................................................................551
Placing Cabinets and Fillers ...........................................................551
Custom Countertops .......................................................................553
Displaying Cabinets.........................................................................554
Cabinet Labels .................................................................................555
Editing Cabinets ..............................................................................556
Editing Cabinet Door/Drawer and Panel Style.............................558
Editing Custom Countertops..........................................................558
Special Cabinets...............................................................................559
Cabinet Specification Dialog ..........................................................562
Cabinet Shelf Specification Dialog.................................................575

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Shelf/Partition Specification Dialog............................................... 576


Custom Countertop Specification Dialog...................................... 578

Chapter 20: Terrain


Terrain Configuration Button........................................................ 581
Terrain Perimeter............................................................................ 581
Elevation Data Tools ....................................................................... 582
Terrain Modifier Tools ................................................................... 587
Terrain Feature Tools ..................................................................... 588
Garden Bed Tools............................................................................ 590
Water Feature Tools ....................................................................... 591
Stepping Stone Tools ....................................................................... 591
Terrain Wall and Curb Tools......................................................... 592
Sun Shadows ....................................................................................593
Terrain Objects in the Library ...................................................... 593
Displaying Terrain .......................................................................... 593
Editing Terrain Objects .................................................................. 595
Terrain Specification Dialog........................................................... 596
Elevation Point Specification Dialog.............................................. 600
Elevation Line Specification Dialog............................................... 603
Flat Region Specification Dialog .................................................... 604
Hill / Valley Specification Dialog ................................................... 605
Raised / Lowered Region Specification Dialog ............................. 606
Terrain Feature Specification Dialog ............................................606
Garden Bed Specification Dialog ................................................... 608
Terrain Break Specification Dialog ............................................... 609
Terrain Path Specification Dialog.................................................. 610
Importing Elevation Data ............................................................... 612
Import Terrain Wizard................................................................... 612
Import GPS Data Wizard............................................................... 616

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Importing DXF/DWG Elevation Data...........................................620


Converting CAD Lines to Terrain Data........................................621
Plant Tools........................................................................................621
Plant Image Specification Dialog ...................................................622
Plant Specification Dialog...............................................................626
Plant Chooser Dialog.......................................................................627
Hardiness Zones...............................................................................629
Sprinkler Tools ................................................................................629
Sprinkler Specification Dialog........................................................630

Chapter 21: Roads, Driveways & Sidewalks


Road and Sidewalk Defaults...........................................................635
Road, Driveway and Sidewalk Tools .............................................636
Displaying Road Objects.................................................................639
Editing Road Objects ......................................................................639
Adding Road Objects to the Library .............................................640
Road Specification Dialog...............................................................640
Median Specification Dialog...........................................................642
Driveway Specification Dialog........................................................642
Road Marking Specification Dialog...............................................644
Sidewalk Specification Dialog ........................................................644

Chapter 22: Other Objects


Primitive Tools.................................................................................649
Creating Primitives .........................................................................649
Editing Primitives............................................................................650
3D Box Specification Dialog ...........................................................653
Sphere Specification Dialog ............................................................655
Cylinder Specification Dialog.........................................................656
Cone Specification Dialog ...............................................................657

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Shape Specification Dialog ............................................................. 658


Polyline Solids .................................................................................. 658
Polyline Solid Specification Dialog ................................................ 659
Soffits ................................................................................................ 660
Special Applications for Soffits ...................................................... 660
Calculating Materials on Soffits..................................................... 661
Soffit Specification Dialog............................................................... 662
Distributed Objects ......................................................................... 666
Distribution Region/Path Specification Dialogs ........................... 666
Fireplaces ......................................................................................... 671
Fireplace Specification Dialog........................................................ 672
Library Fireplaces ........................................................................... 674
Chimneys .......................................................................................... 675

Chapter 23: Architectural Blocks


Architectural vs CAD Blocks ......................................................... 677
Creating Architectural Blocks ....................................................... 677
Displaying Architectural Blocks .................................................... 678
Editing Architectural Blocks .......................................................... 678
Architectural Blocks, Sub-Objects, and Components ................. 679
Architectural Block Specification Dialog ...................................... 680

Chapter 24: Libraries


The Library Browser ...................................................................... 683
Library Browser Contents.............................................................. 685
Selection and Preview Panes .......................................................... 686
Library Search Dialog..................................................................... 687
Select Library Object Dialog.......................................................... 689
Placing Library Objects.................................................................. 690
Place Library Object Button .......................................................... 692

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Replace From Library ....................................................................693


Displaying Library Objects ............................................................694
Editing Library Objects..................................................................694
Library Objects and the Materials List.........................................696
Symbol Object Specification Dialogs .............................................696
Editing Libraries .............................................................................697
Adding to the Library .....................................................................700
Importing and Exporting Library Content ..................................702

Chapter 25: Materials


About Materials ...............................................................................707
The Material Painter.......................................................................707
Materials Tab...................................................................................709
Viewing Materials............................................................................711
Editing Materials .............................................................................711
Creating Materials...........................................................................712
Mapping Patterns and Textures.....................................................714
Material Types .................................................................................716
Managing Plan Materials...............................................................717
Define Material Dialog ....................................................................719
Material Defaults Dialog.................................................................726
Color Chooser Dialog ......................................................................727

Chapter 26: Zoom & View Tools


Zoom Tools.......................................................................................731
Undo Zoom.......................................................................................731
Fill Window......................................................................................732
Panning the Display.........................................................................732
Swapping Views ...............................................................................733
Window Menu Tools .......................................................................733

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Cascade............................................................................................. 734
Tiling Views...................................................................................... 735
Arrange Icons .................................................................................. 736
Aerial View....................................................................................... 736
Closing Views ...................................................................................738

Chapter 27: 3D Views


OpenGL and Hardware .................................................................. 741
Types of 3D Views ........................................................................... 741
Defaults and 3D Preferences .......................................................... 742
Camera Defaults Dialog.................................................................. 742
3D Settings Dialog ........................................................................... 744
3D View Tools .................................................................................. 749
Creating Camera Views .................................................................. 750
Creating Overviews ......................................................................... 751
Cross Section/Elevation Views ....................................................... 752
Displaying 3D Views........................................................................ 756
Editing 3D Views ............................................................................. 758
Cross Section Slider......................................................................... 764
Working in 3D ................................................................................ 765
Saving & Printing 3D Views........................................................... 767
Camera Specification Dialog .......................................................... 768
Cross Section/Elevation Camera Specification............................. 770

Chapter 28: Rendering & Raytracing


Rendering Tips ................................................................................ 773
Lighting ............................................................................................ 775
Light Types ...................................................................................... 779
Light Specification Dialog............................................................... 781
Default Sun Light Specification Dialog ......................................... 782

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Sun Angle Specification Dialog ......................................................782


Rendering Techniques.....................................................................785
Rendering Technique Options........................................................788
Glass House View ............................................................................796
Glass House Options........................................................................797
Speeding up 3D View Generation ..................................................797
Creating a Raytrace View...............................................................800
The Raytrace Window ....................................................................803
Creating Materials for Raytracing ................................................804
Raytracing Tips ...............................................................................805
POV-Ray ..........................................................................................807

Chapter 29: Dimensions


Compatibility With Previous Versions..........................................808
Dimension Defaults and Preferences .............................................809
Dimension Defaults Dialog..............................................................810
Temporary Dimension Defaults Dialog .........................................821
The Dimension Tools.......................................................................823
Displaying Dimension Lines ...........................................................826
Editing Dimension Lines.................................................................827
Editing Extension Lines ..................................................................829
Moving Objects Using Dimensions ................................................831
Dimension Line Specification Dialog .............................................833

Chapter 30: Text, Callouts & Markers


Text Defaults and Preferences........................................................839
Fonts and Alphabets........................................................................840
The Text Tools .................................................................................841
Creating Text, Callouts and Markers............................................842
Displaying Text, Arrows, Callouts and Markers..........................843

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Rich Text Specification Dialog ....................................................... 843


Text Specification Dialog ................................................................ 850
Editing Text ..................................................................................... 854
Copying & Pasting Text.................................................................. 858
Spell Check....................................................................................... 859
Text Arrows ..................................................................................... 861
Callouts............................................................................................. 863
Callout Specification Dialog ........................................................... 864
Editing Callouts ............................................................................... 866
Markers ............................................................................................ 867
Marker Specification Dialog........................................................... 867
Editing Markers .............................................................................. 868
Text Macros ..................................................................................... 869
Designer Information Dialog.......................................................... 871
Client Information Dialog............................................................... 872

Chapter 31: CAD Objects


CAD Defaults and Preferences....................................................... 875
The CAD Drawing Tools ................................................................ 878
Line Styles ........................................................................................ 879
Point Tools........................................................................................ 880
Line Tools ......................................................................................... 884
Line Specification Dialog ................................................................ 888
Drawing Arcs - Arc Creation Modes ............................................. 892
Arc Tools .......................................................................................... 894
Arc Specification Dialog ................................................................. 895
Circle Tools ...................................................................................... 897
CAD Circle/Oval/Ellipse Specification Dialog.............................. 898
Polylines............................................................................................ 900
Polyline Specification Dialog .......................................................... 901

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Box Tools ..........................................................................................903


CAD Box Specification Dialog........................................................905
Revision Clouds ...............................................................................906
Revision Cloud Specification Dialog..............................................907
Splines...............................................................................................908
Displaying CAD Objects .................................................................909
Creating Line Styles ........................................................................910
CAD Blocks ......................................................................................912
CAD Block Management ................................................................913
CAD Block Specification Dialog.....................................................915
Number Style/Angle Style Dialog...................................................917
CAD Details......................................................................................917
Plot Plans and Plan Footprints.......................................................918
Plan Footprint Specification Dialog...............................................920

Chapter 32: Project Management


Time Tracker ...................................................................................922
Time Log Dialog ..............................................................................923
Project Browser ...............................................................................924
Project Information.........................................................................925
House Wizard...................................................................................926
Plan Check .......................................................................................928
IRC Checklist...................................................................................929
Loan Calculator ...............................................................................929

Chapter 33: Pictures, Images, & Walkthroughs


Picture Files vs Pictures and Image Objects.................................933
Images...............................................................................................933
Displaying Images............................................................................935
Editing Images .................................................................................935

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Image Specification Dialog ............................................................. 936


Pictures ............................................................................................. 940
Editing Pictures ............................................................................... 941
Picture File Box Specification Dialog ............................................ 942
Metafiles ........................................................................................... 943
Editing Metafiles.............................................................................. 945
Metafile Specification Dialog.......................................................... 945
Copy Region as Picture ................................................................... 946
Creating Screen Captures............................................................... 946
Walkthroughs .................................................................................. 948
Creating VRML Files...................................................................... 949

Chapter 34: Importing & Exporting


DXF vs DWG File Formats ............................................................ 953
Importing 2D Drawings .................................................................. 953
Import Drawing Wizard ................................................................. 954
CAD to Walls ................................................................................... 962
Exporting 2D DXF/DWG Files ...................................................... 962
Additional 2D Export Information ................................................ 964
3D Data Import Requirements....................................................... 966
Importing 3D Symbols .................................................................... 967
Exporting a 3D Model in DXF/DWG Format .............................. 971
Exporting a 3D Model in 3DS Format........................................... 972

Chapter 35: Custom Symbols


Symbol Specification Dialog ........................................................... 974
Get Last Symbol .............................................................................. 987
Convert to Symbol........................................................................... 987
Editing Custom Symbols................................................................. 988

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Chapter 36: Printing & Plotting


Introduction to Printing..................................................................993
Printers and Plotters .......................................................................994
The Printing Tools...........................................................................995
Display Options and Printing .........................................................995
Printing Directly from a View ........................................................997
Printing from Layout ......................................................................997
Printing to Scale...............................................................................997
Printing Across Multiple Pages......................................................998
Printing to a PDF File .....................................................................999
Line Weights ....................................................................................999
Printing Text and Dimensions......................................................1002
Creating Custom Sheet Sizes........................................................1002
Page Setup Dialog ..........................................................................1004
Print Dialog ....................................................................................1006
Print Image Dialog ........................................................................1009
Print Model ....................................................................................1009

Chapter 37: Layout


Layout Defaults..............................................................................1015
Preparing for Layout ....................................................................1015
Creating a Layout File ..................................................................1016
The Layout Tools...........................................................................1016
Sending Views to Layout...............................................................1018
The Current Page ..........................................................................1020
Layout Page Zero ..........................................................................1021
CAD and Text in Layout...............................................................1021
Images in Layout ...........................................................................1022
Keeping Layout Views Current ...................................................1022

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Editing Layout Views .................................................................... 1024


Rescaling Views ............................................................................. 1025
Displaying Layout Views .............................................................. 1025
Layout Page Display Options ....................................................... 1026
Opening Layout Views .................................................................. 1027
Editing Layout Lines..................................................................... 1028
Edit Layout Lines Dialog .............................................................. 1028
Managing Layout Links................................................................ 1030
Printing Layout Files..................................................................... 1033
Exporting Layout Files ................................................................. 1034
Layout Box Specification Dialog .................................................. 1034

Chapter 38: Schedules


Schedule Defaults .......................................................................... 1036
Creating Schedules ........................................................................ 1037
Editing Schedules .......................................................................... 1038
Adding Columns to Schedules...................................................... 1039
Schedule Specification Dialog....................................................... 1039
Columns and Objects to Include .................................................. 1043
Object Labels .................................................................................1044

Chapter 39: Materials Lists


The Materials List Tools ............................................................... 1049
Creating an Accurate Materials List ...........................................1050
Organizing Materials Lists ........................................................... 1050
Material List Display Options Dialog..........................................1052
Materials List Columns................................................................. 1054
Editing Materials Lists.................................................................. 1056
Materials Polyline.......................................................................... 1057
Managing Materials Lists ............................................................. 1058

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Exporting the Materials List ........................................................1058


The Master List..............................................................................1059
Components Dialog .......................................................................1062

Appendix A: Whats New in Chief Architect


Before You Begin...........................................................................1064
New and Improved Features by Chapter....................................1068

Appendix B: Additional Resources


Reference Manual..........................................................................1078
User’s Guide...................................................................................1078
Online Help Videos........................................................................1079
Chief Architect Web Site ..............................................................1079
Online Personal Training..............................................................1079
Training Seminars .........................................................................1079
Chief Talk Online User Forum ....................................................1080
Technical Support .........................................................................1080

Appendix C: Technical Support Services


Reference and Training Resources ..............................................1082
Troubleshooting Common Technical Issues ...............................1083
Troubleshooting Printing Problems ............................................1084
Error Messages ..............................................................................1086
Contacting Technical Support......................................................1087

Appendix D: Menus & Toolbar Buttons


Using the Menus ............................................................................1090
File Menu........................................................................................1091

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

Edit Menu....................................................................................... 1096


Build Menu..................................................................................... 1100
Terrain Menu................................................................................. 1110
Library Menu ................................................................................ 1115
3D Menu ......................................................................................... 1115
CAD Menu ..................................................................................... 1123
Tools Menu..................................................................................... 1128
Window Menu................................................................................ 1135
Help Menu...................................................................................... 1137
MEP Toolbar Configuration Buttons..........................................1139
Toggle Buttons ............................................................................... 1140
Edit Toolbar Buttons..................................................................... 1141
Other Buttons ................................................................................ 1147

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Chapter 1:

Program Overview

Chief Architect is specifically designed for Chapter Contents


the residential and light commercial design • Chief Architect Full vs Interiors vs Lite
professional. It allows you to easily and • Startup Options
efficiently produce 3D models and • The Chief Architect Environment
construction documents for your projects. • Toolbars
We thank you for choosing Chief Architect • Menus
and wish you the best in your design work. • Dialogs
• The Status Bar
• Preferences and Defaults
• Drawing a Plan
• Viewing Your Plan
• Program Updates
• Getting Help

Chief Architect Full vs Interiors vs Lite


Not all features are available in the Interiors
and Lite versions of Chief Architect. For a
list of the features in each program, see our
website, www.chiefarchitect.com.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

Startup Options
When Chief Architect opens, the The Startup Options dialog can be opened at
Startup Options dialog displays, any time by selecting File> Startup Options
allowing you to choose how you want to .
begin working in the program or access
useful resources.

2
1
3

1 Select a File command to open a .plan • Click New from Template to open a
file. new, blank plan based on a template that
• Click New Plan to open a new, blank you select. See “Template Files” on page
plan. See “Creating a New Plan or Lay- 51.
out” on page 45. • Select House Wizard to launch a
• Choose Open Plan to work on an new plan in the House Wizard. See
existing plan file. See “Opening a Plan or “House Wizard” on page 926.
Layout File” on page 50.

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The Chief Architect Environment

• Click Find Plan Wizard to search a X2, the online Help menu, Reference Manual
plan database using criteria you select. and User’s Guide .pdfs, and links to the
See “Find Plan Wizard” on page 54. Chief Architect and Chief Talk Web sites.

2 Recent Files lists the names of the most 34 Uncheck Show Options on Startup if
recently opened files. Click on a name you do not want this dialog to display
to open the file. You set the number of files when you launch Chief Architect. Instead, a
that display in this list in the Preferences new, blank plan opens.
dialog. See “General Panel” on page 79.
To have the Startup Options dialog
3 The Help options provide access to a display at startup again, select File> Startup
variety of information resources. These Options and place a check mark at Show
include a list of the new features of version Options on Startup.

The Chief Architect Environment


Object-Based Design displays in the Status Bar at the bottom of the
program window.
Chief Architect’s parametric, object-based
design technology means you place and edit Architectural objects take up space in all
objects, rather than work with the many three dimensions and their height, width and
individual lines or surfaces used to represent depth can be specified in Imperial or metric
them. units. In addition, the location of objects can
be precisely defined using coordinates, again
You can quickly select and edit the location, specified in Imperial or metric units.
size, shape, style and other properties of
objects as well as change the materials CAD objects such as lines and arcs take up
applied to their surfaces. space in two dimensions in the current view.
Their dimensions can also be specified in
Use Chief Architect’s editing capabilities to Imperial or metric units and their locations
make the objects you place in a plan match precisely defined using coordinates.
the objects they represent in real life. For
example, you can set up your windows and
Easy Access to Tools
doors to match those available from your
supplier. You can access Chief Architect’s features in
various ways using the mouse and keyboard.
3D Drafting • Menus provide access to most tools.
In Chief Architect, the entire drawing area is • Convenient toolbar buttons allow fast
laid out on a three dimensional coordinate access to tools and let you customize the
system described using the X, Y and Z axes. interface.
The current position of your mouse pointer

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

• Keyboard shortcuts are available for most • The Status Bar at the bottom of the screen
tools and can be customized. provides tool descriptions and other
• Contextual menus display with a right- information about the current task.
click of the mouse.

Title
Bar Child
Tools
Menus

Parent
Tools
Library &
Selected Project
Object Browser

Library
Preview
Temporary Panes
Dimension

Edit
Toolbar Reference Pointer Crosshair Status Bar
Grid Lines Lines

Using the Mouse The Right button has several uses.


Right-click to select any object.
Many objects, such as doors and cabinets, are
created by clicking the left mouse button.
Others, such as walls, stairs and dimension
lines, are created by dragging the pointer If, for example, the Straight Exterior
from one end of the object to the other. Wall tool is active, the left mouse button
The left button is the primary allows you to select only walls. You can
button used in Chief Architect. select other object types such as cabinets
Unless specified otherwise, this with the right mouse button.
reference manual refers to the left Use the right mouse button to temporarily
mouse button. switch to the Alternate edit behavior. See
“Edit Behaviors” on page 137.
Note: If you are left-handed and have re-pro- You can also use the right mouse button to
grammed your mouse, reverse the instruc-
open a context sensitive menu with
tions for left and right buttons in this manual.
additional editing commands.

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The Chief Architect Environment

The Middle button can be used to • A circular arrow indicates that the
pan in floor plan view or to selected object can be rotated.
temporarily use the Move edit
Resize handles display along the edges of the
behavior. See “Edit Behaviors” on
object are used to change the size. See
page 137.
“Resizing Objects” on page 183.
You can also program it to work as a double-
click.
The Mouse Wheel can be used to
zoom in and out in most views. The Move handle at the object’s center lets
you move the object. See “Moving Objects”
on page 177.
The Back, or X1, button on a 5-button mouse
can be used to temporarily enable the
Concentric edit behavior. See “Edit
Behaviors” on page 137 or the
documentation for your mouse.
The Forward, or X2, button on a 5-button The triangular Rotate handle lets you rotate
mouse can be used to temporarily enable the the object. See “Rotating Objects” on page
Resize edit behavior. See “Edit Behaviors” 188.
on page 137 or the documentation for your
mouse.

Using the Edit Handles


When you select an object, its edit handles You can cancel any edit handle operation
display. How each handle behaves when it is before it is completed by pressing the Esc
clicked and dragged may depend on which key on your keyboard or by pressing any two
Edit Behavior is currently active. See mouse buttons at the same time.
“Edit Behaviors” on page 137. The edit handles that display depend on the
When you pass the mouse over the edit type of object selected, the current view, and
handles, the pointer changes to show how how far you are zoomed out.
you can use that handle. Edit handles do not resize as you zoom in or
• A two-headed arrow indicates that the out. If you are zoomed out far enough, some
object, corner or edge can be moved in edit handles may be hidden so that they do
the direction of the arrows. not stack over one another. As you zoom in,
these handles become visible again.
• A four-headed arrow indicates that the
selected object or edge may be moved in
multiple directions.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

Toolbars
Using the toolbar buttons is the fastest, The most recently selected tool displays in
easiest way to access many program features. the toolbar.
You can move the toolbars, customize them
by adding or removing buttons, or create Parent and Child Tools
your own toolbars from scratch. “Toolbar
Customization Dialog” on page 107. An alternative to the Drop-Down toolbar
interface are Parent and Child tools. Parent
The toolbars that display in a given view toolbar buttons have a blue triangle in the
depend on the view type. For example, lower right corner. When you select a parent
toolbars that control camera position display button, child tools display on the right side of
in 3D views but not in floor plan view. the toolbar.
When you pass the pointer over a toolbar
When you click the Window Tools
button, a “tool tip” displays the name of the
parent button, for example, its child buttons
tool. When you see one of these tool tips,
display to the right.
press F1 to get more information about that
item. A more detailed description displays in
the Status Bar at the bottom of the window.
You can use either of two styles of toolbar You can select either Parent - Child or Drop-
interface: drop-down tools or parent-child Down tools in the Preferences dialog See
buttons. “Appearance Panel” on page 71.

Drop-Down Tools Toolbar Configurations


Click on the arrow to the right of a button to Toolbar configurations are sets of toolbars
display a drop-down list of related tools. For that are organized for certain tasks.
example, click the arrow to the right of the
There are eight toolbar configurations in
Window button to display a drop-down Chief Architect. Each can be accessed in the
list of the other Window Tools. Toolbar Customization dialog by right-
clicking on a toolbar button, or by clicking a
button:
The Default Configuration displays a
selection of architectural, file
management and display settings tools.
The Terrain Configuration displays a
selection of terrain, file management
and display setting tools.

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Menus

The Space Planning Configuration The Edit Toolbar


displays a selection of file management
and display setting tools, as well as the When you select an object, the edit toolbar
House Wizard tools. appears. By default, it is located at the
bottom of the program window, just above
The Plan Detailing Configuration the Status Bar. The toolbar buttons that
displays a selection of display settings, display can be used to edit the selected
file management, annotation and other object(s). Which buttons display depends on
documentation tools. the type of object selected, the current view,
The CAD Configuration displays a and how you selected the object.
selection of CAD, file management
and display setting tools.
The 800x600 Configuration displays The edit toolbar buttons are the same as the
toolbars suitably sized for monitors set options in the contextual menu when you
at 800x600 screen resolution. right-click on an object.

The Expanded Configuration Hotkeys


displays an expanded selection of
architectural, terrain, file managment and Many commands can be invoked from the
display setting tools. keyboard. Press Alt on your keyboard and
press the underlined letter in a menu name to
Customizable Toolbars access that menu, as well as items in the
menus and submenus.
Since the work you are doing determines the
tools you need, Chief Architect allows you to Other keys or key combinations will invoke a
tailor toolbars to suit your own needs. You variety of program commands. If a Chief
can store various toolbar configurations for Architect menu item has a keyboard shortcut,
future use. For more information about or hotkey, associated with it, that hotkey will
customizing toolbars, see “Toolbar display to the right of its name in the menu.
Customization Dialog” on page 107. You can assign hotkeys to Chief Architect’s
tools to best suit your style of work. See
You can add toolbars to each configuration “Hotkeys” on page 114.
using the Toolbar Customization dialog
while that configuration is active. For more information about menu items and
toolbar buttons, see “Menus & Toolbar
Buttons” on page 1090.

Menus
Chief Architect uses a standard Windows be used to access nearly all tools in the
menu format. The menus are located below program.
the title bar in the program window and can

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

Menu items with an icon to their left have a In this reference manual, menu paths are
toolbar button associated with them. Some written in this format: Build> Window> Box
buttons are not included on the toolbar but Window . An icon image after the menu
can easily be added. See “Toolbar path indicates that a toolbar button is also
Customization Dialog” on page 107. available.
Many tools in Chief Architect also have
hotkeys associated with them. If a menu item Contextual Menus
has a hotkey, it will display to the right of the
Contextual menus are context sensitive
item’s name. See “Hotkeys” on page 114.
menus that display tools relevant to a
selected object or view.
To access contextual menus, right-click on an
object, in an empty space in a view window
Edit menu items with button icons or in a text field in any dialog box.
to the left and hotkeys to the right
Contextual menus can be enabled or disabled
in the Preferences dialog. See “Appearance
Panel” on page 71.

Dialogs
Default and preference settings, object active to open its specification dialog. See
specifications, display settings, and many “Selecting Objects” on page 144.
other functions are accessed through dialog
You can open the specification dialog for
boxes.
group-selected objects if they are of the same
Many dialogs have a preview that shows how type, such as base cabinets.
the changes affect the object. This preview • If a particular setting varies among the
updates when you click in a different field or different objects, its check box will have
press the Tab key on your keyboard. a solid fill instead of a check mark. Click
once to clear the box for all selected
Specification Dialogs objects, or click a second time to place a
Each object in Chief Architect has a checkmark for all selected objects.
unique specification dialog where you • If the setting has a text field, it will say
can enter size, style and other information “No Change”. Changes made to such a
specific to the selected object. To access it, setting can be undone by replacing the
select the object and click the Open Object value in the text field with the letter N
edit button. You can also double-click on an before you click OK.
object with the Select Objects tool If you select multiple objects of different
types, the Open Object edit button is

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The Status Bar

usually not available. The button may


display if the objects have data in common,
but you can only edit the common data.

The Status Bar


The Status Bar at the bottom of the main • The current floor.
window displays information about the • The dimensions of the active window in
current state of the program. pixels.
• The current layout page.
• The current default CAD layer.
This information depends on a variety of
conditions such as settings in the • The current CAD coordinates of the
Preferences dialog, the type of object pointer.
selected, and the current position of the • The screen redraw time.
pointer. The information may include the
• The length and/or angle of an object as it
following:
is being drawn.
• A brief description of the toolbar button
or menu item highlighted by the mouse. The number format used in the Status Bar is
set in the Dimension Defaults dialog, while
• A description of the selected object. the angle style can be specified in the
• The total number of objects currently Number Style/Angle Style dialog. See
group-selected. “Primary Format Tab” on page 812 and
• The layer that the selected object is on. “Number Style/Angle Style Dialog” on page
917.

Preferences and Defaults


Preference and default settings control many Preferences
aspects of the user interface and tool
behavior in Chief Architect. You can use Preference settings let you change program
these settings to customize the program to behavior to suit your workflow. For example,
suit your personal work style. you can:
• Turn certain display elements on or off.
For more information about defaults and
preferences, see “Preferences & Default • Choose background and floor plan view
Settings” on page 62. colors.
• Set frequency of autosaves, maximum
number of “undos,” and file protection.
• Set default folders for various files.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

• Control the editing behaviors of objects. Default settings, unlike Preferences, are file
• Setup the material list categories, sub- specific.
categories, and report style, as well as
manufacturer and supplier information. Dynamic Defaults
• Set rendering specifications to maximize Dynamic defaults are values that affect
efficiency and quality. existing objects in a plan.
Preference settings are global, affecting all In specification dialogs, dynamic default
plan and layout files. values have a Default checkbox beside them
or a [D] in their text fields. As long as this
Defaults checkbox is checked or the [D] is present,
changes made to the default affect the object.
Most objects in Chief Architect derive their
intial properties from their respective default To edit an individual object, you must delete
dialogs. the [D] or uncheck the box in the
specification dialog. Objects you edit in this
For example, a newly placed Window way do not update if you change the default.
gets its initial values from the Window
To restore a value to the default, click to
Defaults dialog and a newly placed Hinged
place a check in the Default checkbox or
Door gets its initial values from the Door type a “d” into an edit box.
Defaults dialog.

Once an object is placed in a plan, its initial Template Plans


properties can be overridden, but setting up You can set up an otherwise empty plan with
your defaults before you begin drawing can the default settings of your choice and use it
save you considerable time as you build a as your template for new, blank plans. See
model in the program. “Template Files” on page 51.

Drawing a Plan
When you draw a plan in Chief Architect, Set the Defaults
you are placing 3D objects that represent
building components. Chief Architect comes 1. Open the plan template you want to use,
with predefined default settings so you can or choose File> Startup Options> New
start drawing plans immediately. You should from Template to begin a new plan.
review these default settings to be sure they
2. Set the structural defaults:
match your drawing and building methods.
See “Preferences & Default Settings” on • Floor Defaults. Set the default ceiling
page 62. height for Floor 1. See “Floor
Defaults” on page 65.

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Drawing a Plan

• Foundation Defaults. Set the founda- 7. Build additional floors. See “Adding
tion specifics such as type, footing size, Floors” on page 355.
and stem wall height. See “Foundation 8. Specify the default ceiling height for
Defaults” on page 65. each floor as soon as it is created. See
• Framing Defaults. Set the floor framing “Floor Defaults Dialog” on page 353.
specifications, including type and
9. Adjust the perimeter shape of additional
dimensions. See “Framing Defaults”
floors as needed. See “Editing Walls” on
on page 65.
page 231.
• Default Wall Types. Specify the
defaults for walls and railings. See 10. Align edited or moved walls with those
“Wall, Railing and Fencing Defaults” above or below where appropriate. See
on page 215. “Aligning Walls” on page 235.

3. Set material defaults for roof, walls, and


Entering Dimensions
rooms (optional). See “Material
Defaults” on page 65. When using Imperial units, enter distances as
4. Set style defaults for doors, windows, inches or feet and inches, in fractional or
molding, cabinets and other objects. decimal form. Millimeters are the default
unit for all metric distances. See “Dimen-
sions” on page 808.
Draw the Floors
• To enter feet, include the ( ' ) marker or
1. While the size of the drawing area in the program assumes inches.
Chief Architect is limited only by the • In most cases, the program allows
resources on your computer, it is best to precision to 1/16th of an inch. Fractions
begin your drawing near the origin, with denominators 2, 4, 8 and 16 are
0,0,0. See “3D Drafting” on page 28. allowed.
2. Draw the exterior walls on Floor 1 in a • The program usually converts decimals
clockwise direction. See “Drawing to fractions.
Walls” on page 228.
• You can enter angles as bearings, decimal
3. Adjust the perimeter shape and size as degrees, or degrees, minutes, and
required. See “Using the Edit Handles” seconds. See “Number Style/Angle Style
on page 232. Dialog” on page 917.
4. Place any first floor bearing walls.
5. Define types for special rooms such as Build the Foundation
garages and decks in the plan. See
“Room Types” on page 271. 1. Derive the foundation plan from the first
floor. See “Building a Foundation” on
6. Place perimeter doors and windows. See page 366.
“Doors” on page 292 and “Windows” on
page 316. 2. Adjust the foundation perimeter shape
as needed.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

3. Place interior foundation walls as 5. Build the framing. See “Framing” on


needed for the first floor bearing walls. page 460.
4. Place any other foundation walls 6. Build the terrain and landscaping
required. (optional). See “Terrain” on page 580.
5. Align with Above as needed. See 7. Create the plot plan and plan footprint.
“Aligning Walls” on page 235. See “Plot Plans and Plan Footprints” on
page 595.
Add Structure and Details 8. Create any necessary views and print the
plan and use CAD Detail from View to
1. Build non-structural interior walls. create 2D elevations and plan details.
Begin on floor one and work up in mul- Use and modify details from the Library,
tiple story structures. as well. See “CAD Details” on page
2. Add walls where needed to create fea- 917.
tures such as chimney chases, plumbing
walls, or Open Below areas. Create the Layout
3. Finish the relevant interior structure
including interior doors, doorways, cabi- 1. If one does not exist, create a Layout file
nets, fixtures, and fireplaces. with a title block, placing the border,
title block, and other text on page 0. See
4. Build the roof planes. If you generate the “Layout” on page 1014.
roof automatically, remember to carry
the roof directives in the walls from the 2. Send views to the layout, starting with
first floor up to the top floor for multiple layout page 1. See “Sending Views to
story structures. See “Roofs” on page Layout” on page 1018.
374. 3. Print the plan. See “Printing & Plotting”
on page 992.

Viewing Your Plan


You can see your model in a wide variety of Floor plan view is a 2D view of the model and
different 2D and 3D views. You can display is most commonly used for drawing and
more than one view at a time and in any editing. In floor plan view, each floor displays
view, you can pan or zoom in or out. See separately and you can only edit one floor at a
“Zoom & View Tools” on page 730. time; however, you have extensive control
over which objects display at any given time,

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Viewing Your Plan

can easily switch between floors, and can also the relationships between spaces, and plan
display items on a second floor for reference. traffic flow.

Framing Overviews display framing in 3D,


provided that framing has been built. You can
customize 3D views to serve special purposes
such as this.

You can create interior and exterior 3D views


of your model from any perspective. As in
floor plan view, you can select and edit many
objects in 3D views and can control which
objects are visible. See “3D Views” on page
740.
A variety of Cross Section and Elevation
camera tools create accurate, scaled 2D views
of a model’s exterior and interior. Just as in
other views, you can select and edit objects in
a Cross Section/Elevation view as well as
control which objects display. Cross Section/
Elevation views can be annotated and
dimensioned.
You can also create Floor Overviews that
show only the current floor. Ceilings are
omitted so you can see the interior, visualize

A variety of rendering techniques let you


produce customized 3D views, from detail

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

drawings to photorealistic Raytrace views to Layout


artistic presentation views.
All plan views can be sent to a layout
where they can be arranged to produce
full construction documentation. See
“Sending Views to Layout” on page 1018.

All views can also be exported as a graphic


image. See “To export a picture” on page
940.

Program Updates
From time to time, Chief Architect Inc. Select Help> Download Program Updates
releases program updates that are available to launch your default Web browser to the
for download from the Chief Architect Web Program Updates section of the Chief
site, www.chiefarchitect.com. Architect Web site.

Getting Help
There are many forms of help paste, and right-click to access contextual
available in Chief Architect including: menus. Help also assumes you are familiar
Tool Tips, the Status Bar, and the online Help with Windows terms.
menu.
More information is available in the product
All these forms of help assume you have a documentation in both printed and electronic
basic working knowledge of the Windows format and on Chief Architect’s official Web
operating system, including how to use a site, www.chiefarchitect.com. See
mouse, open, close and save files, copy, “Additional Resources” on page 219.

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About Chief Architect

Tool Tips • When you move the cursor over a toolbar


button or menu item, a brief summary of
When you move the pointer over a toolbar that tool displays in the Status Bar. Press
button or menu item, a Tool Tipdisplays, the F1 key to open online Help to a page
offering a brief description of the tool. More with more information about the tool.
information displays in the Status Bar at the
bottom of the window. • When an object is selected, edit handles
display. Place the cursor over an edit han-
dle and press F1 to open online Help to a
Online Help Menu
page with information about that handle.
Online Help is a searchable menu that • Press the Help button in any dialog box
provides information about all of the tools in to open online Help to a page describing
Chief Architect. Select Help> Contents & the options in that dialog.
Index to open the online Help and
explore the table of contents, browse the
Index, or search for keywords. Chief Architect strives to make our doc-
umentation as helpful as possible for all
of our customers. Please send any
Current Mode Help questions, comments, or feedback to
documentation@chiefarchitect.com.
Online Help can also be used to provide
instant information about toolbar buttons,
menu items, and objects in your plan.

About Chief Architect


Select Help> About Chief Architect to Contact information for Chief Architect, Inc.
view information about your software is available on the More Information tab.
license, the program’s version number, and
its release date.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

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Chapter 2:

File Management

Chief Architect reads and edits two main Chapter Contents


document types: .plan files and .layout files. • Compatibility with Previous Versions
The complete 3D model of a structure, • Organizing Your Files
surrounding terrain and any CAD data • Chief Architect Data
associated with it are stored in the plan file. • Creating a New Plan or Layout
Data used to create working drawings and • Saving a Plan or Layout File
the links to various views or details are • Saving a Plan Thumbnail
stored in the layout file. • Auto Archive
All commands related to opening, saving and • Undo Files
closing plans are located in the File menu. • Opening a Plan or Layout File
You can also open plans from the Startup • Template Files
Options dialog. See “Startup Options” on • Searching for Plans
page 27. • Exporting an Entire Plan
• Closing Plans and Views
Just as with files created in other software • Exiting Chief Architect
applications, you should back up your plan
and layout files externally on a regular basis
to avoid accidental loss of work.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

Compatibility with Previous Versions


Plans produced in the following programs Files that have been opened and saved in
can all be read by Chief Architect X2. Chief Architect X2 cannot be read by the
programs listed above. To continue to read
• Chief Architect® 5.0 through X1
files in the program in which they were
• 3D Home Architect® 3.0 and 4.0 created, be sure to create copies of your files
before opening them in Chief Architect X2.
• Chief Architect® Home Edition 5.0
• All Version 8 and prior Better Homes and
Note: Chief Architect automatically archives
Gardens Home Designer™ products
plans created in prior versions. See “Auto
• Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping Archive” on page 48.
and Deck Designer, Version 8 and prior
• Better Homes and Gardens Interior Limited editability of files saved in Chief
Designer, Version 8 and prior Architect X2 can be enabled when these files
are opened in Version 9 and later of Better
• Trading Spaces® Design Companion™ Homes and Gardens Home Designer
programs. See “General Plan Defaults
Note: 3D Home Architect 5.0 was not devel- Dialog” on page 68.
oped by Chief Architect, Inc. Plans written Several steps are required to successfully
using 3D Home Architect 5.0 or later cannot
convert plans created in an earlier program
be read by Chief Architect.
version to the Chief Architect X2 format.
Before doing so, see “Before You Begin” on
Only the .PL1, .LA1, .plan, and .layout files
page 1064.
from prior versions can be opened in Chief
Architect X2.

Organizing Your Files


You should keep your plan and layout files that use them so that they are easily found.
separate from the support files needed to run See “Adding to the Library” on page 700.
Chief Architect. To keep files organized, you
Here is one way to organize your files:
may find it helpful to create a new folder for
each project. • Create a folder in “My Documents”
(“Documents” in Windows Vista) called
Many Chief Architect files use imported “Chief Architect Plans” or another name
images, textures and other custom content you prefer. See Microsoft Windows Help
saved in their own external data files. to learn how to create folders.
Consider storing copies of all external files in
the same folder as the plan and layout files • Inside this folder, make a new folder for
each client or project. Save all the files

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Chief Architect Data

for that client or project inside this folder,


including plan and layout files and refer- It is recommended that each layout file
enced external files. See “Saving a Plan be saved in the same folder as the plan
or Layout File” on page 46. file(s) associated with it. See “Managing Lay-
out Links” on page 1030.
Bear in mind, though, that path names
exceeding 260 characters cannot be opened To specify a default Save As location
by Chief Architect. As a result, it is a good
idea to limit the number of embedded folders
1. Select Edit> Preferences , then
you use in your file organization method.
select New Plans from Category list. See
Once you understand the file management of “New Plans Panel” on page 82.
Chief Architect, you should decide on a 2. Under Open and Save As, click Use this
naming convention that suits your needs. Folder. The Browse button becomes
available.
3. Browse to the folder you plan to save
your projects in. Click OK.

Chief Architect Data


When Chief Architect X2 is installed, the • lex - A folder of customized dictionaries.
program automatically creates a folder in My See “Spell Check” on page 859.
Documents called Chief Architect X2 Data. • Database Libraries - A folder of cus-
This folder contains important user-specific tomized libraries. See “User Libraries”
information saved in the following folders on page 686.
and files and should not be moved, renamed • Templates - A folder of plan and layout
or deleted: template files. See “Template Files” on
• Archives - A folder of automatically page 51“Creating a New Plan or Layout”
archived plan and layout files. See “Auto on page 45.
Archive” on page 48. • Textures - A folder of texture files that
• Backdrops - A folder of custom back- can be used to create custom materials.
drop images. See “3D Backdrops” on See “Creating Materials” on page 712.
page 756. • Toolbars - A folder of customized tool-
• Hotkeys - A folder of hotkey assign- bar files. See “Toolbar Customization
ments. See “Hotkeys” on page 114. Dialog” on page 107.
• Images - A folder of custom images. See • Dialogs Suppressed.int - Contains infor-
“Adding Images to the Library” on page mation about which dialog boxes have
934. been suppressed by clicking Do not show
this message again.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

• mmaster.mat - The Master Materials Just as with your plan and layout files, it is a
List file. See “The Master List” on page good idea to back up your Chief Architect
1059. X2 Data folder.
• units.dat - A list of user-created units of
measurement. See “Unit Conversions If the Chief Architect X2 Data folder is
Panel” on page 85. moved or deleted, the program will
automatically replace it using default infor-
The name of the Chief Architect X2 Data mation from the Chief Architect installation
folder cannot be changed, but you can folder. When this occurs, customized user
specify its location on your computer in the settings and custom user libraries will not be
available.
Preferences dialog. See “Folders Panel”
on page 80.

Creating a New Plan or Layout


To create a new, blank plan, select Units of Measurement
File> New Plan.
All plan and layout files save measurements
You can also choose New Plan in the in either Imperial or Metric units. New files
Startup Options dialog. See “Startup are created using one or the other, depending
Options” on page 27.
on the current setting in the Preferences
By default, a new layout file will be dialog. When the program is first installed,
assigned the same name of the first the Windows OS setting for units determines
plan file sent to it, associating the layout files what system is used. See “New Plans Panel”
with the plan files used. on page 82.
A plan or layout file’s unit of measurement
Note: Only one layout file can be open at any must be specified before it is created and
given time. cannot be changed later. If you normally
work in one set of units but need to create a
New plan and layout files derive their default new file using the other, select File>
settings the from currently selected template
files. See “Template Files” on page 51. Templates> New Plan From Template
to open a new file using an appropriate
New, blank plans are called Untitled.plan template without changing your Preferences
and new, blank layout files, Untitled.layout. settings. See “Opening Template Files” on
Unless these files are named and saved, they page 52.
will be lost when closed. See “Saving a Plan
or Layout File” on page 46. While it is recommended that you create new
plans using the type of unit that you plan to
use, you can display dimensions using any

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Saving a Plan or Layout File

type of unit. See “Dimension Defaults and Commonly used settings, defaults and other
Preferences” on page 809. information are included in template files.
You can customize the settings in a template
Template Files file to fit your work style and then save your
changes as a new template file. See “To
New plan and layout files are created as create your own template plan” on page 52.
copies of the current template files specified
If no template has been specified in the
in the Preferences dialog. See
“Template Files” on page 51. Preferences dialog, new plans and
layouts are created using the system defaults.
System defaults cannot be modified.

Saving a Plan or Layout File


When you first save a new, • File> Save As opens the Save Plan
untitled file, you must select a File dialog, allowing you to save the plan
location for it on your computer and give it a or layout file using a different name or
name. There are two options for saving plan location on your computer.
and layout files: File> Save and File> Save
As. To save an untitled plan or layout file
By default, a new layout file is assigned the
same name as the first plan file from which a 1. Select File> Save to open the Save
view is sent to it. It is also saved in the same Plan File dialog.
directory as the plan file. If no view has been
sent to a layout, it remains untitled until you
save it.

Although the program warns you if you


try to exit without saving, you should get
in the habit of saving plan files before exiting
the program.

Both Save and Save As can be used 2. In the Save in drop-down, browse to the
to save your plan and layout files; however, location on your computer where you
they accomplish this in two different ways. would like to save the file. See “Orga-
• File> Save saves the current state of nizing Your Files” on page 43.
your plan or layout file without changing 3. In the File name text field, type a name
its name and should normally be used for for the file.
saving your work.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

4. Chief Architect automatically assigns If you transfer a plan file from one computer
the File of type and file extension .plan to another, the program will warn you of
to plan files and .layout to layout files. missing files if the external data files used by
5. When both the Save in location and File the plan cannot be found.
name are correct, click Save. Layouts are also dynamically linked to plan
Any previously saved cross section/elevation files. When transferring layout files to
views and CAD Details associated with the another computer, be aware that the plan files
plan are also saved with this command. are also external file references and are not
actually contained in the layout.
When saving a layout, the program saves all
pages of the layout, all the links to the When transferring plans or layouts to another
various views saved in the layout, and all the computer that does not have these external
CAD objects added to the .layout file. files, use the Export Entire Plan tool.
See “Exporting an Entire Plan” on page 58.
Initially, all Open and Save As
operations go to the “My Documents” folder Backing Up Your Files
of your computer. After that, the location last
visited is remembered and subsequent It is always a good idea to create backup
copies of all your important files on your
Open or Save As commands default
computer.
to the directory last used for that operation.
This path is saved when the program exits. It is strongly recommended, however, that
The next time Chief Architect is launched, you never save directly:
these defaults are used. • Across a network, such as onto a server;
If you prefer, you can instead specify a • Onto removable media such as a USB
directory to be used for all Open or Save thumb drive or CD;

As operations in the Preferences • Across the Internet.


dialog. See “New Plans Panel” on page 82. Instead, copy your files to such locations in
Windows Explorer only after you have saved
Exporting Files them on your computer’s hard drive and
closed the program.
File> Save As is a simple way to transfer
Similarly, you should never open files saved
a plan or layout to a different location on
in these locations. Copy the files to the local
your computer. Bear in mind, though, that
hard drive, and then open them. See
plan and layout files often reference external
“Opening a Plan or Layout File” on page 50.
data files such as imported textures, images,
and backdrops. These external files are not Archive folders are used by Chief Architect
affected when Save As is used. to manage prior versions of your files. You
should never save a file to an archive folder.
See “Auto Archive” on page 48.

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Saving a Plan Thumbnail

Saving a Plan Thumbnail


A thumbnail is a miniature image that helps To save a custom thumbnail for the current
identify a file in the Open Plan File dialog file, make sure the view you want to use is on
and in the Find Plan Wizard. Any view of a screen, then select File> Save Plan
plan or any layout page can be saved as the Thumbnail .
thumbnail. See “Searching for Plans” on
page 53. You must save the plan and give it a name
before you can save a plan thumbnail.
If thumbnails are enabled in the Preferences Thumbnails are saved using the same
dialog, the program automatically creates filename as the current plan with the _p.jpg
one when you first save a new plan. You can file extension for plans and _l.jpg for
choose to generate small or large thumbnails. layouts. If a plan thumbnail already exists,
See “General Panel” on page 79. the program asks if you want to overwrite the
existing thumbnail.

Auto Archive
When a plan or layout is first saved, Chief Files can be archived by hour, day or most
Architect creates an Archive folder in the recent save. They are renamed according to
Chief Architect Data folder. The Archive which archiving option is selected in the
folder contains Auto Save and Archive files. Preferences dialog. See “General Panel” on
See “Chief Architect Data” on page 44. page 79.
Auto Save and Archive files should not be Previous
viewed as a substitute for regularly saving Save
your work by selecting File> Save or Daily
pressing Ctrl + S on the keyboard, nor should Hourly
they be considered an alternative to your own
Archive files illustrating all three archive options
file backup routine.
Plan, layout and related files from previous
You should never save a file in an versions of the program are automatically
archive folder. moved to the archive folder when the plan is
opened and saved in Chief Architect.
Archive Files Archive files are meant to be for emergency
Every time a model is saved, internal archive use only. If you must access an archive file,
files are automatically created that keep a open it as you would any other file. See
historical archive of your plan. “Opening a Plan or Layout File” on page 50.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

As soon as the file is open, use Save As when changes are made to a file but not
to save this file to another location. saved by selecting File> Save .
These Auto Save files are appended
Legacy Archive Files _auto_save.plan or _auto_save.layout and
If you open a Chief Architect plan or layout are saved in the Archive folder.
file from a previous program version and When you close a file normally, its Auto
immediately Save it (not Save As ), Save file is retained until the next time the
the Auto Archive utility will create an file is opened and the Auto Save file is
additional archive file using the original overwritten.
program version format. This archive file is a
copy of the original and can still be opened in
the original program version.
Auto Save file after normal shut-down
If you open and Save a Chief Architect You can enable Auto Save and set its
Version 10 plan or layout file, the legacy
archive file name will be appended “_v10” to frequency in the Preferences dialog. See
help distinguish it from other archived .plan “General Panel” on page 79.
or .layout files of the same name, and a copy Auto save files created as a result of an
of its archive folder will be created in the improper program shutdown are appended
Chief Architect X2 Archives folder. _auto_save_bak.plan or
_auto_save_bak.layout.
Manage Archives
Chief Architect offers two convenient ways
to access Archive folders. Auto Save file after abnormal shut-down

• Select File> Manage Auto Archives If your computer shuts down accidentally,
to open the current plan’s Archive folder. you can recover some of your work by
• Click Yes in the Archived Files dialog opening the _auto_save_bak file.
when the program warns you that the
number of archive files exceeds the Auto A file is auto saved only if you have
Archive Files value. saved it previously. Auto Save does not
work for unnamed files.
You can also move or delete archived files
using Windows Explorer. See your Windows
When you reopen a file after a computer shut
documentation for more information.
down or system crash, the following dialog
displays if an Auto Save file newer than the
Auto Save Files original file is found.
As you work, Chief Architect automatically
creates Auto Save files at regular intervals

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Undo Files

• Click the Save button.

• Select File> Save .


• Press Ctrl + S or F3 on the keyboard.
Even with Auto Save, you should save your
work manually on a regular basis using any
of the following methods:

Undo Files
Chief Architect stores a set number of copies use Windows system cleanup features, these
of all open plan file changes, known as undo files can be deleted. Because of this, you
files. Undo files are referenced whenever should only use these type of utilities when
you select Edit> Undo or Edit> Redo Chief Architect is not running.

. See “Undo and Redo” on page 141. The maximum number of Undo files is
specified in the Maximum Undos value in
Undo files are stored in the Undo Directory, the Preference settings. If you have Undo
which can be specified in the Preferences enabled, be sure to define a directory on a
dialog. See “Folders Panel” on page 80. hard drive with enough space for these files.

By default, the Undo Directory is the When Chief Architect is closed normally,
Windows Temporary Directory. When you any current Undo files are deleted.

Opening a Plan or Layout File


Select File> Open Plan to open
an existing .plan file or File> Never open a file located on a server or
Open Layout to open an existing .layout file other computer on a network, or on a
located on your computer. Chief Architect removeable storage device. Copy such files
to your local machine’s hard drive first, and
automatically browses to either the directory
then open the copy.
last used or to a specific directory, depending
on your current Preferences settings. See
The Open Plan File and Open Layout File
“New Plans Panel” on page 82.
dialogs can be resized by clicking and
dragging the lower right corner.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

• In the Look in drop-down, browse to the • When the desired file is selected, click
location on your computer where the file Open.
you wish to open is saved.
• Any folders and either .plan or .layout Recently Opened Files
files in the current location display in the The names of the plan and layout files you
field below. The file type that displays most recently opened or saved display at the
depends on the Files of Type selection. bottom of the File menu. Click on a recent
• Click on the file you wish to open. Its file to open that file without using the Open
name will display in the File name text Plan File dialog.
field.
The maximum number of recent files listed
• If a preview image of the file is available, in the File menu can be changed in the
it will display on the right side of the
Preferences dialog. See “General
dialog. See “Saving a Plan Thumbnail”
Panel” on page 79.
on page 48.
• The only file types available in the Files The names of recently open files also display
of type list are .plan and .layout. in the Startup Options dialog. Click on the
name of a file to open it. See “Startup
Options” on page 27.

Template Files
When Chief Architect opens a new, predefined default settings, layer settings,
blank plan or layout file, the new file wall definitions, and page setup information.
is actually a copy of a template using either
You can create custom templates for metric
metric or Imperial units of measurement and
and Imperial plans that include the settings

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Template Files

that you regularly use. In the Preferences


dialog, you can specify what templates the Note: Make sure you use the appropriate
program refers to when a new plan or layout units of measurement when you create a
file is opened. See “New Plans Panel” on template plan. The Imperial or metric units
used in the new plan are the same as when
page 82. the template was saved.
Once you are familiar with the default
settings in Chief Architect, you can create Creating Templates
template files to fit your needs, store them in
the templates directory, and specify them as The steps for creating template plans and
the defaults for new files. layouts are similar, although there are fewer
default settings in layout files, and most
If you make changes to a default template layout templates include a border and title
file, all subsequently created plans or layouts block where as most plan templates are
will use the new default settings. blank.
You can designate the template folder that
To create your own template plan
you would like to use in the Preferences
dialog. See “Folders Panel” on page 80.
1. Select File> New Plan .

If a template file is not specified or can- 2. Select Edit> Defaults Settings and
not be found, the program starts new open and modify the settings in the
plans using a set of system defined defaults. default dialogs as needed. See “Defaults
These system defined defaults are very basic
and Preferences” on page 63.
and unlikely to meet your drawing needs, so
you should always specify a template plan 3. Select Tools> Display Settings> Dis-
and layout.
play Options and create any custom
layers, layer sets and layer settings that
Opening Template Files you typically use. See “Layers” on page
If you have more than one plan or layout 116.
configuration that you regularly use, you can 4. Select Build> Wall> Define Wall
create multiple template files and open
whichever is needed for a given project. Types and create any custom wall
types that you often use. See “Wall Type
To create a new plan or layout file using a Definitions Dialog” on page 243.
template other than the current preference,
choose File> Templates> New Plan from 5. Select 3D> 3D Settings and set up
your backdrop and other options for 3D
Template or New Layout from
views. See “3D Settings Dialog” on
Template . The program browses to the page 744.
Templates directory specified in the 6. If you draw anything in the template
Preferences dialog. plan, it displays in all new plans created
with that template.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

7. You can insert text macros into the tem- 5. Select Tools> Layout> Page Down
plate. See “Text Macros” on page 869. to go to layout page 0 and use the CAD
8. After modifying all your default set- tools to design a border and title block
tings, select File> Templates> Save that suits your needs. See “Layout Page
Plan As Template . Name the tem- Zero” on page 1021.
plate plan and save it in the Templates
directory. To set a template as your default

9. In the Change Default Template dialog,


click Yes to use the plan as your default 1. Select Edit> Preferences and go to
template whenever you select File> the New Plans panel of the Preferences
dialog.
New Plan . Click No if you prefer to
access this template by selecting File> 2. Click Imperial or Metric Units.

New Plan From Template . 3. Click the Browse button for either the
plan or layout template.
10. The current plan remains untitled, but a
copy of it is saved for use as a template. 4. Select a template file from the Templates
directory or navigate to a different loca-
tion and select a template from there.
To create your own template layout
Updating Templates
1. Select File> New Layout .
To change the default settings in your
2. Select Edit> Defaults Settings and template, you must open the template file as
open and modify the settings in the though it were a regular plan or layout by
default dialogs as needed. See “Default selecting File> Open Plan or Open
Settings” on page 63.
Layout .
3. Select Tools> Display Settings> Dis-
After the necessary changes are made, select
play Options and create any custom
File> Templates> Save Plan as
layers, layer sets and layer settings that
you typically use. See “Layers” on page Template . Select the name of the
116. template from the list of files in the
Templates directory. When the program asks
4. Select File> Print> Page Setup and if you want to replace the existing file, click
specify the desired print settings. See Yes.
“Page Setup Dialog” on page 1004.

Searching for Plans


Select File> Search for Plans to opens the Find Plan Wizard, which helps
locate an existing plan. This command you search specific plan database files and

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Searching for Plans

define search parameters for plans based on When you open the Find Plan Wizard,
parameters that you define. choose a plan database to search. When you
first run Chief Architect there is only one
Find Plan Wizard plan database containing the sample plans
that come with the program. Click the
The Find Plan Wizard can be used to search Browse button to select a different plan
for plans using stored information about each database. You must create a plan database
plan, such as the style of construction and the before you can use the Find Plan Wizard to
number of bedrooms and other room types. locate files you created.

House Style

At the bottom of each page, the number of On any page, click the Back button to
plans that match your current search modify any previously selected parameters.
parameters displays. As you modify the
Select the style of house desired, the number
parameters, this number increases or
of floors in the house, and the number of
decreases as matching plans are found.
bedrooms, then click Next to continue.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

House Size

Select the number of bathrooms, size, and


desired price range and square footage of the
house, then click Next to continue.

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Searching for Plans

Plan Details

Click on the name of a plan in the list to see a Click Next, then click the Finish button to
preview of the plan, if one exists. See open the selected plan.
“Saving a Plan Thumbnail” on page 48.

Creating a Plan Database File


Select Tools> Plans Database> for plans using the Plan Find Wizard. The
Create Plan Database to create a new Create Plan Database dialog opens.
plan database file that can be used to search

1
2
3
4

1 Use the Database File field to name the the Browse button to save this file at the
plan database file to be created. Click location of your choice, as well as name it.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

2 Use the Plan Search Path to specify plan and analyze it so this process may take
the location on your computer of the some time.
plans to be included in the plan database. The
You can Cancel the search process at any
program searches for any plan files that exist
time. If you do, your plan database will have
in this folder and adds them to the plan
incomplete information and will not contain
database. Click the Browse button to
entries for all plans in your search folder.
navigate to a particular folder on your
When all plans have been found and added to
machine.
the plan database, the program automatically
3 The Include Subfolders checkbox opens the new plan database file for
allows you to specify whether or not the modification.
search looks only in the Plan Search Path or
if it also searches any subfolders found. Editing a Plan Database File
4 Check Use Relative Path if you Once a plan database file is created, it
anticipate moving the folder containing can be modified. Select Tools> Plans
the database and plans to another location. Database> Edit Plan Database, then select
As long as the database and the plans it the plan database file you want to modify.
references remain in the same folder, the
folder can be moved to another location. Click OK to open the Edit Plan Database
dialog. You can edit any of the information in
When you click OK, the program searches the plan database and add and remove plans
for plan files and adds them to the plan from the database.
database file. The program must read each

Edit Plan Database Dialog

1 2
3

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Exporting an Entire Plan

1 Plans in the Database - All plans that • Area - The area is automatically calcu-
currently have information stored in the lated by the program based on the living
plan database are listed here. area of the plan when it is added to the
• Click Add Plan to select a plan file to database. You can enter a different value
add to the plan database. if you wish.

• Click Remove to remove the currently • Bedrooms - The number of bedrooms is


selected plan from the plan database. automatically calculated when a plan is
added to the database. You can enter a
• Click Select File to relink the selected different number if you wish.
plan to a plan file on your computer. If a
plan file is renamed, moved or removed • Baths - The number of bathrooms is
from your system, the plan database does automatically calculated when a plan is
not know how to locate it. You must then added to the database. You enter a differ-
relink the plan database to the file or ent number if you wish.
remove it to keep the plan database infor- • Floors - The number of floors is automat-
mation accurate. ically calculated when a plan is added to
• Click Open Plan to open the selected the database. You can enter a different
plan. Opening a plan closes the Plan number of floors if you wish.
Database dialog. If you have not saved • Description - Enter a description for the
any changes you made before clicking plan, if desired. This description displays
the Open Plan button, you are asked to when a plan is found and selected using
do so before you continue. the Search for Plans tool.
2 Plan Information - Information about 3 Plan Thumbnail - The thumbnail
the selected plan displays and can be preview image of the selected plan
edited here. displays here. You can create a thumbnail for
• Style - Select a plan style from the drop any plan. See “Saving a Plan Thumbnail” on
down list. You can also create a new plan page 48.
style by typing in the name of the new
style in the blank area. 4 File Path - The selected plan file’s path
name displays here.
• Price - Enter the price range for this plan.

Exporting an Entire Plan


Because Chief Architect plans and this easily by selecting File> Export>
layouts often contain many references Entire Plan.
to other external files, it is necessary to copy
Exporting an Entire Plan is important when:
all the associated files to a new location
when a plan or layout is moved. You can do • Migrating legacy files created in older
program versions.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

• Transferring files to another computer or 2. When you click the OK button in the
sending them to another user. Export Entire Plan dialog, the Browse
• Archiving or backing up your work. for Folder dialog opens. Here you can
select the destination folder for the asso-
ciated plan files.
Note: Always use File> Export> Entire Plan
when sending files to a user of the Chief
Architect Viewer to make sure that they have
all associated data.

To export a plan and all associated files

1. To copy all associated plan or layout


files to a new directory, select File>
Export> Entire Plan . The Export
Entire Plan dialog opens for you to
choose what files are copied.

3. Navigate to any folder on your system,


to an external storage device, or create a
new folder.
• Choose Export All Files to copy all
plan or layout files and all externally
You must select an empty folder for the
referenced files such as linked plan
Export Entire Plan feature to work. If
files, inserted picture files, and any you select an existing folder that is not empty,
graphics files such as textures, images, the export is cancelled.
and backdrops.
• Choosing Export Plan Files Only cop- Returning Viewer Files
ies all associated plan files and any
externally linked files and inserted pic- When customers review and annotate files
ture files, but it does not copy any using the Chief Architect Viewer, they only
graphics or pattern files. This is best need to return the .plan and/or .layout files.
used when transferring a plan or layout The associated files do not need to be
file to a computer that already has the returned.
graphics files installed.

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Closing Plans and Views

Closing Plans and Views


Choose File> Close to close the active or Cancel to close the dialog and return to
window. If it is the last open view for a plan the window.
and you have not saved it, the program
Select File> Close All to close all currently
prompts you to save before closing. Edited
open windows.
cross section/elevation views also prompt
you to save before closing. Select Yes to
save, No to close the window without saving, Although the program warns you if you
try to exit without saving, you should get
in the habit of saving plan files before exiting.

Exiting Chief Architect


Select File> Exit to exit the program. If you When you exit from the program using File>
have not saved any open plans, you are Exit, all Autosave files and Undo files are
reminded to do so. It is better to save your automatically deleted.
work before exiting than to save on exit.

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Chapter 3:

Preferences &
Default Settings

Becoming familiar with the program defaults Chapter Contents


and preferences is vital to understanding how • Defaults and Preferences
Chief Architect works and maximizing your • Default Settings
productivity. • Dynamic Defaults
• General Plan Defaults Dialog
• Reset to Defaults
If you use special settings regularly, it is
a good idea to save your settings in a • Preferences Dialog
template plan. See “To create your own tem-
plate plan” on page 52.

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Defaults and Preferences


Default and preference settings have settings in one plan or layout file will have
important effects on how the tools in Chief no effect on other plans or layout files.
Architect function. These settings can be
Default settings are an important aspect of
customized to suit your needs and improve
template files, which determine the initial
your efficiency, so it is important to become
settings of new plan and layout files and can
familiar with them and learn how you can
be used to save you considerable time. See
best use them.
“Template Files” on page 51.
Default Settings Preferences
Default settings determine the initial
Preference settings influence the
characteristics of objects when they
overall environment of the program,
are first drawn. For example, when you place
such as what the interface looks like, how the
a base cabinet in a plan, its size, materials,
tools are accessed, the basic rules governing
front items, hardware and fill style are
how objects are drawn and edited.
determined by settings in the Base Cabinet
Defaults dialog. Unlike default settings, preferences are
global, which means that any changes that
Defaults are file-specific, which means that
you make to them will take effect in all plan
any changes that you make to the default
and layout files.

Default Settings
You can access a list of the various
default settings by selecting Edit> You can create Hotkeys to open any of
Default Settings from the menu. the defaults dialogs listed in the Default
Settings dialog. See “Hotkeys” on page 114.

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Default Settings

Camera Defaults
Select Camera and click the Edit button or
double-click the Render Tools parent
button to display the Camera Defaults dia-
log. See “Camera Defaults Dialog” on page 742.

Dimension Defaults
Select Dimension and click the Edit button
or double-click the double-click the Dimen-
sion Tools parent button to display the
Dimension Defaults dialog. Dimension
Defaults are available in both plan and layout
files. See “Dimension Defaults and
Preferences” on page 809.

Door Defaults
Click the + beside Doors or double-click the
Cabinet Defaults
Door Tools parent button to access the
Click the + beside Cabinets to access the defaults dialogs for exterior and interior
default dialogs for the various cabinet types. doors. See “Door Defaults” on page 293.
See “Cabinet Defaults” on page 547.
Select General Cabinet and click the Edit Dormer Defaults
button to open the General Cabinet Defaults Select Dormer and click the Edit button or
dialog. See “General Cabinet Defaults” on
page 547. double-click the Auto Floating Dormer
or the Auto Dormer child button to open
CAD Defaults the Dormer Defaults dialog. See “Dormer
Defaults” on page 375.
Select CAD and click the Edit button to
open the CAD Defaults dialog. You can also
Electrical Defaults
use the CAD Defaults button to access
the dialog if you add it to your toolbar using Select Electrical and click the Edit button or
Toolbar Customization. CAD Defaults are double-click the Electrical Tools parent
available in both plan and layout files. See button to display the Electrical Defaults dia-
“CAD Defaults Dialog” on page 875. log. See “Electrical Defaults” on page 516.

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Floor Defaults dialog for the current floor. See “Room


Material Defaults” on page 267.
Select Floor and click the Edit button,
double-click the Floor Tools parent but- Plan and Layout Defaults
ton to open the Floor Defaults dialog for the
current floor. See “Floor Defaults Dialog” on Select Plan or Layout and click the Edit
page 353. button or double-click the Select Objects
button to open the Plan or Layout Defaults
Foundation Defaults dialog. See “General Plan Defaults Dialog”
on page 68 and “Layout Defaults” on page
Select Foundation and click the Edit button 1015.
to open the Build Foundation dialog. You
can also Build> Floors> Build Foundation
Road, Sidewalk, &
or double-click either the Foundation Driveway Defaults
Wall or Retaining Wall child button Click the + beside Roads, Sidewalks and
to open this dialog. See “Foundation Driveways or double-click the Road
Defaults” on page 363.
Tools parent button to access the defaults
Framing Defaults dialogs for the various road tools. See “Road
and Sidewalk Defaults” on page 635.
Select Framing and click the Edit button or
• Select Road and click the Edit button,
double-click the Framing Tools parent
double-click the Road Tools parent
button to open the Framing Defaults dialog.
See “Framing Defaults” on page 461. button, or double-click the Road
child button to open the Road Defaults
Layer Sets Defaults dialog.
• Select Driveway and click the Edit but-
Select Layer Sets and click the Edit button
to open the Layer Sets Defaults dialog. See ton or double-click the Driveway
“Layer Set Defaults” on page 119. child button to open the Driveway
Defaults dialog.
Material Defaults • Select Road Marking and click the Edit
button or double-click the Road Stripe
Click the + beside Materials to access the
defaults dialogs related to materials. or Road Marking child button
to open the Road Marking Defaults dia-
Select General Materials and click the Edit log.
button to open the Material Defaults dialog.
See “Material Defaults Dialog” on page 726. • Select Sidewalk and click the Edit but-
ton or double-click the Sidewalk
Select Room Materials and click the Edit
child button to open the Sidewalk
button to open the Room Material Defaults
Defaults dialog.

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Default Settings

Schedule Defaults and Preferences” on page 839. Text Defaults


are available in both plan and layout files.
Click the + beside Schedules or double-click
• Select Rich Text and click the Edit but-
the Schedule Tools parent button to
access a list of the default schedule dialogs. ton, double-click the Rich Text Tools
Select the type of schedule and click the Edit parent button, or double-click the Rich
button. See “Schedule Defaults” on page Text child button to open the Rich
1036. Text Defaults dialog. See “Rich Text
• Select Door Schedule and click the Edit Defaults” on page 839.
button to access the Door Schedule • Select Text and click the Edit button,
Defaults dialog.
double-click the Text Tools parent
• Select Window Schedule and click the
button, or double-click the Text child
Edit button to access the Window
button to open the Text Defaults dialog.
Schedule Defaults dialog.
See “Text Defaults” on page 839.
• Select Cabinet Schedule and click the
• Select Callouts and click the Edit button
Edit button to access the Cabinet
Schedule Defaults dialog. or double-click the Callout child but-
• Select Fixture Schedule and click the ton to display the Callout Defaults dia-
Edit button to access the Fixture log. See “Callout Defaults” on page 839.
Schedule Defaults dialog. • Select Markers and click the Edit button
• Select Furniture Schedule and click the or double-click the Marker child
Edit button to access the Furniture button to display the Marker Defaults
Schedule Defaults dialog. dialog. See “Marker Defaults” on page
• Select Electrical Schedule and click the 839.
Edit button to access the Electrical • Select Room Label and click the Edit
Schedule Defaults dialog. button to open the Room Label Defaults
• Select Room Finish Schedule and click dialog. See “Room Label Defaults” on
the Edit button to access the Room page 839.
Finish Schedule Defaults dialog. • Select Arrow and click the Edit button
• Select Plant Schedule and click the Edit or double-click the Text Line with
button to access the Plant Schedule Arrow or Leader Line child but-
Defaults dialog. ton to open the Arrow Defaults dialog.
See “Arrow Defaults” on page 840.
Text, Callout, &
Marker Defaults Wall, Railing, and
Click the + beside Text to access the various
Fencing Defaults
Text Defaults dialogs. See “Text Defaults Select General Wall and click the Edit
button or double-click the General Wall

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Defaults toolbar button to open the Railing child button to open the
General Wall Defaults dialog. See “General Railing Defaults dialog. See “Railing
Wall Defaults” on page 215. and Deck Railing Defaults” on page 219.
• Select Interior/Exterior Wall and click • Select Fencing and click the Edit button
the Edit button or double-click the Exte- or double-click the Fencing child
rior Wall or Interior Wall child button to open the Fencing Defaults dia-
button open the Interior/Exterior Wall log. See “Fencing Defaults” on page 219.
Defaults dialog. See “Exterior/Interior
Wall Defaults” on page 216. Window Defaults
• Select Pony Wall and click the Edit but- Select Window and click the Edit button or
ton or double-click the Pony Wall double-click the Window Tools parent
child button to open the Pony Wall button to open the Window Defaults dialog.
Defaults dialog. See “Pony Wall See “Window Defaults” on page 317.
Defaults” on page 218.
• Select Railing and click the Edit button Reset Defaults
or double-click the Straight Railing Select Edit> Reset to Defaults to open the
child button to open the Railing Defaults Reset to Defaults dialog. Use this dialog to
dialog. See “Railing and Deck Railing clear special settings made in various parts of
Defaults” on page 219. your plan. See “Reset to Defaults” on page
• Select Deck Railing and click the Edit 69.
button or double-click the Deck

Dynamic Defaults
Dynamic defaults are values that can be set
or changed globally throughout a model.
These values are found in the default
specification dialogs of most objects,
including walls, doors, cabinets and rooms.
Dynamic defaults are followed by either a
(D) in the value field or a Default check box.
You can change the value for that kind of
object and all the objects of the same type
update automatically. The exception to this To edit a dynamic default, delete the (D) or
rule is any object you edited the values for. In remove the check from Default box and type
that case, the value does not update when the desired value.
you change the dynamic default value.

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General Plan Defaults Dialog

To reset a value back to the dynamic default, Materials are another example of an attribute
type the letter D in the field or click the that uses Dynamic Defaults. See “Material
Default checkbox. Defaults Dialog” on page 726.

General Plan Defaults Dialog


The settings in the General Plan Defaults Plan Defaults, and click the Edit button, or
dialog control basic features of the Chief double-click the Select Objects button.
Architect environment. To open this dialog,
select Edit> Default Settings , select

1 2

3 4

1 General Settings - Specify the default secting wall. Clear this box retain suffi-
functionality for a variety of general cient space for the opening’s specified
behaviors in the program. trim width.
• Check Warn Before Delete Selected • Check Fixture/Furniture Resize Enable
Item if you want the program to require to allow the resizing of library symbols.
confirmation before an item is deleted. When enabled, fixtures and furniture can
• Check Ignore Casing for Opening be resized from 1 to 2000 inches.
Resize to allow wall openings such as • Check Show Pitch as Degrees to display
doors to be positioned against an inter- the roof pitch in degrees.

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• Chief Architect automatically calculates they are moved or resized. See “Grid Snaps”
the square footage of each floor in the on page 136.
plan and shows this number as the living • Check Use Snap Grid/Units to enable
area in floor plan view. Uncheck Show Grid Snaps.
“Living Area” to disable the display of
the Living Area label. See “Living Area” • Specify the Snap Unit you wish to use.
on page 275.
• Enter the number of Inches/MM It may be helpful to change the Snap
Unit temporarily when working with
Scrolled by Arrow Key in floor plan
large objects such as terrain or small objects
view. See “Using the Arrow Keys” on such as molding profiles.
page 732.
• Check Allow Editing in Select Home • Uncheck Show Snap Grid to turn off the
Designer Products to allow limited edit- display of the Snap Grid, a visual indica-
ing of the current plan in Version 9.0 tor of the location of the snap points.
Home Designer programs, when they • Click the Color bar to specify the Snap
become available. Grid Color. See “Color Chooser Dialog”
on page 727.
2 Specify the Allowed Angles used when
Angle Snaps are enabled. See “Angle • Check Display as Dots to display the
Snaps” on page 135. Snap Grid using dots rather than lines.
• Select 15 Degrees to enable Angle Snaps
in 15 degree increments. 4 Specify the display of the Reference
Grid.
• Select 7 1/2 Degrees and additional • Specify the Reference Grid Size.
angles to enable Angle Snaps in 7 ½
degree increments. • Check Display as Dots to display the
Reference Grid using dots rather than
You can also enter up to eight Additional lines.
Angles in the fields provided. Click the
Number Style button to specify the format You can also click Grid Snaps toggle
used to enter angles. See “Number Style/ button to turn on/off grid snapping or click
Angle Style Dialog” on page 917.
the Display Reference Grid toggle
The Snap Grid allows you to snap button to turn on/off the grid display.
3
objects to specific points on-screen as

Reset to Defaults
Select Edit> Reset to Defaults to open the This dialog allows you to clear the special
Reset to Defaults dialog. settings you have made in various parts of
your plan.

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Preferences Dialog

roof group independently from the roof built


over other parts of the plan. Check to reset to
the default roof group, zero. See “Room
1 Specification Dialog” on page 283.

4 Roof Directives - You can set


directives describing how a roof surface
2 rises from a wall into a wall using the Roof
tab of the Wall Specification dialog. All
3
4 Roof tab items are unchecked and any value,
5 such as the roof pitch, is reset to the default
pitch. See “Wall Specification Dialog” on
page 249.

5 Wall Top Heights and Wall Bottom


Heights - Wall shape and height can be
edited in cross section/elevation views.
1 The settings can be cleared for the Check to reset wall shapes and heights.
current floor or for All Floors.

2 Floor and Ceiling Heights - Floor and If your plan behaves strangely, the cur-
ceiling heights for any room can be
rent settings may have been brought
changed in the Room Specification dialog. forward from a previous version and/or no
Check to reset the default values as specified longer be appropriate. To check for this, open
in the Floor Defaults dialog. See “Floor your plan and reset these items to their
Defaults Dialog” on page 353. defaults. Rebuild floors and ceilings to see if
the plan looks better. If so, you know what the
3 Roof Groups - You can designate a problem is. Rather than save your plan at this
different roof group for a room in the point and lose all these settings, you may
Room Specification dialog. This builds the want to investigate and find the specific set-
roof over this room and others in the same tings causing the problem and fix only those.

Preferences Dialog
The settings in the Preferences The category tree structure is similar to other
dialog are global: they apply to all Windows programs. A “+” next to a category
plan and layout files and are preserved indicates that it has subcategories. Click the
between sessions. Select Edit> Preferences “+” to make the subcategories visible; to hide
to access this dialog. them, click the “-.”
The Preferences dialog consists of panels The program remembers which panel you
which are accessed by clicking on the names last accessed and opens to that panel the next
in the Category tree along the left side. time you open the dialog.

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Preference dialog panels: • CAD Panel


• Line Properties Panel
• Appearance Panel
• Sun Angle Panel
• Colors Panel
• Edit Panel
• Font Panel
• Behaviors Panel
• Library Browser Panel
• Snap Properties Panel
• Text & Page Setup Panel
• Material List Panel
• General Panel
• Report Style Panel
• Folders Panel
• Master List Panel
• New Plans Panel
• Categories Panel
• Layers Panel
• Render Panel
• Unit Conversions Panel
• Video Card Status Panel
• Time Tracker Panel
• Reset Options Panel
• Architectural Panel

Appearance Panel

1 6
7
2

8
3
9
4

1 When Contextual Menus are enabled, are unique to the selected object. The options
you can right-click an object and a in a contextual menu are usually the same as
contextual menu displays with options that those on the Edit toolbar.

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Preferences Dialog

A menu of general commands displays if you the same object surface in order for the
right-click in an empty space in a view contextual menu to display: clicking on
window, away from any object. two different surfaces of the same object
is treated like two single-clicks.

2 The Status Bar at the bottom of the


main window displays information
about the current state of the program. See
“The Status Bar” on page 34.
• Check Enable to activate the Status Bar
or clear the check box to disable it.
• Check Show Screen Redraw Time to
display the number of seconds it takes to
redraw the screen. This is useful for
determining the effectiveness of the 3D
acceleration of your graphics card.
• Check Show Coordinates to display the
coordinates of your cursor at all times on
the right side of the Status Bar.

The number style for the coordinates is


controlled in the Number Style/Angle Style
dialog. See “Number Style/Angle Style
The contextual menu for a base cabinet Dialog” on page 917.
Since Chief Architect can use the right-click
as a general select, you have the option to
3 Check Show Line Weights to represent
line weights on-screen. Because of
disable or limit the contextual menus. monitor DPI, lines may appear to be much
• Check Enabled to activate contextual wider on screen than when they are printed.
menus. Clear the check box to disable Zooming closer may reflect a more accurate
contextual menus. idea of the actual line width.
• Check Click Twice to Display to require Specify the Min Display Weight, the lowest
two right-clicks on an object before the line weight possible on screen, regardless of
contextual menu displays. This allows how far you zoom out. A Minimum Display
the first right-click to be a general select. Weight of 0 is the same as 1. This setting is
See “Selecting Objects” on page 144. ignored when printing or when Print
Preview is enabled.
In 3D views, the two clicks must be on

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• Check Plans and Layouts to double-buf-


The line weight for CAD objects may be fer in floor plan view and layouts.
defined individually through each
object’s specification dialog or globally in the • Check Elevations and Vector Views to
Layer Display Options dialog. double buffer in cross/section elevation
and Vector views.
4 Specify how Toolbars present child • Check Auto Cache to save a bitmap of
tools when a parent button is clicked. the last screen draw. This bitmap is used
• Choose Parent-Child to display child to refresh the screen if no changes are
tools as buttons at the end of the toolbar made to the model. This option is not
where the parent button resides. available on computers running Windows
Vista.
• Choose Drop Down to display child
tools when the drop-down arrow to the 8 Color Off is - Specify whether views
right of the parent button is clicked. appear in Black and White or
Grayscale when color is toggled off. Does
5 Images and Pictures - Check Always not apply to Rendered or Raytrace views.
Display in Color to display images and
See “Color On/Off” on page 757.
pictures in color, even if color is turned off in
a particular view. If you uncheck the box, 9 Specify how Vector Views are
pictures and images appear in grayscale generated. See “Rendered and Vector
when color is turned off. Views” on page 742.
• Enhanced Line Drawing - This option
6 Show Icons - Check this box to display produces superior quality Vector Views,
tool icons next to items in the menus.
but slows down the process. Remove the
7 Double Buffer Drawing - Double check mark to disable the option.
buffering means that all drawing is
done to an offscreen bitmap and then copied • Lower Interactive Quality - Check this
to the screen. The result is that the screen to speed up the generation of Vector
does not flicker, but there may be a slight Views by drawing surface edges with no
delay before individual objects appear on fill. This may be helpful when navigating
screen. This option does not affect render or a Vector view of a larger model.
raytrace views. • Lower Quality Timeout - Enter a value
in seconds for Lower Interactive Quality
to be initiated.

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Preferences Dialog

Colors Panel

1
2
3
4
5

1 Background Color - Click the color 4 Selection Fill Color - Click the color
bar to open the Color Chooser dialog. bar to specify a color for selected
See “Color Chooser Dialog” on page 727. objects. The color may change to ensure that
selected objects are always visible, so this
Select the background color for all views
may not always be the color you expect.
except some rendered views. See “Rendering
Techniques” on page 785.
If the move color and the handle fill
The background color for some rendered color are similar, it may be difficult to
views is set in the 3D Settings dialog. See distinguish between active and inactive
“Backdrop Tab” on page 748. points. The colors should be sufficiently dis-
similar to avoid confusion between active and
2 Move Color - Click the color bar to inactive points.
select the color of the lines that
represent object(s) as they are being moved.
5 Specify the Editing Transparency,
which is the degree to which the
3 Handle Fill Color - Click the color bar selection fill and edit handles are transparent.
to select the color for the edit handles
for selected objects. The default value is 20%.

Font Panel
The Font panel controls the conversion of
text in legacy plans when they are opened in

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Chief Architect as well as the text used in


materials lists.

1
2
3

1 Choose Legacy Text Conversion, Legacy Text and Dimension Conversion


Legacy Dimension Conversion, or
Materials to define the font for that use. settings only affect plans from previous
versions when they are opened in Chief
Legacy Text Conversion sets the default Architect. Set these values to the default font
font for text created in previous versions of that you used in previous versions before
Chief Architect. See “Character Size” on opening legacy files.
page 840.
Legacy Dimension Conversion sets the 2 Click the arrow to select a font for the
specified use. See “Fonts and
fonts for dimensions created in previous Alphabets” on page 840.
versions of Chief Architect. See
“Dimensions” on page 808. 3 Select one or more font styles to apply
to the specified use.
Materials sets the default font for the
Materials List and Master List created in 4 Sample text displays the selected font
previous versions of Chief Architect. See and font style.
“Materials Lists” on page 1048. Text size is set individually in the Text
Specification dialog or globally in the Text

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Preferences Dialog

Defaults dialog. See “Text, Callouts &


Markers” on page 838.

Library Browser Panel


The Library Browser panel controls the
appearance of the Library Browser window.
See “The Library Browser” on page 683.

1
2
3

1 View options control the display of the 2 Preview Pane - Specify how selected
main sections of the Library Browser. library items look in the Preview Pane.
• Hide Selection Pane - Check to hide the • Render Display - Library items previews
pane that displays objects in a selected display textures and appear as they do in
library or library folder. rendered views. See “Rendered and Vec-
• Hide Preview Pane - Check to hide the tor Views” on page 742.
pane that shows a preview of a selected • Vector Display - Library item previews
object. are line-based and display patterns as
• Show Status Bar - Check to display the they do in Vector Views.
Library Browser Status Bar.

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3 Selection Pane View items control the • Vertical - Displayed sections of the
display style of objects in the Selection Library Browser are divided vertically.
Pane. • Horizontal - Displayed sections are
• Tiled to Fit Window - Select to display divided horizontally.
all objects in a library or library folder. If • Stacked - Displayed sections are divided
there are many objects, they appear very both horizontally and vertically.
small.
• Scrollable List - Select to display all 5 Disable Docking - Check to prevent
the Library Browser from docking to
library objects at the highlighted level on
the sides of the Chief Architect window. See
a scrollable list.
“Docking the Library and Project Browser”
• Show Names in Selection Pane - Check on page 685.
to display the names of the objects in the
Selection Pane. Restore Position/Size Defaults - Click to
restore the original size and position of the
4 Preview Pane - Selection Pane Library and Project Browser: docked on the
Layout - Select a radio button to right side of the Chief Architect window.
change the appearance of the Library
Browser.

Text & Page Setup Panel


The Text & Page Setup panel controls some
text objects behaviors as well as the Page Legacy Plan and Layout Page Setup
Setup information for legacy plan and layout settings only affect files from previous
files. versions when they are opened in Version
X2. You should set these values to the default
font that you used in previous versions of
Chief Architect before opening legacy files.
See “Whats New in Chief Architect” on page
1064.

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Preferences Dialog

1 Uncheck Text Specification Enter layout file created in an earlier version of


Key to close the Text and Rich Text Chief Architect. See “Page Setup Dialog” on
Specification dialogs when the Enter key is page 1004
pressed. When checked, a new line of text is
created when Enter is pressed. See “Text, 4 Default Designer Information - Click
the Define button to enter designer
Callouts & Markers” on page 838.
information that applies to all plans drawn in
2 Click the Legacy Plan Page Setup Chief Architect. This default may be
button to open the Page Setup dialog. overridden for individual plans. See
These settings apply whenever you open a “Designer Information” on page 925.
plan, or elevation, or CAD detail created in
an earlier version of Chief Architect. See 5 Leader Lines - Specify the Number of
“Page Setup Dialog” on page 1004. Segments that text Leader Lines
have. Changes to this setting only affects
3 Click the Legacy Layout Page Setup subsequently drawn Leader Lines: existing
button to open the Page Setup dialog. lines are not affected.
These settings applied whenever you open a

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General Panel
The General panel contains settings that affect
file management and program updates.

1 6

2 7

3 8

5 9

1 To use Auto Save, select the Enable 2 File Locking - Choose whether or not
check box and enter a value greater to lock .plan and .layout files when
than zero to specify the frequency in minutes they are open. File Locking prevents another
that auto save files are created. Auto save program or copy of Chief Architect from
files are stored in the archive folder. opening and modifying the same file at the
same time.
Note: Even with auto save active, you should • Select Use File Locking to lock files.
frequently save your work to the hard drive by
• Select Disable File Locking to disable
selecting File> Save.
the feature. You should not disable the
feature unless you have conflicts with file
In the event that your computer shuts down
locking.
unexpectedly, you can recover your most
recent work by opening the auto save file
3 Recent File List - Specify the
created by the program. See “Auto Save maximum number of files to list at the
Files” on page 49. bottom of the File menu and in the Startup
Options dialog. Additional files are included

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Preferences Dialog

if you increase the value. You can open any


6 Check the box to Enable Thumbnail
of the files in this list by selecting them, Images. This only applies to
making the list a quick way to access your automatically created thumbnails. Even if
most recent work. this option is disabled, you can still create a
thumbnail manually.
4 Undo - Click in the Enable check box
to enable Undos and Redos. Select a radio button for Small or Large
thumbnails. Large thumbnails provide a
Maximum Undos - Specify how many
higher quality image.
levels of Undo and Redo you want available,
from 1 to 100. Undo files are saved in the
7 Auto Archive Files - Select an archive
Undo Directory. option. Every time a model is saved by
Record undo state only if idle longer than - clicking the Save button, selecting File>
Use this setting to control how often undo Save from the menu, or pressing Ctrl + S on
states are recorded. If set to 0 milliseconds, the keyboard the current archive file is
an undo state is recorded every time a change overwritten. See “Archive Files” on page 48.
is made to a plan. Select Hourly to save and append archive
If set to a number larger than 0, an undo state files based on an hourly format.
is recorded if the specified amount of time Select Daily to save and append archive files
has elapsed since the last change was made. based on a daily format.
Depending on the time specified and the
speed work is being done, multiple changes Select Previous Save to archive only the
might be reversed with one undo. most recently saved file, unappended.
This setting can have a significant effect on 8 Auto Archive Warning - Enter the
the performance of the undo feature when number of files that must be in the
working with large plans. Archive directory for the Manage Archives
warning to display. Enter 0 to disable the
5 Check For Program Updates- Check warning. See “Manage Archives” on page
Enable and specify a frequency in days 49.
to check for program updates. By default
Chief Architect will check for program 9 Startup Options- Check Show
updates once a day, whenever the program is Options at Startup to open the Startup
launched. Options dialog when Chief Architect is
launched. See “Startup Options” on page 27.

Folders Panel
Chief Architect stores many support files in You do not need to change default locations
various folders on your computer. The under normal circumstances, but sometimes
default locations of these directories are it may be preferable to locate certain files in
listed and can be redefined on the Folders another location. To specify a new default
panel if necessary.

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folder for a particular purpose, click the


Browse button to the right of that item. Changing the settings on the Folders
panel can result in unexpected program
functionality.

My Data Folder If you move this folder on your computer


without changing its default location,
Important user-specific information is saved however, the program will automatically
in a folder on your computer called Chief replace it using default information from the
Architect Data. Chief Architect installation folder. When
This folder contains custom libraries, this occurs, customized user settings will not
toolbars, template files, archive files, and be used and custom user libraries will not be
other important data and is located in My available.
Documents by default. See “Chief Architect
Data” on page 44. Temporary File Folders
While you cannot change the name of this By default, temporary files and undo files are
directory, you can change its default location stored in the same folder: by default this is
on the Folders panel. the Windows Temporary Directory. If you

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Preferences Dialog

wish to use a different folder, you must Chief Architect will not let you save your
define a directory on a hard drive with work to or open files saved in the Temporary
sufficient space to hold these files. or Undo folder.
You can specify any directory as your Chief
Architect temporary folder, but you should Shared Folders
neither relocate the Windows Temporary You can share Libraries, Textures, Images,
Directory nor use it for anything other than Backdrops and Patterns with other users by
temporary files. copying these items into the appropriate
Shared Folder in Windows Explorer. Click
the Browse button to select a location on
your computer that other users can access.

New Plans Panel

1 New Plans - Select the Imperial Units different set of templates for imperial plans
or Metric Units radio button to and metric plans.
determine the units used in your new plans.
When Chief Architect is first opened on a
Once you create a new plan, the units of that
computer, it refers to the Windows system
plan cannot be changed. You can specify a

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settings to determine whether to use Imperial Click the Browse button to select the new
or metric units. template.
If a template file is not specified or cannot be Layout Template - Displays the template
found, the program starts new plans in the file the program uses when you start a new
selected units but uses a set of basic system layout file. Select a new default layout
defined defaults for new plans. You should template by typing in a new file pathname or
always specify a template plan and layout, as click the Browse button to select a new file.
the system defined defaults are unlikely to
For information about creating templates,
meet your drawing needs.
see “Template Files” on page 51.

Be sure that you use an imperial plan 2 Open/Save As Directory - Control


how the program behaves when a new
for your imperial template file and a
metric plan for your metric template file. plan is opened or an existing plan is saved.
When a new plan is created, the plan is cre- Use Last Directory refers the program to the
ated in the units of the template file regard-
directory last used to save or open a plan file.
less of the units setting.
Use This Directory refers the program to a
particular location specified by you.
Plan Template - Displays the template file
the program uses when you start a new plan.

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Layers Panel

1 Layers were managed differently in the default names used in Chief Architect
earlier versions of Chief Architect. The Version X2.
options on the Layers panel determine how
If you would like your legacy plans to look
layers are treated when you open plans
like they did in previous versions of Chief
created in earlier versions.
Architect, uncheck Purge Unused Layers,
Check Purge Unused Layers to delete any check Keep All Layer Numbers, and
layers that do not have a name and contain no uncheck Reset Default Layer Names.
objects.
Note: When loading legacy plans, there may
Check Keep All Layer Numbers to keep all be a noticeable delay while converting these
layers that were on the System and User tabs layers.
in version 9 and use their layer numbers as
names.
2 If you check Modify Name In All
Check Reset Default Layer Names to reset Layer Sets and then change the name
the names of layers that were on the of a layer in one layer set, it will be changed
Architectural and System tabs in version 9 to in all layer sets. Clear the checkmark if you
want name changes to only affect a single
layer set.

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Unit Conversions Panel


In many places throughout Chief Architect, drawing is only scaled at the time you print
you can choose what units are used with it. This means that if you import a drawing
different objects. The program automatically that is already scaled, you must convert the
calculates conversions based on the data on units using this panel. You must add the units
this panel. here for them to be available in the Import
Drawing Wizard.
These conversions are also useful when you
import drawings. Chief Architect draws The default unit conversions are locked and
plans in real world measurements. When you cannot be changed, but custom conversions
draw an object, it appears small on screen, can be added to the list.
but the program sees it as actual size. The

1 List of unit conversions available. 3 Add, Edit, Delete, or Copy the unit
conversions. Certain unit conversions
2 Sample - This area shows how the are locked and cannot be edited or deleted.
selected unit converts to a sampling of
similar units. Use this to verify that any unit If you click Add, Edit or Copy, the Add Unit
conversion you add is correct. Conversion dialog displays.

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1
2
3

1 Unit Name - Type the name of the unit. 4 Multiply by gives you a number to
Names must be unique. multiply by to convert to the unit you
select from the drop-down list. A
Names can include any characters, as well as
measurement type must be selected before
spaces. Bear in mind, though, that names of
the list is populated.
units for measuring length that have numbers
in them may be unusable if entered in some
To create a new unit conversion
dialogs in the program.
Create a unit conversion for furlongs, a unit
2 Default Unit - Check this box to of measurement equal to 660 feet that
display this unit in places that present
originated in England.
lists of available units. For example, if you
have inches as units and make inches a
1. Click Add on the Unit Conversions
default, inches appear on the list when you
page of the Preferences dialog to open
are given a choice of units, such as in the
the Add Unit Conversion dialog.
Import Drawing Wizard. In other places,
such as the Materials List, all units are listed. 2. Type Furlong into the unit name dialog.
3. Select Length in the measurement type.
3 Measurement Type specifies what the
unit measures. Select the appropriate 4. Type 660 in the Multiply by field.
radio button. 5. Select ft in the combo box.
6. Click OK to close the dialog.

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Time Tracker Panel

Check Automatically Start Timer on File Check Display Idle Timeout Dialog to warn
Open to begin logging time whenever a file when a plan is considered idle.
is opened. If this is not checked you must
You can enter or change the Default User
click the Start Time Logging button to Name.
begin logging.
For more information, see “Time Tracker” on
Check Stop timer if idle for __ minutes, page 922.
and enter the number of minutes to stop
logging time when a plan has been idle.

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Architectural Panel

1 Select the desired default behaviors for 554, “Displaying Doors” on page 295, or
selected Walls. “Displaying Windows” on page 325.
Check Show Same Wall Type Handles to
3 Check Stair Sections Move
display edit handles on selected walls that Independently to allow stair sections
draw new walls of the same type when connected by landings to move separately,
dragged. See “Same Wall Type Edit without moving the entire staircase.
Handles” on page 232.
4 Select the desired Skylight Ceiling
Check Select Room Before Wall in 3D to Hole Default behavior.
select the room defined by a wall when you
If you select Skylights Automatically
click on the wall in 3D views. See “Selecting
Generate Ceiling Holes, the program
Walls” on page 232.
automatically generates a ceiling hole for a
2 Check Reverse Opening Indicators to new skylight.
change the direction that opening
Select Manually Edit Ceiling Hole
indicators point for doors, windows, and
Polylines to create your own ceiling holes.
cabinets. See “Displaying Cabinets” on page

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CAD Panel
The CAD panel contains settings that define
how CAD blocks and other objects behave.

1 CAD Blocks - These settings determine dialog when a new CAD block is created.
the default fill style behavior for CAD See “General Tab” on page 915.
blocks. See “CAD Blocks” on page 912.
• Check Always use ’By Object’ for CAD
block fill style to retain the fill patterns
of the component objects of CAD blocks.
When checked, all settings that would
otherwise affect the fill style of a CAD
block in its specification dialog are
ignored. See “CAD Block Specification
Dialog” on page 915. Checked Unchecked

• Check Use ’By Object’ when creating


new CAD blocks to have By Object
2 Options - These settings control the
editability of polylines, polyline-like
checked in the CAD Block Specification objects such as walls connected to form a
room, and splines.

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• Check Edit Object Parts to edit the indi- • Check Advanced Splines to enable the
vidual components of a polyline or advanced spline setting as the default
polyline-like object. This functionality editing behavior for all subsequently
can also be accessed by clicking the Edit drawn splines. You can also enable this
Object Parts button. See “Edit function for an individual spline by click-
Object Parts” on page 132. ing the Advanced Splines edit but-
ton. See “Advanced Splines” on page
170.

Line Properties Panel


The Line Properties panel controls the
appearance of CAD lines.

Endcap Length (Pixels) - The beginning can be placed to eliminate this problem.
and end of CAD lines that are not solid are Specify the number of pixels for endcap
sometimes difficult to distinguish. Endcaps length.

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Sun Angle Panel

Define a default Latitude, Longitude and See “Sun Angles” on page 776.
Time Zone used when creating Sun Angles.

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Edit Panel
The settings on the Edit panel of the
Preferences dialog control the appearance
of the cursor and selection behavior of edit
handles.

1 Use a cursor with Cross Hairs in Cross hair size is specified as a percentage of
different view types and control its window width. Specify Size (% of Window
appearance. Width) as 100% to extend the cross hairs
across the entire screen.
Check Enable in Plan and Cross Section to
use a cross hair cursor in floor plan, cross Set the Aperture Size, measured in pixels.
section, and elevation views. This option is The aperture is the space where the cross
checked by default. hairs meet. A value of 0 makes the cross
hairs meet at a point. Larger numbers leave a
Check Enable in Perspective Views to use a
gap in the center.
cross hair cursor in perspective camera views
and overviews.
2 Specify the desired Selection settings,
which affect how objects are selected
Click the color bar to open the Color
and their appearance.
Chooser dialog and specify the color of the
cross hairs.

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Enter an Edit Handle Size in pixels. The edit


3 Specify program behavior when using
handles are twice this number of pixels plus Marquee Select. See “Marquee Select”
one. For example, the default value is 3, on page 146.
which results in a handle that is 7 x 7 pixels
(3 x 2=6, and 6 + 1=7). A value of 1 results • Select Select Intersected Objects to
in a handle that is 3 x 3 pixels. select any objects intersected by or
located within the marquee.
Enter a value, in pixels, for Edit Handle
Tolerance to specify how close to an edit • Select Select Contained Objects to
handle you must click in order to select it. select only objects located entirely within
The default value is 0. the marquee. This option provides the
best results in most situations.
Check (S)tart and (E)nd Indicators to
display an S and an E at the start and end • Select Select Objects by Center to
points of the selected edge of a CAD-based select only objects whose center points
object. This can make it easier to edit the are located within the marquee.
selected edge in the object’s specification
dialog. See “Selected Edge” on page 145. You can add the Selection Modes tools
to your toolbars. See “To add a button
to a toolbar” on page 109.

Behaviors Panel
The settings on the Behaviors panel of the
Preferences dialog define basic editing
behaviors of CAD and architectural objects.

1 2

1 Rotate/Resize About defines the point or resizes about. See “Rotate/Resize About”
an object or a group of objects rotates on page 132.

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Preferences Dialog

• Select Object Center to rotate or resize Rotate Jump defines the angle an object or
the selection about its center point. group of objects jumps to when it is rotated.
Object Center is the default setting. It overrides the angle snaps set in Plan
• Select Current Point to rotate the object Defaults. If you set this to zero, the angle
about the current CAD point instead. snaps set under Plan Defaults are used.

Rotate about Rotate about


Object Center Current Point

To resize a CAD object about a current point, Box rotating about Current
select the Resize Edit Type. Point with Jump set to 45°

This function can also be accessed by 2 Select one of the four Edit Type
selecting Edit> Edit Behaviors> options. For detailed information about
the different edit types and how they affect
Resize . See “Edit Behaviors” on page
different objects, see “Edit Behaviors” on
137.
page 137.
If Concentric is selected, specify the desired
Jump increment.

3 The Primary Movement Methods


control the directions that you can
move objects using their edit handles.
Concentric Resize About • Select Orthogonal to move an object
Resize Current Point perpendicular to any of its edges.
• Select Polar to move an object at
Allowed Angles.

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Snap Properties Panel


The settings on the Snap Properties panel of
the Preferences dialog control the behavior
of Object Snaps as well as the appearance of
snap indicators. See “Object Snaps” on page
133.

1 3

1 Check any combination of object


snapping options. You can also turn
these options on an off with the toggle
buttons on the toolbar. Endpoint and midpoint snaps
Endpoint - Enables snapping to the
Center - Enables snapping to the
ends of lines, arcs, splines and other
center of cabinets, fixtures, furniture,
objects.
as well as circles and arcs.
Midpoint - Enables snapping to the
midpoint of an object such as a line or
Note: Center snapping only works for arcs
arc. For objects such as boxes, you can snap and circles if Show Arc Centers and Ends is
to the midpoint of any side of the box. turned on. See.“Aligning Arc Centers” on
page 183.

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Preferences Dialog

Quadrant - Enables snapping to the


2 Check any combination of extension
left, right, top, or bottom of an object. anchor options. You can also use the
Only used for arcs and circles. toggle buttons on the toolbar.
Tangent Extensions - Enables
snapping to a point tangent to the
point where the extension anchor sits.

Quadrant snaps

On Object - Enables snapping to any


point on the selected object, including
CAD objects and cabinets.
Tangent extension
Perpendicular Extensions - Enables
snapping to a point perpendicular to
the point where the extension anchor sits.

On object snaps

Points/Markers - Allows you to snap


to any temporary points you may have
placed, as well as callouts and markers.

Points/Markers snaps

Intersection - Enables snapping to the Perpendicular extension


intersection of two objects, such as the
Orthogonal Extensions - Enables
intersection of a line with another line.
snapping to a point on a 90-degree
Intersection snapping also snaps extension
axis from the extension anchor.
lines to objects, and allows you to snap two
extension lines to each other.

Orthogonal extension

Intersection snaps

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3 Options - Specify the number of Specify the Maximum Bump Distance


extension line anchors that can display (pixels), which is the distance that a selected
at one time by changing the Objects in object must be dragged to override bumping
History setting. and move past an obstructing object.
The Snap Distance controls how far your the Check the box beside Angle Snaps to enable
cursor can be from a snap point for the snap snapping to allowed angles. See “Angle
to occur. It is measured in screen pixels. This Snaps” on page 135.
setting also controls the minimum length of
Check Snap Cabinets After Paste to make
camera and cross section/elevation lines of
the cabinets snap together after you paste
sight. When working with very small objects,
them.
you may find it helful to reduce this value;
when working with very large objects, you
4 Control the appearance of Snap
may find it helpful to increase it. The default Indicators.
value is 12. See “Creating Camera Views” on
Specify an Indicator Size in pixels.
page 750.
Click the color bar to select an Indicator
Check the box beside Bumping/Pushing to
Color and an Extension Color from the
enable bumping and pushing. See User’s
Color Chooser dialog. See “Color Chooser
Guide, “Bumping/Pushing” on page 178.
Dialog” on page 727.

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Preferences Dialog

Material List Panel


The Material List panel controls which prefixes are listed here. They are defined by
categories are included in Materials Lists. the program and cannot be changed.
The names of all categories and their ID

When a material is entered in the Materials new materials list generated. Before you
List, the program decides what category it hide a category, make sure you know what
goes in and assigns it an ID, which is the items are listed within it.
prefix followed by a number. EX1 would be
the first exterior trim piece entered in the
It is usually better to remove categories
Materials List for a particular plan. from individual plan lists in the Layer
Include These Categories - Check the Display Options dialog, rather than globally.
See “Layer Display Options Dialog” on page
categories you want to to include in every
121.

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Report Style Panel


The Report Style panel specifies the Tools> Display Options from within
appearance of the Materials List. This that Materials List.
information can also be specified
individually per Materials List by choosing

1 Include These Columns - Check the narrow or broaden your query when
columns that should be included in the searching the Master List.
Materials List.
Grid - Choose whether or not grid
3
Use the Move Up and Move Down buttons lines display in the materials list. If you
to change the order that columns appear. To want lines, choose to have horizontal,
change the order, select one or more items in vertical, or both. If the lines are turned off,
the list and click the button. The selected they do not show on-screen or in print. You
columns move up or down by one in the list. can select Solid Lines for the grids instead of
dotted lines.
For a more detailed description of Materials
Lists, see “Materials Lists” on page 1048.
4 Background Colors can be set for
even and odd numbered lines.
2 When Querying Suppliers &
Manufacturers - Select an option to

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Master List Panel


The Master List panel specifies how the information for materials. You can maintain
Master List(s) for materials appears. Master Multiple Master Lists, but only one may be
Lists contain price and manufacturer used at any given time.

3
4

1 Include These Columns - Check each subsequently opened plans when a materials
column to include it in the Master list is generated from any model.
materials list.
3 Press Browse to select a different
Use the Move Up and Move Down buttons Master List. Navigate the directory
to change the order of columns. To change structure until you find the new Master List
the order, select one or more items in the list to be used, select it, and click OK.
and click the button. The selected columns
move up or down by one in the list. See 4 Press New to create a new Master List.
Name and save it in the location of your
“Materials Lists” on page 1048.
choice. When you create a new Master List,
2 Master List File - The name and it is blank until you build a materials list and
pathname of the Master List currently enter prices, supplier or manufacturer
referenced is shown. It is referenced for all information. The Master List is saved
automatically when you close.

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Categories Panel
The Categories panel allows you to Subcategories can also be included in
customize the organization of the Materials schedules. See “Adding Columns to
List by creating subcategories under the pre- Schedules” on page 1039.
defined Materials List categories. See
“Organizing Materials Lists” on page 1050.

1 2

To create or modify a subcategory The Sub Cat name can be any sequence of
characters, up to 12 characters in length.
1 Select a Category from the list.
5 Doors, Windows, Cabinets, Fixtures,
2 Existing subcategories display here. Furniture, and Electrical objects can
3 To Add, Edit or Delete a subcategory, generate schedules. Subcategories for these
select it and click the appropriate objects can appear as column headings. Type
button. Clicking Add or Edit opens the Sub- a Column Heading for Schedules.
Category dialog.
In the example above, two subcategories are
4 In the Sub Category dialog, type a added to the Windows category: GLZ
name of the subcategory to appear in (Glazing) and EXT (Exterior Trim).
the SubCat column of the Materials List.

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Render Panel
The Render panel settings control how 3D Previews and Final Views. See “Preview vs
views are generated, particularly Render Final View” on page 774.

2
3

1 The General Options settings affect that sometimes result along surface
both Render Previews and Final Views. edges, producing cleaner lines. Not avail-
• Optimizations On saves rendering data able if your video card does not support
to your video card, which speeds up ren- this feature. See “OpenGL and Hard-
dering time. This option may cause prob- ware” on page 741.
lems if the rendering data for your model • Zoom Using Field of View directs the
exceeds the video card’s memory. program to zoom in 3D views by adjust-
ing the camera’s Field of View, which can
If your computer stops responding when result in perspective distortion. When
rendering, try unchecking Optimizations unchecked, zooming in 3D views is done
On. This slows down rendering time con- by cropping or expanding the view’s
siderably, though, so if the problem is not extents. See “Zooming” on page 763.
solved, leave this check box selected. • Soft Shadows displays shadows with soft
• Hardware Edge Smoothing uses the edges instead of hard edges. This feature
video card to remove the jagged edges

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is only used when Show Shadows and ows. They are typically used only for
Smooth Edges are also used. Final Views. See “Lighting” on page 775.
• Surface Backdrop generates the back- • Use Transparency allows materials such
drop image using hardware acceleration. as window glass to display effects. For
For some graphics cards, this option some video cards, rendering may be
improves rendering speed considerably. slowed when this feature is selected.
• OpenGL Vector View directs the pro- • Use Textures controls whether or not
gram to generate Vector views using surfaces are rendered with textures. This
OpenGL hardware acceleration. only affects surfaces with materials that
have assigned textures. When textures are
turned off, surfaces are rendered using
Note: If OpenGL Vector View is not selected,
you can create Vector Views but cannot apply the color assigned to the material, but not
any of the other Rendering Techniques to the texture. See “Mapping Patterns and
them. See “Rendering Techniques” on page Textures” on page 714.
785.
Textures can also be turned on or off in
The Preview Options settings affect most rendered view by selecting 3D>
2
only Render Previews. Camera View Options> Toggle Tex-
• Hardware Texture Filtering uses your tures .
video card to filter textures and improve
• Use Triangles divides large surfaces,
their appearance: noticeably, on surfaces
such as walls, floors, and ceilings, into
angled away from the camera. In some
small triangles. This feature enhances
rare instances, this may slow rendering
lighting effects when point or spot light
time somewhat. Not supported by some
sources are used. Triangles are not used
video cards.
by the Enhanced Lighting, Technical
• Smooth Faces generates smooth curved Illustration or Vector View techniques.
surfaces. It uses new surface normals to
• Max Triangle Size controls the size of
alter the lighting effects on surfaces,
the surface triangles modeled by the pro-
making them appear curved, even though
gram. Lighting looks better with smaller
it does not alter the shape of the surfaces.
triangles, but rendering takes longer. See
• Show Images controls the display of “Rendering Tips” on page 773.
images, such as plants, cars and people,
in rendered views. See “Displaying The initial settings for Previews and Final
Images” on page 935. Views are 60” (1500 mm) and 24” (600
• Show Shadows controls whether or not mm), respectively. The minimum value is
shadows display. Shadows are extremely 6" (150 mm).
complex to calculate and slow down ren- • Software Edge Smoothing removes the
dering speed significantly, particularly jagged edges that sometimes result along
when multiple lights are set to cast shad- surface edges, producing cleaner lines.
Use the slide bar or text field to specify

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Preferences Dialog

how much jagged edge lines should be


3 The Final View Options settings are
smoothed. exactly the same as the Preview
Options, but affect Final Views instead of
Inital Software Edge Smoothing settings Render Previews. See “Final Views” on page
for Previews and Final Views are 0% and 758.
80%, respectively.

Video Card Status Panel


The Video Card Status panel displays this says “Installed Client Driver.” If it does
information about your video card, including not, it says “No Hardware Acceleration.”
the vendor and the version of OpenGL it There is a significant difference in speed
uses. See “OpenGL and Hardware” on page between rendering with acceleration and
741. without.
This information may be important if you are The Max Lights value indicates how many
having problems generating 3D views. lights you can have turned on at any given
time when generating a 3D view. This value
Notice the information following the
should be 8 or higher, depending on your
Acceleration label. If your video card
video card. See “Lighting” on page 775.
supports hardware acceleration for OpenGL,

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Reset Options Panel

If message boxes have been suppressed, you with the program. For the reset to take effect,
can make them display again by clicking you will need to restart the program.
Reset Message Boxes.
Click the Reset Preferences button to restore Resetting all preferences to default can
all preferences to those that originally came be a drastic step if you have made
many changes to your defaults and should be
done with caution.

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Chapter 4:

Toolbars &
Hotkeys

Two of the most efficient ways to access Chapter Contents


Chief Architect’s tools are the toolbars and • Toolbar Arrangement
keyboard shortcuts, also referred to as • Customizing Toolbars
hotkeys. • Toolbar Configurations
Toolbars are organized into configurations, • Restoring Toolbars
which are basically collections of multiple • Hotkeys
toolbars arranged for use during specific
drawing tasks. Within a given toolbar
configuration, buttons are arranged so that
similar tools are located near one another.
Both toolbars and hotkeys can be customized
to suit your workflow.
A complete list of Chief Architect’s tools can
be found in “Menus & Toolbar Buttons” on
page 1090.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

Toolbar Arrangement
Chief Architect installs a set of Toolbar display its “child” buttons to the right. See
Configurations, which determines what tools “Appearance Panel” on page 71.
are initially included in the toolbars, as well
as where these toolbars are located.

Toolbar Preferences You can turn off the display of toolbars


entirely by selecting Tools> Toolbars &
Toolbars can be viewed in Drop - Down or Hotkeys> Hide Toolbars.
Parent - Child arrangement. Drop - Down
toolbar buttons have an arrow to the right of Moving Toolbars
the button that accesses additional, related
tools. You can, if you wish, move any toolbar to a
different location. Toolbars can be docked to
any side of the program window, or they can
be undocked and left floating. Undocked
toolbars can also be moved outside of the
program window.
Toolbars are saved between program
sessions. To restore the original toolbar
locations, as well as their display, click the
Alternatively, you can use Chief Architect’s Reset Toolbars button in the Toolbar
Parent - Child toolbar arrangement. In this Customization dialog. See “Toolbar Tab” on
arrangement, you select a “parent” button to page 110.

Customizing Toolbars
You can create custom toolbars as well as • Add and remove buttons from toolbars.
entire custom toolbar configurations in the • Specify which of the available toolbars
Toolbar Customization dialog. In this display in different view types.
dialog, you can:
• Select the active toolbar configuration.

Toolbar Customization Dialog


Select Tools> Toolbars & Hotkeys>
Customize Toolbars to open this dialog.

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Customizing Toolbars

Tools Tab
The Tools tab allows you to add or remove
buttons from your toolbars.

1 4
5

Adding Toolbar Buttons


You can use the Empty Space button in
1 Select the type of View you would like your toolbars as a spacer.
to add toolbar buttons in. As you select
various views, the tools available change.
5 Click on a button in the “Main Toolbar
Buttons” area to display its child
2 A description of the selected button buttons in this Child Buttons area. If no
displays here.
child buttons display, the button you selected
3 Check Sort Alphabetically to sort the is not a parent tool. See “Parent and Child
tools in alphabetical order rather than Tools” on page 31.
the order they appear on the toolbars.
In the image above, the Cabinet Tools
4 A list of the Main Toolbar Buttons parent button is selected under “Main
available for the selected View displays
Toolbar Buttons” and its child tools display
here. Click on a button to display any child
under “Child Buttons”.
buttons to the right and a description at the
lower left of the dialog. See “Parent and Child tools are permanently associated with
Child Tools” on page 31. the parent tool. If, for example, you add the
Cabinet Tools parent button to a toolbar,

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its child tools will always display whenever 2. Select the first button that you want on
it is selected. An individual child tool can, the toolbar from the Main Toolbar But-
however, be placed on a toolbar by itself. tons or Child Buttons areas.
3. Click and drag the button out of the dia-
To add a button to a toolbar log box and drop it:.
1. Select the View type that you want to • In an empty section of the program
add a toobar button in. window border to create a new toolbar
2. Select the desired button or its parent docked at that location.
from the Main Toolbar Buttons list. • In the drawing area to create a new,
undocked toolbar.
3. If the desired button is a child button,
select it from the Child Buttons list. 4. Additional buttons can be added to this
new toolbar.
4. Click and drag the button you wish to
add to a toolbar out of the dialog box. An undocked toolbar can be docked, or vice
• Drop it onto an existing toolbar to add versa, at any time.
the button to that toolbar.
• Drop it away from an existing toolbar Removing Tools from Toolbars
to create a new toolbar. The selected To remove a button from a toolbar, select
button is first in the new toolbar. The Tools> Toolbars & Hotkeys> Customize
new toolbar is named with the current Toolbars to open the Toolbar
view followed by a number. Customization dialog. With this dialog
open, click and drag the button off its toolbar.
To create a new toolbar
1. Select the View type to which you want You can only remove a button from a
to add a new toobar. toolbar when the Toolbar Customization
dialog is open.
• If you select All Views, your new tool-
bar will display in all views.
Buttons cannot be added to or removed from
• You can add any buttons you like to an
the Edit toolbar. See “Menus & Toolbar
All Views toolbar; however, not all
Buttons” on page 1090.
buttons will necessarily be available
for use in all views.

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Customizing Toolbars

Toolbar Tab
The Toolbar tab allows you to manage your
individual toolbars.

2
1 3
4
5

1 Select a type of View to display the Reset Toolbars is only available if a


toolbars available for use in it. .toolbar.bak file with the same name as the
toolbar configuration file exists. See
2 The toolbars available for the selected “Restoring Toolbars” on page 113.
View display here. Select a toolbar by
clicking on its name.
Clicking on the Reset Toolbars button
• If the selected toolbar is not active, the deletes any toolbar customization you
Activate button is available. Click Acti- have done.
vate to make the selected toolbar active.
• Click Rename to rename the selected 4 Display Tool Tips - Check this to show
toolbar. Tool Tips when you move the cursor
over buttons.
• Click Delete to remove the selected tool-
bar from the list. A deleted toolbar is no 5 Lock Toolbars - Check the box to lock
longer available. toolbars in their current position on
screen.
3 Click Reset Toolbars to restore all the
toolbars to their original configuration.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

Configurations Tab
The Configurations tab allows you to add, configurations. See “Toolbar
remove and switch between toolbar Configurations” on page 112.

1 2
3
4
5

1 A list of toolbar configurations displays 5 Switch To - Click to switch to the


here. Select a configuration before selected toolbar configuration. You can
clicking the Remove, Copy, or Switch To also right-click on any toolbar and select a
buttons. configuration from the menu, or click a
Toolbar Configuration button.
2 Add - Click to browse for a toolbar
configuration file and add it to the list.
6 The location of the Current Toolbars
Folder displays here. It can be
3 Remove - Click to remove the selected specified in the Preferences dialog. See
toolbar configuration. This removes the
“Folders Panel” on page 80.
configuration from the list but does not
delete the configuration file permanently.
Note: If you customize your toolbars, it is a
Copy - Click to create a copy of the good idea to back up your toolbar configura-
4 tion files (*.toolbar). See “Chief Architect
selected toolbar configuration.
Data” on page 44.

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Toolbar Configurations

Toolbar Configurations
The Chief Architect program window has • CAD Configuration shows the tools
limited space for toolbar buttons. How many needed for CAD drawings.
can be shown depends on your monitor’s size
and screen resolution settings. • The Extended Configuration can be
accessed by right-clicking on a toolbar or
The toolbar configurations that come with using the Toolbar Customization dialog.
Chief Architect organize tools based on the It provides access to a variety of tools for
type of work being done as well as on various uses in plan files.
monitor screen resolution.
• The 800 x 600 Configuration is only
• The Default Configuration displays available through the Toolbar
architectural tools used for house design, Customization dialog. It is designed for
including walls, windows, doors, stairs, monitors with 800x600 resolution.
cabinets, etc.
To switch toolbar configurations
• The Terrain Configuration displays
buttons associated with the terrain and There are several ways to switch from one
road tools, including the plant and sprin- toolbar configuration to another.
kler tools. See “Terrain Configuration • Click a Toolbar Configuration button.
Button” on page 581. • Choose a configuration in the Toolbar
• The Kitchen and Bath Design Configu- Customization dialog. See “Configura-
tions Tab” on page 111.
ration displays buttons associated
with kitchen and bath design. See “Cabi- • Right-click on a toolbar and select a con-
nets” on page 546. figuration from the contextual menu.

• The MEP Configuration displays To create a custom configuration


buttons associated with mechanical, elec-
trical, and plumbing. See “Cabinets” on You can create a custom configuration that
page 546. shows only the buttons you need.
1. Access the Configurations tab of the
• The Space Planning Configuration Toolbar Customization dialog.
displays buttons associated with the
House Wizard. See “House Wizard” on 2. Select a configuration similar to the one
page 926. you want to create and click Copy.
3. Give the new configuration a name. It
• The Plan Detailing Configuration is should be saved to the Chief Architect
designed for dealing with materials lists, Toolbars folder. See “Chief Architect
time tracking, and client and designer Data” on page 44.
information.

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4. Click Save. The program switches to the • The color (R:223, G:223, B:223) maps to
new configuration and it appears high- the system 3D light color.
lighted in the list.
5. Drag tools you want to add out of the To import a custom configuration
Toolbar Customization dialog and onto You can import an existing toolbar
the toolbars. configuration.
6. Drag any tools you do not want off the 1. Access the Configurations tab of the
toolbars. Toolbar Customization dialog.
7. When you are satisfied with the appear- 2. Click Add.
ance of your new toolbar, click Close.
3. Browse to the location of the toolbar you
By default, new toolbar configurations want to import.
display the Expanded Configuration 4. Click Open. If the .toolbar file is not in
button. the Chief Architect Toolbars folder, a
You can make your own button icon for your copy of the file will be created there.
custom toolbar configuration. Create a .bmp
file with the same name as the configuration Color Palettes
and save it in the Toolbars folder. To see an Color palettes are toolbars with library
example, look at the Default.bmp file in the materials which have been added to buttons
Chief Architect Toolbars folder, which
corresponds to the Default Toolbar using the Place Library Object tool.
configuration. They are available on the Toolbar tab of the
Toolbar Customization dialog and can be
• Toolbar button bitmaps must be 24 x 24 used in 3D views. You can customize these
pixels in size. toolbars and/or create your own toolbar
• The color (R:192, G:192, B:192) maps to palettes. See “Place Library Object Button”
the system 3D face color. on page 692.
• The color (R:128, G:128, B:128) maps to
the system 3D Shadow color.

Restoring Toolbars
Chief Architect installs two files that affect The program uses *.toolbar files to
the way toolbars display. These files are remember original toolbar settings. When
*.toolbar and *.toolbarbak. you click the Reset Toolbars button in the
Toolbar Customization dialog, the program
The program updates *.toolbarbak anytime
copies this file and saves it as *.toolbar. If
you select another toolbar configuration,
you make changes you prefer over the
close the Toolbar Customization dialog, or
original toolbar, create a copy of your
exit from the program.

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Hotkeys

*.toolbar file and save it as *.toolbarbak.


The next time you click Reset Toolbars, the
program returns to the default settings.

Hotkeys
Many Chief Architect tools have a keyboard To use a hotkey, simply press the appropriate
shortcut, or hotkey, associated with them. If key or combination of keys on your keyboard
such a hotkey exists, it will display to the instead of selecting the menu item or clicking
right of the tool’s name in the menu. the toolbar button. For example, press the
Ctrl and Z keys at the same time to perform
an Undo .
You can specify which hotkeys activate
Edit menu items with button icons which Chief Architect tools in the
to the left and hotkeys to the right Customize Hotkeys dialog. Select Tools>
Toolbars & Hotkeys> Customize
Hotkeys to open this dialog.

Customize Hotkeys Dialog


The Customize Hotkeys dialog lets you a variety of commands such as opening
program hotkeys to activate tools and invoke dialogs, including Defaults dialogs.

4
1
2

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

1 Show commands/hotkeys containing Previous Command, Next Command and


- Type part or all of the name of a tool a Previous Command hotkeys. The tools in
hotkey to see a list of tool names and hotkeys this list are organized according to the order
with that string of characters. in which you selected them during the
current program session.
2 Click on an item in the list of
Commands and Hotkeys to select it. Cancel Selection/Previous Command,
Next Command and Previous Command
3 Edit hotkey for this command - Click are hotkeys only: they do not have toolbar
in this field, then press they key
buttons associated with them and are not
combination that you would like to use.
found in the menu.
4 Tool Available In - A list of the view By default, Cancel Selection/Previous
types that the selected command can be
Command is assigned to the Esc key. This
used in displays here.
command can be used to:
5 Tool Description - A brief description • Cancel a current object selection.
of the selected command displays here.
• Cancel a current drawing or editing
action that is in progress.
Note: Nearly all commands can be assigned
custom hotkeys; however, a few cannot. • Activate the previously used tool or com-
Delete and Enter Coordinates are two nota- mand if no object is selected or action in
ble examples. progress.

Create Hotkey List When using the Esc key, be careful to


press it only once.
A list of the hotkeys available to the current
program user can be saved in .html or .xhtml
By default, Next Command is assigned to
format.
the Shift+Esc keys. This command can be
Select Tools> Toolbars & Hotkeys> Create used to deactivate the current command and
Hotkey List to open the Save Hotkey List instead activate the one that is next in the list
File dialog, a standard Save dialog, and of recently used tools.
create a hotkey list that can then be opened in
If you prefer, you can assign two different
a web browser window and printed, if you
hotkeys to the Cancel Selection and
wish.
Previous Command instead of one single
hotkey.
Next/Last Command
You can navigate a list of up to 100 recently
used tools using the Cancel Selection/

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Chapter 5:

Layers

Layers are used to organize and manage the layer set used by a particular type of view in
display of all objects in all views and in the the Layer Set Defaults dialog.
Materials List. A layer can be thought of as a
transparency sheet with objects placed on it Chapter Contents
for viewing. Nearly all views use multiple • Displaying Objects
layers, like a stack of transparencies put
• Layer Sets
together to show different types of objects.
• Layer Set Management
You can find out which layer an object is on • Active Layer Set Control
in its specification dialog or by selecting the • Layer Display Options Dialog
object and looking at the Status Bar. You can • Select Layer Dialog
customize how each layer displays in the • Layer Tab
Layer Display Options dialog. • Layer Painter and Eyedropper
• Layout Layer Sets
Multiple layers are organized into Layer
• Exporting/Importing Layer Sets
Sets, which are designed to help you perform
• Layer Set Defaults Dialog
different tasks efficiently or produce specific
views for your construction documents or for
presentation purposes. You can customize
the display settings for individual layer sets
and can also copy, add and delete layer sets.
Different types of 2D and 3D views use their
own layer sets. You can specify the initial

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Displaying Objects
The display of objects in different views is inclusion of objects in the Materials List on a
controlled by layer sets and layers in the layer-by-layer basis.
Layer Display Options dialog. See “Layer
Some default layers, such as Patterns, do not
Display Options Dialog” on page 121.
generate materials and are not included by
default. See “Materials Lists and Layers” on
In All Views page 1051.
All layers with a check in the Disp. column
display when the current layer set is active.
Objects that are not displayed cannot be seen
or selected. If you try to place or draw an
object on a layer that is hidden, the program
asks if you want to turn the layer on.
The overall content and organization of
materials lists can be controlled in the
Preferences dialog. See “Material List
Panel” on page 98.
To control the components that are included
in a Materials List for a particular object,
A layer’s Color, Style, and Size attributes select the object and click the Components
determine how an object on that layer
appears in floor plan view and in 3D views edit button. See “Components Dialog”
using the Vector View rendering technique. on page 1062.

Locking Layers
Objects on layers with a lock symbol in the
Lock column are visible but cannot be
selected. This prevents them from being
accidentally changed.
Many objects, including all CAD and text
objects, allow you to override the line style,
color, and line weight for an individiual
instance without changing its layer.

Materials Lists
Layers showing an “M” in the Mat column
Layers with objects that have been
are included in subsequently generated
extensively edited and do not require further
materials lists. This allows you to control the
editing are good candidates for locking.

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Layer Sets

Locking a layer does not prevent the program New objects cannot be drawn on a locked
from modifying the objects on that layer. layer. If you lock a layer and then attempt to
draw a new object on that layer, a warning
asks you to unlock the layer.
Although objects on locked layers can-
not be selected, most can nevertheless
be deleted using the Delete Objects dialog.
Objects are also deleted if the floor they are
placed on is deleted. See “Delete Objects
Dialog” on page 197 and “Deleting Floors” on
page 358.

Layer Sets
Layer Sets are used to control the layer
Each plan file can have an unlimited
settings for different views in a plan or layout
number of layer sets.
file. All views associated with a plan file -
including views sent to layout - make use of
While any view is active, select Tools>
layer sets stored in that .plan file.
Display Settings> Display Options to
A layer set consists of a complete list of the make changes to the layer set used for that
layers in the current plan or layout along with view type.
the display settings for each layer as set for a
particular type of view or purpose. These
Layout Layer Sets
display settings can be modified, and can be
different for each layer set. See “Layer Views sent to layout use layer sets saved with
Display Options Dialog” on page 121. the plan, rather than with the layout. See
“Displaying Layout Views” on page 1025.
Any changes made to a layer set in one view
affects all other views using the same layer
set. If this is not desired, you can create a Layer Sets & Templates
unique layer set for a particular view. See Layers and layer sets are plan-specific. A
“Layer Set Management” on page 119. custom layer set that you created in one plan
Layer sets are file specific, which means that file may not be available in another. To
changes made in one plan or layout file have include a custom layer set in all new plan
no effect on the settings in other files. If you files, add it to your template plan. See
find that you use the same settings often, you “Exporting/Importing Layer Sets” on page
should consider adding these layer sets to 127 and “Template Files” on page 51.
your template files. See “Template Files” on
page 51. Modify All Layer Sets
If you want changes made in one layer set to
apply to all other layer sets in the current

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

plan, check Modify All Layer Sets in the that view. Which layer set becomes active
Layer Display Options dialog before depends on the type of view created.
making changes. The layer name and display
The default layer sets for nine different view
attributes are applied to all other layer sets.
types, including the Reference Display, are
For example, if you check Modify All Layer specified in the Layer Set Defaults dialog.
Sets and then change the color and line style
Each of these layer sets can be edited as
for the Text layer of the Electrical Set, the
needed in the Layer Display Options dialog.
same changes are applied to the Text layer of
See “Layer Display Options Dialog” on page
the Framing Set of the same plan.
121.
Layer Set Defaults Normally, it is best to change the settings in
the existing default layer sets rather than
Whenever a particular type of view is select different default layer sets, but you can
created, such as floor plan view or a framing do so if needed. See “Layer Set Defaults
overview, a specific layer set is activated for Dialog” on page 129.

Layer Set Management


The Layer Set Management dialog Select Tools> Display Settings> Layer Set
lists the layer sets available in the Management to open the Layer Set
current plan or layout file and lets you add Management dialog.
and remove layer sets and modify and copy
existing layer sets.

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Layer Set Management

1 Use the Available Layer Sets options active layer set or any layer set in use as a
to manage the layer sets saved with the default.
current plan or layout file.
• Click on a layer set name in the list to Do not delete any layer sets that are used
select it. by a layout.

• Click the Define button (or double-click • Click the Import button to import layer
a layer set) to open the Layer Display settings from a .layers file. See “Export-
Options dialog and make changes to the ing/Importing Layer Sets” on page 127.
selected layer set. • Click the Export button to export the
• Click the New button to open the New layer settings in the current plan in a .lay-
Layer Set Name dialog and create a new ers file. See “Exporting/Importing Layer
layer set using the system default set- Sets” on page 127.
tings.
2 The Active Layer Set for Current
• Click the Copy button to open the New View options affect only the layer set
Layer Set Name dialog and enter a name used in the view that was active when the
for a copy of the currently selected layer Layer Set Management dialog was opened.
set. You can select a new Active Layer Set from
the drop-down list or click the Define button
• Click the Delete button to delete the
to make changes to the active layer set in the
selected layer set from the current file.
Layer Display Options dialog.
The Delete button is enabled if the layer
set can be deleted. You cannot delete the

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3 Reference Display Layer Set - Click Display Set is usually sufficient, you can
the drop-down list to specify which create as many layer sets as you like and use
layer set is used when the reference display is any of them for the reference display. See
turned on. While the default Reference “Reference Display” on page 360.

Active Layer Set Control


The Active Layer layer sets saved with the plan. Click the
Set Control drop- drop-down list to select a new layer set for
down list displays on the toolbar for all views the current view.
and provides convenient access to a list of all

Layer Display Options Dialog


The Layer Display Options dialog Selecting Tools> Reference Floors>
controls the display of layers in a Reference Display Options opens the
selected layer set. It consists of a table that Layer Display Options dialog with the
lists all available layers and the attributes for Reference Display Set active. See
each. Layers can be added and deleted. There “Reference Floor” on page 359.
is no limit to the number of layers that can
exist in a plan. Selecting Tools> Display Options in a
From any view except the Materials List, materials list opens the Materials List
select Tools> Display Settings> Display Display Options dialog. See “Material List
Display Options Dialog” on page 1052.
Options to open the Layer Display
Options dialog. This dialog is resizeable and
maintains its size between program sessions.

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Layer Display Options Dialog

1
2

6
4

5
7

1 The Available Layer Sets options 2 Click the column header to sort all
control which layer set is affected by layers in the Layer Display Options
changes made in the Layer Display Options dialog by that column.
dialog. • The Name column is sorted alphabeti-
• The currently selected layer set displays. cally. Sorting is also case sensitive to
Click the drop-down list to select a differ- allow greater control over organization.
ent layer set. • A red + in the Used column indicates
• Click the Copy Set button to create a which layers have objects placed on them
copy of the current layer set. in the current plan. This column cannot
be edited.
• When Modify All Layer Sets is checked,
changes made in the Layer Display • A check in the Disp column indicates
Options dialog apply to all other layer which layers are set to be visible. This
sets in the plan when you click OK. controls the display of objects in 2D and
3D views.
Modify All Layer Sets is a one-time • An M in the Mat column indicates which
action. It is always unchecked when layers are included in the Materials List.
the Layer Display Options dialog is opened.
• A yellow in the Lock column indicates
which layers are locked, preventing

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

objects on that layer from being manually display at the bottom of the dialog. If
edited. multiple layers are selected, “no change”
• The Color column shows the line color may display for attributes that are different
for each layer. You can sort this column among the selected layers.
so that like colors are listed together.
• The Style column shows the line style for When one or more layers are selected
and you click OK, the program remem-
each layer and can be sorted so that like
bers your selection so that the same layers
line styles are listed together. are selected when you reopen the Layer Dis-
• The Size column displays the line weight play Options dialog.
used by each layer and can be sorted so
that like line weights are listed together. 4 When a layer or layers is selected,
See “Line Weights” on page 999. single or shared layer attributes can be
edited in the section titled Properties for
• Click the Library button to open the
“Selected Layer.” Line Color, Style and Size
Library Browser to the Line Styles
affect lines in floor plan view and surface
library. See “Line Styles” on page 879.
edge lines in vector views.
3 Layers are named so that similar object • To change the color of lines on a selected
types such as Cabinets, Base and layer, click the Color bar to select a new
Cabinets, Wall are listed near one another color in the Color Chooser dialog. See
alphabetically.
“Color Chooser Dialog” on page 727.
Double-click a layer in the Name column to • To change the line style of a selected
rename it. layer, click the Style drop-down arrow or
click the Library button to select a line
style from the library. See “Line Styles”
on page 879.
• To change the width of lines on a selected
layer, enter a Size. See “Line Weights” on
page 999.
• To turn off a selected layer, uncheck
Display. See “Displaying Objects” on
page 117.
If a layer is turned on, a checkmark is shown • To exclude all objects on a selected layer
in the Disp column. If a layer is turned off, from the Materials List, uncheck Include
the column is blank. in Materials List. See “Materials Lists”
on page 1048.
Layers are selected by clicking them in the
table. Hold down the Shift key or the Ctrl • To protect the objects on a selected layer
key to select multiple layers at once. Click from accidental changes, check Lock.
the Select All button to select all layers in the Items on locked layers display but cannot
table. When selected, a layer’s attributes

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Select Layer Dialog

be selected, deleted, moved, or modified. layers or any of the system layers used by
See “Locking Layers” on page 117. Chief Architect.
• Click the Reset Names button to revert
5 The buttons at the bottom left of the layer names for system layers back to the
dialog provide additional control of the
layers in the table. original names that installed with Chief
Architect. This does not affect layers you
• Click the Select All button to select all
created.
layers in the table at once. This allows
changes to be quickly applied to all lay- • Click OK to close the dialog and apply
ers. your changes.
• Click the New button to open the New • Click Cancel to close the dialog, ignor-
Layer Name dialog and create a new ing any edits.
layer with the unique name of your
choice. Duplicate layer names are not 6 Select a layer to serve as the Current
CAD Layer from the drop-down list.
allowed. This is the default layer used for new CAD
objects such as lines and arcs. See “Current
Note: New layers are added to all layer sets. CAD Layer” on page 910.
However, newly created layers will be turned
on to display only in the current layer set. 7 Click the size grip and drag to resize the
Layer Display Options dialog.
• Click the Copy button to create a copy of
the selected layer. The new layer is added Note: Not all objects display in all views. For
directly below the original layer in the instance, door labels do not appear in 3D
table. views and room labels do not appear in mate-
rials lists, regardless of the layer they are
• Click the Delete button to delete the placed on, or whether the layer is turned on
selected layer. You cannot delete used or not.

Select Layer Dialog


When new CAD objects are drawn, Current CAD Layer to open the Select
they are placed on the Current CAD Layer dialog.
Layer. See “Current CAD Layer” on page
This dialog is also used for the Layer Painter
910. You can specify which layer is the
tool. See “Layer Painter and Eyedropper” on
Current CAD Layer by selecting CAD>
page 126.

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This dialog can only be accessed by clicking Options dialog but only allows a layer to be
the Current CAD Layer button. It is selected.
similar in appearance to the Layer Display

Layer Tab
The Layer tab is found in the specification
dialogs for many different objects. Here you Note: In some specification dialogs, layer
can specify on what layer the program uses information is located on the Line Style or
to display the selected object. Appearance tab rather than the Layer tab.

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Layer Painter and Eyedropper

1
2
3

1 Check Default to place the selected 3 Click Define to open the Layer Display
object on the default layer for that Options dialog and select, modify, or
object type. add a new layer. See “Layer Display Options
Dialog” on page 121.
2 Click the drop-down list to select from
all layers available in the plan file.

Layer Painter and Eyedropper


The Layer Painter and Layer 3. Note that the name of the layer being
Eyedropper tools allow you to painted is noted on the left side of the
move an object to any layer from any view Status Bar at the bottom of the program
without opening its specification dialog. window. See “The Status Bar” on page
34.
To use the Layer Painter 4. Move your cursor over an object and
notice that the Status Bar now states
1. In any view, select Tools> Display Set- both the layer being painted and the cur-
tings> Layer Painter . rent layer of the target object.
2. In the Select CAD Layer dialog, choose 5. Click on objects in the view to move
a layer and click OK. Your cursor will them to the selected layer.

display the painter icon.

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To use the Layer Eyedropper 2. Click on an object to load the layer it is


on into the Layer Painter.
1. In any view, select Tools> Display Set-
3. Your cursor will display the painter
tings> Layer Eyedropper .
icon, and you can click on other objects
to place them on the selected layer.

Layout Layer Sets


Layer sets are an effective way to control not always saved with the plan that the view was
just what displays while you are working, but originally sent to layout from. For this
what displays in the views you send to layout reason, you should avoid deleting layer sets
and print. See “Layout” on page 1014. from a plan unless you are absolutely sure
that they are not being used by layout views.
When you send a view to layout, you have
two choices as to which layer set the view You can find out which layer set a layout
uses: view is using by selecting it and clicking the
• You can use the same layer set as the Layout Box Layers edit button. See
original view being sent to layout. “Editing Layout Views” on page 1017.
• You can make a copy of the layer set used If you select a layout view and click the
by the original view.
Open View edit button, you will return
Both approaches have advantages and to the original view in the plan file. Bear in
disadvantages, so you should use the option mind that the layout view’s layer set will be
that best suits your needs. active. If you make changes to its settings,
Whichever option you choose, remember the view on the layout page will be affected.
that the layer set used by a layout view is

Exporting/Importing Layer Sets


Layer sets created in one plan can convenient alternative to re-creating a layer
be exported as a *.layers file and set that may already exist in another plan.
imported into other plans. This is a

Exporting Layer Sets


To export layer sets from the current plan, Layer Sets to open the Save Layer Set
click the Export button in the Layer Set File dialog.
Management dialog, or select File> Export>

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Exporting/Importing Layer Sets

• In the Save in drop-down, browse to the


location on your computer where you
would like to save the exported file.
• Any folders and .layers files in the cur-
rent location display in the field below.
• In the File name text field, type a name
for the exported file. Chief Architect
automatically attaches the file extension
.layers, which is the only file type avail-
able in the Save as type field.
• When both the Save in location and File
name are correct, click Save.

Importing Layer Sets


To import layer sets (*.layers file) into the • Click on the .layers file you wish to
current plan, click the Import button in the import. Its name will display in the File
Layer Set Management dialog, or select name text field.
File> Import> Layer Sets to display the • The only file type available in the Save
Open Layer Set File dialog. as type field is .layers.
• When the desired file is selected, click
Open. The Import Layer Sets dialog will
open next.

4. In the Look in drop-down, browse to the


location on your computer where the file
you wish to import is saved.
• Any folders and .dat files in the current Select a layer set or hold down the Shift key
location display in the field below. to select multiple sets and click OK.

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Layer Set Defaults Dialog


The Layer Set Defaults dialog is used Settings to open the Default Settings dialog,
to specify the initial layer sets for then select Layer Sets from the list and click
different view types. Select Edit> Default the Edit button.

When a new view is created for any of the Select Use Active Layer Set to use the
specified view types, Chief Architect sets the currently active layer set for the new view
default layer set listed here as the active layer when it is created.
set. Click the drop-down list to change the
initial layer set for each view. Click the Define button to open the Layer
Display Options dialog and change the layer
settings for the layer set. See “Layer Display
Options Dialog” on page 121.

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Chapter 6:

Editing Objects

In Chief Architect, a variety of architectural Chapter Contents


and CAD-based objects are used to create • Architectural vs CAD Objects
complete 3D models and working drawings. • Defaults and Preferences
Although these objects are sometimes very • Snap Behaviors
different from one another, the methods used • Object Snaps
to move, rotate, resize and otherwise edit • Angle Snaps
them are similar throughout the program. • Grid Snaps
• Edit Behaviors
Edit handles allow objects to be resized, • Undo and Redo
relocated, or rotated using the mouse. Edit • Creating Objects
toolbar buttons and the contextual menus • Selecting Objects
access edit tools relevant to the selected • Editing Line Based Objects
object(s). Most objects have a specification • Editing Arc Based Objects
dialog that allows you to edit it in ways that • Editing Open Polyline Based Objects
are specific to that type of object. • Editing Closed-Polyline Based Objects
The editing characteristics common to most • Editing Box-Based Objects
objects are described in this chapter. Unique, • Editing Spline Based Objects
object-specific editing behaviors and the • Editing Circles, Ovals and Ellipses
specification dialogs are covered in their • Architectural and CAD Blocks
respective chapters. • Displaying Objects
• Moving Objects
• Aligning Objects
• Resizing Objects
• Reshaping Objects
• Rotating Objects
• Reflecting Objects

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• Copying and Pasting Objects • Union, Intersection, and Subtract


• Deleting Objects • Converting Objects
• Trim and Extend • Select Same / Load Same
• Transform/Replicate Object Dialog • Edit Area Tools

Architectural vs CAD Objects


There are two broad categories of objects in In contrast, architectural objects such as
Chief Architect: architectural objects and walls, cabinets, doors, windows, and stairs
CAD objects. display in 2D and 3D views. Architectural
objects can be created and edited in 2D and
CAD objects such as lines, arcs, and text are
3D views but not in CAD Detail windows or
2D objects that can be created and edited in
on layout pages.
floor plan view, cross section/elevation
views, CAD detail windows, and on layout Some architectural objects, such as custom
pages but do not display in 3D camera views countertops and slabs, have some behaviors
and overviews. See “The CAD Drawing in common with CAD objects and are
Tools” on page 878. referred to as CAD-based.

Defaults and Preferences


The ways that objects in the program behave Object Snaps enable snapping to
as they are created and edited are affected by objects. See “Object Snaps” on page
a number of default and preference settings. 133.
See “Preferences & Default Settings” on
Angle Snaps enable snapping at
page 62.
Allowed Angles. See “Angle Snaps”
on page 135.
It is a good idea to be familiar with these
options and how they affect drawing Grid Snaps enable snapping to the
and editing in the program. Snap Grid. See “Grid Snaps” on page
136.

Snap Settings Bumping/Pushing enables bumping


and pushing behaviors. See
Select Edit> Snap Settings to access “Bumping/Pushing” on page 178.
the three categories of Snap Settings
that determine how objects snap to one Edit Behaviors
another and whether they snap to allowed
angles or to points on a grid, as well as object Select Edit> Edit Behaviors to
bumping and pushing behaviors. access the six global edit behavior
modes that determine how dragging the edit

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Defaults and Preferences

handles with the left mouse button affects a current CAD point. See “Point Tools” on
selected object and may also affect how page 880.
objects are drawn.
Specify which behavior is used by selecting
The Default edit behavior provides Edit> Edit Behaviors> Rotate/Resize
the most commonly used editing About Current Point or in the
options. See “Default” on page 137. Preferences dialog. See “Behaviors Panel”
The Alternate edit behavior provides on page 93.
an alternative to the Default behaviors
that may be more useful in some situations. Arc Creation Modes
See “Alternate” on page 138.
Select Edit> Arc Creation Modes to
The Move edit behavior allows you to access the five Arc Creation Modes
move a selected object using the that control how arcs and curved walls are
corner handles and the Move handle. See drawn.
“Move” on page 138.
Free Form Arc mode allows you to
The Resize edit behavior scales an define an arc by clicking and dragging
object as you drag a corner handle. along the desired path. See “Free Form Arc”
See “Resize” on page 138. on page 892.
The Concentric edit behavior allows Center/Radius/End Arc mode allows
you to resize objects so that the you to define the center and radius of
distance moved by each edge is the same as an arc, and then its length. See “Center/
all other edges. See “Concentric” on page Radius/End Arc” on page 893.
139.
Start/End/On Arc mode allows you
The Fillet edit behavior allows you to to define the start and end points of an
add a fillet at any corner of an object. arc, then adjust the curvature. See “Start/
See “Fillet” on page 140. End/On Arc” on page 893.
Start/Tangent/End Arc mode allows
Edit Object Parts you to define the start and end points
Select Edit> Edit Behaviors> Edit of an arc, its tangent and its curvature. See
Object Parts to toggle the ability to “Start/Tangent/End Arc” on page 893.
edit the individual segments of polyline- Arc About Center mode allows you
based objects and connected walls. See “Edit to draw an arc by defining the center
Object Parts” on page 145. and then the start and end points. See “Arc
About Center” on page 893.
Rotate/Resize About
Objects can be rotated or resized
about either their own centers or the

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Snap Behaviors
There are three categories of behavior when you begin an operation, but a
snap behavior in Chief different behavior when you end it.
Architect:
The Snap Behavior hotkeys are listed on the
• Object Snaps , which snap CAD right side of the Edit> Snap Settings
and architectural objects to other objects. submenu. See “Hotkeys” on page 114.
• Angle Snaps , which snap objects
To use snap behavior hotkeys
at specific angles.

• Grid Snaps , which snap objects 1. Select Edit> Snap Settings and
to points on a grid. toggle off the snap behavior category
that you wish to control using hotkeys.
Snap behaviors can be controlled in the
Preferences dialog and in the Plan or
2. Select a tool that you wish to draw with
Layout Defaults dialogs. See “Snap
or an object you wish to edit.
Properties Panel” on page 95 and “General 3. Begin drawing or editing and hold down
Plan Defaults Dialog” on page 68. the left mouse button without releasing.
4. Press and hold the appropriate key on
You can select Edit> Snap Settings to your keyboard to enable the snap behav-
quickly access Snap Behavior settings. ior associated with it.
To temporarily disable Snap Behaviors and 5. When you are finished using the snap
other move restrictions, press the Ctrl key behavior, release the hotkey but continue
while dragging an edit handle. See “Moving holding down your left mouse button.
Objects” on page 177.
6. If you wish, you can press and hold a
different hotkey on your keyboard and
Hotkeys continue the drawing or editing opera-
You can also temporarily enable individual tion.
Snap Behaviors during a mouse editing 7. When you are finished, release the left
operation using hotkeys. This can be helpful mouse button.
if you wish to use one particular type of snap

Object Snaps
Object Snaps allow you to position endpoints meet or roof plane edges so that
objects precisly relative to each other; they are colinear.
for example, to position lines so that their
Object Snaps can be turned on or off by
selecting Edit> Snap Settings> Object

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Object Snaps

Snaps , by clicking the toggle button, or


in the Preferences dialog. See “Snap
Properties Panel” on page 95.
Object Snaps are indicated visually as you
create or edit objects. To remove any object
snap indicators that are visible on screen,
press the 1 (one) key. As you continue
drawing or editing, new indicators may Extension anchors and lines
appear.
Extension Snaps are indicated by extension
With the exception of On Object snaps, anchors, indicated by small blue circles.
have priority over all other types of snapping
Anchors display for Endpoint, Midpoint, and
in Chief Architect. Bumping/Pushing Quadrant snaps when these snap behaviors
overrides Object Snaps. See “Bumping/ are enabled.
Pushing” on page 178.
When an anchor is established, you can
Object Snap Locations create Tangent , Perpendicular and

There are many locations on an object that Orthogonal extension lines relative to it.
other objects can snap to. In addition to snap
points located on objects, Extension Snaps To use extension snaps
locate points away from objects. Each type
of object snap can be toggled by selecting 1. Toggle on Object Snaps and make
sure the extension snaps are enabled.
Edit> Snap Settings or in the
Preferences dialog. See “Snap Properties 2. Draw a Rectangular Polyline .
Panel” on page 95.
3. Select the Draw Line tool and move
Extension Snaps your pointer along the edges of the
polyline.
For some operations, it is helpful to snap to a
4. When your pointer passes over an end-
point far away from an original object, while
point or midpoint, an extension anchor is
maintaining a relationship to a point on that
created.
object. For example, you may want to snap to
a point exactly perpendicular to a line’s 5. Move your pointer perpendicular edge
endpoint. Extension Snaps are helpful in displaying the anchor to create a blue,
these situations. dashed extension line.
Only a limited number of anchors can exist at
one time; creating a new anchor removes the
oldest existing anchor. You can specify the
number of possible anchors in the

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Preferences dialog. See “Snap Properties


Panel” on page 95.
A B
Object Snaps Hotkeys
• Press the “1” key to clear out all current
extension anchors.
4.
• Hold down the “S” key to temporarily
disable Object Snaps. You are still able to
use Extension Snaps to existing anchors, 5.
so the “S” key can be used to avoid pick- 1.
ing up unwanted extension anchors. 3.
The S key can help establish extension
The “S”Key - Case Study snaps when other objects may interfere
In the following example, there are several To establish two extension anchors
lines. Suppose we want to start a line at the
intersection of two orthogonal extension 1. Drag the mouse over the endpoint for
lines drawn from two lines, A and B. To line A to establish the first endpoint
establish an extension anchor, we need to anchor.
drag the mouse over line A’s endpoint, but 2. Temporarily disable object snapping by
there are several lines between the endpoints holding down the “S” key.
of lines A and B. We need to establish the
two extension anchors without snapping to 3. Move the mouse to the end of line B.
the intervening objects. 4. Release the “S” key to establish the sec-
ond endpoint anchor.
5. Move the mouse to the intersection of
the two extension lines and draw the
new object.

Angle Snaps
It is often important that objects be Angle Snaps allow you to snap at either 15
drawn at exact angles. This can be degree angles or at 7.5 degree angles plus
accomplished using Angle Snaps. any additional Allowed Angles that you
specify. See “General Plan Defaults Dialog”
Angle Snaps allow you to draw lines, walls,
on page 68.
and other objects at specified Allowed
Angles. Angle Snaps also affect the way Angle Snaps can be turned on or off by
objects rotate, the radius of arcs, and a selecting Edit> Snap Settings> Angle
variety of other operations.

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Grid Snaps

Snaps , by clicking the toggle button, or Object Snap exists, the program uses that
in the Preferences dialog. instead of an Angle Snap.
Sometimes both Angle Snaps and Object
Angle Snap Settings Snaps apply. For example, suppose a wall is
drawn at 15 degrees using Angle Snaps and
You can change Allowed Angle settings for
another wall is approached. You can draw the
Angle Snaps in the Plan Defaults or Layout
new wall at 15 degrees while using
Defaults dialog. See “General Plan Defaults
Dialog” on page 68. Intersection Snaps to snap to a point on
the existing wall.
Specify 15 Degree or 7 ½ Degree angle
snaps. When 7 ½ Degree Angle Snaps are Use both object
selected, you can also specify Additional snapping and
Angles. These default settings are plan- angle snapping to
specific rather than global. create a 15-degree
line that intersects
Angle Snaps and an existing line
Object Snaps Now suppose that we don't want the new line
Angle Snaps have a higher priority than Grid to end on the existing line. Hold down the
“S” key to temporarily disable Object Snaps,
Snaps and On Object Snaps , but a lower
allowing only Angle Snaps. See “The
priority to all other Object Snaps. If a valid
“S”Key - Case Study” on page 135.

Grid Snaps
Grid Snaps allow you to snap objects zooming in and out, or for general layout
to points on an on-screen grid. The guidelines, but is not used for snapping.
display and size of this Snap Grid can be
controlled in the Plan or Layout Defaults Grid Snaps and Angle Snaps
dialog. See “General Plan Defaults Dialog”
on page 68. Of the three snap behaviors, Grid Snaps have
the lowest priority and are overridden by
Grid Snaps are turned on and off by selecting Angle Snaps and Object Snaps.
Edit> Snap Settings>Grid Snaps , by Grid snaps can work well with Angle Snaps.
clicking the toggle button, or in the Plan or For example, if the grid Snap Unit is set to
Layout Defaults dialog. 12" (1 foot), drawing a new wall at an
In addition to the Snap Grid, the Reference allowed angle snaps the line length to 0",
Grid is provided to give you a visual sense 12", 24", and so on.
of scale. The Reference Grid is useful for

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To draw a line or wall at an Allowed


Angle but with unrestricted length, dis-
able Grid Snaps and leave Angle Snaps on.

Edit Behaviors
There are six Edit Behavior modes access to the most commonly used edit
that determine how edit handles affect behaviors and should be selected as your
an object, and may also affect how objects preference in most situations.
are drawn. The currently active edit behavior
is a global preference setting, affecting all
When the use of a tool is described in
plan and layout files. this manual, it is assumed that the
Two of these modes, Default and Alternate, Default edit behavior mode is active.
are useful for most drawing and editing
needs and can be considered primary editing • Drawing - Standard click and drag
modes. Default mode, in particular, accesses drawing behavior is enabled. See
the most commonly used behaviors and is the “Creating Objects” on page 141.
best choice in most circumstances. • Resize/Reshape - Default allows you to
adjust the angle of any corner of a
The other four modes, Move, Resize,
polyline without affecting adjacent cor-
Concentric and Fillet, offer special editing
ners, changing the object’s shape.
behaviors that may be useful only in certain
situations and can be considered secondary.
You can specify which edit behavior mode is
active when the left mouse button is used in
the Preferences dialog, by selecting Edit>
Edit Behaviors , or by clicking the
corresponding toggle button, which can be
added to your toolbar. See “Behaviors Panel”
on page 93.
Each edit behavior can also be enabled using Default edit behavior
the different buttons on your mouse or by
pressing the keyboard keys associated with • For box-based objects, the Default mode
each. See “Using the Mouse” on page 29. functions the same as the Alternate mode.
• Movement - Default allows you to move
Default objects orthogonal, or at a right angle, to
any of their edges.
The Default mode is one of the
primary edit behavior modes. It offers • Rotation - In Default mode, objects snap
at Allowed Angles as they are rotated.

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Edit Behaviors

You can temporarily enable the Default • Movement - Alternate allows you to
edit mode when another mode is active by move objects at Allowed Angles when
pressing Alt + Z or Alt + / while performing Angle Snaps are enabled, or orthogo-
an edit or drawing operation. nal to any of its edges when they are not.
See “Angle Snaps” on page 135.
Alternate • Rotation - Alternate snaps objects at
The Alternate mode is the second Allowed Angles as they are rotated.
primary edit behavior mode. You can temporarily enable the Alternate
edit mode when another mode is active
Note: Not all commands have an Alternate by pressing Alt or using the right mouse
edit behavior. If a selected tool does not, it
button while performing an edit or drawing
will not work when this edit mode is active.
operation.

• Drawing - Continuous drawing behavior Move


is enabled.
The Move mode allows you to move
• Resize/Reshape - Alternate allows you an object using edit handles that
to keep the angle between adjacent edges would otherwise be used for resizing, as well
fixed when a corner edit handle is moved. as with the Move handle.
Instead, adjacent corners move and adja-
cent edges lengthen or shorten. • Drawing - Standard click and drag
drawing behavior is enabled.
• Resize/Reshape - Move allows you to
move the selected object when any edit
handle is used.
• Movement - Move mode allows you to
move objects at Allowed Angles.
• Rotation - In Move mode, objects snap
at Allowed Angles as they are rotated.

You can temporarily enable the Move


edit mode when another mode is active by
Alternate edit behavior pressing Z or / while performing an edit or
• Alternate allows you to drag an end han- drawing operation.
dle on an open polyline to change it from
a line to an arc or vice versa. Resize
The Resize edit behavior allows you
• Alternate overrides the Lock Center
to rescale an object. As you drag a
setting of arc-based objects.
corner edit handle of an object, you get an

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exactly scaled version of the original. For button mouse while performing an edit or
example, you can resize an object to 50% of drawing operation. See “Using the Mouse”
its original size while maintaining the same on page 29.
proportions.
• Drawing - Standard click and drag Concentric
drawing behavior is enabled. The Concentric mode allows you to
• Resize/Reshape - Resize allows you to resize objects so that the distance
keep the angle between adjacent edges moved by each edge is the same. For
fixed when a corner handle is moved. example, you can resize an irregularly
shaped polyline so that each edge is exactly
ten feet in from the original position, which
is useful for creating site plans with setbacks.
• Drawing - Standard click and drag
drawing behavior is enabled.
• Resize/Reshape - Concentric allows you
to resize an irregularly-shaped polyline
so that each edge is moved the same dis-
tance from its original location.

Resize edit behavior

To proportionally resize an object,


always drag a corner edit handle and
not an edge handle.

• Movement - Resize allows you to move


an object orthogonal, or at a right angle,
to any of its edges.
• Rotation - In Resize Mode, objects snap Concentric edit behavior
at Allowed Angles as they are rotated.
• Concentric mode also allows you to
You can temporarily enable the Resize move opposite edges of an object so that
edit mode when another mode is active by each edge is moved the same distance
pressing X or using the X2 button on a five- from its original location.

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Edit Behaviors

Unit specified in the Plan Defaults dialog.


See “Grid Snaps” on page 136.

To concentrically resize an object with


no restrictions, set the Concentric Jump
value on the CAD Panel of the Preferences
dialog to zero and turn off Grid Snaps.

You can temporarily enable the


Concentric edit mode when another
mode is active by pressing C or using the X1
• Movement - Concentric mode allows button on a five-button mouse while
you to move an object orthogonal, or at a performing an edit or drawing operation. See
right angle, to any of its edges. “Using the Mouse” on page 29.
• Rotation - In Concentric mode, objects
snap at Allowed Angles as they are Fillet
rotated. The Fillet mode allows you to add a
In some cases, the Concentric and Resize fillet, or curve, at any corner of an
edit behaviors have the same result, such as object. Dragging a corner edit handle adjusts
when a circle is resized. Usually, though, the the fillet radius at that corner.
two behaviors are different because • Drawing - Standard click and drag
concentric resizing does not maintain the drawing behavior is enabled.
original ratio between an irregular polyline’s
• Resize/Reshape - Fillet allows you to
edges.
create a fillet at by dragging a corner edit
handle inward.

Resize edit Concentric


behavior edit behavior
In Concentric mode, objects resize in
Concentric Jump increments specified in
the Preferences dialog. See “Behaviors
Panel” on page 93. Fillet edit behavior
When the Concentric Jump distance is set • Movement - Move mode allows you to
at 0", objects resize according to the Snap move objects at Allowed Angles.

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• Rotation - In Move mode, objects snap You can temporarily enable the Fillet
at Allowed Angles as they are rotated. edit mode when another mode is active by
pressing F while performing an edit or
The Fillet edit behavior adjusts all the
drawing operation.
corners of a box at once. The radius of each
corner is the same.
To produce fillets or chamfers of an
Fillet does not have an effect on circles, exact radius, set the Fillet Chamfer
ovals, ellipses or arc segments. Radius and use the Fillet two Lines or Cham-
fer Two Lines edit button. See “Fillet Two
Lines” on page 186 and “Chamfer Two Lines”
on page 187.

Undo and Redo


The Undo and Redo commands To Undo an action, select Edit> Undo ,
allow you to both undo the last
action performed, as well as redo actions that click the Undo button, or press Ctrl + Z
were recently Undone. on your keyboard.

The ten most recent actions can be Undone The Redo command is only available
or Redone, depending on your settings in the immediately after Undo has been used. To
Preferences dialog. See “General Panel” on Redo an Undone action, select Edit> Redo
page 79. Actions that can be Undone and , click the Redo button or press Ctrl +
Redone include creating, editing, and Y on your keyboard.
deleting objects.
Undo and Redo do not affect
changes made to the display by panning the
display or zooming in or out. See “Undo
Zoom” on page 731.

Creating Objects
In Chief Architect, there are five ways to While the size of the drawing area in Chief
create objects: by clicking to place an object, Architect is limited only by the resources on
by clicking and dragging to draw an object, your computer, it is best to begin your draw-
by entering coordinates, by placing a ing near the origin, 0,0,0. The current
distribution path or region, or by importing position of your mouse pointer displays in
custom symbols, drawings, pictures or the Status Bar at the bottom of the program
metafiles. window. See “3D Drafting” on page 28.

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Creating Objects

Click-to-Create Continue drawing the selected object until


another tool is selected.
Many objects, including doors and windows,
cabinets, library symbols, terrain objects, You can cancel any click-and-drag drawing
text, pictures and images are created by operation before it is completed by pressing
clicking. Select a tool or library object, then the Esc key on your keyboard, or by pressing
click in the drawing area to place the object any two mouse buttons at the same time.
at that location.
When the Alternate edit behavior is
Continue clicking to place the selected object active, a continuous drawing behavior is
until another tool is selected. enabled, allowing you to click at the start and
When most drawing tools are active or end points of line- and arc-based objects
library symbols selected for placement, a without dragging. See “Alternate” on page
preview outline follows your mouse pointer, 138.
indicating the size and shape of the object to
be created. The center point of the object’s To continuously draw by right-clicking
back edge will snap to active snap points 1. Select a tool that creates line- or arc-
when Grid Snaps or Object Snaps based objects.
are enabled1. 2. Right-click, drag and release the mouse
Many architectural objects can be created in button to draw the first object.
floor plan view or any 3D view. In order to 3. Move the pointer to a different location
place a stand-alone, click-to-create object in and notice the drawing indicator that
3D, it is necessary to click near a wall or begins at the object’s endpoint and fol-
within the Terrain Perimeter as these objects lows your pointer as it moves.
help orient the new object within the 3D 4. Click to create a second object begin-
space2. ning at the first object’s starting point
and ending where you clicked.
Clicking and Dragging 5. Continue clicking to create additional
Other objects, including walls and railings, objects until another tool is selected, the
straight stairs, and CAD and CAD-based Esc key is pressed, or two mouse buttons
objects are created by clicking and dragging are pressed at the same time.
to define either a path or an enclosed area.
Select a tool, then click and drag in the Entering Coordinates
drawing area to draw an object between your Objects created by clicking and dragging can
start and end points. also be drawn by entering coordinates. See
“3D Drafting” on page 28.
Coordinates can be either absolute or
relative. Absolute coordinates refer to a fixed
1.See “Snap Behaviors” on page 133.
point of origin at 0,0,0, while relative
2.See Terrain PerimeterTODO.

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coordinates treat the current location of the from the start point rather than as X
selected object as the point of origin. and Y coordinates.
• The program remembers which option
To use the Enter Coordinates dialog you last used in this dialog.
1. Select any tool that requires you to click 6. Click OK to close the dialog and create
and drag to create an object. the object.
2. Click and begin dragging to draw the CAD lines, arcs and points can also be
object. created using the Input Line, Input Arc and
3. Before you finish dragging and with the Input Point dialogs. See “Input Point” on
mouse button pressed, press either the page 880, “Input Line” on page 884, or
Tab or Enter key on your keyboard. “Input Arc” on page 894.

4. In the Enter Coordinates dialog:


You can also move objects using the
Enter Coordinates dialog. Click and
drag the Move edit handle of an existing
object, then press the Tab key and proceed
with steps 3 and 4. See “Moving Objects” on
page 177.

Distributing Objects
You can place multiple copies of any object
• The Start Location, where you clicked in an evenly-spaced array either within a
and began dragging, displays on the region or along a path using the Distributed
right. Objects tools. See “Distributed Objects”
5. On the left, specify the desired New on page 666.
Location, or end point.
• Select Absolute to define the end point Importing Objects
using absolute coordinates on the snap
Custom symbols, drawings, pictures and
grid, or:
metafiles can be imported into the program
• Select Relative to Start to define the and placed in the drawing area with a click.
end point relative to the start point, as See “Importing & Exporting” on page 952
though the start point was at (0,0). and “Custom Symbols” on page 974.
• Check Polar to define the end point of
the new line by its Distance and Angle

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Selecting Objects

Selecting Objects
“Select” refers to selecting an object for Architect can be selected using the Select
editing. An object must be selected before it Objects tool. Select Edit> Select Objects,
can be edited. click the toolbar button or press the Space
bar on your keyboard to activate this tool.
In order for an object to be selected, it must
be both unlocked and visible in the current You can also select objects or open context
view. See “Layers” on page 116. sensitive menus using the right mouse button
when any tool is active. See “Contextual
When an object is selected, it displays edit
Menus” on page 33.
handles and a selection fill color. See “Colors
Panel” on page 74.
Selecting Similar Objects
In 3D views, a selected object will also
display lines representing the selected edge If a tool other than Select Objects is
or surface. The size of the edit handles does active, you can only select objects of that
not change as you zoom in or out and is set in type using the left mouse button. For
the Preferences dialog. See “Edit Panel” on
example, if the Straight Exterior Wall
page 92. To prevent them from stacking on
tool is active, you can only select walls using
one another, some edit handles may not
the left mouse button.
display as you zoom away from the selected
object. This can be useful for selecting an object
when many objects of a different type
When an object is selected, its edit toolbar
occupy the same space in floor plan view.
also displays, typically at the bottom of the
Chief Architect program window just above Objects can be selected using the right mouse
the Status Bar. See “The Edit Toolbar” on button, regardless of which tool is active.
page 32.
Information about the selected object or Right-Clicking
objects may also display in the Status Bar. Regardless of which tool is active, you can
See “The Status Bar” on page 34. select an eligible object by right-clicking on
A selected object remains selected until it once. When you right-click to select an
another object is selected, a different tool is object a contextual menu also appears,
activated, the Esc key on the keyboard is displaying the object’s edit tools. You can
pressed, or any two mouse buttons are turn contextual menus on or off in the
pressed at the same time. Preferences dialog. See “Contextual
Menus” on page 33.
Select Objects If a drawing tool is active and you right-click
to select an object, you can unselect it by
With the exception of temporary CAD
left-clicking in an empty space in the
points, any object created using Chief
drawing area. Although a drawing tool is

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active, it is not used. If you then left-click a independent of the object’s other edges when
second time, the active tool will be used. Edit Object Parts is enabled.
Select Edit> Edit Behaviors> Edit Object
Selected Edge
Parts to enable or disable the ability to
When you click on a polyline- or box-based edit polyline segments individually. Edit
object, the edge that you click nearest
becomes the selected edge and displays an Object Parts can also be turned on or off
edit handle larger than those on other edges. in the Preferences dialog. See “CAD Panel”
The handle on this edge may also display at on page 89.
the point where you clicked to select it.
Edit Object Parts also affects
connections between walls, railing and
fences, but does not affect CAD-based object
such as slabs and roof planes.

To use Edit Object Parts

1. Turn on Edit Object Parts .


2. Click on an individual edge of a
polyline, or a segment of wall, railing or
terrain path to select it.
This edge can be edited on the Selected Line
or Selected Arc tab of the object’s A selected Terrain Wall
specification dialog, as well as using a
variety of edit toolbar buttons. It can also be
moved using dimensions. See “Moving
Objects Using Dimensions” on page 831.
The start and end points of a CAD-based
object’s selected edge may be indicated by an
S and an E when the object is selected. This Edit Object Parts off Edit Object Parts on
can be helpful when editing the edge in the
object’s specification dialog. See “Edit 3. Notice that it is no longer connected to
Panel” on page 92. the rest of the polyline or adjacent walls.
4. The individual segment can now be
Edit Object Parts edited entirely independent of its neigh-
bors.
Polyline-based objects are composed
of lines and arcs that are connected 5. To connect the segment to the polyline
end to end. The individual edges of open and again, turn off Edit Object Parts
closed polylines can be selected and edited

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Selecting Objects

and move the end handles so that they The marquee-select method can also be used
snap to the ends of adjacent segments. to group-select similar object types. For
example, click the Hinged Door child
Select Next Object button, hold down either the Shift or Ctrl key,
If there is more than one object in a drag a marquee, release the mouse button,
particular space, it may be difficult to and only door objects within the marquee are
select the desired object. When a nearby selected.
object is selected, click the Select Next
Object edit button or press the Tab key until To make marquee selection easier, you
the desired object becomes selected. This can turn off the display of objects you
function cannot be applied to groups of do not want to include in your selection set.
selected objects. See “Displaying Objects” on page 117.

Marquee Select Shift Select


Groups of objects can be selected by holding You can select a group of objects by adding
down either the Shift or Ctrl key when the them to the selection set one by one. Select
an object, hold down either the Shift or Ctrl
Select Objects tool is active and then key, and click additional objects to select
dragging a marquee around the objects to be them.
selected.
More than one type of object can be selected
You can specify whether objects must be using this method, but the ability to edit the
totally contained in or intersected by the group-selected items is limited to attributes
marquee, or whether an object’s center point that all selected objects have in common.
must be contained in the marquee, in the
Preferences dialog or using the Selection To remove an object from a selection set,
click it once more - again, with either the
Mode buttons, which can be added to
Shift or Ctrl key pressed.
your toolbars. See “Edit Panel” on page 92.
If an object is currently selected and a Select All
selection marquee is drawn around it, that
object becomes de-selected. If an object is Select Edit> Select All to select all objects
currently selected and a marquee is drawn drawn on the current floor, in the current
around other objects, the original object cross section/elevation view or CAD Detail
remains selected and the other objects are window, or on the current layout page.
added to the selection set.
Edit Area Tools
When using the marquee-select method, both
CAD and architectural objects included in The Edit Area Tools allow you to
the marquee are selected. To remove an define an area of your plan and select
object from the selection set, hold down the the objects within that area for editing. See
Shift key and click it. “Edit Area Tools” on page 209.

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Using a Fence To Fence Select a group of objects

The Fence Select edit tool allows you 1. Draw a CAD line, arc, open polyline,
to group-select multiple CAD and closed polyline or spline that crosses or
CAD-based objects in contact with the touches all the objects you wish to
selected CAD line, arc, polyline or spline. group-select.
Using a Fence to make a group-selection can 2. Click the Fence Select edit button.
be helpful in a number of situations, for
3. The originally selected object serves as a
example:
fence to select the objects it touches,
• When many CAD objects must be while becoming deselected itself.
selected, particularly when they occupy
4. You can hold either the Shift or Ctrl key
the same area.
and click objects to add or remove them
• When a selection marquee would be the from the selection set.
wrong shape or include too many objects.
• When a selection group needs to be You can keep all fences on their own
selected more than once. custom layer and turn off their display
when not needed. See “Layers” on page 116.
The Fence Select edit tool cannot be
used to select architectural objects - only Select Same Type
CAD and CAD-based objects. See
“Architectural vs CAD Objects” on page Rooms, cabinets, windows and doors
131. on the current floor can be selected
based on a set of attributes that you specify
Fences are often used with the Trim Objects using the Select Same Type edit tool. See
and Extend Objects edit tools. See “Select Same / Load Same” on page 208.
“Trim and Extend” on page 198.

Editing Line Based Objects


Objects are considered line-based when they “Editing Closed-Polyline Based Objects” on
can be edited similar to CAD lines using page 160.
their edit handles.
Some objects, notably walls, have line-based
CAD lines, framing members, straight walls editing behavior only when selected on
and railings, straight stairs and straight roads certain surfaces. See “Editing Walls” on page
are examples of line-based objects. 231.
Most line-based objects can be connected to Wall openings such as doors and windows
other like objects to form polylines or have line-based editing behavior in floor plan
polyline-based objects. See “Editing Open view only but cannot be rotated, reversed or
Polyline Based Objects” on page 155 and converted to an arc. See “Editing Doors” on

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page 296 and “Editing Windows” on page Move


326. • Click and drag the Move handle to move
the object according to the currently
active Edit Behavior . See “Edit
Behaviors” on page 137.
• Movement may be limited or stopped by
other objects or Snap Behaviors. Move
restrictions can be overridden by holding
down the Ctrl key while dragging. See
“Unrestricted Movement” on page 178.
Rotate
• The Rotate handle is used to rotate the
object, either about its center or about the
current CAD point. See “Rotating
Objects” on page 188.
Other objects, such as stairs and roads, have Extend/Change Angle
additional edit handles that allow you to • Drag an end handle parallel to the
concentrically adjust the object’s width. selected line to change its length.

Using the Edit Handles • Drag an end handle at an angle to the


selected line to change its angle. When
When selected, a typical line-based object
Angle Snaps are on, the line snaps to
displays four edit handles.
Allowed Angles.
Any action performed using the edit handles • Right-click and drag it to change the
can be cancelled by pressing the Esc key or adjacent line into an arc, or vice versa.
any two mouse buttons at the same time. See “Alternate” on page 138.
Adjust Width
The behavior of the edit handles may
depend on the currently active Edit Some line-based objects, such as stairs and
Behavior. See “Edit Behaviors” on page 137. roads, have additional handles that allow the
width of the object to be adjusted.

Extend/Change Angle

Move Rotate

Adjust Width

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• Click and drag a small, round Expand • Click the Open Object edit button to
handle to increase or decrease the open the specification dialog for the
object’s width. By default, objects are selected object(s). See “Specification
resized in 1" increments. This Snap Unit Dialogs” on page 33.
is defined in the Plan Defaults dialog.
See “General Plan Defaults Dialog” on • Click the Copy/Paste edit button to
page 68. copy the selected object(s) to the Win-
dows Clipboard so they can be pasted
Using Dimensions elsewhere. See “Copying and Pasting
Objects” on page 191.
Dimensions can be used to position
line-based objects relative to other • Click the Copy and Paste in Place
objects. See “Moving Objects Using edit button to create a copy of the
Dimensions” on page 831. selected object(s) at the same location as
the original. See “Copy and Paste in
Using Extension Line Snaps Place” on page 193.
Extension line snaps can be useful when • Click the Delete edit button to delete
editing line-based objects. See “Extension the selected object(s). See “Deleting
Snaps” on page 134. Objects” on page 196.
• Click the Transform/Replicate
Using the
Specification Dialog Object edit button to copy, move,
rotate, resize, or reflect the selected
Line-based objects can be edited using their object(s). See “Transform/Replicate
specification dialogs. See “Line Object Dialog” on page 200.
Specification Dialog” on page 888.
• Click the Multiple Copy edit button
Using the Edit Toolbar to make a series of copies at set intervals.
See “Multiple Copy” on page 194.
A selected line-based object can be edited in
a variety of ways using the buttons on the • Click the Accurate Move edit button
edit toolbar. to slow down the mouse speed when
using the edit handles. See “Accurate
The following toolbar buttons may display
Move” on page 179.
on the edit toolbar for a selected line-based
object: • Click the Make Parallel/Perpendicular
edit button to make the selected
• Click the Select Next Object edit
object(s) parallel or perpendicular to a
button to select nearby objects instead of
straight edge. See “Using Make Parallel/
the selected object. See “Selecting
Perpendicular” on page 181.
Objects” on page 144.

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Editing Arc Based Objects

• Click the Point to Point Move edit polyline-based object. See “Convert
button to accurately move the selected Polyline” on page 205.
object(s). See “Point to Point Move” on • Click the Change Line/Arc edit but-
page 179. ton to change a line-based object to an
• Click the Center Object edit button arc, or vice versa. See “Change Line/
to center an object along along a wall Arc” on page 186.
within a room or relative to a cabinet • Click the Fence Select edit button to
fixture. See “Center Object” on page 182. use the selected object(s) as a selection
• Click the Reflect About Object edit fence. See “Using a Fence” on page 147.
button to reflect the selected object(s) • Click the Fillet Two Lines edit but-
about another object. See “Reflecting ton, then click on a non-parallel line or
Objects” on page 190. arc to create an additional arc connecting
• Click the Move to Front of Group the two. See “Fillet Two Lines” on page
edit button to display the selected object 186.
in front of other objects in the same • Click the Chamfer Two Lines edit
drawing group. See “Move to Front of button, then click an edge adjacent to the
Group” on page 176. selected edge to chamfer the corner
• Click the Break Line edit button to between them. See “Chamfer Two Lines”
add a new corner or pivot point to the on page 187.
selected object. See “Break Line” on • Click the Extend Object(s) edit but-
page 185. ton to lengthen other object(s) until they
• Click the Reverse Direction edit but- intersect the selected object. See “Trim
ton to reverse the direction of the selected and Extend” on page 198. Not available
object(s). See “Reverse Direction” on for Sun Angles or North Pointers.
page 191. • Click the Trim Object(s) edit button
• Click the Convert Polyline edit but- to shorten the length of object(s) inter-
ton to convert the object into a special sected by the selected object. See “Trim
and Extend” on page 198. Not available
for Sun Angles or North Pointers.

Editing Arc Based Objects


Objects are considered arc-based when they CAD arcs, curved walls and railings, curved
can be edited similar to CAD arcs using their stairs, and curved roads are examples of arc-
edit handles. based objects.

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Most arc-based objects can be connected to


other like objects to form polylines or The behavior of the edit handles may
polyline-based objects. depend on the currently active Edit
Behavior. See “Edit Behaviors” on page 137.

Resize Reshape
(changes radius) (moves center)

Move
Chord
Rotate

Extend Move Arc


Some objects, notably curved walls, have (along arc or chord) Center
arc-based editing behavior only when Move
selected on certain surfaces. See “Editing
• Two Move edit handles allow the arc to
Walls” on page 231.
be relocated without changing its shape.
Other objects, such as curved stairs and One is located at the center of the chord
roads, have additional edit handles that allow and the other, at the arc center.
you to concentrically adjust the object’s • If you would like to snap one of these
width. center points to another point, use that
handle when moving the arc. See “Align-
The currently active Arc Creation Mode
ing Arc Centers” on page 183.
determines how an arc-based object is
drawn. Once an arc is drawn, the active Arc • Click and drag the Move handle to move
Creation Mode does not affect it. See the object according the currently active
“Drawing Arcs - Arc Creation Modes” on Edit Behavior . See “Edit Behaviors”
page 892. on page 137.
• Movement may be limited or stopped by
Using the Edit Handles other objects or Snap Behaviors. Move
When selected, a typical arc-based object restrictions can be overridden by holding
displays seven edit handles. down the Ctrl key while dragging. See
“Unrestricted Movement” on page 178.
Any action performed using the edit handles
can be cancelled by pressing the Esc key or
any two mouse buttons at the same time.

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Editing Arc Based Objects

Resize
• Drag the small, round Resize edit handle
to change the radius and included angle
of the arc while maintaining its center.

Move edit handle

Rotate
• The Rotate handle is used to rotate the Resize edit handle
arc, either about its center or about the
Reshape
current CAD point. See “Rotating
Objects” on page 188. • Drag the small triangular Reshape
handle to change the length and location
Extend
of the center without moving the
• The end edit handles expand or contract endpoints.
the arc when moved along the arc radius
or chord.
• If you follow the path of the arc, the end
edit handles allow you to adjust the arc
length.
• The angle formed by the center point of
the arc and its two endpoints is referred to Reshape edit handle
as the Included Angle. If Angle Snaps
• If the object has a locked center, the
are on, the Included Angle of the arc, Reshape edit handle does not display.
as measured in degrees, can be rotated at See “Using Lock Center” on page 155.
Allowed Angles. See “Angle Snaps” on
Adjust Width
page 135.
• Right-click and drag it to change the Some arc-based objects, such as stairs, have
adjacent arc into a line, or vice versa. See additional handles that allow the width of the
“Alternate” on page 138. object to be adjusted.

Extend edit handles

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Using the Edit Toolbar


A selected arc-based object can be edited in a
variety of ways using the buttons on the edit
toolbar.
The following toolbar buttons may display
on the edit toolbar for a selected arc-based
object:
Adjust Width
• Click the Select Next Object edit
• Click and drag a small, round edit handle button to select nearby objects instead of
to increase or decrease the object’s width. the selected object. See “Selecting
By default, objects are resized according Objects” on page 144.
to the Snap Unit defined in the Plan
• Click the Open Object edit button to
Defaults dialog. See “General Plan
open the specification dialog for the
Defaults Dialog” on page 68.
selected object(s). See “Specification
Dialogs” on page 33.
Using Dimensions
• Click the Copy/Paste edit button to
Dimensions can be used to position
copy the selected object(s) to the Win-
arc-based objects. Dimension lines
dows Clipboard so they can be pasted
typically locate tangent extension lines and
elsewhere. See “Copying and Pasting
any extension lines that may be parallel to
Objects” on page 191.
those lines rather than the arc itself. See
“Moving Objects Using Dimensions” on • Click the Copy and Paste in Place
page 831 and “Extension Snaps” on page edit button to create a copy of the
134. selected object(s) at the same location as
the original. See “Copy and Paste in
Using Extension Line Snaps Place” on page 193.
Extension line snaps can be useful when • Click the Delete edit button to delete
editing arc-based objects. See “Extension the selected object(s). See “Deleting
Snaps” on page 134. Objects” on page 196.
• Click the Transform/Replicate
Using the
Specification Dialog Object edit button to copy, move,
rotate, resize, or reflect the selected
Arc-based objects can be edited using their object(s). See “Transform/Replicate
specification dialogs. See “Arc Specification Object Dialog” on page 200.
Dialog” on page 895.

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Editing Arc Based Objects

• Click the Multiple Copy edit button polyline-based object. See “Convert
to make a series of copies at set intervals. Polyline” on page 205.
See “Multiple Copy” on page 194. • Click the Change Line/Arc edit but-
• Click the Accurate Move edit button ton to change an arc-based object to a
to slow down the mouse speed when line, or vice versa. See “Change Line/
using the edit handles. See “Accurate Arc” on page 186.
Move” on page 179. • Click the Convert Curve to Polyline
• Click the Point to Point Move edit edit button to convert the selected arc into
button to accurately move the selected a polyline. See “Convert Curve to Poly-
object(s). See “Point to Point Move” on line” on page 187.
page 179. • Click the Lock Center edit button to
• Click the Center Object edit button lock the selected arc-based object’s cen-
to center an object along along a wall ter. See “Using Lock Center” on page
within a room or relative to a cabinet 155.
fixture. See “Center Object” on page 182. • Click the Make Arc Tangent edit
• Click the Reflect About Object edit button to adjust the arc and attached
button to reflect the selected object(s) line(s) so they transition smoothly. See
about another object. See “Reflecting “Using Make Arc Tangent” on page 182.
Objects” on page 190. Only available when a selected arc is
attached on one or both ends to another
• Click the Move to Front of Group line or arc.
edit button to display the selected object
in front of other objects in the same • Click the Fence Select edit button to
drawing group. See “Move to Front of use the selected object(s) as a selection
Group” on page 176. fence. See “Using a Fence” on page 147.

• Click the Break Line edit button to • Click the Fillet Two Lines edit but-
add a new corner or pivot point to the ton, then click on a non-parallel line or
selected object. See “Break Line” on arc to create an additional arc connecting
page 185. the two. See “Fillet Two Lines” on page
186.
• Click the Reverse Direction edit but-
ton to reverse the direction of the selected • Click the Chamfer Two Lines edit
object(s). See “Reverse Direction” on button, then click an edge adjacent to the
page 191. selected edge to chamfer the corner
between them. See “Chamfer Two Lines”
• Click the Convert Polyline edit but- on page 187.
ton to convert the object into a special
• Click the Extend Object(s) edit but-
ton to lengthen other object(s) until they

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intersect the selected object. See “Trim one of its Move edit handles or when the
and Extend” on page 198. Alternate edit behavior is enabled.
• Click the Trim Object(s) edit button An arc-based object with a locked center
to shorten the length of object(s) inter- lengthens and shortens along its curve when
sected by the selected object. See “Trim it is resized. When this is not possible, its
and Extend” on page 198. radius changes. In either case, its center
remains locked in the same place.
Show Arc Centers
Locked-center arcs do not display a Reshape
When working with arc-based objects edit handle when selected. See “Using the
or circles, it can be helpful to see their Edit Handles” on page 151.
center points. Click the Show Arc Centers
When it is part of a polyline, a locked-center
and Ends toggle button on the utility toolbar
arc resizes along its arc rather than its chord
to turn on their display. You can also turn on
when an adjacent line or arc is moved. Thus,
their display in the CAD Defaults dialog. See
the radius remains constant for an unlocked
“CAD Defaults Dialog” on page 875.
center arc, while the center does not change
Arc-based objects can be aligned using their for a locked-center arc.
center points. See “Aligning Arc Centers” on
page 183.

Using Lock Center


Click the Lock Center edit button to
lock or unlock the selected arc-based
object’s center. When an arc’s center is
locked, it cannot be moved except by using Unlocked center Locked center

Editing Open Polyline Based Objects


Open polyline-based objects are composed Objects are considered open polyline-based
of individual line- and arc-based objects that when they can be edited similar to open CAD
are connected at their end points but do not polylines using their edit handles.
form an enclosed area.
Open CAD polylines, connected walls,
stairs, and roads are examples of open
polyline-based objects.

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Editing Open Polyline Based Objects

center, a Reshape handle. See “Editing Arc


Based Objects” on page 150.
When a polyline is selected, the edge that
you click nearest is called the selected edge,
and certain operations affect only this edge.
The Move handle of the selected edge is
larger than that of other edges. It displays
along the length of a line segment, or at the
center of the chord on an arc segment. See
“Selected Edge” on page 145.
Any action performed using the edit handles
can be cancelled by pressing the Esc key or
any two mouse buttons at the same time.

The behavior of the edit handles


Other objects, such as connected stair and depends on the currently active Edit
road segments, have additional edit handles Behavior. See “Edit Behaviors” on page 137.
that allow you to concentrically adjust the
width of all segments of the object.
Move Move arc
segment Resize
polyline
If Edit Object Parts is enabled, clicking arc
on a CAD polyline edge selecst the indi- Move line
vidual edge rather than the entire polyline. segment
Reshape
See “Edit Object Parts” on page 145.
arc

Using the Edit Handles Extend


Reshape Rotate
A polyline can be composed of many
polyline
segments. See “Polylines” on page 900.
Move
When selected, an open polyline-based
object displays a Move handle, a Rotate • Click and drag the Move handle to move
handle, a Reshape handle at the intersection the object according the currently active
of each segment, and an Extend handle at Edit Behavior .
each end.
• Movement may be limited or stopped by
Each straight, line-based segment also has a other objects or Snap Behaviors. Move
Move edit handle along its length. restrictions can be overridden by holding
down the Ctrl key while dragging. See
Each curved, arc-based segment has its own
“Unrestricted Movement” on page 178.
Move handle at the center of its chord, a
Resize handle and, if it has an unlocked

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Rotate active Edit Behavior and whether


• The Rotate handle is used to rotate the the arc has a locked center. Adjacent seg-
object, either about its center or about the ments may extend, contract, or change
current CAD point. Its position varies angle to maintain their connections.
depending on which edge is currently
Resize Arc
selected. See “Rotating Objects” on page
188. • Click and drag the Resize Arc edit handle
to change the radius, chord length and
Extend chord position of the arc segment,
• Click and drag an Extend handle to depending on the currently active Edit
lengthen or shorten the unconnected end
Behavior and whether the arc has a
of the selected line or arc segment, or to
locked center. Adjacent segments may
change the radius of the selected arc. See
extend, contract, or change angle to
“Editing Arc Based Objects” on page
maintain their connections.
150.
Reshape Arc
• Right-click and drag it to change the
adjacent line into an arc, or vice versa. • Click and drag the Reshape Arc edit han-
See “Alternate” on page 138. dle to change the radius of the arc without
moving its end points. Only available if
Reshape
the arc has an unlocked center.
• Click and drag a Reshape edit handle to
Adjust Width
change the angle and/or length of the seg-
ments on either side of it, or the size of Some arc-based objects, such as stairs and
the object, depending on the currently roads, have additional handles that allow the
active Edit Behavior . width of the object to be adjusted.

Move Line Segment Adjust


Width
• The Move Line Segment edit handle is
found on straight segments of open
polylines and moves the straight section
according to the currently active Edit
Behavior . Adjacent segments may
extend or contract in their original direc- • Click and drag a small, round edit handle
tions to maintain their connections. to increase or decrease the object’s width.
Move Arc By default, objects are resized in 1"
increments. This Snap Unit is defined in
• Click and drag the Move Arc edit handle
the Plan Defaults dialog. See “General
to change the radius and/or chord length
Plan Defaults Dialog” on page 68.
or position, depending on the currently

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Editing Open Polyline Based Objects

Using Dimensions elsewhere. See “Copying and Pasting


Objects” on page 191.
Dimensions can be used to move or
reshape polyline-based objects. See • Click the Copy and Paste in Place
“Moving Objects Using Dimensions” on edit button to create a copy of the
page 831. selected object(s) at the same location as
the original. See “Copy and Paste in
Using Extension Line Snaps Place” on page 193.
Extension line snaps, especially tangent • Click the Delete edit button to delete
snaps, can be useful when editing polyline the selected object(s). See “Deleting
vertices. See “Extension Snaps” on page 134. Objects” on page 196.
• Click the Transform/Replicate
Using the Specification
Dialog Object edit button to copy, move,
rotate, resize, or reflect the selected
Open polyline-based objects can be edited object(s). See “Transform/Replicate
using their specification dialogs. See Object Dialog” on page 200.
“Polyline Specification Dialog” on page 901.
• Click the Multiple Copy edit button
Using the Edit Toolbar to make a series of copies at set intervals.
See “Multiple Copy” on page 194.
A selected open polyline-based object can be
edited in a variety of ways using the buttons • Click the Accurate Move edit button
on the edit toolbar. to slow down the mouse speed when
using the edit handles. See “Accurate
The following toolbar buttons may display Move” on page 179.
on the edit toolbar for a selected open
polyline-based object: • Click the Make Parallel/Perpendicular
edit button to make the selected
• Click the Select Next Object edit straight edge parallel or perpendicular to
button to select nearby objects instead of another straight edge. See “Using Make
the selected object. See “Selecting Parallel/Perpendicular” on page 181. Not
Objects” on page 144. available when the selected edge is an
• Click the Open Object edit button to arc.
open the specification dialog for the • Click the Point to Point Move edit
selected object(s). See “Specification button to accurately move the selected
Dialogs” on page 33. object(s). See “Point to Point Move” on
• Click the Copy/Paste edit button to page 179.
copy the selected object(s) to the Win- • Click the Add to Library edit button
dows Clipboard so they can be pasted to add the selected object(s) to the library.
See “Adding a New Object” on page 700.

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• Click the Center Object edit button • Click the Convert Curve to Polyline
to center an object along along a wall edit button to convert the selected arc into
within a room or relative to a cabinet a polyline. See “Convert Curve to Poly-
fixture. See “Center Object” on page 182. line” on page 187. Only available when
the selected edge is an arc.
• Click the Reflect About Object edit
button to reflect the selected object(s) • Click the Lock Center edit button to
about another object. See “Reflecting lock the center of the selected curved
Objects” on page 190. edge. See “Using Lock Center” on page
155. Only available when the selected
• Click the Move to Front of Group edge is an arc.
edit button to display the selected object
in front of other objects in the same • Click the Make Arc Tangent edit
drawing group. See “Move to Front of button to adjust the selected curved edge
Group” on page 176. and attached edge(s) so they form a
smooth shape. See “Using Make Arc
• Click the Break Line edit button to Tangent” on page 182. Only available
add a new corner or pivot point to the when the selected edge is an arc attached
selected object. See “Break Line” on on one or both ends to another line or arc.
page 185.
• Click the Fence Select edit button to
• Click the Reverse Direction edit but- use the selected object(s) as a selection
ton to reverse the direction of the selected fence. See “Using a Fence” on page 147.
object(s). See “Reverse Direction” on
page 191. • Click the Fillet Two Lines edit but-
ton, then click on an adjacent edge to cre-
• Click the Convert Polyline edit but- ate an arc connecting the two. See “Fillet
ton to convert the object into a special Two Lines” on page 186. Cannot be used
polyline-based object. See “Convert if the adjacent edge is an arc.
Polyline” on page 205.
• Click the Chamfer Two Lines edit
• Click the Change Line/Arc edit but- button, then click on an edge adjacent to
ton to change a line-based polyline edge the selected edge to chamfer the corner
to an arc, or vice versa. See “Change between them. See “Chamfer Two Lines”
Line/Arc” on page 186. on page 187.
• Click the Record Walkthrough Along
• Click the Extend Object(s) edit but-
Path edit button to record a walk- ton to lengthen other object(s) until they
through movie of your model along the intersect the selected object. See “Trim
path defined by the selected polyline. See and Extend” on page 198.
“Walkthroughs” on page 948.
• Click the Trim Object(s) edit button
to shorten the length of object(s) inter-

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Editing Closed-Polyline Based Objects

sected by the selected object. See “Trim


and Extend” on page 198.

Editing Closed-Polyline Based Objects


Closed polyline-based objects are composed Other objects, such as connected road
of individual line- and arc-based objects segments, have additional edit handles that
joined end-to-end and forming an enclosed allow you to concentrically adjust the width
area. of all segments of the object.
Objects are considered closed polyline-based
when they can be edited similar to closed If Edit Object Parts is enabled, clicking
CAD polylines using their edit handles. on a polyline edge selects the individual
edge rather than the entire polyline. See “Edit
Closed CAD polylines, slabs and roof planes Object Parts” on page 145.
are examples of closed polyline-based
objects. Using the Edit Handles
Some objects, notably walls, have closed A polyline can be composed of many
polyline-based editing behavior only when segments. See “Polylines” on page 900.
they are selected on certain surfaces in 3D
views. See “Editing Walls” on page 231. When selected, a closed polyline-based
object displays a Move handle, a Rotate
handle, and a Reshape handle at the
intersection of each segment.
Each straight, line-based segment has a
Move edit handle along its length.
Each curved, arc-based segment has its own
Move handle at the center of its chord, a
Resize handle and, if it has an unlocked
center, a Reshape handle. See “Editing Arc
Based Objects” on page 150.
When a polyline is selected, the edge that
you click nearest is called the selected edge,
and certain operations affect only this edge.
The Move handle of the selected edge is
larger than that of other edges. It displays
along the length of a line segment, or at the
center of the chord on an arc segment. See
“Selected Edge” on page 145.

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Any action performed using the edit handles the object, depending on the currently
can be cancelled by pressing the Esc key or active Edit Behavior .
any two mouse buttons at the same time.
Move Line Segment
The behavior of the edit handles may • The Move Line Segment edit handle is
depend on the currently active Edit found on straight segments of closed
Behavior. See “Edit Behaviors” on page 137. polylines and moves the straight section
according to the currently active Edit
Behavior . Adjacent segments may
Move arc Rotate
extend or contract in their original direc-
segment
Move Resize tions to maintain their connections.
polyline arc
Move Arc
Reshape
• Click and drag the Move Arc edit handle
arc
to change the radius and/or chord length
or position, depending on the currently
Reshape Move line
polyline segment active Edit Behavior and whether
the arc has a locked center. Adjacent seg-
Move ments may extend, contract, or change
• Click and drag the Move handle to move angle to maintain their connections.
the object according the currently active Resize Arc
Edit Behavior . • Click and drag the Resize Arc edit handle
• Movement may be limited or stopped by to change the radius, chord length and
other objects or Snap Behaviors. Move chord position of the arc segment,
restrictions can be overridden by holding depending on the currently active Edit
down the Ctrl key while dragging. See Behavior and whether the arc has a
“Unrestricted Movement” on page 178. locked center. Adjacent segments may
Rotate extend, contract, or change angle to
maintain their connections.
• The Rotate handle is used to rotate the
object, either about its center or about the Reshape Arc
current CAD point. Its position varies • Click and drag the Reshape Arc edit han-
depending on which edge is currently dle to change the radius of the arc without
selected. See “Rotating Objects” on page moving its end points. Only available if
188. the arc has an unlocked center.
Reshape
• Click and drag a Reshape edit handle to
Using Dimensions
change the angle and/or length of the seg- Dimensions can be used to move or
ments on either side of it, or the size of reshape closed polyline-based objects.

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Editing Closed-Polyline Based Objects

See “Moving Objects Using Dimensions” on selected object(s) at the same location as
page 831. the original. See “Copy and Paste in
Place” on page 193.
Using Extension Line Snaps
• Click the Delete edit button to delete
Extension line snaps, especially tangent the selected object(s). See “Deleting
snaps, can be useful when editing polyline Objects” on page 196.
vertices. See “Extension Snaps” on page 134. • Click the Transform/Replicate

Using the Object edit button to copy, move,


rotate, resize, or reflect the selected
Specification Dialog
object(s). See “Transform/Replicate
Closed polyline-based objects can be edited Object Dialog” on page 200.
using their specification dialogs. See
“Polyline Specification Dialog” on page 901. • Click the Multiple Copy edit button
to make a series of copies at set intervals.
Using the Edit Toolbar See “Multiple Copy” on page 194.

A selected closed polyline-based object can • Click the Accurate Move edit button
be edited in a variety of ways using the to slow down the mouse speed when
buttons on the edit toolbar. using the edit handles. See “Accurate
Move” on page 179.
The following toolbar buttons may display
on the edit toolbar for a selected closed • Click the Make Parallel/Perpendicular
polyline-based object: edit button to make the selected
straight edge parallel or perpendicular to
• Click the Select Next Object edit another straight edge by either rotating
button to select nearby objects instead of the selected edge or the entire polyline.
the selected object. See “Selecting See “Using Make Parallel/Perpendicular”
Objects” on page 144. on page 181. Not available when the
selected edge is an arc.
• Click the Open Object edit button to
open the specification dialog for the • Click the Point to Point Move edit
selected object(s). See “Specification button to accurately move the selected
Dialogs” on page 33. object(s). See “Point to Point Move” on
page 179.
• Click the Copy/Paste edit button to
copy the selected object(s) to the Win- • Click the Add to Library edit button
dows Clipboard so they can be pasted to add the selected object(s) to the library.
elsewhere. See “Copying and Pasting See “Adding a New Object” on page 700.
Objects” on page 191.
• Click the Center Object edit button
• Click the Copy and Paste in Place to center an object along along a wall
edit button to create a copy of the

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within a room or relative to a cabinet • Click the Convert Polyline edit but-
fixture. See “Center Object” on page 182. ton to convert the object into a special
• Click the Reflect About Object edit polyline-based object. See “Convert
button to reflect the selected object(s) Polyline” on page 205.
about another object. See “Reflecting • Click the Change Line/Arc edit but-
Objects” on page 190. ton to change a line-based polyline edge
• Click the Move to Front of Group to an arc, or vice versa. See “Change
edit button to display the selected object Line/Arc” on page 186.
in front of other objects in the same • Click the Convert Curve to Polyline
drawing group. See “Move to Front of edit button to convert the selected arc into
Group” on page 176. a polyline. See “Convert Curve to Poly-
• Click the Break Line edit button to line” on page 187. Only available when
add a new corner or pivot point to the the selected edge is an arc.
selected object. See “Break Line” on • Click the Lock Center edit button to
page 185. lock the center of the selected curved
• Click the Reverse Direction edit but- edge. See “Using Lock Center” on page
ton to reverse the direction of the selected 155. Only available when the selected
object(s). See “Reverse Direction” on edge is an arc.
page 191. • Click the Make Arc Tangent edit
• Click the Union edit button to join button to adjust the selected curved edge
two or more objects. See “Union, Inter- and attached edge(s) so they form a
section, and Subtract” on page 202. Not smooth shape. See “Using Make Arc
available for objects specified as holes. Tangent” on page 182. Only available
when the selected edge is an arc attached
• Click the Intersection edit button to on one or both ends to another line or arc.
create a new object defined by the areas
shared by the original objects. See • Click the Fence Select edit button to
“Union, Intersection, and Subtract” on use the selected object(s) as a selection
page 202. Not available for objects speci- fence. See “Using a Fence” on page 147.
fied as holes. • Click the Fillet Two Lines edit but-
• Click the Subtract edit button, then ton, then click on an adjacent edge to cre-
click a second object to remove the area ate an arc connecting the two. See “Fillet
shared by both objects. See “Union, Two Lines” on page 186. Cannot be used
Intersection, and Subtract” on page 202. if the adjacent edge is an arc.
Not available for objects specified as • Click the Record Walkthrough Along
holes. Path edit button to record a walk-
through movie of your model along the

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Editing Box-Based Objects

path defined by the selected polyline. See • Click the Extend Object(s) edit but-
“Walkthroughs” on page 948. ton to lengthen other object(s) until they
• Click the Chamfer Two Lines edit intersect the selected object. See “Trim
button, then click an edge adjacent to the and Extend” on page 198.
selected edge to chamfer the corner • Click the Trim Object(s) edit button
between them. See “Chamfer Two Lines” to shorten the length of object(s) inter-
on page 187. sected by the selected object. See “Trim
and Extend” on page 198.

Editing Box-Based Objects


Objects are considered box-based when they Using the Edit Handles
can be edited similar to CAD boxes using
their edit handles. When selected, a box-based object displays
ten edit handles. Unlike polylines, boxes
Box-based objects are similar to closed must always have four sides with right-
polyline-based objects, but must always have angled corners.
four sides with right-angled corners.
Any action performed using the edit handles
In addition to the CAD Box tools, Text can be cancelled by pressing the Esc key or
objects, many library symbols, CAD blocks, any two mouse buttons at the same time.
pictures and images are examples of box-
based objects.
The behavior of the edit handles may
depend on the currently active Edit
Behavior. See “Edit Behaviors” on page 137.

Extend Move

Resize

Rotate

• Click and drag the Move handle to move


the object according the currently active
Edit Behavior . See “Edit Behaviors”
on page 137.

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• Movement may be limited or stopped by


other objects or Snap Behaviors. Move
restrictions can be overridden by holding
down the Ctrl key while dragging. See
“Unrestricted Movement” on page 178.

Using Dimensions
Dimensions can be used to move or
reshape box-based objects. See
• The four Resize handles located at each
“Moving Objects Using Dimensions” on
corner are used to increase or decrease
page 831.
the size of the object.
Using the
Specification Dialog
Box-based objects can be edited using their
specification dialogs. See “CAD Box
Specification Dialog” on page 905.

• The four Extend handles display along Using the Edit Toolbar
each edge. If you select an object on an A selected closed polyline-based object can
edge, the Extend handle displays at the be edited in a variety of ways using the
point where you clicked; otherwise, it buttons on the edit toolbar.
displays at the center of the edge.
The following toolbar buttons may display
on the edit toolbar for a selected closed
polyline-based object:

• Click the Select Next Object edit


button to select nearby objects instead of
the selected object. See “Selecting
• The triangular Rotate handle located Objects” on page 144.
near the selected edge of the object is
used to rotate it either about its center or • Click the Open Object edit button to
the current CAD point. The pointer open the specification dialog for the
changes to a circular arrow when selected object(s). See “Specification
moved over this handle. See “Rotating Dialogs” on page 33.
Objects” on page 188.

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Editing Spline Based Objects

• Click the Copy/Paste edit button to available when the selected edge is an
copy the selected object(s) to the Win- arc.
dows Clipboard so they can be pasted • Click the Point to Point Move edit
elsewhere. See “Copying and Pasting button to accurately move the selected
Objects” on page 191. object(s). See “Point to Point Move” on
• Click the Copy and Paste in Place page 179.
edit button to create a copy of the • Click the Center Object edit button
selected object(s) at the same location as to center an object along along a wall
the original. See “Copy and Paste in within a room or relative to a cabinet
Place” on page 193. fixture. See “Center Object” on page 182.
• Click the Delete edit button to delete • Click the Reflect About Object edit
the selected object(s). See “Deleting button to reflect the selected object(s)
Objects” on page 196. about another object. See “Reflecting
• Click the Transform/Replicate Objects” on page 190.
Object edit button to copy, move, • Click the Move to Front of Group
rotate, resize, or reflect the selected edit button to display the selected object
object(s). See “Transform/Replicate in front of other objects in the same
Object Dialog” on page 200. drawing group. See “Move to Front of
• Click the Multiple Copy edit button Group” on page 176.
to make a series of copies at set intervals. • Click the Convert Polyline edit but-
See “Multiple Copy” on page 194. ton to convert the object into a special
• Click the Accurate Move edit button polyline-based object. See “Convert
to slow down the mouse speed when Polyline” on page 205.
using the edit handles. See “Accurate • Click the Extend Object(s) edit but-
Move” on page 179. ton to lengthen other object(s) until they
• Click the Make Parallel/Perpendicular intersect the selected object. See “Trim
edit button to make the selected and Extend” on page 198.
straight edge parallel or perpendicular to • Click the Trim Object(s) edit button
another straight edge. See “Using Make to shorten the length of object(s) inter-
Parallel/Perpendicular” on page 181. Not sected by the selected object. See “Trim
and Extend” on page 198.

Editing Spline Based Objects


Objects are considered spline-based when using their edit handles. See “Splines” on
they can be edited similar to CAD splines page 908.

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Sprinkler lines, spline terrain curbs, spline Move


terrain walls and both round and kidney- • Click and drag the Move handle to move
shaped terrain features are spline-based the object according the currently active
objects.
Edit Behavior . See “Edit Behaviors”
on page 137.
• Movement may be limited or stopped by
other objects or Snap Behaviors. Move
restrictions can be overridden by holding
down the Ctrl key while dragging. See
“Unrestricted Movement” on page 178.
Rotate
• Click and drag the Rotate edit handle to
rotate the entire spline.
Reshape
Using the Edit Handles • The Reshape edit handles display along
the spline at each vertex. Click and drag a
When a spline is selected, several different
Reshape edit handle to change the length,
types of handles display. How many handles
angle and curve of adjacent segments
display depends on whether the Advanced
without affecting other reshape handles.
Splines edit button is on or not. See
“Advanced Splines” on page 170.
Any action performed using the edit handles
can be cancelled by pressing the Esc key or
any two mouse buttons at the same time.

The behavior of the edit handles may


depend on the currently active Edit
Behavior. See “Edit Behaviors” on page 137.

Resize
Reshape
• The Resize edit handles display along the
Move spline, between each vertex. Click and
drag a Resize edit handle to move the
adjacent vertices and lengthen or shorten
adjacent segments.
Resize

Rotate

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Editing Spline Based Objects

is enabled. See “Lock Control Handle


Angle” on page 171.

Using the
Specification Dialog
Spline-based objects can be edited using
their specification dialogs. See “Polyline
Specification Dialog” on page 901.

Advanced Splines Using the Edit Toolbar


Additional edit handles, called Control A selected spline-based object can be edited
Handles, display beside each spline vertex in a variety of ways using the buttons on the
when Advanced Splines is enabled. See edit toolbar.
“Advanced Splines” on page 170.
The following toolbar buttons may display
on the edit toolbar for a selected spline-based
Control
Handles
object:

Select Next Object - Select


nearby objects instead of the
selected spline.
Tangent lines Open Object - Open the specifica-
through the vertex tion dialog for the selected
object(s). See “Polyline Specifica-
• Click and drag a round Control edit han- tion Dialog” on page 901.
dle to change the angle of the associated Copy/Paste - Copy the selected
tangent line. object(s) to the Windows Clipboard
so they can be pasted elsewhere.
See “Copy/Paste” on page 192.
Copy and Paste in Place - Create
a copy of the selected object(s) at
the same location as the original.
See “Copy and Paste in Place” on
page 193.
Delete - Delete the selected
object(s). See “Deleting Objects” on
page 196.

• If two tangent lines pass through a vertex,


the angle between them remains constant
as long as Lock Control Handle Angle

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Transform/Replicate Object - Trim Object(s) - Shorten the length


Copy, move, rotate, resize, or of object(s) intersected by the
reflect the selected object(s). See selected object. See “Trim and
“Transform/Replicate Object Dia- Extend” on page 198.
log” on page 200. Extend Object(s) - Lengthen other
Multiple Copy - Make a series of object(s) until they intersect the
copies of the selected object at set selected object. See “Trim and
intervals. See “Multiple Copy” on Extend” on page 198.
page 194. Convert Polyline - Convert the
Accurate Move - Slow down the object into a special polyline-based
mouse speed when using the edit object. See “Convert Polyline” on
handles. See “Accurate Move” on page 205.
page 179. Fence Select - Use the selected
Make Parallel/Perpendicular - object(s) as a selection fence..
Make the selected straight edge See “Using a Fence” on page 147.
parallel or perpendicular to another
Convert Spline to Polyline - Con-
straight edge. See “Make Parallel/
vert the selected spline into a
Perpendicular” on page 186.
polyline. See “Convert to Spline” on
Point to Point Move - Accurately page 208.
move the selected object(s). See
Record Walkthrough Along Path
“Point to Point Move” on page 179.
- Record a walkthrough movie of
Make CAD Block - Block the your model along the path defined
selected object(s) together. See by the selected spline. See “Walk-
“CAD Blocks” on page 912. throughs” on page 948.
Add to Library - Add the selected Advanced Splines - Turn on
object(s) to the library. See “Adding advanced splines for the selected
a New Object” on page 700. spline. See “Advanced Splines” on
Center Object - Center the page 170.
selected objects(s) along a wall Straighten Spline Segment -
within a room or relative to a cabi- Straighten a segment of an
net fixture. See “Center Object” on advanced spline. See “Straighten
page 180. Spline Segment” on page 170. Only
Reflect About Object - Reflect the available when Advanced Splines is
selected object(s) about another turned on.
object. See “Reflecting Objects” on Lock Control Handle Angle -
page 190. Maintain the relative angle between
Move to Front of Group - Display the vertex and its control handles.
the selected objects in front of other See “Lock Control Handle Angle”
objects in floor plan view. See on page 171. Only available when
“Move to Front of Group” on page Advanced Splines is turned on.
176.
Break Line - Add a new corner or Advanced Splines
pivot point to the selected object.
See “Break Line” on page 185. Click the Advanced Splines edit
button to display additional edit

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Editing Spline Based Objects

handles called Control Handles. These edit Straighten Spline Segment


handles allow you to reshape the spline with
more control at each vertex. The Straighten Spline Segment edit
button is used to straighten a segment
Tangent line of an advanced spline between two vertex
points.

Vertex Control To use, first select the spline. Click the


Handles
Straighten Spline Segment edit button,
then click the spline between two vertices.
The line between the vertex and the control That portion becomes straight.
handles defines the tangent to the spline
through the vertex.
• Move the control handles at the end of
the line to change the direction of the
spline at that point. The spline curves
away from its tangent direction at the ver-
tex on its way to the next vertex.
• Change the shape of the spline by click- Click a spline segment Result
ing and dragging the control handles.
If you reselect the spline, you see that the
two control handles point toward the straight
section from each vertex point on either end
of the straight section.

Control handle Result

Notice that the control handles on either side


of a vertex maintain their relationship to each
other in a straight line. When one is moved,
the other moves to keep the tangent line
tangent with the vertex. Lock Control Handle Angle
You can specify all subsequently drawn The Lock Control Handle Angle edit
splines to be Advanced Splines in the button is available when Advanced
Preferences dialog. See “CAD Panel” on Splines is enabled, and is turned on by
page 89. default, as well. This tool maintains the
relative angle between the vertex and its
control handles.

Click the Lock Control Handle Angle


edit button to free the control of the relative

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edit angles between the vertex and its control


handles. The control handles can now be
adjusted individually. The opposite handle
remains unaffected by the change. Notice
that the spline adjusts so that it is tangent to
the lines between the vertex and both of its
control handles. Result

Notice that the control handles are not colinear

Editing Circles, Ovals and Ellipses


Objects created using the Circle Tools
are unusual in that no architectural The behavior of the edit handles may
objects share their functionalities. depend on the currently active Edit
Behavior. See “Edit Behaviors” on page 137.

Using the Edit Handles


When selected, circles, ovals and ellipses Reshape
display eleven edit handles. Move

Unlike Ovals and Ellipses , a Circle


Concentric
cannot be edited into any other shapes; it Resize
can only be a circle unless it is converted into
a polyline. See “Convert Curve to Polyline” Rotate
on page 187.
Any action performed using the edit handles Move
can be cancelled by pressing the Esc key or
any two mouse buttons at the same time. • Click and drag the Move handle to move
the object according the currently active
Edit Behavior . See “Edit Behaviors”
on page 137.

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Editing Circles, Ovals and Ellipses

• Movement may be limited or stopped by


other objects or Snap Behaviors. Move
restrictions can be overridden by holding
down the Ctrl key while dragging. See
“Unrestricted Movement” on page 178.
Rotate
• Click and drag the Rotate handle of an
oval or ellipse to change its orientation.
Concentric Resize
• The Concentric Resize edit handle dis-
plays on the perimeter of a circle between
a corner Reshape handle and the center.
Click and drag this handle to resize the
circle without moving its center point.

Reshape
• The eight edit handles beyond the perim-
eter are Reshape edit handles. Move them
in or out to resize and reshape an oval or
ellipse.

Using Dimensions
Dimensions can be used to move or
resize circle-based objects. See
“Moving Objects Using Dimensions” on
page 831.

• Unlike ovals and ellipses, circles cannot Using the


be reshaped. When a Reshape handle is Specification Dialog
dragged on a circle, it is only resized.
Circles, ovals and ellipses can be edited
using their specification dialogs. See “CAD
Circle/Oval/Ellipse Specification Dialog” on
page 898.

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Using the Edit Toolbar • Click the Multiple Copy edit button
A selected circle, oval or ellipse can be to make a series of copies at set intervals.
edited in a variety of ways using the buttons See “Multiple Copy” on page 194.
on the edit toolbar.
• Click the Accurate Move edit button
The following toolbar buttons may display to slow down the mouse speed when
on the edit toolbar for a selected circle, oval using the edit handles. See “Accurate
or ellipse: Move” on page 179.
• Click the Make Parallel/Perpendicular
• Click the Select Next Object edit
button to select nearby objects instead of edit button to make the selected
the selected object. See “Selecting straight edge parallel or perpendicular to
Objects” on page 144. another straight edge. See “Using Make
Parallel/Perpendicular” on page 181. Not
• Click the Open Object edit button to available when the selected edge is an
open the specification dialog for the arc.
selected object(s). See “Specification
Dialogs” on page 33. • Click the Point to Point Move edit
button to accurately move the selected
• Click the Copy/Paste edit button to object(s). See “Point to Point Move” on
copy the selected object(s) to the Win- page 179.
dows Clipboard so they can be pasted
elsewhere. See “Copying and Pasting • Click the Center Object edit button
Objects” on page 191. to center an object along along a wall
within a room or relative to a cabinet
• Click the Copy and Paste in Place fixture. See “Center Object” on page 182.
edit button to create a copy of the
selected object(s) at the same location as • Click the Reflect About Object edit
the original. See “Copy and Paste in button to reflect the selected object(s)
Place” on page 193. about another object. See “Reflecting
Objects” on page 190.
• Click the Delete edit button to delete
the selected object(s). See “Deleting • Click the Move to Front of Group
Objects” on page 196. edit button to display the selected object
• Click the Transform/Replicate in front of other objects in the same
drawing group. See “Move to Front of
Object edit button to copy, move, Group” on page 176.
rotate, resize, or reflect the selected
object(s). See “Transform/Replicate • Click the Extend Object(s) edit but-
Object Dialog” on page 200. ton to lengthen other object(s) until they
intersect the selected object. See “Trim
and Extend” on page 198. Not available
for ellipses.

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Architectural and CAD Blocks

• Click the Trim Object(s) edit button polyline-based object. See “Convert
to shorten the length of object(s) inter- Polyline” on page 205.
sected by the selected object. See “Trim • Click the Convert Curve to Polyline
and Extend” on page 198. Not available edit button to convert the selected circle,
for ellipses. oval or ellipse into a polyline. See “Con-
• Click the Convert Polyline edit but- vert Curve to Polyline” on page 187.
ton to convert the object into a special

Architectural and CAD Blocks


An architectural block is a group of objects CAD objects can be group-selected
joined together so that they behave as a and blocked together using the Make
single object. When an architectural block is CAD Block edit button.
created, it behaves as a single object while
The Explode CAD Block edit button
the components retain their own attributes.
breaks a CAD block into its individual
See “Architectural Blocks” on page 676.
components.
A CAD block is a group of CAD objects that
have been joined together so that they behave Add to Library
as a single object. Architectural objects
cannot be included in a CAD block, nor vice Architectural and CAD blocks can be
versa. See “CAD Blocks” on page 912. added to the library by clicking the
Add to Library edit button. See “Placing
Both architectural and CAD blocks can be Library Objects” on page 690.
added to the library for use in other plans.
Replace From Library
Blocking Objects
An architectural or CAD block can be
Architectural objects can be group- replaced by another object from the
selected and blocked together using the library by clicking the Replace from
Make Architectural Block edit button. Library edit button. An architectural block
The Explode Architectural Block edit can be replaced by an architectural object or
button breaks an architectural block block, while a CAD block can be replaced by
into its individual components. another CAD block. See “Replace From
Library” on page 693.

Displaying Objects
The display of objects in 2D and 3D views Objects” on page 117.
can be controlled by layer. See “Displaying

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Line and Fill Styles To display views in gray scale

Line style, weight and color can be 1. Select Tools> Display Settings> Color
controlled by layer or overridden in the
specification dialogs for many objects. See Off to toggle color off.
“Line Style Tab” on page 889.
2. Select Edit> Preferences to open
You can also toggle the on screen display of the Preferences dialog.
line weights on and off. See “Show Line 3. On the Appearance panel, check Obey
Weights” on page 996. Color On/Off Setting. See “Appear-
In addition, many objects have a fill style ance Panel” on page 71.
that can be specified in the objects’
specification dialogs. See “Fill Style Tab” on To display views in black and white
page 902.
1. Select Tools> Display Settings> Color
Color On/Off Off to toggle color off.
The display of color on-screen can be 2. Select Edit> Preferences to open
toggled on and off in all views except the Preferences dialog.
most rendered views by selecting Tools>
Display Settings> Color On/Off. 3. On the Appearance panel, uncheck
Obey Color On/Off Setting. See
You can set defaults to specify whether cross “Appearance Panel” on page 71.
section/elevations, camera views and
overviews using the Vector View rendering When color is toggled off and Obey Color
technique are generated with colors turned in On/Off Setting is unchecked, all lines
the 3D Settings dialog. See “Options Tab” appear in black and solid fills appear in either
on page 745. white or black, depending on which is closer
to the actual line or fill color when color is
The display of colors may or may not make a turned on. The background remains as
view easier to understand. Experiment to see defined in the Preferences dialog. See
what works for you, then set your default in “Colors Panel” on page 74.
the 3D Settings dialog for each view.
You can also print in color, black and white,
Colors are used in Vector Views to represent or gray scale. See “Print Dialog” on page
different materials. The colors can be printed 1006.
if you have a color printer, or can appear as
shades of gray on a black and white printer. Arc Centers and Ends
If you have assigned a picture file to
represent the texture of a material in rendered The display of arc center- and
views, the program can sample that picture endpoints, and the display of circle
file and define an approximate color to use in center points can be enabled by clicking the
all Vector views. See “Define Material Show Arc Centers and Ends toggle button
Dialog” on page 719.

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Displaying Objects

or in the CAD Defaults dialog. See “CAD Group, but still displays behind objects in the
Defaults Dialog” on page 875. Front Group.

Drawing Groups Move to Front of Group


Each object in a plan or layout file belongs to Click the Move to Front of Group
one of three drawing groups, which edit button to move the selected
influences whether it displays in front of or object(s) so that it displays in front of other
behind other objects. objects in the same drawing group. Move to
• The Default Group is where most Front of Group functions like the checkbox
objects are placed when first created. of the same name in the object’s specification
dialog.
• Objects moved to the Back Group dis-
play behind those in the other two draw-
ing groups.
• Objects moved to the Front Group dis-
play in front of those in the other two
drawing groups.
With the exception of imported pictures,
when an object is first created, it is placed in
the Default Group. Objects in this group
display in front of or behind one another
according to program-defined rules that
Move to Front of Group is useful for
cannot be modified.
creating a sense of depth or to improve a
Once a CAD or CAD-based object is created, drawing’s clarity. For example, you can
though, you can control how it displays move a solid circle representing rebar to the
relative to other objects using its front of a foundation wall with a concrete fill
specification dialog. See “Line Style Tab” on pattern in a cross section so that the rebar is
page 889. not masked by the wall’s fill pattern.
For example, you can move an object to the
Back Group or Front Group so that it Patterns and Textures
displays behind or in front of objects in the The appearance of architectural objects in 3D
other drawing groups. views is affected by the materials applied to
You can also check Move to Front of Group the objects’ surfaces. See “Materials” on
to display the object in front of other objects page 706.
in its drawing group, but not necessarily in Material patterns display in Technical
front of objects in other groups. Illustration, Line Drawing and Vector Views,
An object moved to the front of the Default while textures display in other rendered
Group, for example, displays in front of views. See “Rendering Techniques” on page
objects in that group and those in the Back 785.

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You can turn the display of patterns in Vector Delete Surface


views on or off by selecting 3D> Toggle
In any 3D view, select 3D> Delete
Patterns . Surface, then click a surface in the
In most rendered views, you can turn on or view to temporarily remove the surface from
off the display of textures by selecting 3D> the current view. See “Delete 3D Surface” on
page 757.
Toggle Textures .
Refresh Display
Low Detail Mode
Refresh Display redraws the current
Low Detail Mode suppresses patterns window to clean up extra lines, show
and textures and draws simplified missing items, and correct random on-screen
approximations of some objects in 3D. Select effects caused by changes to a model. Select
3D> Toggle Low Detail Mode to toggle Tools> Display Settings> Refresh Display
Low Detail Mode on or off. See “Low Detail or press the F5 key to refresh the on-screen
Display” on page 798. display.

Moving Objects
Objects can be moved individually and in When Object Snaps are enabled, a
groups using the edit handles, as well as a selected object snaps to its original location
variety of edit tools. if it passes over that location while being
moved.
Using the Edit Handles
The behavior of the Move edit handle varies
Select an object, then click the Move edit depending on the currently active Edit
handle and drag it to a new location. When
your pointer is over the Move handle, it Behavior . See “Edit Behaviors” on page
displays a four-headed arrow. 137.

• If the Default , Resize , Concen-


tric or Fillet edit behavior is
active, the object moves orthogonal, or at
a right angle to, any of its edges.

• If the Alternate edit behavior is


active, the selected object(s) can be
moved at Allowed Angles if Angle
As an object is moved, it jumps at set
Snaps are enabled, or orthogonal to
increments when Grid Snaps are
any of its edges if they are not. See
enabled. See “Grid Snaps” on page 136.
“Alternate” on page 138.

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Moving Objects

• If the Move edit behavior is active, the CAD Stops Move/


selected object(s) can be moved by click- Wall Stops Move
ing and dragging any edit handle that
would otherwise be used for resizing. See CAD and CAD-based objects can be set to
“Move” on page 138. stop at other CAD objects and/or at walls as
they are being moved. See “Line Style Tab”
Bumping/Pushing on page 889.

When Edit> Snap Settings> Some objects, such as cross boxes, framing
Bumping/Pushing is enabled, CAD members and insulation, are automatically
and CAD-based objects with CAD Stops set to stop when moved against other CAD
Move and/or Wall Stops Move enabled, as objects.
well as architectural objects, bump into and CAD Stops Move and Wall Stops Move do
can push one another as they are moved.
not function if Bumping/Pushing is
When an object bumps into another similar turned off.
object while it is being moved, it stops.
Continue dragging and the selected item Unrestricted Movement
resumes movement through the obstructing
object. The Maximum Bump Distance, or Many objects have restrictions placed on
the distance you must drag to override their movement by their own properties or
bumping, is set in the Preferences dialog. specification settings. Architectural objects,
See “Snap Properties Panel” on page 95. for example, bump into other 3D objects as
they are being moved when Bumping/
Bumping/Pushing also affects objects Pushing is enabled.
when they are moved using dimensions. See
“Moving Objects Using Dimensions” on CAD-based objects may be set to stop at
page 831. other CAD objects or at walls. See “Line
Style Tab” on page 889.
Walls, wall openings, cabinets, furnishings
and fixtures, and CAD and CAD-based Other move restrictions are activated by the
objects are examples of objects that can push Snap Settings . See “Snap Behaviors” on
other objects of these same types once they page 133.
have bumped into them. Instead of dragging
through the obstructing object(s), release the These restrictions can be overridden when
mouse button and then click and drag the necessary by holding down the Ctrl key
Move edit handle a second time in the same while dragging to move an object.
direction to push.
To move an object freely
Certain types of objects, notably roof planes,
and objects on locked layers can be bumped 1. Select the object.
but cannot be pushed. See “Layer Display 2. Hold down the Ctrl key.
Options Dialog” on page 121.

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3. Click the Move edit handle and drag it To nudge an object in 3D views, you can
to the new location. program the keys of your choice for use as
nudging hotkeys. See “Hotkeys” on page
You can also press the Ctrl key while
114.
dragging an object’s Move handle to override
move restrictions.
Point to Point Move
Accurate Move The Point to Point Move edit button
allows a selected object or group of
Click the Accurate Move edit button,
objects to be accurately moved.
then move the selected object(s) at a
slower speed than normal for greater
To use Point to Point Move
precision. Accurate Move can also be used
to resize, reshape or rotate objects. 1. Select one or more objects that you
would like to move, then click the Point
Accurate Move is not a toggle button: it
only affects the speed of the mouse during to Point Move edit button.
the next edit. The next time you want to use 2. Click a point that you want to accurately
this edit tool, you need to click it again. reposition.
You can also slow down the movement speed 3. Click the point in the plan where you
of a selection after you have started moving would like the selected point to be relo-
it by pressing the Shift key. Release the Shift cated when it is moved.
key to resume movement at normal speed. 4. The selected object(s) are moved so that
they maintain their position relative to
Nudging the point.
You can use your keyboard to move a Point to Point Move can be used with
selected object or objects by single Snap
the Copy/Paste edit button. See “To
Grid increments in 2D and 3D views1.
point to point copy” on page 196.
In floor plan view, the arrow keys are
programmed to nudge a selected object by Point to Point Move can also be used
default; however, you can program different with the Edit Area tools. See “Edit Area
buttons for nudging instead2. Tools” on page 209.
To nudge an object in floor plan view, select
it and press any of the four arrow keys: Up, Center Object
Down, Left or Right. The Center Object edit button allows
you to move walls, cabinets and other
objects so that they are centered along a wall
1.“Grid Snaps” on page 136. within a room or relative to a window or
2.TODO. cabinet.

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Move to Framing Reference Enter Coordinates


Framing members can be positioned Objects or the selected edges of some objects
relative to a Framing Reference using can be moved using the Enter Coordinates
the Move to Framing Reference edit tool. dialog. See “Entering Coordinates” on page
See “Framing Reference Markers” on page 142.
480.
Using the Transform/
Using Dimensions Replicate Object Dialog
Objects or the selected edges of some Objects and groups of objects can be
objects can be moved using moved relative to themselves or an
dimensions. See “Moving Objects Using absolute location using the Transform
Dimensions” on page 831. Replicate Object dialog. See “Transform/
Replicate Object Dialog” on page 200.

Aligning Objects
It is often important to align objects such as itself. This does not align objects to the grid
text boxes, roof plane edges or walls, or to unless they were already snapped to the grid.
align objects on different floors. There are
See “Snap Behaviors” on page 133.
several methods to choose from.
Using Dimensions
Using Snap Settings
Create a temporary or manual
With Object Snaps on, you can snap the dimension relative to an object such as
edge of a selected object to that of another. a wall or line, and relocate the objects to the
Select an edge of an object. Drag it to the same dimension. See “Moving Objects
edge of another object to reveal an object Using Dimensions” on page 831.
snap point, then release the mouse.
Text objects can be aligned using set-
With Grid Snaps on and Angle
tings in the Text Specification dialog.
Snaps off, select the left side of the See “Aligning Text” on page 856.
object, and drag from the center move
handle. This snaps the selected side to the CAD Stops Move/
grid. Wall Stops Move
When both Grid Snaps and Angle CAD and CAD-based objects can be aligned
using another CAD object or a wall as a
Snaps on, objects snap at increments
guide. Check the CAD Stops Move and/or
equal to the Snap unit specified in the Plan
Wall Stops Move boxes in the objects’
Defaults dialog rather than onto the grid

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specification dialogs, then move them until 4. If the first object is within 45 degrees of
they bump into the CAD object or wall that parallel to the second object, it is made
you wish to use as a guide for alignment. See parallel. Otherwise, it is made perpen-
“Line Style Tab” on page 889. dicular to the second object.

Using Make Parallel/ Select edge


Perpendicular
The Make Parallel/Perpendicular Click button
edit button allows you to make a
selected object parallel or perpendicular to
any straight edge. Click
wall
If you select an edge of a polyline-based
object, adjacent edges extend or contract to
maintain contact, but other edges are remain Result
unchanged. The selected edge rotates about
its endpoint if selected near the end, or about You can also make the selected edge parallel
its center if you click within its middle third. by rotating the entire object. See “Make
Parallel/Perpendicular with Polyline Based
The Make Parallel edit button displays Objects” on page 189.
for a selected CAD block instance when a
line, including a straight polyline edge, or
box edge within a block instance,straight
Center Object
polyline edge is selected. The entire block is The Center Object edit button can be
rotated to make the selected line or edge is used to center a variety of objects
perpendicular or parallel to the item along a wall within a room in floor plan
subsequently clicked on. view.

To use Make Parallel/Perpendicular Center Object can also be used to center


objects relative to windows and cabinets. At
1. Select an object such as a roof plane on least one wall must be present in the plan.
the edge that you would like to make
parallel or perpendicular to another To center an object in a room
object.
• Click near the center of the edge to 1. Select an object such a cabinet.
rotate it about the center.
2. Click the Center Object edit button.
• Click near an end to rotate the edge
about that end. 3. Click near a wall within a room to center
the selected object relative to the portion
2. Click the Make Parallel edit button of that wall defining the room.
3. Click a straight edge such as a wall.

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Aligning Objects

4. The object is moved relative to the wall If you click outside an exterior wall instead
you clicked closest to. of clicking the inside, you center the selected
• In the images below, the area physi- object along the edge of the Exterior Room.
cally closest to the vertical interior wall See “The Exterior Room” on page 271.
is highlighted for each room.
• Click in that area to center the door Using Make Arc Tangent
along the wall in that room. If a selected arc is attached on one or
both ends to another line or arc, the
Make Arc Tangent edit button displays.
Click this button to adjust the arc and
attached lines so they transition smoothly.

The door is centered in the room on the right

Before After

To use Make Arc Tangent

1. Select an arc-based object attached to


like objects one or both ends.

2. Click the Make Arc Tangent edit


button.
The door is centered in the room at the upper left
3. If the arc is attached to two objects, the
Radius of Tangent Arc dialog opens.

4. The radius from the center of curvature


to the middle of the arc-based object dis-
plays. Keep this radius or change it, and
The door is centered in the room at the lower left click OK.

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• If the arc is attached to two perpendicu- Floor” on page 359 and “CAD Defaults
lar lines, this dialog opens but the Arc Dialog” on page 875.
Radius field is not enabled.
To align center points easily, it is helpful to
5. The arc and attached segments adjust so
turn on Object Snaps and turn off Angle
that the arc radius matches the target as
closely as possible and the arc is made Snaps . See “Object Snaps” on page 133
tangent to the attached segments. and “Angle Snaps” on page 135.

Aligning Arc Centers Aligning Objects on


The center points of circles and arc-based
Different Floors
objects can be aligned, even if the objects are Objects on different floors can be aligned
on different floors, when the Reference
with one another using Object Snaps
Display is turned on and Show Arc Centers
and the Reference Display . See “Object
and Ends is enabled. See “Reference
Snaps” on page 133 and “Reference Floor”
on page 359.

Resizing Objects
Objects can be resized using the edit handles, To override any movement restrictions
specification dialogs, and the Transform/ caused by snap settings or the presence of
Replicate Object dialog. other objects, press the Ctrl key while
dragging an edit handle.
Using the Edit Handles As an object is resized, any dimensions
Depending on the currently active Edit indicating its size will update to reflect yoru
changes. You can use dimensions as
Behavior , the end, corner and/or side
references to help you achieve the correct
edit handles can be used to resize a selected
size for most objects.
object. See “Edit Behaviors” on page 137.

When the Concentric edit behavior is Using the


active, dragging an object’s corner or end Specification Dialog
handle resizes it according to the Most objects can be accurately resized in
Concentric Jump value set in the their specification dialogs. See
Preferences dialog. See “Concentric” on “Specification Dialogs” on page 33.
page 139.
Objects can be resized about either their Using Dimensions
center points or the current CAD point. See
Many objects can be resized by
“Behaviors Panel” on page 93.
selecting an edge and then moving that

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Reshaping Objects

edge using dimensions. See “Using point using the Transform Replicate Object
Dimensions” on page 180. dialog. See “Transform/Replicate Object
Dialog” on page 200.
Using the Transform/
Replicate Object Dialog
Most objects can be resized about
either their centers or an absolute

Reshaping Objects
There is a variety of ways to reshape objects the Selected Line or Selected Arc tab of their
using the edit handles, specification dialogs specification dialogs. See “Polyline
and edit toolbar buttons. Specification Dialog” on page 901.
Some objects, notably circles and box-based
objects, cannot be reshaped - only resized. Using Dimensions
See “Resizing Objects” on page 183. Both temporary and manually drawn
dimensions can be used to increase or
Using the Edit Handles decrease the distance between the edge a
line- or polyline-based object and another,
Depending on the Edit Behavior in use, parallel edge or line.
the end, corner and/or side edit handles can
be used to reshape a selected object. See Angular Dimensions can be used to
“Edit Behaviors” on page 137. adjust the angle where two polyline segments
meet. See “Using Angular Dimensions” on
When a line-based, arc-based, or open-
page 189.
polyline based object is selected, you can
right-click and drag an end handle to change
a line into an arc or vice versa. This behavior Break Line
does not apply to closed polylines. The Break Line edit button can be
To override any movement restrictions used to break an individual line-, arc-,
caused by snap settings or the presence of or spline-based object into two segments.
other objects, press the Ctrl key while The edges of a polyline-based object can also
dragging an edit handle. be broken.

Using the Note: The Break Line edit button is not avail-
Specification Dialog able for box-based objects, objects created
with the Circle Tools, or some architectural
A variety of CAD and CAD-based objects objects such as stairs and trusses.
can be reshaped by editing values on either

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The Break Line edit tool can be used to To create a complete break
create two types of breaks: partial breaks and 1. Click the object or edge that you want to
complete breaks. break into two segments.
When a partial break is created, a new corner
2. Double-click the Break Line edit
edit handle is placed at the location of the
button.
break. Partial breaks are also referred to as
joints, nodes or pivot points. 3. Click the edge to create a complete
break at that location.
• Click the Break Line edit button to
add a new corner or pivot point to the You can now click either side of the location
selected object. of the break and move the selected object or
edge completely independent of the object or
To create a partial break edge on the other side of the break.

1. Click the object or edge that you want to When Object Snaps are enabled, breaks
break into two segments. can be placed at snap locations such as
midpoints. See “Object Snaps” on page 133.
2. Click the Break Line edit button
once or press the 3 key. If you place a complete break at a polyline
corner, the adjacent polyline edges become
3. Click the edge to create a new corner disconnected.
edit handle at that location and two sepa-
rate edges on either side of that handle. Change Line/Arc
If you click and drag one of the edit handles
Select an individual line-based or arc-
on either side of the partial break, the edge
based object or a segment of a
moves at a right angle to itself and another
polyline-based object and click the Change
edge forms, connecting the moved edge with
Line/Arc edit button to convert the selected
the one on the other side that does not move.
segement from a line to an arc or vice versa.
You can remove an edge from a polyline-
based object by clicking and dragging a
corner handle until it snaps to an adjacent
corner handle.
When a complete break is created, the object
or edge is totally severed at that point.
With the exception of framing members,
complete breaks cannot be created on CAD-
based architectural objects. In the case of Make Parallel/Perpendicular
framing members, only complete breaks can
The Make Parallel edit button can be
be created.
used to reshape a polyline by making
a selected edge parallel or perpendicular to

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Reshaping Objects

another straight edge. See “Using Make 4. Click on the line or polyline segment
Parallel/Perpendicular” on page 181. that you want the selected line to con-
nect to with a fillet.
Fillet Two Lines 5. Continue filleting two lines by clicking
The Fillet Two Lines edit tool allows on one line, clicking the Fillet Two
you to connect two non-parallel line- Lines edit button, then clicking on
based objects using an arc of a specified the second line. The same Fillet Radius
radius. If the two lines are already connected, is used until you open the Fillet/
this arc is inserted between them. Chamfer dialog again and change it.
If the two objects are not connected and one Once two lines are filleted, the arc between
of them is an arc, both objects will extend or them can be edited. See “Editing Arc Based
contract as needed to become connected. No Objects” on page 150.
additional arc is created.
The Fillet Two Lines edit tool can also
The Fillet Two Lines edit tool is be used to join non-adjacent edges of a
available for a selected roof or ceiling plane; closed polyline as long as those edges are not
however, it cannot be used to create an arc at parallel. In doing so, polyline edges may be
a corner. Instead, it can only be used to removed.
remove edges.
To remove polyline edges
To use Fillet Two Lines
1. Click on a closed polyline segment that
1. Click on a line or polyline segment that you would like to connect to another
you would like to connect to another line segment.
or segment with a filleted corner.
2. Click the Fillet Two Lines edit but-
2. Double-click the Fillet Two Lines ton.
edit button to open the Fillet/Chamfer 3. Click on a non-adjacent edge of the
dialog. same polyline.

Chamfer Two Lines


The Chamfer Two Lines edit tool
allows you to create a straight corner
bevel of a specified size connecting any two
non-parallel lines. It can also be used to
extend an arc so that it joins to another arc.
3. Specify the desired Fillet Radius and
click OK. The Chamfer Two Lines edit tool is
used much the way as the Fillet Two Lines
edit tool. First, set the Chamfer Distance

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in the Fillet/Chamfer dialog, then select a 2. Click the Convert Curve to


line, click the button and click a second line Polyline edit button.
to chamfer the two.
3. In the Convert Curve to Polyline dia-
Deleting Intervening Lines log, specify the number of sides you
would like the converted arc or circle-
Fillet Two Lines and Chamfer Two based object to have.

Lines can also be used to eliminate parts


of a polyline. To use, fillet or chamfer two
non-adjacent lines that are in the same closed
polyline.

• The initial values in this dialog may


vary depending on the type of object
selected.
4. Click OK to convert the selected arc or
A dialog warns you that lines will be deleted circle-based object into a polyline with
if you proceed. Click OK to approve the the specified number of edges.
polyline edit and see the changes occur.
Convert to Spline
Convert Curve to Polyline Click the Convert to Spline edit
button to convert the selected polyline-
The Convert Curve to Polyline edit
based object into a spline. See “Convert to
button allows you to convert the
Spline” on page 208.
selected arc- or circle-based object to a
polyline composed of line segments.
Union, Intersection, Subtract
To convert curve to polyline Closed polyline-based
1. Select an arc-based object or circle. objects can be reshaped using
the Union, Intersection and Subtract edit
buttons. See “Union, Intersection, and
Subtract” on page 202.

Rotating Objects
Objects can be rotated individually and in By default, an object or group of objects
groups using a variety of methods. rotate about the center point of the selection
set. You can instead specify that objects

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Rotating Objects

rotate about the current CAD point. See Rotate/Resize About


“The Current Point” on page 882.
Objects can be rotated or resized about
either their own centers or the current
Using the Edit Handles
CAD point. See “Point Tools” on page 880.
Select an object, then click the triangular
Rotate edit handle and drag it in any
direction. When your pointer is over the
Rotate handle, it displays a curved arrow.
The angles of line-based objects can also be
changed by dragging an end handle in a
direction other than parallel to the object.
The object rotates about the opposite end You can specify which behavior is used by
point. See “Editing Line Based Objects” on selecting Edit> Edit Behaviors> Rotate/
page 147.
Resize About Current Point . When this
option is selected, objects rotate about the
When Angle Snaps are enabled, objects
current CAD point; when it is not selected,
snap to Allowed Angles as specified in the
object rotate about their centers.
Plan Defaults dialog as they are rotated. See
“Angle Snaps” on page 135. The Rotate/Resize About behavior can also
be specified in the Preferences dialog. See
To override any movement restrictions
“Behaviors Panel” on page 93.
caused by snap settings or the presence of
other objects, press the Ctrl key while
dragging an edit handle. Entering Coordinates
A rotated array of copies of the selected Objects can be rotated by entering
object(s) can be created using the Multiple coordinates or a distance and angle in the
Enter Coordinates dialog. See “Entering
Copy edit tool. See “To create an array Coordinates” on page 142.
of copies” on page 195.
Using Angular Dimensions
Using the
Specification Dialog Angular Dimensions are useful for
adjusting the angles of a variety of
The exact angle of some objects such as objects with straight edges.
lines, arcs, walls and the selected edges of
polylines can be specified on either the To change an angular dimension
General tab, Selected Line tab, or Selected
Arc tab of that object’s specification dialog. 1. Select CAD> Dimension> Angular
Dimension , then click and drag to
draw an angular dimension line between
the objects you want to move.

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• Begin and end as close as possible to


the two objects you wish to locate.
2. Select the edge that you want to move.
3. Click the dimension value to open the
Set Angular Dimension dialog.
• The Previous Value is indicated
degrees, minutes and seconds.
Choose to either Rotate only selected edge,
as before, or to Rotate entire polyline. Your
setting remains until you access the Make
Parallel dialog again and change it.

Polylines rotate according to the current


Rotate/Resize About setting. See
“Behaviors Panel” on page 93.
4. Enter a value in the New Value field.
Using the Transform/
5. Select Rotate Edge to move the selected
Replicate Object Dialog
edge when OK is clicked or select
Rotate entire polyline to rotate the Objects and groups of objects can be
entire object the selected edge is a part rotated to a relative or absolute angle
of, maintaining the Previous Value of the using the Transform Replicate Object
angle. dialog. See “Transform/Replicate Object
6. Click OK to apply the change. Dialog” on page 200.

When an entire polyline is rotated using the Rotate View


Set Angular Dimension dialog, it rotates
around the vertex of the angle. To rotate everything in floor plan view,
including all objects on all floors, the
Make Parallel/Perpendicular Snap and Reference Grids, and the drawing
with Polyline Based Objects sheet, select Tools> Rotate View to open the
Rotate Plan View dialog.
The Make Parallel/Perpendicular
edit button usually adjusts the angle of
a selected polyline edge. See “Using Make
Parallel/Perpendicular” on page 181.
To rotate the entire polyline instead, double-
click the Make Parallel edit button to Enter the amount of degrees to rotate the
open the Make Parallel dialog. floor plan view in decimal units using either
positive or negative values.

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Reflecting Objects

The degrees rotated displays in ±180 degree Text objects rotate with the plan unless you
format. For example, if you enter 270 uncheck Rotate with plan in the Text
degrees, it displays as -90 degrees when the Specification dialog for each object. See
dialog is reopened. “Text Specification Dialog” on page 850.

Rotate View rotates a plan relative to its


The Rotate View tool does not rotate
original orientation. For example, entering objects; it literally rotates your view of
90 degrees twice results in a rotation of 90 those objects. As a result, it does not alter the
degrees, not 180 degrees. orientation of the plan in layout views or on
the printed page.

Reflecting Objects
There are several ways to reflect an object, 2. Select the object(s) to be reflected.
group of objects, or an entire plan about an
axis or another object. Either the original 3. Click the Reflect About Object edit
object(s) or copies of the original(s) can be button.
reflected. 4. Click the CAD line to reflect the selec-
tion about the line.
Reflect About Object 5. The selection is reflected around the
A selected object or objects can be CAD line, and the original is no longer
reflected about another object, there.
regardless of its angle, using the Reflect To retain a copy of the selected object(s) in
About Object edit tool. the original location, click the Copy/
Line-based objects are often used for Paste edit button before clicking the
reflecting a selection, but most objects have
Reflect About Object button.
an axis that can be used.
• When an open or closed polyline-based Using the Transform/
object is used as the reflective object, the
Replicate Object Dialog
edge that is clicked on acts as the axis.
• When a circle or box-based object such Objects and groups of objects can also
as a CAD box or cabinet is used as the be reflected horizontally or vertically
reflective object, the axis runs down the using the Transform Replicate Object
center of the object from back to front. dialog. See “Transform/Replicate Object
Dialog” on page 200.
To use Reflect About Object

1. Draw a CAD line to act as the reflection


line.

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Reverse Plan Reversing a plan rebuilds the entire model


and affects views sent to layout.
The Reverse Plan tool is a quick way
to mirror a plan so that everything is
Reverse Direction
swapped left to right.
Select a line-based, arc-based or
Select Tools> Reverse Plan to reflect an polyline-based object and click the
entire plan right to left, as though it were Reverse Direction edit button to reverse its
reflected about a vertical line. Reverse direction.
Plan reverses all floors associated with Reversing a line or polyline is useful with
the plan. certain line styles or with an arrow at one
end.

Copying and Pasting Objects


Objects can be cut, copied and pasted press Ctrl + V while in that application to
individually and as groups. They can be enable the Paste function.
copied from one floor to another, one view
window to another, and one file to another. Copy
Because copying uses the Windows
Clipboard, objects can be pasted into other Select Edit> Copy to copy the selected
applications, as well. object(s) to the Windows Clipboard.
To paste the selection in Chief Architect or
Objects cannot be pasted into any views that another application, select Edit> Paste or
they cannot be created in normally. Thus, press Ctrl + V while in that application to
CAD objects cannot be pasted into a 3D enable the Paste function.
camera view or overview.
Similarly, architectural objects cannot be Paste
pasted into CAD detail windows or onto a Select Edit> Paste to enable Paste
layout page. mode, then left- or right-click in the
A few objects, such as Terrain Perimeters current view to paste the selected object(s)
and camera symbols, cannot be copied. previously copied to the Windows Clipboard
at that location.
Cut Once pasted, these object(s) are selected.
Select Edit> Cut to remove the Objects pasted in 3D views are selected on
selected object(s) from the file and their top surfaces.
save them in the Windows Clipboard. To If the selection being pasted consists of text,
paste the selection in Chief Architect or it is placed in a Text object.
another application, select Edit> Paste or

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Copying and Pasting Objects

If the selection being pasted is an image, the • Click the Main Edit Mode edit but-
Paste Image dialog opens.
ton or press the Esc key to return to the
selected objects’s main edit toolbar.
If you paste a selection in a file other than its
original source file, when you return to the
original, Paste mode is still enabled.

The Copy/Paste edit button can be used


with the edit handles in either of two ways:
by clicking or by dragging an edit handle.
The options in the Paste Image dialog and
their results are similar to those in the Screen To Copy/Paste by clicking
Capture Setup dialog. See “Creating Screen
Captures” on page 946. 1. Select an object or objects to copy.

2. Click the Copy/Paste edit button,


Copy/Paste
select Edit> Copy from the menu or
Click the Copy/Paste edit button to press Ctrl + C. The cursor displays the
copy the selected object(s) to the Copy/Paste icon.
Windows Clipboard and immediately enable 3. If you wish to paste the copy in a differ-
the Paste function in Chief Architect. ent view or program window, open that
window.
The Copy/Paste edit button activates
4. If your cursor does not display the Copy/
Paste mode in which each available edit tool
Paste icon, select Edit> Paste from the
and handle makes a copy in addition to its
menu or press Ctrl + V.
primary function and four new edit buttons
display on the edit toolbar. 5. Left- or right-click once to paste a copy
of the object at that location.
• Click the Sticky Mode edit button
remain in the current mode and place To Copy/Paste by dragging
multiple copies of the selected object(s).
1. Select an object or objects to copy.
• Click the Point to Point Move edit
button to make a copy of the selection at 2. Click the Copy/Paste edit button,
a specific location. See “Point to Point select Edit> Copy from the menu or
Move” on page 179. press Ctrl + C. The cursor displays the
Copy/Paste icon.
• Click the Reflect About Object edit
button to make a copy of the selection 3. Drag an edit handle:
reflected about another object. See • Drag the Move edit handle to position
“Reflecting Objects” on page 190. the copy at a new location.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

• Drag a corner handle to create a copy in Because multiple walls, railing and fencing
the same location but with a different cannot share the same space, the Copy and
size or shape. The result depends on Paste in Place edit button is not avail-
which Edit Behavior you use. See able for these objects.
“Edit Behaviors” on page 137.
4. You can resize or position the copy Paste Hold Position
accurately with respect to the original by When copying between different floors
watching the moved distance in the Sta- or view windows, you can paste a copy
tus Bar at the bottom of the screen. at the same absolute position as the original
selection using Paste Hold Position.
Sticky Mode
Normally, after an action is performed To use Paste Hold Position
using the edit tools or handles while in 1. Select the object(s) to be copied.
an edit mode such as Paste mode, you return
to the Main Edit Mode. Click the Sticky 2. Click the Copy/Paste edit button.
Mode edit button to remain in Paste mode 3. Switch to the desired floor or plan file
and continue pasting copies of the selected and select Edit> Paste> Paste Hold
object(s).
Position .
To exit Paste mode and return to the main
edit toolbar for the selected object, click the 4. A copy is placed at the same X, Y coor-
dinates on the new floor or in the new
Main Edit Mode edit button or press the plan as the original’s position.
Esc key on your keyboard. If you have not
pasted a copy of the selected object and Paste Special
immediately click Copy/Paste after
The Paste Special tool allows you to
returning to the Main Edit Mode, Sticky
choose a representation for the
Mode is still enabled. selection to be pasted.
Selections can be pasted as:
Sticky Mode is available when the Trim
Object(s), Extend Object(s), Copy/Paste
• Enhanced Windows Metafiles (EMF).
or Multiple Copy edit button is clicked. See See “Metafiles” on page 943.
“Trim and Extend” on page 198. • Device Independent Bitmaps (BMP). See
“Importing Pictures” on page 940.
Copy and Paste in Place • Unformated non-unicode text (TXT).
Click the Copy and Paste in Place • File Name (a path to a file). Depending
edit button to create a copy of the on the file type, it will be either opened or
selected object(s) at the same location as the imported (if supported).
original. The copy remains selected so you
• Unformatted text (HTML). Pastes as text.
can perform additional operations.

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Copying and Pasting Objects

• Model Objects - Chief Architect format, To use Multiple Copy


not compatible with other programs.
1. Select the object(s) to copy.
To use Paste Special 2. Click the Multiple Copy edit
1. Select an object, image, text or file on button.
your computer and copy it.
3. Click the Sticky Mode edit button if
2. Switch to the desired Chief Architect you wish to make more than one set of
view window and select Edit> Paste> multiple copies.
Paste Special . 4. Click and drag the Move edit handle.
3. In the Paste Special dialog, select the Copies of the selection are made at regu-
desired representation for the selection lar intervals between the original and the
and click OK. pointer’s location.
4. Click in the drawing area to place the 5. Release the mouse button to place the
copy at that location. copies. The dragged distance determines
the number of copies placed.
Multiple Copy 6. If you clicked the Sticky Mode edit
`The Multiple Copy edit button makes button, you can drag the last object cre-
it easy to create regularly spaced ated to make additional copies.
copies of any object or group of objects,
7. Click the Main Edit Mode edit but-
including CAD Blocks and Architectural
ton or press the Esc key to return to the
Blocks.
selected objects’s main edit toolbar.

Multiple Copy Dialog


Separate multiple copy intervals can be To set the copy intervals for these objects,
specified for: click the Multiple Copy button, then
• General objects
click the Multiple Copy Interval button
• Roof and floor trusses to open the Multiple Copy dialog.
• Rafters The specified intervals are retained between
• Floor and ceiling joists program sessions.
• Wall studs

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

1 Offset Between Copies When • Primary Number of Copies - Specify


Dragging - Click this radio button to the number of copies to be made.
specify the offsets, or copy intervals, at • Secondary Copies - Specify the number
which objects are copied as you drag with the of copies to be made when the Alternate
mouse.
edit behavior is active.
• Primary Offset - Specify the offset, or
copy interval, for each object type.
The intervals for automatically generated raf-
• Secondary Offset - You can also specify ters, joists, and studs are set on their respec-
a secondary offset, or copy interval, for tive tabs in the Build Framing dialog. See
each object type that is used when the “Build Framing Dialog” on page 467
Alternate edit behavior is active. See
“Alternate” on page 138. The Multiple Copy tool can be used
• Rotation Of All Objects - Specify the with the Alternate edit behavior to
copy interval, in degrees, to be used when create arrayed copies of objects.
objects are rotated as they are copied.
To create an array of copies
2 Evenly Distribute Copies When
Dragging - Click this radio button to 1. Select the object(s) to copy.
specify a set number of copies to be made as
you drag with the mouse. The further you 2. Click the Multiple Copy edit
drag, the wider the spaces between the button.
copies. These settings apply to all object
types. 3. Right-click to enable the Alternate
edit behavior and drag the either Move

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Deleting Objects

or the Rotate edit handle in any direc- Using Point to Point Move
tion. The Primary Offset or Primary
Number of Copies is used. The Point to Point Move edit button
can be used in combination with Copy/
4. Release the mouse button and move the
pointer in another direction. The Sec- Paste to make a copy of the selected
ondary Offset or Secondary Copies object(s) at a specified location. See “Point
value is used. to Point Move” on page 179.
5. Click the left or right mouse button to To point to point copy
place the array of copies.
1. Select the object(s) to be copied, click
A rotated array can be rotated about the the Copy/Paste edit button, then the
selected object’s center or a CAD point.
See “Rotate/Resize About” on page 188. Point to Point Move edit button.
2. Click at the start point and then at the
Using the Transform/ end point.
Replicate Object Dialog 3. An exact copy of the selected object(s)
is created at the end point while the orig-
Objects and groups of objects can be
inal remains unchanged.
copied and pasted using the Transform
Replicate Object dialog. See “Transform/
Replicate Object Dialog” on page 200. Using Reflect About Object
The Reflect About Object edit button
Copy Region as Picture can be used in combination with Copy/
The Copy Region as Picture tool Paste to make a reflected copy of the
allows you to copy any portion of the selected object(s), much the way Point to
screen and save it as a picture. See “Copy Point Move can. See “Reflect About
Region as Picture” on page 946. Object” on page 190.

Deleting Objects
Objects can be deleted in a variety of ways: • Entire categories of objects can be
• Select an object or group of objects, then deleted using the Delete Objects dialog.

click the Delete edit button, select If an object has a line with arrow or text
leader attached to it, the arrow or leader is
Edit> Delete from the menu, or press deleted if the object is deleted. To prevent the
the either the Delete or Backspace key on arrow from being deleted, drag the attached
your keyboard. end away from the object before deleting it.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

Delete Objects Dialog 3. In the Delete section, check the box for
each category of objects you want to
Use the Delete Objects dialog to delete. Click Select All to check all the
delete all objects of one or more boxes or Clear All to uncheck all boxes.
specified types in one room, on the current
• If “Roof Planes” cannot be selected,
floor, or in the entire plan.
they may be locked. See “Editing Roof
Planes” on page 387.
Although objects on locked layers can-
4. When the scope is set to Single Room:
not be selected, most can nevertheless
be deleted using the Delete Objects dialog. • Move your cursor into the drawing area
and click in a room of the plan to delete
To use the Delete Objects dialog objects of the selected type within that
room without closing the dialog.
1. Select Edit> Delete Objects to open • Continue clicking on rooms or choose a
the Delete Objects dialog. different Delete Scope.
• Click Done when all selections have
been deleted.
5. If you select All Rooms On This Floor
or All Floors, you do not need to click in
floor plan view. The OK button
becomes available, and clicking it closes
the dialog and delete the specified
objects.

Deleting Polyline Edges


There are number of different ways to delete
individual edges of polyline-based objects:

• Select Edit Object Parts . Select the


edge and delete. See “Edit Object Parts”
on page 145.
• Drag a corner handle until it overlaps an
adjacent corner handle to remove the
edge between them and merge them into
a single handle.
• Create a complete break at both ends.
2. Specify the Delete Scope as Single Select the edge and delete. See “To create
Room,All Rooms On This Floor, or All a complete break” on page 185.
Floors.

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Trim and Extend

• The Fillet Two Lines and Chamfer Delete Surface


Two Lines tools can be used to delete In any 3D view, select 3D> Delete
polyline edges. See “Reshaping Objects” Surface, then click a surface in the
on page 184. view to temporarily remove the surface from
the current view without permanently
affecting the object. See “Delete 3D Surface”
on page 757.

Trim and Extend


The Extend Object(s) and Trim Trim Objects
Object(s) edit tools allow you to
lengthen or shorten a variety of CAD objects Lines, arcs, polylines, circles and
and framing members. See “Framing” on framing items can be trimmed. The
page 460. trimming, or cutting, object may be any CAD
object, a group of CAD objects, or even a
When either the Extend Object(s) or Trim CAD block. Select the trimming object(s)
Object(s) edit buttons are clicked, its edit and click the Trim Object(s) edit button.
mode is enabled and three new edit buttons
display on the edit toolbar. The Trim Object(s) edit tool can be used
in three different ways:
• Click the Sticky Mode edit button
remain in the current mode and edit mul- • Individually clicking on objects to be
tiple objects or select multiple fences. trimmed.
• Selecting objects to be trimmed using a
• Click the Select Fence edit button, fence. See “Using a Fence” on page 147.
then click an object to use it as a fence.
See “Using a Fence” on page 147. • Selecting objects to be trimmed using a
temporary fence.
• Click the Main Edit Mode edit but-
ton or press the Esc key to return to the To trim by clicking
selected objects’s main edit toolbar.
1. Draw the cutting line(s) or polyline(s)
If you did not do a fence selection and
through the objects to be trimmed.
then immediately click either Extend
Object(s) or Trim Object(s) after return- 2. Select the cutting line(s) and click the
ing to the Main Edit Mode, Sticky Trim Object(s) edit button.
Mode is still enabled.
3. Click the Sticky Mode edit button if
you wish to click multiple objects to
trim them.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

4. Click each segment intersected by a cut- Extend Objects


ting line one-by-one to trim it back to
the cutting line. Lines, arcs, polylines and framing
items can also be extended. The
To trim using a fence boundary the items is extended to may be
any CAD object, group of CAD objects, or a
1. Draw the cutting line(s) or polyline(s) CAD block.
through the objects to be trimmed.
As with Trim Objects , there are three
2. Draw a fence through the object seg-
ments to be trimmed. Be sure that the ways to use Extend Objects :
fence intersects the objects on the side of • Individually clicking on objects to be
the cutting line(s) that you want to edit. extended.
See “Using a Fence” on page 147.
• Selecting objects to be extended using a
3. Select the cutting line(s) and click the fence.
Trim Object(s) edit button. • Selecting objects to be extended using a
temporary fence.
4. Click the Sticky Mode edit button if
you wish to trim objects using multiple
To extend by clicking
fences.
1. Draw the boundary line(s) or polyline(s)
5. Click the Select Fence edit button.
you want the objects to extend to.
6. Click the fence(s) to trim the object seg-
2. Select the boundary line(s) and click the
ments intersected by the fence.
Extend Objects edit button.
To trim using a temporary fence
3. Click the Sticky Mode edit button if
1. Draw the cutting line(s) or polyline(s) you wish to click multiple objects to
through the objects to be trimmed. extend them.
2. Select the cutting line(s) and click the 4. Click an object that you would like to
extend to the boundary line(s).
Trim Object(s) edit button.

3. Click the Sticky Mode edit button if To extend using a fence


you wish to trim objects using multiple
1. Draw the boundary line(s) or polyline(s)
temporary fences.
you want the objects to extend to.
4. Click and drag a temporary line to act as
2. Draw a fence through the objects to be
a fence, trimming the object segments
extended. See “Using a Fence” on page
intersected by it. Be sure to draw this
147.
fence on the side of the cutting object(s)
that you wish to edit. 3. Select the boundary line(s) and click the
Extend Objects edit button.

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Transform/Replicate Object Dialog

4. Click the Sticky Mode edit button if 2. Select the boundary line(s) and click the
you wish to extend objects using multi- Extend Objects edit button.
ple fences.
3. Click the Sticky Mode edit button if
5. Click the Select Fence edit button. you wish to extend objects using multi-
6. Click the fence to extend the objects ple temporary fences.
segments intersected by the fence until 4. Click and drag a temporary line to act as
they meet the boundary line(s). a fence, trimming the object segments
intersected by it.
To extend using a temporary fence

1. Draw the boundary line(s) or polyline(s)


you want the objects to extend to.

Transform/Replicate Object Dialog


Select any object or group of objects
and click the Transform/Replicate Caution: Always double-check the val-
Object edit button to open the Transform/ ues entered in the Transform/Repli-
Replicate Object dialog. cate Object dialog. Large numbers of copies
or large offsets or resize factors can result in
If multiple options are selected in the objects that are time-consuming to create or
Transform/Replicate Object dialog, they are may be off the screen.
performed in the order they appear in the
dialog, from top to bottom.

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Transform/Replicate Object Dialog

1 Number Of Copies - Select this • Select Relative to Current Point to


option, then specify the Number of move the object relative to the current
Copies to make. CAD point. See “Point Tools” on page
880. You can either specify its X Delta
2 Move - Select this option, then specify and Y Delta, or Angle and Distance, if
how far or where to move the object(s).
Polar is checked.
• Select Relative to Itself to move the
object relative to its current position.
When a CAD-based object is moved to
Specify the X Delta, Y Delta and Z
a new floor, only its display in floor plan
Delta values, which are the object’s view is moved - its physical locations in the
changes in position along each axis. model remains unchanged. See “Architec-
• Select Absolute Location to move the tural vs CAD Objects” on page 131.
object to an absolute location. You can
either specify its X and Y Position, or 3 Rotate - Select this option, then specify
Angle and Distance, if Polar is checked. the Angle to rotate the object(s).

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• Absolute Angle - Select this option to You can also specify the point the selected
rotate the object so that its orientation is object(s) is reflected about, below.
at an absolute angle.
• Relative Angle - Select this option to 6 Rotate/Resize/Reflect About - This
section is enabled when the Rotate,
rotate the object the specified angle rela- Resize and/or Reflect functions are selected.
tive to its current orientation.
• X Position - Specify the X coordinate of
You can also specify the point the selected the point to perform the selected edit
object(s) rotate about, below. function(s) about when About Absolute
Point is selected.
4 Select Resize, then specify the Resize • Y Position - Specify the Y coordinate of
Factor in decimals. A resize factor of 2
doubles the size of the object, while a resize the point to perform the selected edit
factor of 0.5 halves the object’s size. function(s) about when About Absolute
Point is selected.
You can also specify the point the selected
object(s) is resized about, below. • About Object Center - Select this option
to perform the selected edit function(s)
5 Reflect - Select this option, then about the object’s center.
specify which axis to reflect about.
• About Absolute Point - Select this
• Horizontally - Select this option to option to perform the selected edit func-
reflect the object horizontally. tion(s) about the specified point.
• Vertically - Select this option to reflect • About Current Point - Select this option
the object vertically. to perform the selected edit function(s)
about the current CAD point.

Union, Intersection, and Subtract


New closed polyline-based Union
objects and solids can be
created based on existing closed polyline- Use the Union edit button to combine
based objects of the same type or solid two or more closed polylines or solids
objects. The Union, Intersection and into a single object.
Subtract edit tools are provided for this The following example shows three closed
purpose. polylines and the single closed polyline that
results when the three are merged using the
Note: The Union Intersection and Subtract Union edit button.
edit tools are not available for objects speci-
fied as holes, such asSslab Holes or Custom
Countertop Holes.

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5. The new polyline of the same type as the


originals is created and is selected. Its
shape is defined by the boundaries of the
two originals and, if the original objects
There are two methods of combining closed were retained, it is superimposed over
them and can be moved.
polylines or solids using the Union edit
button: the single selection and group To use the group selection method
selection methods.
1. Group-select two or more closed
Begin by creating two or more overlapping
polylines or solid objects.
objects of the same type. If one object is a
countertop, for example, the others should be 2. Click the Union edit button.
countertops, as well.
3. If the object is a polyline, choose to
If the original objects do not overlap, they retain or delete the original objects in the
will either not produce a new object or will dialog that opens.
be duplicated on top of themselves. 4. A new object of the same type as the
originals is created, is selected, and is
To use the single selection method superimposed over the originals if they
1. Select a single closed polyline or solid were retained.
object. This second method allows you to combine
more than two polylines simultaneously.
2. Click the Union edit button.
3. Click another closed polyline or solid.
Note: If the original objects do not overlap,
4. If the object is a polyline, choose to the Union edit tool duplicates them and then
retain or delete the original objects in the either deletes or retains the originals.
dialog that opens.
Intersection
Use the Intersection edit button to
create a single polyline based on the
overlap area of two or more closed polyline-
based objects or solids.

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Union, Intersection, and Subtract

The following example shows two closed 5. A new object of the same type as the
polylines and the single closed polyline that originals is created and is selected. Its
results when the Intersection edit button shape is defined by the area shared by
is used. the original objects and, if the originals
were retained, it is superimposed over
them and can be moved.

To use the group selection method

1. Group select two or more closed


polylines or solid objects.

2. Click the Intersection edit button.


3. If the object is a polyline, choose to
retain or delete the original objects in the
dialog that opens.
There are two methods of combining closed 4. A new object of the same type as the
polylines or solids using the Intersection originals is created, is selected, and is
edit button: the single selection and group superimposed over the originals if they
selection methods. The second method were retained.
allows you to work with more than two
objects simultaneously. Subtract
Begin by creating two or more overlapping Use the Subtract edit button to
objects of the same type. If one object is a subtract the area of one object that
countertop, for example, the others should be overlaps another object of the same type to
countertops, as well. create a third, new object.

If the original objects do not intersect, no This polyline


new object is created. selected first

To use the single selection method

1. Select a single closed polyline or solid


object.

2. Click the Intersection edit button.


3. Click another closed polyline or solid. This polyline
selected first
4. If the object is a polyline, choose to
retain or delete the original objects in the Originals
dialog that opens. There is one method for using the Subtract
edit button.

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To use the Subtract edit tool 4. If the object is a polyline, choose to


retain or delete the original objects in the
1. Draw two or more closed polyline-based dialog that opens.
objects or solids that overlap. One object
can be completely enclosed by another. 5. A new object of the same type as the
originals is created, is selected, and is
2. Select one or more of these objects you superimposed over the originals if they
want to remove a portion from as were retained.
defined by the area shared in common
with the remaining, unselected object.
Note: If the original objects do not overlap, the
3. Click the Subtract edit button and Subtract edit tool duplicates the first object
then click the unselected object. selected and then either deletes or retains it.

Converting Objects
CAD objects and many CAD-based objects CAD Detail from View does not truly
can be converted into a variety of other types convert objects in the current view into CAD
of objects. objects; instead, it creates a copy of the
original view composed of CAD objects
CAD to Walls instead of architectural objects, leaving the
CAD to Walls allows you to convert a original view intact.
2D line drawing into a 3D model.
Double CAD lines and arcs drawn to Convert Polyline
represent wall layers and other structural The Convert Polyline edit button lets
items can be converted to actual Chief you to turn CAD objects into CAD-
Architect walls, railings, windows, or based architectural objects such as counter
doorsHome Designer Pro walls and railings. tops and stair landings, special polylines
See “CAD to Walls” on page 240. such as materials list polylines, and a variety
of slab, hole and terrain objects.
CAD Detail from View
To convert a CAD object into one of these
Select CAD> CAD Detail from View 3D objects, select the object and click the
to create a CAD drawing of the
current view. See “CAD Detail from View” Convert Polyline edit button to open the
on page 918. Convert Polyline dialog.

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Converting Objects

Convert Polyline Dialog

Click the radio button beside one of the 3D Molding Polyline - Convert to a 3D
objects in this dialog, then click OK. molding polyline. See “3D Molding Polyline
Tool” on page 536.
Countertop - Convert the selected closed
polyline to a countertop. See “Custom Hole in Roof/Custom Ceiling - Convert the
Countertops” on page 549. selected closed polyline to a roof/ceiling
hole. Only available when the polyline is
Slab - Convert the selected closed polyline to
contained inside a single roof plane or ceiling
a slab. See “The Slab Tools” on page 370.
plane. See “Roof Hole/Skylight
Slab with Footing - Convert the selected Specification Dialog” on page 416.
closed polyline to a slab with footing. See
Hole in Ceiling Platform - Convert the
“The Slab Tools” on page 370.
selected closed polyline to a ceiling platform
Landing - Convert the selected closed hole. Only available when the polyline is
polyline to a landing. Only available when contained inside a single ceiling plane. See
the closed polyline is not a spline. See “Stair “Platform Holes” on page 358.
Landings” on page 435.
Hole in Floor Platform - Convert the
Material List Polyline - Convert the selected closed polyline to a floor platform
selected closed polyline to a materials list hole. Only available when the polyline is
polyline. See “Calculate From Area” on page contained inside a single floor platform. See
1049. “Platform Holes” on page 358.
Molding Polyline - Convert to a molding Polyline Solid - Convert the selected closed
polyline. See “Molding Polylines” on page polyline to a polyline solid. See “Polyline
535. Solids” on page 658.

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Revision Cloud - Convert the selected creating medians on curved roads. See
closed polyline to a revision cloud. See “Median” on page 636.
“Revision Clouds” on page 906.
Road Marking (Perimeter) - Convert to a
Sprinkler Line - Convert to a sprinkler line. road marking where the polyline represents
See “Sprinkler Tools” on page 629. the perimeter of the road marking. See “Road
Marking” on page 637. Only available when
Terrain Perimeter - Convert to the terrain
a terrain perimeter exists and the polyline is
permeter. See “Terrain Perimeter” on page
closed.
581. This option is only available when:
• The polyline is closed Road Stripe (Center Line) - Convert to a
road stripe where the polyline represents the
• A terrain perimeter does not yet exist centerline of the road stripe. See “Road
• Only one polyline is currently selected Marking” on page 637. Only available when
a terrain perimeter exists.
Elevation Line - Convert to an elevation
line. See “Elevation Lines” on page 584. Sidewalk (Perimeter) - Convert to a
Only available when a terrain perimeter sidewalk polyline where the polyline
exists. represents the perimeter of the sidewalk. See
“Polyline Sidewalk” on page 638. Only
Terrain Break - Convert to a terrain Break.
available when a terrain perimeter exists and
See “Editing Terrain Objects” on page 595.
the polyline is closed.
Only available when a terrain perimeter
exists. Sidewalk (Center Line) - Convert to a
sidewalk where the polyline represents the
Terrain Feature - Convert to a terrain
center line of the sidewalk. See “Straight
feature. See “Terrain Feature Tools” on page
Sidewalk” on page 638. Only available when
588. Only available when a terrain perimeter
a terrain perimeter exists.
exists.
Click OK to convert the object or objects.
Road (Perimeter) - Convert the selected
closed polyline to a road polyline where the The specification dialog appropriate to the
polyline represents the perimeter of the road. newly converted object opens, allowing you
See “Polyline Road” on page 636. Only to specify its height, material and other
available when a terrain perimeter exists. information.
Road (Center Line) - Convert to a road
where the polyline represents the center line Convert to Plain Polyline
for the road. See “Straight Road” on page Click the Convert to Plain Polyline
636. Only available when a terrain perimeter edit button to convert special
exists. polylines to plain polylines.
Road Median - Convert the selected After a special polyline is converted into a
polyline to a road median. This is helpful for plain polyline, it can be converted into a
special of the same or different type.

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Select Same / Load Same

Convert to Solid Unlike polylines, splines form smooth curves


rather than angled corners where their
Click the Convert To Solid edit direction changes. See “Splines” on page
button to convert the selected object 908.
into a Primitive object, or solid, so that it can
be used with other solids to create complex
Convert Spline to Polyline
structures. See “Primitive Tools” on page
649. Click the Convert Spline to Polyline
edit button to convert the selected
Convert to Symbol spline-based object into a polyline.

Create a 3D view of a custom object,


then select Tools> Symbol> Convert
to Symbol to convert the object into a
symbol. See “Convert to Symbol” on page
987.

Convert to Spline The spline is replaced by the new polyline


Click the Convert to Spline edit A curved portion in a spline is represented as
button to convert some CAD-based a number of smaller straight lines. You can
objects such as Custom Countertops or change a spline into a normal polyline that is
splines that have been converted to polylines made up of these straight lines using this edit
to spline-based objects. See “Editing Spline tool.
Based Objects” on page 167.

Select Same / Load Same


The Select Same/Load Same set of specified attributes as the selected
edit tools provide a fast way to object.
locate and modify rooms, cabinets, windows
With the exception of rooms, all selected
and doors in your plan based on attributes
objects can then be opened for specification
that you specify.
and/or edited using the toolbar buttons.
Select Same Type Although multiple rooms cannot be edited,

The Select Same Type edit tool the Load Values to Make Same edit tool
allows you to quickly select all can be used to quickly modify multiple
cabinets, doors, windows, or rooms on the rooms. Click any rooms that are not
current floor of your plan that share the same highlighted to change their attributes so that
they match those that you specify.

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Load to Make Same Value apply to other like objects on the current
floor.
The Load Values to Make Same edit
button can be used to apply the 2. Click the Select Same Type edit
selected attributes, or values, to any other button.
objects on the current floor that do not yet 3. In the Select Similar Objects dialog,
share them. check the box beside attributes that you
want to load into other similar objects
Load Values to Make Same becomes
and click OK. The set of attributes
available only after the Select Same
available varies depending on the type
Type edit tool has been used to select a of object selected.
group of objects that share the same
attributes. 4. All objects sharing all of the specified
Some attributes can only be used for attributes are now selected in the draw-
selecting objects and cannot be loaded from ing area.
one object to another. These attributes 5. Click the Load Values to Make
display in the Select Similar Objects dialog
Same edit button, then click any like
followed by an asterisk.
object that is not currently highlighted to
apply the specified attributes to it and
To use Select Same/Load Same
add it to the selection set.
1. Select a room, cabinet, window or door 6. You can continue selecting/loading
with attributes that you would like to objects until the Esc key is pressed or
another tool is activated.

Edit Area Tools


The Edit Area Tools allow you to Some objects, such as cabinets, are included
quickly define an area of your plan in the selection only if more than half of the
and select the objects in that area. Once object is contained within the marquee.
selected, they can then be repositioned,
A few objects, notably CAD points, are not
copied or deleted. Select Edit> Edit Area to
view the Edit Area Tools. affected by the Edit Area Tools .
Unlike other selection methods, the Edit
The Edit Area tools can cause wide-
Area Tools cut walls, railing and fencing spread changes across an entire plan
where the selection marquee intersects them, and should always be used with caution.
allowing you to edit only the selected portion
of these objects.

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Edit Area Tools

Edit Area Objects not currently displaying in floor plan


view are not affected.
Select Edit> Edit Area> Edit Area
and draw a rectangular marquee
Edit Area Polyline
around the area of the plan to be edited.
If a rectangular marquee’s shape does not
Edit Area affects all objects included in allow you to define an area precisely, use a
the selection marquee that are located on the closed polyline instead.
current floor, regardless of whether they are
displaying in floor plan view or not. Select a polyline that defines the desired area
in floor plan view and then select one of the
Edit Area Visible Edit Area Tools . The polyline becomes
temporarily highlighted and acts as an Edit
Select Edit> Edit Area> Edit Area Area marquee.
Visible and draw a marquee around
the area of the plan to be edited.
Using the Edit Handles
Edit Area Visible only affects visible An Edit Area marquee displays edit handles
objects included in the selection marquee: that are similar to those of a closed polyline.
objects not currently displayed in floor plan See “Using the Edit Handles” on page 160.
view are unaffected.
• Click the Move edit handle to move the
entire selection set. See “Moving
Edit Area (All Floors) Objects” on page 177.
Select Edit> Edit Area> Edit Area • Click the Rotate edit handle to rotate the
(All Floors) and draw a marquee entire selection set. See “Rotating
around the area of the plan to be edited. Objects” on page 188.
• Click and drag the Reshape and Resize
Edit Area (All Floors) affects all objects
edit handles at each corner and along
on all floors of the plan that are included in
each edge to adjust the size and shape of
the selection marquee, regardless of whether
the marquee. See “Using the Edit Han-
they display in floor plan view.
dles” on page 160.
Edit Area (All Floors) Visible Adjusting the size or shape of an Edit Area
marquee may change which objects are
Select Edit> Edit Area> Edit Area included in the selection set but does not
(All Floors) Visible and draw a otherwise affect those objects.
marquee around the area of the plan to be
edited.
Using the Edit Toolbar
Edit Area (All Floors) Visible affects all A selected Edit Area marquee and/or the
visible objects on all floors of the plan that objects within it can be edited in a variety of
are included in the selection marquee.

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ways using the buttons on the edit toolbar. set. See “Point to Point Move” on page
See “Using the Edit Toolbar” on page 162. 179.
The following toolbar buttons may display • Click the Center Object edit button
on the edit toolbar for an Edit Area marquee: to center the selection along along a wall
within a room or relative to a cabinet
• Click the Copy/Paste edit button to
fixture. See “Center Object” on page 182.
copy the selection set to the Windows
Clipboard so it can be pasted elsewhere. • Click the Reflect About Object edit
See “Copying and Pasting Objects” on button to reflect the selection set about
page 191. another object. See “Reflecting Objects”
on page 190.
• Click the Delete edit button to delete
the selection set. See “Deleting Objects” • Click the Allowed Angles edit button
on page 196. to open the Place at Allowed Angles
• Click the Transform/Replicate Object dialog.
edit button to copy, move, rotate,
resize, or reflect the selection set. See Place at Allowed
“Transform/Replicate Object Dialog” on Angles Dialog
page 200. If more than one percent of the
• Click the Multiple Copy edit button straight walls included in an Edit Area
to make a series of copies of the selection marquee are not at an allowed angle, the
set at regular intervals. Concentric copies Allowed Angles edit button displays.
are not possible using the Edit Area tools.
Click the Allowed Angles edit button to
See “Multiple Copy” on page 194.
display the Place at Allowed Angles dialog.
• Click the Accurate Move edit button
to slow down the mouse speed when
using the edit handles. See “Accurate
Move” on page 179.
• Click the Make Parallel/Perpendicular
edit button to rotate the Edit Area
marquee and the selection set so that the
selected marquee edge is parallel or per- Select the first option and click OK to rotate
pendicular to another straight edge. See the plan so that the largest group of off-angle
“Using Make Parallel/Perpendicular” on walls move to an Allowed Angle. This may
page 181. place this largest group at Allowed Angles,
but has two disadvantages.
• Click the Point to Point Move edit
• First, other groups of off angle walls
button to accurately move the selection
remain off angle.

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• Second, any walls that were at an allowed Select the third option and click OK to do
angle before move off angle. The dialog nothing, which is the same as clicking
shows how much (weighted by length) of Cancel.
the selected walls are in each category.
You may want to rotate the majority of the
Select the second option and click OK to add walls to one of the normal allowed angles.
new entries to the Allowed Angles list and
Then, use an Edit Area tool to select
allow new walls to be placed at these angles.
everything again and select the second option
Walls already at Allowed Angles remain so.
to provide new angle entries to cover the
See “Angle Snaps” on page 135.
remaining walls.

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Chapter 7:

Walls, Railings, &


Fencing

Walls are the single most important building Chapter Contents


component in Chief Architect. By creating • Wall, Railing and Fencing Defaults
walls and defining the rooms created by the • The Wall Tools
walls, you are telling the program how you • The Deck Tools
want the 3D model built. • The Fencing Tools
There are several ways that walls can be • Exterior and Interior Walls
created in Chief Architect. The most • Foundation Walls
common is to simply draw them with the • Pony Walls
Wall Tools. • Railings
• Invisible Walls
In addition, exterior walls can be generated • Polygon Shaped Rooms and Decks
automatically when a new floor is built by • Hatch Wall
using another floor as a model. For more, see • Break Wall
“Adding Floors” on page 355. • Deck Railings
2D CAD lines can also be converted into • Deck Edge
actual walls using the CAD to Walls tool. • Fencing
• Drawing Walls
Another feature that can be used to generate • Connecting Walls
walls automatically is the House Wizard. • Displaying Walls
See “House Wizard” on page 926. • Editing Walls
• Editing Straight/Curved Wall
Combinations
• Aligning Walls

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• Attic Walls • Exporting Wall Type Definitions


• Double Walls • Importing Wall Type Definitions
• CAD to Walls • Stepped and Raked Walls
• Wall Type Definitions • Wall Specification Dialog
• Wall Type Definitions Dialog • Wall Hatch Specification Dialog

Wall, Railing and Fencing Defaults


There are several defaults dialogs for Wall defaults can also be accessed by
walls. Default Settings can be accessed double-clicking the Wall Tools button.
by selecting Edit> Default Settings. Click
the “+” next to Walls to display the walls The settings in the various wall defaults
sub-headings. Select a subheading and click dialogs determine what wall types are drawn
the Edit button to open the Wall Defaults when the different wall tools are used. It is a
dialog associated with your selection. good idea to be familiar with these settings
and how they relate to your style of building.
See “Wall Type Definitions” on page 241.

General Wall Defaults


The General Wall Defaults dialog For quick access, the General Wall
controls the general behavior and Defaults button can be added to the
display attributes of all walls, railings and toolbar or you can press Alt+Q on your
fencing. keyboard.

1 3

2 4

1 Resize About - These radio buttons to it or a connected wall is deleted, its length
determine at which layer a wall’s length is preserved based on this setting. Resize
is measured. When a new wall is connected About also controls the location of snap

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points along walls as they are drawn or as Main Layer out. The inner line of the
they are connected to other walls. It also Main Layer does not move.
determines what part of a wall retains its • Inside Surface - Measure wall length at
position when the wall type or wall type the inside surface. Resize a wall from the
definition is changed. interior surface out. The interior surface
• Outer Surface - Measure wall length at does not move.
the outer surface. Resize a wall from the
exterior surface in. The exterior surface 2 Check Show Wall Length When
Editing to display a temporary
does not move.
dimension when a wall is drawn or edited.
• Main Layer Outside - Measure wall Wall length only displays when Display
length at the outer line of the Main Layer.
Temporary Dimensions is on. See
Resize a wall from the exterior side of the
“Display Temporary Dimensions” on page
main layer in. The outer line of the Main
826.
Layer does not move.
• Wall Center - Measure wall length at the 3 Enter the Wall Thickness to be used
center line. Resize a wall from its center. for Adjustable Thickness Types. See
The center line does not move, but wall “Wall Type Definitions” on page 241.
layers on either side may.
4 Check Auto Rebuild Attic Walls to
• Main Layer Inside - Measure wall generate attic walls automatically when
length at the inner line of the Main Layer. the model changes. When unchecked, the
Resize a wall from the interior side of the automatic generation of attic walls is
suppressed.

Exterior/Interior Wall Defaults


Specify which wall types are drawn using the
Exterior and Interior Wall tools in
the Exterior/Interior Wall Defaults dialog.
You can also double-click the Straight or
Curved Exterior or Interior Wall toolbar
buttons to open this dialog.

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1 Exterior Wall Tool - From the drop- Click the Define button to open the Wall
down list, select the wall type drawn Type Definitions dialog.
with the Exterior Wall tool.
3 Default Thickness for Railings,
Click the Define button to open the Wall Fencing, Invisible and Adjustable
Type Definitions dialog. See “Wall Type
Thickness Walls - Select a thickness for
Definitions Dialog” on page 243. these tools and wall types from the drop-
down list.
2 Interior Wall Tool - From the drop-
down list, select the wall type drawn by
the Interior Wall tool.

Foundation and Retaining Wall Defaults


Specify which wall types are drawn when the build a structure. See “Terrain Wall and Curb
Foundation and Retaining Wall Tools” on page 592.
tools are used in the Foundation and You can also double-click the Foundation
Retaining Wall Defaults dialogs. See
Wall or Retaining Wall button to
“Terrain Wall and Curb Tools” on page 592.
open these dialogs.
Unlike other walls, Retaining Walls Footing size and other information used
allow you to modify your terrain rather than when building foundations is also specified

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here. For more information, see “Foundation


Defaults” on page 363.

Pony Wall Defaults


Specify the wall types used for the upper and You can also double-click either the Pony
lower portions of pony walls and other data Wall or Curved Pony Wall button to
associated with pony walls in the Pony Wall open this dialog.
Defaults dialog.

3 4

1 Upper Wall - From the drop-down list, 2 Lower Wall - From the drop-down list,
select the default wall type for the select the default wall type for the
upper portion of pony walls. lower portion of pony walls.
• Click the Define button to open the Wall • Height of Lower Wall - Specify the
Type Definitions dialog, where you can default height of the lower portion of
create and modify wall types. See “Wall pony walls.
Type Definitions Dialog” on page 243. • Click the Define button to open the Wall
Type Definitions dialog.

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3 Align Pony Wall - Specify the default • Select Show Lower Wall to display this
option for aligning the layers of the wall type in floor plan view instead of the
upper and lower pony walls. See “Wall upper wall type.
Types Tab” on page 256. • Check Hide Openings in Non-Dis-
played Parts of Walls to hide any doors
4 Display In Plan - Specify how pony and windows located in the parts of pony
walls appear in floor plan view.
walls that are not visible. When
• Select Show Upper Wall to display this
unchecked, these openings will display
wall type in floor plan view instead of the
along with those located in the visible
lower wall type.
parts of pony walls.

Railing and Deck Railing Defaults


Specify the types of railings created when the Double-click the Deck Tools parent
Railing and Deck Railing tools are used. button or any of its child tools except
Double-click either the Straight Railing Polygon Shaped Deck to open the Deck
Railing Defaults dialog.
or Curved Railing button to open the
Railing Defaults dialog and specify what The tabs in these dialogs are the same as their
type of railing is drawn when either Railing respective tabs in the Wall Specification
tool is used. dialog. See “Wall Specification Dialog” on
page 249.

Fencing Defaults
Double-click the Fencing Tools parent The tabs in this dialog are the same as their
button or either of its child tools to open the respective tabs in the Wall Specification
Fencing Defaults dialog and specify what
dialog. See “Wall Specification Dialog” on
type of fencing is drawn when using the page 249.
Fencing tool.

The Wall Tools


Select Build> Wall to access the Wall Tools. Select Build> Curved Wall to access
Tools. The type of wall drawn by each these tools.
wall tool is specified in its corresponding
defaults dialog. Exterior Walls
The Curved Wall tools are similar to The Exterior Wall and Curved
their corresponding Straight Wall Exterior Wall tools draw walls
using the default wall type specified for

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The Wall Tools

exterior walls in the Exterior/Interior Wall Specification dialog. See “Pony Walls” on
Defaults dialog. See “Exterior/Interior Wall page 223.
Defaults” on page 216.
Railings
Interior Walls
The Railing and Curved Railing
The Interior Wall and Curved tools create railings. The type and
Interior Wall tools draw walls height of railings drawn with this tool are
using the wall type specified for interior defined in Railing Defaults dialog. See
walls. The interior wall type is defined in the “Railing and Deck Railing Defaults” on page
Exterior/Interior Wall Defaults Defaults 219.
dialog.
Invisible Walls
Note: Whether a wall is recognized as an Invisible walls are walls used to define
exterior or interior wall by the program is
separate room areas in a plan. They can
determined by its position in the model, not
by the tool used to draw it. See “Exterior and
display in floor plan view but not in 3D
Interior Walls” on page 222. views. You can also convert a normal wall
into an invisible wall and vice versa in the
Foundation Walls Wall Specification dialog. See “Invisible
Walls” on page 224.
The Foundation Wall and
Curved Foundation Wall tools Polygon Shaped Room
draw foundation walls according to the
information specified in the Foundation The Polygon Shaped Room tool
Defaults dialog. Foundation walls normally opens the New Polygon Shaped
have a footing and can be drawn on any floor Room dialog, where you can specify the
of the model, not just the foundation floor. exact size and number of sides of a new
See “Foundation Walls” on page 222. polygonal room and then click in floor plan
view to create that room. See “Polygon
Pony Walls Shaped Rooms and Decks” on page 225.

A Pony Wall, also called a split Hatch Wall


wall, is defined as a wall with two
separate wall types, one for the upper portion The Hatch Wall tool applies a hatch
and another for the lower portion. pattern to a wall that displays in floor
plan views. You must click the wall that you
The Pony Wall and Curved Pony Wall tools want to apply the hatch pattern to. You can
draw pony walls using the information then select the hatch and resize it if you want
specified in the Pony Wall Defaults dialog. to only hatch a portion of a wall. See “Hatch
You can also convert a normal wall into a Wall” on page 226.
pony wall and vice versa in the Wall

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

Break Wall few inches of each other but are not


connected. See “Fix Connections” on page
The Break Wall tool applies a break in 229.
a wall. Once a wall is broken, the two
wall segments are separate walls that can be
Define Wall Types
modified independent of each other. See
“Break Wall” on page 226. The Define Wall Types tool opens the
Wall Type Definitions dialog, where
Fix Wall Connections wall types can be created, copied and edited.
See “Wall Type Definitions Dialog” on page
The Fix Wall Connections tool 243.
connects walls whose ends are within a

The Deck Tools


Select Build> Deck to access the deck complete with framing, but without a railing.
tools. No deck supports are created. See “Deck
Edge” on page 227.
Deck Railing
Polygon Shaped Deck
The Straight Deck Railing and
Curved Deck Railing tools draw The Polygon Shaped Deck tool opens
decks, complete with framing and bounded the New Polygon Shaped Deck
by a railing. If a foundation level exists, dialog, where you can specify the exact size
supports for the deck are also created. See and number of sides of a new polygonal deck
“Deck Railings” on page 227. room and then click in floor plan view to
create that deck room. See “Polygon Shaped
Deck Edges Rooms and Decks” on page 225.

The Straight Deck Edge and


Curved Deck Edge draw decks

The Fencing Tools


Select Build> Fencing or click the The Fencing and Curved
Fencing Tools to access the fencing Fencing tools are used to draw
tools. fences, which are similar to railings but by
default do not define room areas. Fencing is
created and edited much like walls and
railings, and normally used outside of a

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Exterior and Interior Walls

building and follows the shape of the terrain.


See “Fencing” on page 227.

Exterior and Interior Walls


Most walls are drawn using either the and then change the wall type in the Wall
Specification dialog.
Exterior Wall or Interior Wall tool.
The only difference between these two tools Whether a wall is recognized by the program
is the wall type used. You can specify the as an actual exterior or interior wall is based
default wall type for each tool in the Wall on the model, not by which tool you use to
Defaults dialog. draw the wall. Any wall that is entirely
To draw a wall using a different wall type, surrounded by interior room areas is
you can change the default wall type for considered an interior wall. Any wall
either tool in the Wall Defaults dialog. You exposed to the outside of the building is
can also draw a wall using the default type considered an exterior wall.

Foundation Walls
Foundation walls are similar to the wall layer. See “Foundation Tab” on page
interior and exterior walls but also 255.
have a footing. Foundation walls can either
Foundation walls are placed on the “Walls,
be created automatically when a foundation
Foundation” layer by default, but can be put
floor is created or manually by drawing them
on any layer you choose. In floor plan view,
using the Foundation Wall tool.
foundation wall footings are placed on the
The initial foundation wall type and footing “Footings” layer and cannot be moved; in 3D
size are specified in the Foundation views, they are on the “Walls, Foundation”
Defaults dialog. These values can be layer. See “Displaying Walls” on page 230.
changed for individual walls in the Wall
You can select the footing in 3D views and
Specification dialog. See “Wall
edit its size and shape using the edit handles.
Specification Dialog” on page 249.
You can draw a foundation wall on any floor
of a plan, not just on the foundation level.
Any wall can be specified as a foundation
wall, regardless of the tool used to draw it.
See “General Tab” on page 250.
Normally, the footing is centered on the wall,
but you can center the footing on the main

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Pony Walls
A Pony Wall, sometimes called a The height where the upper portion meets the
split wall, is a wall with two lower can be specified in 3D views. Because
separate wall types for the upper and lower the upper and lower sections of a pony wall
portions. are linked, if either portion is modified along
the division between the two, such as raking
or the stepping of a footing, the other portion
of the pony wall adjusts to match. See
“Stepped and Raked Walls” on page 248.
You can specify whether the upper or lower
portion of pony walls displays in floor plan
view in the Pony Wall Defaults dialog. This
option can also be set for individual walls in
the Wall Specification dialog.

Changing Wall Types


for Pony Walls
Walls drawn using the Pony Wall tool The upper and lower parts of a pony wall can
are created using the wall types and other be redefined as different wall types in the
information specified in the Pony Wall Wall Specification dialog.
Defaults dialog. See “Pony Wall Defaults” You can assign any wall type to the upper
on page 218. pony wall; however, the Adjustable
You can also convert a normal wall into a Thickness Wall type cannot be used on the
pony wall and vice versa in the Wall lower pony wall.
Specification dialog. See “Wall Types Tab”
on page 256.

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Railings

Railings
Railings are created and edited Use a Doorway to produce a break in a
just like walls. By default, newels railing for a stairway or other access. This
and balusters do not display in floor plan keeps the railing continuous to maintain
view, but their display can be turned on. See room definition.
“Newels/Balusters Tab” on page 261.
A doorway in a railing displays in a 3D view
The default type for new railings is defined as an opening, with newels or posts placed
in the Railing Defaults dialog. See “Railing on each side. Posts are evenly spaced
and Deck Railing Defaults” on page 219. between railing ends and breaks and can be
If Panels is selected on the Railing tab of the specified at defined intervals.
Railing Specification dialog, you can
choose a Panel Type on the Newels/
Balusters tab . See “Newels/Balusters Tab”
on page 261.
When first drawn, railings have the No
Locate attribute, which prevents them from
being located by dimension lines. The No
Room Def attribute may also be helpful if
you do not want a railing to divide a room
into two separate areas. See “General Tab”
on page 250.

Invisible Walls
Invisible walls are used to create or
modify room definitions, most often by
defining smaller areas within larger rooms.
See “Room Definition” on page 267. These
smaller room areas can have different floor
or ceiling materials or heights, allowing
stepped areas to be created.
Invisible walls can display in floor plan view
but not in 3D views.
Common uses for invisible walls include
dividing the living and dining areas of a
single room, or separating a kitchen from an An invisible wall can be turned into a normal
adjoining nook. wall, or vice versa, by clicking the Invisible

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

check box in its Wall Specification dialog. • Cabinets, fixtures and furniture can be
See “General Tab” on page 250. moved freely through Invisible walls.
• Invisible walls can be drawn through a
Important Notes on cabinet to attach to the wall behind.
Invisible Walls • Invisible walls do not produce a short
• Floor, wall and ceiling areas are calcu- wall section to cover the gap where the
lated separately for rooms divided by level of the floor or ceiling changes. Use
invisible and normal walls. an invisible railing for this. See “Floor &
• Invisible walls are ignored by the Auto Ceiling Heights” on page 268.

Place Outlets tool; it functions as


though they were not present.

Polygon Shaped Rooms and Decks


Select Build> Wall> Polygon Shaped
Room to open the New Polygon
Shaped Room dialog and create a polygon
shaped room with regular sides.

The settings in these dialogs are independent


of one another and are saved between
sessions.

Select Build> Deck> Polygon Shaped To create a polygon shaped room or deck
Deck to open the New Polygon
Shaped Deck dialog and create a polygon 1. Click the radio button beside an option
shaped deck with regular sides. to specify whether you want to Define
Polygon by Side Length, Radius to
Vertex or Radius to Side.
2. Specify the desired Number of Sides.
3. Specify the desired Side Length.
4. Specify the desired Radius.
5. Uncheck Include Railing to produce a
deck platform defined by Deck Edges.

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Hatch Wall

This option is not available in the New 6. Click OK, then click once in floor plan
Polygon Shaped Room dialog. view to create the specified polygon
shaped deck.

Hatch Wall
The Hatch Wall tool fills any wall Once created, wall hatching can be selected,
segments except invisible walls with a edited and deleted much like other line-based
single hatch pattern in floor plan view. objects. See “Editing Line Based Objects” on
Hatch Wall places a hatch pattern across all page 147.
layers of the selected wall, covering any fill
Like doors and windows, wall hatching
styles specified for that wall type.
cannot extend across multiple wall segments.
In many cases, it is preferable to create a wall Unlike these objects, hatching cannot be
type definition rather than use the Hatch located by dimension lines.
Wall tool because multiple fill styles can The wall hatch pattern and its line weight can
be created for display purposes. See “Wall be specified in the Wall Hatch Specification
Type Definitions Dialog” on page 243. dialog. See “Wall Hatch Specification
To apply wall hatching, click the Hatch Wall Dialog” on page 264.

button, then click on a wall section. The When editing or deleting wall hatching,
hatch pattern covers the entire length and make sure that it is selected rather than the
width of the wall. wall by noting that “Wall Hatching” displays
in the Status Bar. See “The Status Bar” on
page 34.

Break Wall
To divide a wall or railing, select Once a break is placed, click the Select
Build> Wall> Break Wall and click Objects tool and select the original wall.
the wall. The wall is divided into two wall If edit handles display near the break, the
sections at the point where you click. wall was correctly broken.
The Break Wall tool remains active, so Walls separated by a break can be rejoined.
you can continue to place breaks in walls. Select one of the segments, then click on the
When you are finished, select a different end edit handle located at the break and drag
tool. it a few plan inches (mm) away from the
break. See “Connecting Walls” on page 229.
If a wall break is placed near the intersection
of two walls, the break is positioned at the
center of the intersection.

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The Break Wall tool can be used to


create aligned walls on either side of a gap.
See “Creating a Nook” on page 236.

Deck Railings
Click and drag using the Deck When a room is defined using deck railing,
Railing or Curved Deck Railing its Room Type is automatically set to
tool to create decks on the exterior of a plan. “Deck”. See “Decks” on page 275.

Deck Edge
The Deck Edge tools are used to and drag using the Straight Deck Edge or
draw invisible railings, defining a Curved Deck Edge tool to draw deck edges.
deck room without enclosing it in rails. Click See “Decks” on page 275.

Fencing
Fencing in Chief Architect is created
and modified much like railings and
walls. Fences do not create room definition
and are normally used outside a structure to
divide the terrain or detail an exterior.
Fencing automatically follows the shape of
the terrain. You can choose to have the
Define the default fence style in the Fencing
fencing follow the terrain smoothly or to
Defaults dialog. See “Fencing Defaults” on
have each segment step as it follows the
page 219.
terrain. See “Railing Tab” on page 258.

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Drawing Walls

Drawing Walls
Walls are drawn similar to the way CAD Temporary Dimensions
lines are drawn and can be drawn in floor
plan view, camera views, and overviews. See Temporary dimensions will display along the
“Draw Line” on page 884. length of a wall as it is drawn when Display
Temporary Dimensions is toggled on
Draw exterior walls in a clockwise direc- and Show Wall Length When Editing is
tion so that the exterior surfaces face checked in the General Wall Defaults dialog.
outward while interior surfaces face inward. See “Display Temporary Dimensions” on
page 826 and “General Wall Defaults” on
Drawing walls to create a floor plan is simple page 215.
if you keep a few things in mind:
• Draw exterior walls first to define the Continuous Wall Drawing
building’s footprint, then draw the inte- You can draw walls continuously by right-
rior walls after the perimeter is in place. clicking, Alt+clicking or Alt+dragging. See
• To flip the layers of an existing wall, “To draw continuous lines” on page 884.
select it and click the Reverse
Layers edit button. Drawing Curved Walls
• Initial wall heights are determined by the Drawing a curved wall is similar to drawing
default floor and ceiling heights of the a CAD arc. See “Arc Tools” on page 894.
current floor. See “Floor Defaults Dia- As with CAD arcs, the method used to draw
log” on page 353. a curved wall depends on which Arc

Wall Openings Creation Mode is currently active. See


“Drawing Arcs - Arc Creation Modes” on
To create a door or doorway, do not draw page 892.
wall sections with a gap between them. Walls
A straight wall can also be converted into a
should be drawn to completely enclose
curved wall and vice versa using the Change
rooms, and then door and window objects
should be placed in the walls to create Line/Arc edit button. See “Change Line/
openings later. See “Doors” on page 292 and Arc” on page 185.
“Windows” on page 316.
Masonry fireplaces placed in walls are also To create a room in the shape of a cir-
considered to be types of wall openings. See cle, you must draw two curved walls.
“Fireplaces” on page 671.
Center
A curved wall always has a center point. The
center displays as a small cross when you

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enable Show Arc Centers and Ends . Use Angle Snaps to draw walls at
See “Show Arc Centers” on page 155. specific angles. Modify the angle of an
existing wall by specifying a new angle in
the Wall Specification dialog, by dragging
an end edit handle to a new allowed angle, or
by using the Rotate edit handle. See “Angle
Snaps” on page 135.
As you draw a wall, note the temporary wall
that displays. The length and angle of this
temporary wall displays in the Status Bar at
Show Arc Center the bottom of the window as it is drawn.
Radius Drag the end of the temporary wall in a
circular motion. In the Status Bar, note that
The radius of a curved wall is measured from the wall jumps at defined angle increments.
the center to one surface or layer of the wall. Release the mouse button to draw the wall at
The radius can be defined on the General tab the length and angle last shown in the
of the Wall Specification dialog. You may information window.
elect to define the radius to the exterior or
interior wall layers. See “General Tab” on
House Wizard
page 250.
The House Wizard allows you to place
Wall Positioning and arrange room “objects” that can
then be converted into a fully editable house
If Use Snap Grid/Units is checked in the plan, including walls. See “House Wizard”
General Plan Defaults dialog, a new wall on page 926.
snaps to grid lines and line intersections as it
is drawn. See “General Plan Defaults
Dialog” on page 68.

Connecting Walls
In order for a room to be defined, walls must By default, walls are automatically joined
be connected to completely enclose an area. when their center lines are within a distance
See “Rooms” on page 266. defined by the larger of the two wall widths.
Draw a wall sufficiently close to an existing
wall and the program joins them at the Fix Connections
intersection of their Main Layers. The new Occasionally, one or more walls do
wall moves, extends, or contracts slightly to not properly connect. To clean up
meet the existing wall. Existing walls do not
move.

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Displaying Walls

most connections throughout the plan, select Removing Wall Breaks


Build> Walls> Fix Connections.
The Break Wall tool allows you to break
If you have only one connection to fix, the
a wall into two or more separate wall
Connect Walls edit button is faster to segments. See “Break Wall” on page 226.
use.
To merge two colinear walls separated by a
break,select one of the segments, then click
Connect Walls
on the end edit handle located at the break
Use the Connect Walls edit button to and drag it a few plan inches (mm) away
complete an intersection of two walls. from the break.
Select a wall, click the Connect Walls edit
If the two walls do not merge, either one or
button, then click on the other wall to
both walls have been moved and they are no
connect the two.
longer colinear, or one or both has been
If the unconnected wall ends are sufficiently edited in some way and they are no longer
close to one another, the tool connects them. identical. Open the Wall Specification
If the separation is too great, extend one dialog for each wall and determine how they
towards the other and try again. differ. See “Wall Hatch Specification
Dialog” on page 264.

Displaying Walls
While the composition and appearance display. By default, walls are placed on
of each wall type is controlled in the layers with “Walls” at the beginning of the
Wall Type Definitions dialog, the display of layer name, such as “Walls, Attic”.
walls in all views is controlled in the Layer
The display of the wall layers specified in the
Display Options dialog. See “Displaying
Wall Type Definitions dialog can be
Objects” on page 117.
controlled. If you turn off the display of the
The program installs with a number of layers layer called Walls, Layers, wall types display
intended for specifically for various types of with two lines representing the inside and
walls; however, you can specify any layers as outside surfaces. See “Displaying Objects”
the defaults for these walls. Once created, on page 117.
you can also place a selected wall on any
In addition, you can turn off the display of
layer. See “Layer Tab” on page 264.
non-structural layers and show only the
walls’ Main Layers by turning on the display
In Floor Plan View of the Walls, Main Layer Only layer. This
There are several options for controlling how allows you to create both fully configured
walls are displayed in floor plan view. In the walls and true framing layouts. The Walls,
Layer Display Options dialog, you can Main Layer Only layer affects the display of
specify whether or not various types of walls

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walls in floor plan view only. See “The Main Displaying Pony Walls
Layer” on page 242. in Floor Plan View
Foundation Walls have footings that display Either the upper or lower portion of a pony
in floor plan view as long as the “Footings” wall can display in floor plan view. Only the
layer is turned on. See “Foundation Walls” portion that displays can be snapped to or
on page 222. aligned with walls above or below. See
It is often desirable to display the walls from “Aligning Walls” on page 235.
a floor other than the current floor. To do By default, the upper portion of a pony wall
this, select and display a reference floor. See displays in floor plan view. To show the
“Reference Display” on page 360. You can lower pony wall in floor plan view instead,
also specify which layers are included in the select Show Lower in Plan View in the
Reference Display Layer Set in the Layer Pony Wall Defaults dialog. See “Pony Wall
Display Options dialog. Defaults” on page 218.

In 3D Views You can also specify which part of an


individual pony wall displays in the Wall
Each layer of a wall is generated when you Specification dialog. See “Wall Types Tab”
create a 3D view. You can see the different on page 256.
layers in 3D using the Delete Surface
tool. See “Delete 3D Surface” on page 757. When Object Snaps are enabled, you
can only snap to the outer, inner and Main
A wall’s framing layer displays as a solid Layer surfaces of the part of the pony wall
layer rather than studs and plates until wall set to display.
framing is built. See “Framing” on page 460.
Wall framing is placed on the Framing, Wall By default, windows and doors in pony walls
layer by default. are visible in floor plan view regardless of
which part of the pony wall displays. You
While most objects in the program can can, if you wish, select Hide Openings in
display in floor plan view and 3D views, a Non-Displayed Parts of Walls in the Pony
few cannot. Invisible walls and wall hatching Wall Defaults dialog.
are examples of items that do not display in
3D, regardless of what layer they are placed
on.

Editing Walls
Walls can be selected individually and as a ways in which a wall can be edited depends
group in all views. When a wall is selected, it on the current view and which edge is
displays edit handles and an edit toolbar that selected. See “Selecting Objects” on page
can be used to edit it in various ways. The 144.

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Editing Walls

Selecting Walls allowing you to rotate, move, and extend


or shorten the length of the wall.
• When you try to select a wall in a Cross
Section/Elevation or 3D view, the interior • Moving a wall in any view will move any
or exterior room it defines may be cabinets attached to that wall, as well.
selected first. • In a cross section/elevation view, the top
and bottom edges of straight and curved
Click the Select Next Object edit walls can be edited like closed polylines.
button or press the Tab key on your key- See “Editing Closed-Polyline Based
board to select the wall itself. See Objects” on page 160. Only the top and
“Selecting Rooms” on page 270. bottom edges of walls can be broken,
angled or curved: the side edges cannot.
You can specify that the wall be selected • In a camera view or overview, click on an
first instead of the room in the interior or exterior surface to display the
Preferences dialog. See “Architectural same edit handles as in an elevation view:
Panel” on page 88. one at each corner and one on the top and
• In floor plan view, if wall hatching has bottom edges.
been applied to a wall using the Hatch • When a wall is connected to other walls
Wall tool, the hatching may be and Edit Object Parts is turned off,
selected first. Click Select Next Object it can only be moved perpendicular to
to select the wall itself. See “Hatch itself or, in the case of curved walls,
Wall” on page 226. perpendicular to its chord using the Move
edit handle. Unconnected walls can be
• The Edit Area tools allow you to moved at Allowed Angles.
select only part of a wall or walls. See • The footing of a foundation wall can be
“Edit Area Tools” on page 209. selected in 3D views and edited using the
edit handles.
Using the Edit Handles
• The Same Wall Type edit handles can be
Depending on the type of view, a wall enabled, allowing you to draw a new wall
displays a different set of edit handles when segment of the same type as the selected
selected. wall.
• In floor plan view, straight and curved
walls can be edited like other line- and Same Wall Type
arc-based objects. See “Editing Line Edit Handles
Based Objects” on page 147 and “Editing
When the Same Wall Type edit handles are
Arc Based Objects” on page 150.
enabled, two edit handles display just beyond
• In a camera view or overview, click on a selected wall’s Extend edit handles in floor
the top surface of a wall to display the plan view or when the top edge of the wall is
same edit handles as in floor plan view, selected in a 3D view.

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the height of the walls that define it also


Same Wall Type edit handles change.
• The ceiling heights for all rooms on a
floor are controlled in the Floor Defaults
dialog for that floor. See “Floor Defaults
Dialog” on page 353. Whenever possible,
Click and drag a Same Wall Type edit it is best to set all ceiling heights using
handle at any angle to draw a new wall the defaults.
segment of the same type as the selected • The ceiling height of a single room can
wall. be set in its Room Specification dialog.
See “General Tab” on page 283.
• The default Floor and Ceiling Heights for
a given floor can be adjusted by editing
the top and/or bottom edges of the Exte-
rior Room in a 3D view. See “The Exte-
rior Room” on page 271.
To temporarily enable the Same Wall Type
edit handles, select a wall and click the Same • The top or bottom edge of any wall can
be adjusted independent of floor or ceil-
Wall Type edit button. You can also ing heights using the mouse in Cross Sec-
enable these handles globally in the tion/Elevation and 3D views.
Preferences dialog. See “Architectural
• If the wall height of the Exterior Room is
Panel” on page 88.
adjusted in a 3D view, the default Floor
or Ceiling Height of the entire floor is
In the Specification Dialog changed. See “The Exterior Room” on
The appearance and structure of walls can be page 271.
customized in the Wall Specification dialog.
See “Wall Specification Dialog” on page Moving Walls
249. Using Dimensions
Using the Edit Tools Automatic, manually-drawn, and
temporary dimension lines can be used
A selected wall or walls can be edited in a to move walls. Select a wall, then click on a
variety of ways using the buttons on the edit dimension line that locates it. See “Moving
toolbar. See “Edit Toolbar Buttons” on page Objects Using Dimensions” on page 831.
1140.
Depending on your Dimension Defaults
settings, automatic and manual dimension
Wall Heights lines may locate wall surfaces or wall
The height of a wall is controlled by the dimension layers. See “Locate Objects Tab”
ceiling height of the room(s) it defines. If the on page 816
ceiling or floor height of a room is changed,

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Editing Straight/Curved Wall Combinations

Bear in mind that temporary dimensions can 2. Click and drag a dimension line parallel
be set up to locate different wall layers than to the angled wall.
automatic and manual dimensions. As a
result, they may appear to give different 3. Click the Select Objects button,
measurements between the same walls. See then select the angled wall.
“Temporary Dimension Defaults Dialog” on 4. With the angled wall selected, click on
page 821. the End to End Dimension.
Only the portions of pony walls that display 5. In the inline text field, specify the
are located by dimensions. The upper and desired length of the angled wall.
lower parts of pony walls typically have 6. Click OK and the angled wall will move
different thicknesses, so which part you as needed so that it is the length that you
choose to display may affect your plan’s specified.
dimensions. See “Pony Wall Defaults” on
page 218. Locked vs. Unlocked Centers
The default for curved walls is an unlocked
Dimension Defaults and Temporary
Dimension Preferences settings can
center because it is easier to draw and edit
have a significant effect on wall position. It is when the center is unlocked.
recommended that you review these settings
Once walls are in place and curved walls are
and make sure that they meet your needs.
properly aligned with straight walls, it is a
good idea to lock the curved walls’ centers.
The length of a wall drawn at an angle in an
interior corner can be specified using an End To lock the center of a curved wall, select it
to End Dimension . The wall moves and click the Lock Center edit button.
closer to or away from the corner as needed See “Using Lock Center” on page 155. The
but does not break its connections to the curved wall remains selected, but its edit
walls forming the corner. handles change.
The locked status can also be changed in the
To resize an angled wall across a corner
General tab of the Wall Specification dialog.
See “General Tab” on page 250.
1. Select CAD> Dimension> End to End
Dimension .

Editing Straight/Curved Wall Combinations


If you move a straight wall connected to a changing the center of the arc, the walls lose
curved wall with a locked center and the their connection.
connection cannot be maintained without

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

Make Arc Tangent


When an Extend edit handle of a curved wall
with a locked center is dragged with the If both ends of a curved wall are attached to
straight walls that are nearly tangent and the
Alternate Edit Behavior active, the
curved wall is selected, the Make Arc
locked center setting will be overridden. See
“Edit Behaviors” on page 137. Tangent edit button displays. Click this
button to open the Radius of Tangent
If you move a straight wall connected to a Curved Wall dialog.
curved wall with a locked center, the curved
wall extends along its curve and the straight
wall will either lengthen or shorten as needed
to stay connected to the curved wall.
If the connection between the straight and
curved wall cannot be maintained because of
the curved wall’s radius, it will be broken.

Here you can determine which wall layer the


radius of the curved wall is measuring.
Specify a layer and click OK. For more
information about Wall Layers, see “Wall
Type Definitions” on page 241.

Aligning Walls
Wall alignment refers to the way wall below. Walls may need to be aligned in a
segments line up with one another, either on variety of situations.
the same floor or on the floor above or

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Aligning Walls

Aligning Colinear Walls


Colinear walls are parallel walls connected
end to end and drawn on the same floor.
When colinear walls join end-to-end and
Object Snaps are enabled, the walls
snap.
The way that colinear walls snap together is
determined by the Resize About setting in
the General Wall Defaults dialog when
Object Snaps are enabled. See “General
Wall Defaults” on page 215.
4. Right-click the middle section of the
Creating a Nook wall to select the wall section.
Walls can be aligned across an opening such 5. Click the middle Move handle and drag
as a nook, so that they are colinear, using the the wall outward.
Break Wall tool. 6. Draw side walls to connect the wall back
to the rest of the house.
To align walls across a gap 7. Move these short walls using dimen-
sions to accurately size the nook.
1. Select a wall to build a nook into and
click the Break Wall edit button. Aligning Walls
2. Click at a point on the wall close to one Between Floors
side of the nook area. Do not worry Walls can be aligned between floors by
about exact placement right now.
clicking the Align With Wall Above and
3. Click again near the other side of the
nook. Two short lines at each location Align With Wall Below edit buttons.
where you clicked indicate Wall Breaks.
In order for these edit tools to be avail-
able, the areas of the walls in question
must be partially aligned, or overlapping.

To align walls between floors

1. Select a wall that you want to align with


another wall either above or below it.
2. If the wall is above or below the other
wall along only part of its length, you

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must click on it along that part. Select Aligning Curved Walls


Tools> Reference Floors> Reference With Straight Walls
Display On to help make sure you
Curved walls can be drawn tangent to
click on the correct part of the wall.
an existing straight wall using the
3. When you have selected the wall at the Start/Tangent/End Arc Mode. See
desired location, click either the Align “Drawing Arcs - Arc Creation Modes” on
With Wall Above or Align With page 892.

Wall Below edit button. If both ends of a selected curved wall


are connected to other walls at angles
Aligning Curved Walls of 45 degrees or less, the Make Arc Tangent
edit button is available. Click this button to
Between Floors
move and resize the wall so that both ends
Curved walls are aligned between floors are tangent to the connected walls. See
using the same technique to align straight “Editing Arc Based Objects” on page 150.
walls. If the centers and radii of the walls are
The wall’s radius is usually changed by this
within a few inches of each other, the Align
action and a locked center automatically
With Wall Above and Align With Wall becomes unlocked. Once the wall is tangent,
Below edit buttons are enabled for the select it and drag its move handle until it is in
selected wall. The selected curved wall will the appropriate position.
take on the radius and center of the
referenced wall when the walls are aligned. Aligning Railing on
Different Floors
Aligning Pony Walls Two colinear Railings or Deck Railings on
Between Floors the same floor can be aligned one above the
When aligning a pony wall with either the other when they define rooms with different
wall above or below, it is important that the floor heights.
appropriate part of the pony wall display in
floor plan view. See “Displaying Pony Walls
in Floor Plan View” on page 231.
• To align a pony wall with the wall below,
make sure the lower pony wall displays
before using Align With Wall Below
. To align railing on different platforms
• To align a pony wall with the wall above,
make sure the upper pony wall displays 1. Click and drag to draw a Railing or
before using Align With Wall Below Deck Railing that divides a room such as
a deck in two.
.

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Attic Walls

Deck Railing Specification dialog,


2. Click the Select Objects button,
then click in one of the room areas. check Generate on Low Platform. See
“Railing Tab” on page 258.
3. Click the Open Object edit button, 5. Click and drag a second railing parallel
and on the General tab of the Room to the one drawn in step 1.
Specification dialog:
6. Select this second railing and click the
• Specify a Floor Height that differs
from that of the other by at least the Open Object edit button. On the
height of the railing, then click OK. General tab of the Railing or Deck
Railing Specification dialog, check the
• The default railing height is 36”, so for
best results the Floor Height should be box beside No Room Def and click OK.
changed by at least this amount. 7. With the railing still selected, Ctrl + drag
4. Click on the railing drawn in step 1, then it into the same position as the first rail-
ing. See “To move an object freely” on
click the Open Object edit button. page 179.
On the Railing tab of the Railing or

Attic Walls
In Chief Architect, walls are built between When you Rebuild Walls/Floors/
the floor and ceiling platforms of the room. Ceilings , all Attic Walls in the plan are
See “Floor & Ceiling Heights” on page 268. deleted and rebuilt unless Auto Rebuild
When the program detects an open space Attic Walls is also checked in the General
between a wall and the roof plane above it, it Wall Defaults dialog. See “General Wall
automatically creates an Attic Wall on the Defaults” on page 215.
floor above that wall to fill in the gap.
Attic Walls are typically found above Full Knee Walls
Gable Walls, forming a gable or closing the
Knee Walls are a bit like Attic Walls in that
top portion of a side wall beneath a shed
they are not meant to generate to full ceiling
roof.
height. Instead, they build upward until they
Attic walls are often found on the Attic floor, encounter a roof plane. Unlike Attic Walls,
but can be generated on other floors, as well. however, Knee Walls are used in the interior
See “The Attic Floor” on page 359. of a structure, typically to separate loft areas
from Attic rooms on the upper floor. See
Attic Walls are specified as such in the Wall
“Room Types” on page 271.
Specification dialog. If needed, you can
specify a regular wall as an Attic Wall. See Chief Architect does not specify walls as
“General Tab” on page 250. Knee Walls automatically. If an interior wall
is drawn in a location where the roof is lower
than the ceiling height, you should specify it

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

as a Knee Wall in the Wall Specification


dialog. See “Roof Tab” on page 252.

Double Walls
In some situations, such as for sound You can make floor platform rim joists touch
insulation, furring, or where the walls of two each other at the boundary between Split
modular home units meet, two walls are Framing walls or provide spacing to carry
drawn side-by-side. In instances such as sheathing over them by checking Build
these, specify both walls as Double Walls. platform to this layer for the appropriate
layer in the Wall Type Definitions dialog.
Two walls become Double Walls when they
For more information, see “Wall Type
are parallel, touching, and both specified as
Definitions Dialog” on page 243.
Double Walls in the Wall Specification
dialog. See “General Tab” on page 250. To create a pair of Split Framing walls,
specify both walls as such on the General tab
There are three types of Double Walls:
of the Wall Specification dialog.
Frame Through, Split Framing and Furred
Wall.
Furred Wall
Frame Through Furred Walls are placed against the inside
of a primary wall, typically an exterior wall.
Frame Through walls can be considered the
An example is a concrete wall furred out by a
basic Double Wall type. A Frame Through
framed wall with an air gap or insulation
wall could be used as a double wall between
between them. Another example is a thick
hotel rooms for sound insulation.
wall with two framed layers.
To create a pair of Frame Through walls,
Rooms are defined in the normal manner by
specify both walls as such on the General tab
the primary wall, but the layers of the Furred
of the Wall Specification dialog.
Wall are treated by the program as though
they were added to the primary. An air gap
Split Framing between the primary and furred walls should
Split Framing walls divide floor and ceiling be defined as a layer of one of the walls,
platforms, as well as any walls they intersect. usually the furred wall.
The split occurs at the boundary where the As with Frame Through walls, Furred Walls
two double walls touch and is useful for do not split platforms or connected walls.
separating modular home units. Unlike Frame Through walls, they do not
Chief Architect frames walls and platforms connect or frame to non-parallel walls like
separately on either side of the Split Framing normal walls. Instead, they connect to other
wall boundary, with no framing members Furred Walls.
crossing it.

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CAD to Walls

To create a Furred Wall, specify the primary specify how an opening builds through the
wall as a Frame Through wall and the Double Walls on the Frame and Trim tab of
furred wall as a Furred Wall on the General the Door Specification dialog or the Casing
tab of the Wall Specification dialog. tab of the Window Specification dialog. See
“Door Specification Dialog” on page 303 or
Openings in Double Walls “Window Specification Dialog” on page 332.

Doors and windows placed in one Double


Wall extend through both walls. You can

CAD to Walls
The CAD to Walls tool can be used to with unique layer attributes. See “Layer
convert CAD lines in floor plan view Display Options Dialog” on page 121.
into architectural objects. Two or more
To convert the lines of an imported drawing
parallel CAD lines can be converted to both
straight or curved walls or rails. CAD lines using CAD to Walls , map its layers in
representing windows and doors can also be the Import Drawing Wizard. Do not check
converted. “Boxes” or “Polylines”. See “Select File” on
page 955.
All lines that you want to convert to walls
must be located on one layer. The same is When CAD objects are located properly,
true for windows, doors, and rails. It is select CAD> CAD to Walls to display
helpful to place like items on a single layer the CAD to Walls dialog.

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Convert CAD to Walls Dialog

1 2

1 Specify the source layers to be width of the wall type. Typically, only two
converted to walls, windows, doors, or wall types are used in a plan and an interior
rails. and exterior wall type are specified.

2 Click Define to view the Layer Display Conversion works better if lines representing
Options dialog and select a different windows and doors are on different layers,
source layer if needed. although it should still be satisfactory if they
are on the same layer. In either case, the arc
3 Specify wall types for the new walls. indicating door swing helps to identify a door
One, two, or neither can be specified.
and should be placed on the same layer as
To convert to a specific wall type, the lines doors.
must be within one inch or 25mm of that wall
Click OK to complete the conversion.
type’s width. If two wall types are specified,
Converted items are found in the Layer
new walls are converted to the one having
Display Options dialog.
the closest width. The new wall expands or
contracts about its centerline to reach the

Wall Type Definitions


Every wall in a plan is assigned a wall type, Material information in the Wall Type
and its Wall Type Definition determines its Definition can be calculated for take-offs in
structure, appearance in floor plan view and the Materials List. See “Materials Lists” on
default materials. page 1048.

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Wall Type Definitions

Wall types can be viewed, edited and created material. All of these layers can be calculated
in the Wall Type Definitions dialog. See by the Materials List. Materials that are
“Wall Type Definitions Dialog” on page 243. applied to the outer layers of the wall layer
definition also defines how the wall displays
Walls fall into two categories: Adjustable
in 3D views.
Thickness walls and User Specified walls.
The Main Layer
Adjustable Thickness Walls
In most circumstances, the Main Layer
The Adjustable Thickness Wall type is a
should be specified as the structural layer of
generic, single-layer wall type that cannot be
the wall, particularly when the wall is a
edited in the Wall Type Definitions dialog.
framed type. The Main Layer determines
The Adjustable Thickness Wall is the default many things:
wall type for railings, deck railings and • Floor and ceiling platforms and automati-
fencing. Although its wall type definition cally built foundation walls normally
cannot be altered, you can specify its build to the outer edge of the Main Layer.
thickness in the Railing, Deck Railing and
Fencing Defaults dialogs, as well as on the • Exterior walls on different floors are
General tab of any wall, railing or fence aligned by the outer edges of their Main
using this wall type. See “Wall, Railing and Layers.
Fencing Defaults” on page 215. • Roof baselines are placed at the outer
edge of the Main Layer when roofs are
The program assigns materials and assumes
automatically generated. See “The Base-
certain characteristics of these walls when
line” on page 386.
the Materials List is generated.
• Roof base lines and gable/roof lines that
This wall type may be used in legacy plans are manually drawn snap to the edge of
created in previous program versions; this layer.
however, because of its limited editability, it
is not recommended for walls in new plans. • When wall framing is generated, stud
depth is based on the thickness of each
wall’s Main Layer.
User Specified Walls
All other wall type definitions in the program Wall framing will only generate in a wall
are considered User Specified Walls. Some when a framing material such as Fir
User Specified wall definitions are shipped Stud 16” OC or Metal Stud 24” OC is speci-
with the program and can be customized. fied for its framing layer. See “Material Types”
on page 707.
The 2D display qualities of user specified
walls are defined by the properties in the All of this information is reliant on the Main
Wall Type Defintions dialog.
Layer, so creating your wall type definitions
User Specified walls can have up to ten accurately beforehand and specifying the
layers defined, each representing a different Main Layer is very important.

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Chief Architect Reference Manual

The Dimension Layer • Where First Line Offset for Auto Exte-

Dimension line defaults can be set to locate rior Dimensions is measured from.
walls at their surfaces or at their Wall • How the minimum enclosed area
Dimension Layer. See “Locate Objects Tab” required by Auto Exterior
on page 816.
Dimensions is measured.
The Main Layer is the default Wall
The settings on the Locate Objects tab
Dimension Layer for installed wall types;
control how dimensions initially locate
however, this can be changed if need be in
walls. You can move a dimension line’s
the Wall Type Definitions dialog. In addition
extension or add new extensions to locate a
to the Wall Dimension Layer, the program
wall’s surfaces, its Main Layer Surfaces, and/
will locate the inside surface of the Main
or its center line.
Layer, as well.
Whether Surface or Wall Dimension Layer is iwalllay.dat and mwalllay.dat
selected on the Locate Objects tab of the
Dimension Defaults dialog determines a Two files in the Chief Architect program
number of aspects related to how dimensions directory contain some basic default Chief
locate walls: Architect wall type definitions: iwalllay.dat
(Imperial units) and mwalllay.dat (metric
• How Auto Exterior and Manual Dimen- units).
sions measure the lengths of walls.
If you open a .plan file containing no wall
• Where both Manual and Automatic
types, information from iwalllay.dat or
Reach are measured from.
mwalllay.dat is automatically imported,
• Where Extension line lengths and their adding basic wall types to your plan file.
Gap From Marked Object are measured
from.

Wall Type Definitions Dialog


The Wall Type Definitions dialog is using that wall type. Walls in other plan files
used to define new wall types and are unaffected.
redefine existing wall types in the current
If changes to a wall type affect its thickness,
plan file. Select Build> Wall> Define Wall
the position of any walls in the plan using
Types to open this dialog.
that wall type may be affected. See “General
You can also click the Define button on the Wall Defaults” on page 215.
Wall Types tab of the Wall Specification or
in most Wall Defaults dialogs.
Note: The definition of the Adjustable Thick-
Changes made to an existing wall type ness Wall cannot be edited. See “Adjustable
definition affect all walls in the current plan Thickness Walls” on page 242.

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Wall Type Definitions Dialog

1
8

2 9
10

3 11
4 12
13
5
14
6
7

15

1 Click this drop-down list to display all Layer is usually the structural layer and is
available wall types in the current plan. wider than other layers in the wall assembly
Select a wall type from the list to display its diagram.
definition. You can rename a wall type by
typing in a new name. 3 Define the Thickness for each wall
layer. The layer thickness format can be
To create a new wall type, click New to changed by clicking the Num Style button.
define a new wall type from scratch or click
Wall layers are numbered and are listed from
Copy to copy the current wall type. The
exterior at the top to interior at the bottom.
copied wall type can then be renamed and
To select a layer for editing, click in its Layer
redefined.
Thickness text field. The arrow to the right of
To remove a wall type, select it and click the wall assembly diagram points to the
Delete. Wall types currently being used in selected layer, while the arrow to the left of
your plan or set as plan defaults cannot be the diagram points to its exterior surface.
deleted.

2 Main Layer - If the selected wall type You can also select a wall layer by
has multiple wall layers, select a radio clicking on it in the wall assembly dia-
button to specify the Main Layer. The Main gram at the bottom of the dialog.

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4 Select a wall layer and check Build Check By Layer if you want the line to
platform to this layer to build floor assume the attributes of the wall’s layer as
and ceiling platforms to this layer of the wall. defined in the Layer Display Options
This option can only be selected for one wall dialog. See “Displaying Objects” on page
layer: when you check this box for a layer, it 117.
becomes unchecked for the layer it was
Click the Library button to open the Library
previously selected for. By default, this
Browser to the Line Style category. See
option is checked for the Main Layer.
“Line Styles” on page 879.
5 Select a layer and check Dimension to
this Layer to have dimensions locate 9 Layer Material - Specify the material
calculated in the Material List and any
the selected layer of the current wall type.
fill patterns that display in 2D for the
This option can only be selected for a single
currently selected, or active, wall layer.
wall layer, and can only be selected for the
Main Layer or a layer located between the Click either of the two material preview
Main Layer and the exterior surface. By boxes and the Select Library Object dialog
default, this option is checked for the Main opens to the Materials library category.
Layer. Does not affect Interior Dimensions. Specify a material for the active layer in the
See “The Dimension Layer” on page 243. wall layer definition.

6 Total - Displays the total thickness of 10 Click Library Material to open the
the wall type definition. If you change Select Library Object dialog to the
the total thickness value, the thickness of the Materials library category. See “Select
Main Layer automatically updates to account Library Object Dialog” on page 689.
for the difference.
Click Plan Materials to open the Plan
7 Click the Insert button to create a new Materials dialog. See “Plan Materials
layer directly above the selected layer Dialog” on page 718 .
in the wall type definition.
11 Click the Fill Style button to open the
To insert a layer at the bottom or interior of Wall Layer Fill Style dialog and specify
the wall type definition, click on the bottom a fill style for the selected wall layer. This
line in the wall assembly diagram. dialog is similar to the Fill Style tab for CAD
objects. See “Fill Style Tab” on page 902.
Click Delete to remove the currently active
layer. The arrow to the right of the wall Wall layer fill styles are overridden if you
assembly diagram points to the active layer. use the Hatch Wall tool on a wall in
floor plan view.
8 Wall Line - Define the Color, Style,
and Weight for the selected line in the
wall assembly diagram. The arrow to the left 12 Show as insulation in elevation -
Check this box to have insulation
of the diagram points to the active line. Any details generated in cross section views when
changes made in the dialog immediately
display in the diagram, illustrating how the the Autodetail tool is used. See “Auto
wall displays in floor plan view. Detailing” on page 755.

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Exporting Wall Type Definitions

13 Always generate 3D surfaces - Check layer. To select a layer, click on a layer in the
this box to generate outer wall surfaces diagram or click in its Thickness field.
in 3D when wall framing has been built.
The arrow to the left of the wall assembly
When unchecked, outer wall surfaces are not
diagram points to the selected wall line.
displayed when wall framing is built. This
checkbox only affects single-layer framed
15 Click the Num Style button to open the
wall types. Number Style/Angle Style dialog.
Here you can change the numbering format.
14 The arrow to the right of the wall See “Number Style/Angle Style Dialog” on
assembly diagram points to the selected
page 917.

Exporting Wall Type Definitions


Wall type definitions can be exported from
one Chief Architect plan file and imported
into another.
The wall type definitions available to export
from the current plan are listed in the Wall
Type Definitions dialog. See “Wall Type
Definitions Dialog” on page 243.
The File> Export> Wall Definitions
command exports all wall type definitions in
the current plan into a .dat file.
2. In the Save in drop-down, browse to the
To export wall type definitions location on your computer where you
would like to save the exported file.
1. Select File> Export> Wall Definitions • Any folders and .dat files in the current
to open the Export Wall Defintions File location display in the field below.
dialog. • Its possible you may see other .dat files
in this directory that are not wall defi-
nitions.
3. In the File name text field, type a name
for the exported file. Chief Architect
automatically attaches the file extension
.dat, which is the only file type available
in the Save as type field.
4. When both the Save in location and File
name are correct, click Save.

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Importing Wall Type Definitions


Importing wall type definitions into a plan is 3.