Premier

Chief Architect Premier

Interiors

Chief Architect Interiors

Lite

Chief Architect Lite

3D Rendering & Visualization

Perspective & Orthographic 3D Camera tools

X

X

X

Orthographic is ideal for cross section and elevation views. Perspective is ideal for Full Overview, Floor Overview (Doll House), Floor Camera, Full Camera , and Framing Views. Camera views can be named, edited, and saved. Use 3D Settings Controls to adjust the display options and settings.
Isometric View Tools

X

X

View designs from any of the eight standard Isometric viewing angles.
3D Navigation tools & Virtual Tours

X

X

X

Create 3D views and navigate, spin, rotate, pan, orbit, tilt, and move forward or backward. Use the View Direction Tools to quickly set the view to top down, left side, right side or bottom angles. Record virtual walk-through tours while navigating in 3D views. Pause the recording or save frames as desired. Draw a line or spline and record along that designated path. Define the frame rate for recording to a video file.
iOS Compatible Movies

X

X

X

Record walk-throughs and animations that you can share to watch on your iOS devices. Available in the Mac version only.
Walkthrough Tools

X

X

X

Create detailed walkthrough recordings along paths. Add key frames at any point on the spline to control view direction and speed; walk up or down stairs and to span walkthrough between floors.
Reflections and Fast Shadows in Render Views

X

X

X

Quickly generate views where mirrors show reflections, sunlight streams through windows, and objects cast shadows. Navigate these scenes in real-time.
Photo Realistic Rendering

X

X

The Chief Ray Tracer offers significant performance improvement with its ability to use multiple core processors. Lighting and materials have specific properties that can be set for very photo realistic rendering. Export common image formats for presentations and marketing use.
Reflective material type

X

X

Create material definitions to represent reflective surfaces for ray trace views.
Ray Trace Assistant

X

X

Ray Trace Assistant with predefined and editable settings for indoor and outdoor scenes jump start your photo realistic ray trace renderings.
Progressive Ray Tracing

X

X

Preview ray trace renders as they refine and iterate image quality; export the image at any time or define the amount of time for the ray trace from 1 minute to 24 hours or an unlimited time.
Specify Ray Trace Size in Inches or Millimeters

X

X

Set the number of pixels per inch to specify High or Low Resolution.
Lighting through windows in Ray Trace views

X

X

Generate scenes with both natural and man made lighting.
3D Focal Blur & Enhanced control of ambient light

X

X

Use depth of field in Ray Traced views, just like a real camera. Create renderings that exhibit similar detail as real photography. Enhanced control of ambient light within Ray Tracing.
Save Image Settings with Ray Trace Configurations

X

X

Preserve settings like tone mapping, intensity, contrast, and saturation to reuse in ray traces.
Generated Sky Model

X

Create a realistic sky that updates with time of day; control the level of haze.
Enhanced Labels for Cameras

X

X

X

Label tab for cameras allow more control over the display of the labels.
Artistic Rendering – Watercolor, Line Drawing….

X

X

Limited to Standard, Vector, and Glass House
Artistic Rendering techniques include, 3D Standard Render, Watercolor, Squiggle Line Drawing, Technical Illustration, Painting, Vector View, Glass House, and DuoTone.
Speed Improvements in Render Techniques

X

X

X

Faster Vector, Glass House, and Technical Illustration render views.
Improved Control of Render Technique Settings

X

X

Glass House Only
Granularity in Watercolor, Line Drawing, and Glass House controls gives a wider range of setting options.
Advanced Render Technique Defaults

X

X

Use Pre-set attributes or customize your own for the different Render Technique styles. For example, set the squiggle amount for Line Drawing or the colors for Technical Illustration.
Cross Section Render Technique controls

X

X

Access the render techniques for Cross Section views through the camera specification dialog.
3D Views are optimized for multiple core processors and enhanced memory usage in 3D views

X

X

X

Significantly enhanced memory usage, faster 3D views, and Send To Layout with multi-core processors. Adjust render settings for optimal processing speed and quality results.
Cross Section Slider™

X

X

X

Show views being cut from the top, bottom, front, back, left or right side. Adjust the amount cut away from the model.
Delete / Remove Surface tool

X

X

X

Temporarily remove surfaces in 3D views to expose and visualize the underlying model.

Cross Sections & Elevations

Cross Sections, Back-Clipped Cross Sections & Elevations

X

X

X

 Use the orthographic camera to create an elevation or cross section view. Back-Clipped Cross Section views control the cut distance generated for a cross section. Cross Sections can also be clipped at the sides to control the width of view.
Nudge Move in Elevation Cameras

X

X

X

Move items incrementally using the arrow keys.
Auto-generate Exterior & Interior Room Elevations

X

Dimension, Annotate and Detail Cross Sections & Elevation Views

X

X

X

Use the text, arrow, dimension, and CAD tools to add complete details to your Cross Section and Elevation views. Select and edit, delete, resize, or move objects. Add notes and dimensions or insert CAD details.
Automatic Labels in Elevations

X

X

Generate schedule callouts and labels for windows, doors, cabinets, and other items in Cross-Section and Elevation views.
Show Cameras as Callouts

X

X

X

Easily set up view callouts directly from the camera object. Show Elevation, Section, and Cross-Section cameras as Callouts in Plan Views. Add callout labels and descriptions; callout remain when sent to layout.
Automatically Populate Camera Callouts with Layout Page Information

X

X

X

Choose to include layout page label in camera callout second line text. Callout information automatically updates if layout label is changed.
Control Plan Display of Cross Section Camera Callouts

X

X

X

Choose to display Cross Section Camera Callouts on all floors or on camera owner floor only.
CAD Details Catalog & Auto-Detailing tool

X

Toggle between displays for insulation and fill patterns. Choose from over 500 CAD Details in the premium SSA catalog to overlay on your design.
Opening Indicators – Doors, Windows & Cabinets

X

X

X

Show or hide opening indicators for hinge side of doors, windows and cabinet using Layers in Elevation, Cross Section, and Plan views.

Plans & Layouts

Layout tool – for construction documents

X

X

X

Layout sheets are used to organize plans, elevations, CAD details, schedules, site plans, and other items for construction documents. The drawings can be scaled and printed at any size. All views are dynamically linked to the original model reflecting any update you make. Reorder the Layout pages for construction documents. Create templates for Layouts with borders and title blocks.
Set up multiple Pages per Layout File
1000 Pages 200 Pages 200 Pages
Advanced Layout Editing

X

X

X

Edit line views sent to the layout, rescale views sent to layout, re-link views on the layout to reference different files.
Change Line Style using Edit Layout Lines Tool

X

X

X

Display and Print Non-Solid Line Styles in Layout Elevations

X

X

X

Elevation views sent to Layout retain line styles; print foundation footings as dashed lines on Layouts.
Center Objects in Layout

X

X

X

Use the Center Object tool to quickly orient items on layout pages.
Display Upper or Lower Portion of Pony Wall in Layout per View

X

X

X

Retain the state of pony wall display from the time the view is sent to Layout.
Layout Page Information Dialog

X

X

Access and control information specific to each layout page like page label and revision information.
Layout Page Table

X

X

Create drawing schedules, like Table of Contents, for layouts by controlling each page’s attributes such as Label, Title, Description, and Comments.
Layout Page Macros

X

X

Create macros for page label, title, description, and comments for individual layout pages. Macros move with pages as they are edited and re-ordered.
Automatic Layout Page Numbering

X

X

Use the ‘#’ character in a Layout Page Number Label to automatically number the pages sequentially.
Document Revisions for Layouts

X

X

Revisions can be noted for changes to any layout page and displayed in a Revision Table with information such as; revision number, authors’ info, date, description, and label. Current (or last) revision can be displayed using macros.
Control Layout Template Pages

X

X

Specify multiple Template pages in a Layout and assign individual pages to reference a template.
Reference Display Drawing Order

X

Control whether the reference display sent to Layout is drawn on top or beneath the active floor.
Update Reference Display and Annotation Sets Used in Layout Views

X

Use the Plan View controls in the Layout Box Specification dialog to update the Reference Display and Annotation Sets used.
Delete Active Layout Pages

X

X

X

Delete any un-needed layout page whether or not it contains any content.
Catalog Library Browser

X

X

Excludes Manufacturer Catalogs
Choose from thousands of items. Download new content from Chief Architect or from third party sources. The Library includes generic and manufacturer brands.
Project Browser

X

A project organization tool to manage and navigate, project files, floors, elevations, cross sections, 3D views, cameras, and CAD details. Rename cameras, view multiple projects at once, easily access details and share them between projects.
Independent Control of Library Browser and Project Browser

X

View the Library Browser and the Project Browser as tabs of the same window, or disconnect them to view them simultaneously and independently.
Manage Layout Pages through the Project Browser

X

Delete, insert new, and edit layout page information from the Project Browser. Layout pages display with different icons in the Project Browser for template pages, blank pages, and pages that will print.
Create CAD Details from within the Project Browser

X

Right-click context menu allows new CAD Details to be created and named as needed.
Design Structures with multiple Floors
30 Floors 10 Floors 10 Floors
Excludes attic and basement or foundation.
Plan Templates

X

X

X

Choose pre-defined Plan Templates or create your own.
Time Tracker™ tool

X

X

X

Measure working time per project, per client, or per task. Start and stop the Time Tracker. View, edit, and export a time log, and add notes for each project. Time Tracker automatically re-starts with you as you work in a design.
Plan Database tool

X

X

X

Create a plan database to organizing your plan portfolio.
Plan Check tool

X

X

X

Provides a review for basic room egress, roof, wall layout, and more.
Rotate & Flip Plan tools

X

X

X

Use Flip Plan to create a mirrored version of your design. Use Rotate Plan to change the orientation of the floor plan on your screen.
Crop Picture Images Added to Plan and Layout

X

X

X

Crop handles allow picture boundaries to be reduced or enlarged.
Insert & Exchange Floors

X

X

Use the Floor Above/Below tool to insert and exchange floors. Insert new Floors or levels between existing floors.
R-Value Controls

X

Specify R-values for walls, floors, ceilings, and platforms.
Space Planning Assistant

X

X

X

Drag-and-drop room bubbles and arrange them before converting them to walls. Provides a quick way to lay out rooms that adjoin the project to illustrate how the completed project would look.
Model Maker™

X

X

Print designs that can be assembled into 3D Models.
Loan Calculator tool

X

X

X

Calculate mortgage payments.
Home Designer® Plan Share

X

X

Share Chief Architect® plans with the consumer / DIY Home Designer® products of the same release version. Your clients can use this for floor/space planning and change colors, materials and textures. Features a Plan Lock to prevent Home Designer from editing the Plan file. See http://www.homedesignersoftware.com/products/matrix.html for more information about Home Designer®.
Chief Architect Viewer file compatibility

X

X

X

Share your Chief Architect design files with clients using the free Chief Architect Viewer software.

Rooms

Room Defaults – ceiling height, style, moldings, wall covering, floor materials

X

X

X

Control the initial behavior by specifying default values. Define room attributes by room type.
Specify when a room is calculated in the Living Area

X

X

X

For example, specify the garage or attic to be included or excluded in the living area calculation.
Define Conditioned or Unconditioned Spaces

X

Specify rooms as conditioned, unconditioned, or use the room type’s default to generate insulation calculations on the materials list.
Name individual Rooms

X

X

X

Name individual rooms from a defined list of types or create new names. Custom Room Label controls - assign room types as well as custom room labels. Rooms display dimensions with interior area measurements. Multiple Room Select to group edit the Room attributes.
Custom Room Label controls

X

X

X

Assign room types as well as custom room labels.
Room Label Dimension Format Defaults

X

Define the display of the dimensions supplied with a room label. Edit units, franction or decimal disply and other setting much like standard dimension formats
Improved Calculation of Room Size

X

X

X

Room dimensions displayed in room labels more accurately calculate size based off floor finish changes at invisible walls.
Control over new Room specifications when additional floors are added

X

X

X

Use the Floor Defaults dialog to set up a new floor’s attributes.
Display any combination of Room Label Size Layers

X

X

X

Display the Dimensional Size and the Square Footage labels for a room at one time.
Accurately Layered Floor & Ceiling Platforms

X

X

3D model includes Finished Floor and Finished Ceiling layers. Use these layers to add dimension details and define floor coverings, finishes, and sub-layers.
Floor Material Region Tool

X

X

Create floor inlays and other floor finish configurations without room boundaries.
Raised Floor Platforms

X

X

Specify raised floor platforms that are automatically framed.
Molding display control by Room

X

X

X

Specify height, width, and orientation of moldings from floor or ceiling. Control the display of moldings in any room type.
Room Molding Polyline & 3D Molding Polylines tool

X

X

Excludes 3D Molding Polylines
Automatically generate a molding polyline derived from the room's perimeter. Reshape the polyline as desired and attach multiple molding profiles. Designate sizes for each profile and specify its height off the floor. 3D Molding Polylines create horizontal and vertical moldings.
Room Polyline

X

X

X

Automatically generate a polyline derived from the room's perimeter. Use the polyline tools to generate a Materials List, view the area, or convert to a molding, slab, and other custom options.
Room Polygon tool

X

X

Create a Room automatically with pre-specified dimensions.
Room Divide Tool

X

X

X

Create separations of rooms without walls using the Room Divide Tool – great to differentiate flooring for rooms.

Walls

Wall tools

X

X

X

Wall Styles include interior, exterior, railing, pony, half wall, curved, angled, raked, stepped. All styles are customizable with unique layers. Wall Types include structural wood, stucco, steel, ICF, SIPS, glass block, railings.
Draw and edit Walls in 2D and 3D

X

X

X

Create custom Wall styles with multiple layers

X

X

X

All the Wall layers calculate into the Materials List.
Store Walls in Library Browser

X

Add custom wall definitions to the Library for reuse.
Curved Wall controls for radius, center, and ends

X

X

X

Half-Wall tool

X

X

X

Draw half walls and specify their default values (also known as solid railings). Include wall assembly layers and control them just as you would a standard wall.
Improved Cap on Solid Railings

X

X

X

Railing cap overhang is equal on all edges not attached to another wall.
Wall Material Region Tool

X

X

Design wall areas specifying different materials and assemblies.
Railing Tools

X

Interior Railings Only

X

Specify interior and exterior railing styles with unique attributes like newels, balusters, materials, handrails, and heights.
Rail & Shoe Controls on Railings

X

X

Specify size, shape, and custom profiles for top rail, middle rail, bottom rail and beam. Control the height off of floor for the bottom rail (shoe) for Railings and Ramp Railings.
Control the Thickness of Railing Panels

X

X

X

Separate controls for the thickness of balusters and railing panels that are inserted into railings.
Pony Walls

X

X

X

For a two section Wall, define materials for each section. Control window and door display, dimensions, alignment between floors. Adjust the height of individual Pony Walls by typing the lower wall’s height into the dialog.
Separately Paint Upper and Lower Pony Walls in 3D

X

X

X

Use the Material Painter to separately control the upper and lower portion of Pony Walls.
Double Walls for marriage walls and multi-family units

X

X

Includes window and door control.
Thru-Wall controls

X

X

Specify wall intersections / framing on a per wall end basis using the Thru-Wall attribute. Turn ON or OFF Thru-Wall connection display in plan view.
Support for ICF and SIP Wall Connections

X

X

X

Specify multiple main layers for wall types to represent construction types such as ICF and SIP walls.
Control Wall Connection Layer Intersections

X

Manually control wall intersections by dragging the intersecting wall to snap to a specific layer of another wall.
Create Raked & Stepped Walls

X

X

X

Control heights of walls, add breaks and adjust in Cross Section and Elevation views. Define stepped foundations with vertical footing control.
Wall Align tool

X

X

X

Align walls on another floor (individually or group selected). Toggle the floor reference to see through to the floor above or below.
Automatic Attic Walls

X

Control creation and options.
Steel Framing with C-Channels & U-Channels

X

X

Specify steel framing members and show them in 3D Framing views.
Set up designs for Remodeling

X

X

X

Place New, Existing, Demolition and Remodeling Walls on unique layers .
Enhanced Wall Editing

X

X

X

Adjust wall lengths by selecting dimensions or temporary dimensions that run parallel to the wall.
Continuous Wall Draw mode

X

Right click to enable continuous wall drawing mode - speeds up wall draw time.
Terrain Walls

X

X

Terrain Walls follow terrain contours.
Wall Corner Boards & Quoins

X

X

Place Corner Boards and Quoins at wall intersection corners. Set default size and material attributes.
Auto Place and Delete Corner Boards and Quoins

X

X

Automatically add trim details to wall corners. Option to delete all corner boards and quoins on a per floor or per plan basis through the Delete Objects dialog.

Cabinets

Smart Cabinet Tools

X

X

X

Create any style of Cabinet using the smart parametric tools including Framed, Frameless, Curved, Angled and Bow. Adjust drawers, face frames, doors, styles, shapes, shelves, moldings, backsplashes, appliances, countertops and several other items. Use a specification dialog to define and customize your Cabinets.
Manufacturer Catalogs & Smart Parametric Cabinets

X

X

Parametric
Cabinet catalogs include door and drawer styles, colors, wood species, and accessories.
Define Cabinet defaults

X

X

X

Control the initial behavior by specifying default values - define, colors, sizes, doors and drawer styles, moldings, materials, countertops, hardware, and several other attributes for the cabinets as you begin a new design.
National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Standardized

X

X

Not Approved for Certification Testing
Cabinet display options conform to NKBA standards including countertops, line styles, labels and more. NKBA approved software for professional certification testing.
Place Multiple Appliances in a cabinet

X

X

X

Add an oven and a warming drawer to the same cabinet; adjust or replace the appliance type by editing it in the Cabinet Specification dialog.
Multiple Door and Drawer styles per cabinet

X

X

X

Assign different door or drawer styles to a single cabinet; wall cabinets with glass doors on top; base drawer bases with slab and panel drawers.
Separate Material Controls for Shelves

X

X

X

Apply a separate material, like glass, to the shelves inside a cabinet.
Display Countertop lines in Plan View and control the display with a Layer

X

X

X

Custom Countertop tool creates countertops of any shape or size

X

X

X

Draw and edit countertops manually. Add countertop holes, edge profiles, adjust the thickness and height off the floor.
Convert Automatic Countertops to Custom Countertops

X

X

X

Change the automatically generated countertop to a custom countertop that can be edited and resized independently from the cabinet.
Countertop Edge Molding

X

X

X

Control the display of edge molding applied to custom countertops.
Rounded Cabinet and Countertop Corners

X

X

X

Specify rounded or chamfered corners on a cabinet box and Automatic Countertops.
Custom Backsplash Tool

X

X

Click to generate a Custom Backsplash that automatically fits around cabinets, openings, and appliances.
Cabinet Moldings

X

X

X

Add crown moldings, light rails, dentil and rope molding details to Cabinets
Easily create Stacked Molding

X

X

Add multiple moldings to objects and specify vertical and horizontal offset distances with different Molding Profiles to create stacked moldings.
Cabinet Millwork & End Panels

X

X

Excludes End Panels
Pilasters, feet, legs, and moldings. All resize automatically as the cabinet changes. Attach End Panels to the sides and back of cabinets. Panels can be set to be automatically generated when an end or back is exposed, or they can be manually turned on or off. Control materials by specifying finished, unfinished, or automatic sides. The automatic feature can determine if the cabinet is exposed or against another cabinet.
Set Defaults for Cabinet Side Panels

X

X

Specify cabinet side panels to ‘Use Default’ to quickly update and change side panel style
Cabinet Fillers

X

X

Excludes Manual Fillers
Create cabinet fillers automatically between cabinets, or add them manually.
Frameless and Framed Cabinet Controls

X

X

X

Change the cabinet style in one click with the Frameless and Full Overlay options for cabinets.
Blind Corner Cabinet Controls

X

X

Turn On or Off Automatic Blind Corner Cabinet behavior.
Architectural Blocks, save customized Cabinets to the Library

X

X

Save any Cabinet, group of Cabinets, or an entire room of Cabinets as an Architectural Block and store in the Library for future use. Unblock the cabinet grouping and modify as needed. For example, store kitchen islands or an entire kitchen in your library for future designs.
Architectural Blocks act as Cabinets

X

X

X

More control over Architectural Blocks, such as, default layer, library preview display, floor to bottom height, plan view display, and bounding box size allow Architectural Blocks to act as better representations of cabinet units like bathroom vanities.
Define Cabinets to sub-floor or finish floor height

X

Excludes Floor Layers Finish Floor Only
Define elevation for cabinets, furniture, fixtures and stairs relative to finished floor or sub-floor.
Attach Cabinet Doors, Drawers, and End Panels to Cabinets or place as stand-alone objects

X

X

X

Regular & Sloped Soffits

X

X

X

Generate sloped soffits that automatically match roof or ceiling pitch, or manually adjust slope. Control the initial behavior by specifying default values.

Doors & Windows

Custom Door & Window tools

X

X

X

Create any style of Door, Doorway, and Window including Arched, Shaped and Mulled. Use the Smart Parametric tools. Doors styles include interior, exterior, sliding, pocket, bi-fold, atrium, double-swing, and garage. Hardware Library - Hinges, Handles and Locks. Windows styles include interior, exterior, single/double hung, sliding, casement, corner, recessed, bay, and box.
Manufacturer Catalogs and Smart Parametric Doors & Windows

X

X

Parametric Items Only
Catalog Doors have interior and exterior material settings. Define colors and wood species.
Door Defaults by Door Type

X

X

X

Set unique door defaults for different types of doors: hinged, pocket, bifold, sliding, and garage.
Pass-Thru tool

X

X

X

Create an opening between two rooms.
Glass Louver window type

X

X

X

Choose the Glass Louver window type and adjust louver size to create Jalousie Windows.
Atrium Door options

X

X

X

Create Center Swing Double-Doors, also known as atrium patio doors. Define a variety of other ways to open the doors.
Mulled Units, save customized Doors & Windows to the Library

X

X

X

Create custom Mulled door and window blocks. Move, dimension, and label them as single units and add them to the Library. Mulled Units that contain Doors are automatically recognized as Door objects for Schedules and Schedule Labels.
Visual Door Placement feedback

X

X

X

Visualize door placement prior to actually placing the door with intuitive control of the hinge and swing.
3D Door Display options

X

X

X

Edit tools “Show Door Open in 3D” and “Show Door Closed in 3D” make it fast and easy to control the state of doors in 3D views. Adjust the Hinge/Swing Amount for Bi-fold doors.
Specify Doors as Safety or Fire Doors

X

X

X

Use setting to indicate if a door is a fire door, which will be reflected in the door schedule.
Specify Number of Hinges for Doors

X

X

X

Control the number of hinges displayed for all door types.
Double Walls/Window/Door Control for marriage walls and multi-family units

X

X

X

Window and Door Casings Display in Plan View

X

X

X

Display or hide interior and exterior casings using the “Casings, Interior” and “Casings, Exterior” layers.
Control Plan Display of Symbol Windows

X

X

Assign custom CAD Blocks to symbol windows, like Garden Windows, to control their display in Plan View.
Improved Door Display in Plan View

X

X

X

Door jamb/frame displays as part of the 2D view of the door object when added to a wall.
Control Trim for Interior Doors and Windows

X

X

X

Separately specify the materials and trim assigned to each side of an opening.
Automatic Frame Depth

X

X

X

Set window frame depth to automatically fit into wall.
Unlimited Divided Lites for glass

X

X

X

Create Windows and Glass Doors with an unlimited number of lites.
Custom Muntins

X

X

X

Design your own muntins using the CAD tools and attach them to windows.
Window Treatments & Shutters

X

X

X

Adjust curtains by the height off floor and height above casing. Specify shutters on either side of a window. Blinds fit inside casing when attached to Windows.
Symbol Based Shutters for Doors and Windows

X

X

Attach shutter objects from the Library Browser to doors and windows through the Shutter tab of the specification dialog – control their height and vertical position.
Door & Window Lintels & Sills

X

X

X

Specify sills, lintels, and aprons for openings and set the height, width, and overhang. Attach custom symbols to Window or Door casing and set the height and width.
Bay, Box, Bow Windows

X

X

X

Select then edit a group of bay, box or bow windows. Specify width, depth, and height from floor and ceiling of Bay/Box/Bow Windows within dialog.
Specify Wall Material for Bay/Box/Bow Windows

X

X

X

Independently control the interior and exterior wall materials.
Floor and Ceiling Material and Thickness Control for Bay/Box/Bow Windows

X

X

X

Specify floor and ceiling finish and platform thickness in the windows’ specification dialog.
Window Glazing Area and U-Factor for Doors and Windows

X

Roofs & Ceilings

Build Roof options

X

Controls for Custom Ceilings Only

X

Specify pitch, overhang, raise off plate for energy heels, curved roof information, framing details, fascias, gutters, exposed rafters and roof returns and many other options Includes roof and ceiling framing and trusses. See the Framing section for details.
Build Automatic Roofs - gable, hip, shed, gambrel, mansard, and several others

X

X

X

Generate the roof for any design automatically. Use the Auto-Rebuild Roofs feature to automatically update the roof as your design changes.
Roof Assembly controls

X

X

X

Specify the thickness of roof components.
Draw and edit roofs in 2D and 3D

X

X

X

Design with both the 2D and 3D views up at the same time to visualize the changes in design.
Custom Roof & Ceiling tools

X

X

X

Draw Roof and Ceiling planes and shape and edit them to produce any custom style.
Convert Flat Roofs & Ceilings to Curved

X

X

X

Specify any roof or ceiling plane as curved in its specification dialog. Set angles and radius for plane
Actual and Projected Area of Roof Planes

X

X

X

Macros and references to both the Actual and the Projected square footage of Roof Planes in the roof dialog’s Polyline tab
Control Rafter Spacing per Roof Plane

X

X

Specify rafter spacing values for individual roof planes in a design.
Gable & Hip Roof Toggle tool

X

X

X

Toggle the roof between these two styles using the Gable / Hip tool in 3D and 2D.
Define Roof attributes per wall including multiple Roof Pitches & Overhangs

X

X

X

Shadow Boards

X

Apply Shadow Boards to the fascia of roof planes automatically. Specify molding profiles and stack moldings to create the desired molding build-up.
Ridge Caps

X

Non-Editable Ridge Caps Non-Editable Ridge Caps
Automatically generate Ridge Caps on roofs; turn ridge caps on/off on a per roof basis; assign custom ridge cap profiles.
Fascia & Sub Fascia control

X

X

X

Control the size and display of fascia boards.
Gutters & Frieze Moldings

X

Excludes Frieze
Create custom profiles for gutters and friezes. Attach them to roofs so that they update and resize as the roof design changes.
Auto Roof Returns™ for Gable Walls

X

X

X

Gable, Hip, Full, Sloping and Flat.
Roof Gable Line tool

X

X

X

Draw a line over a door or window and the program will automatically generate Gable roof.
Auto Dormer™ tool

X

X

X

Generate floating (false) and structural dormers automatically. Set the dormer size, roof pitch, and accurately place them on a roof. Dormers types – eyebrow, gable, hip, shed, gambrel, mansard, barrel, and hip curved.
Automatic Ceilings & Ceiling tools - create custom styles including cathedral, trey, coffered, and barrel

X

X

X

Automatic ceilings are created once a roof is generated. Manual Ceilings can be drawn and modified to reflect non-standard ceiling designs.
Skylights

X

X

X

Automatically cut the roof with correct structural framing. Define Square or Plum sides and frame width and height.

Stairs & Ramps

Stair tool

X

X

X

Specify tread width, length, tread number, overhang, and thickness. Set riser height, top and bottom height. Specify details about stringers, open underneath, runners, railing details, baluster and newel styles and shapes, brackets, handrails on walls next to stairs, around corners, and hand rail profile. Specify riser heights, tread width, start height, and bottom height.
One-Click™ Stairs & Ramps

X

Excludes Terrain

X

Auto place stairs from platform to platform. Platform to terrain Stairs and Ramps automatically connect to the terrain when drawn from the ground to the structure.
Advanced Stair tools

X

X

X

Customize curved sections, flared treads, starter treads, winders, definable walk line, maintainable tread width, and landings.
Wrap Around Stairs, connect treads around corners

X

X

X

Auto Stairwell™

X

X

X

Creates stairwell and the platform to match the staircase.
Stair Defaults for Interior & Exterior Stairs

X

Define Stair starting elevation

X

X

X

Specify whether stairs and ramps are located at the sub-floor or the finished floor elevation.
Ramp tool

X

X

X

Default Ramp is ADA compliant. Specify length, slope rise and run. Specify overhangs, railings, tread surface, open underneath, baluster and newel styles, shapes, and hand rail profile.
Ramp Defaults

X

Set up default attributes for ramps.
Landing tool

X

X

X

Create Custom Landings to auto-connect Stair sections or Ramp sections together. Choose auto adjust features for the height and thickness based on stair or ramp connection. Turn railings on or off per Landing edge.
Custom Newels & Balusters

X

X

Choose from newels and balusters in the Library Catalog or import your own.
Automatic Handrail width from wall width

X

X

X

Define the Handrail width based on the width of the wall.
Independent Railings

X

X

X

Create custom railing styles such as glass, cable, or panels.
Railing Opening & Wall surface offset

X

X

X

Control whether an automatic opening is created when attaching a Stair or Ramp to a wall or railing. Control the offset of the automatic wall surface under a Stair.
Enhanced materials controls for Landings & Stairs

X

X

X

Individually control the material assignments for stair and landing components.

Foundations

Foundation tools for Slab, Pier, Crawlspace, Full Basement, Stem Walls, Footings, Post & Beam, Grade Beam

X

Excludes Pier Foundations and custom controls over footings and slabs

X

Set up a default foundation type, controlling stem-wall height, footing size, slab or pier information. Edit the foundations settings after it has been built.
Foundation Defaults

X

X

X

More detailed control over the foundation automatically generated for Garage rooms.
Auto Rebuild Foundations

X

X

X

Automatically update the foundation plan to align with the 1st floor as the design progresses.
Monolithic Slab technology

X

X

Designing slab foundations is now faster, easier, and more accurate.
Monolithic Slab Inset Ledges

X

X

Create monolithic slab foundations with inset ledges for masonry wall construction.
Monolithic Slab Curbing

X

X

Specify curbing for monolithic slab foundations.
Enhanced Garage Slabs with monolithic foundations

X

X

Select components of the slab and adjust garage specific settings to suit your design.
Wall/Footing Below attribute

X

X

Generate a footing, or foundation wall + footing below, when automatic foundations are created by setting a wall as a Bearing Wall.
Slab footing specification

X

X

Control footings for slabs on a per edge basis; resize, dimension, or exclude the footing.
Vertical Footing Control

X

X

Define stepped foundations with vertical footing control. Choose to show or hide vertical footings for stepped foundations.
Rebar calculations for Posts & Beams

X

X

Specify the amount of rebar required for foundations so that it is calculation on the Materials List.
Slab Volume listed in the slab specification dialog for easy reference

X

X

Wall Footing Offset

X

X

Choose to center footings on Wall's main layer or specify an offset value.
Slab Footing Offset Default

X

X

Specify a default offset distances for footings under slab foundations.

Framing

Automatic Framing - floors, walls, ceilings, roofs, openings, headers

X

X

Turn on / off automatic framing – move a window and the framing updates. Define Trimmers and Headers based on opening sizes.
Manual Framing tools

X

X

Draw individual framing members or select and edit automatically generated members.
Separate Layers for Framing Types

X

X

Framing items are automatically separated onto layers by type (Sill Plates, Posts, Beams, Joists, Blocking, etc.).
Trusses automatically configured to fit the space

X

X

Floor, ceiling, and roof trusses. Create trusses that automatically conform and fit between platforms; manually edit and customize them. Truss options include scissor, attic, step down, girder, sub-girder, drop hip, jacks, kingpost, gable end, reduced gable, energy heel.
Truss Details

X

X

Automatically generated truss details for floor, ceiling, and roof trusses. Each truss is labeled for easy identification.
Roof Framing options

X

X

Hand Stack or Truss Frame. Define rafters, ridges, lookouts, sub-fascia, blocking, bridging. Valley fill roof trusses. Exposed Rafter Tails and custom rafter tail cuts - choose a molding profile or draw your own profile.
Control Roof Lookout framing

X

X

Turn on or off the automatic generation of lookout framing in the Framing dialog.
Control of Birdsmouth cuts for Rafters

X

X

Turn off auto calculation of birdsmouth and manually specify the birdsmouth seat.
Framing for Custom Ceilings

X

X

Framing panel added to ceiling specification dialog allows you to define custom ceilings’ framing independently from roof framing.
Wall Framing options

X

X

Define number of plates, stud thickness, spacing, bridging, miter ends, framing for short walls and knee walls. Balloon Wall Framing platforms extend through walls or walls through platforms. Steel Framing for walls, headers, joists, and rafters - automatically creates C-Channel and U-Channel shaped framing members for typical steel framing. Define the number of Rim Joists generated on a per wall basis.
Wall Framing details on a per Wall basis

X

X

For each wall, view and edit wall framing, add dimensions or callouts. Use to produce framing schedules or wall details.
Rebuild Framing for a single Wall or Roof Plane

X

Choose to generate framing for a single object without re-creating the framing for the entire plan.
Control Wall Framing on a Per-Opening Basis

X

X

Specify that window and door openings use custom or default settings for Headers, Trimmers, Sills, and other framing related components on the Framing tab of the specification dialog.
Create Built-up Headers

X

X

Specify headers with up to 10 members and 5 trimmers for each opening.
Specify Walls as ‘Bearing’

X

X

Automatically control the generation of butt or lap framing over a wall with the Bearing attribute.
Wall Framing for Pony Walls and Solid Railings

X

X

Plan view display of framing generated for pony walls and solid railings.
Post & Beam framing tools - specify Round or Square posts

X

X

Set the Default Material for Posts in the framing defaults.
Floor Joists Flush with Stem Wall Top

X

X

Automatically generate floor framing platforms inside the foundation which hang from stem walls.
Rim Joist Control

X

X

Control the material type and size of rim joists independently from the platform framing.
Automatically produce platform holes, foundation holes

X

X

Use polyline tools to generate holes for the floor or ceiling and automatically generate framing around them.
Deck Framing options

X

X

Define Plank overhang, width, gap, direction, border planks, beams and joists. Define widths, spacing, direction and type of planks. Automatically re-build framing as the design changes. Include or exclude beams, posts, and footings.

CAD Tools

CAD tools

X

X

X

Comprehensive CAD objects and editing tools: Points, Lines, Polylines, Splines, Arcs, Circles, Ovals, Boxes, Arrows, Fence, Trim Extend, Parallel, Perpendicular, Reflect, Replicate, Transform, Fillet, Chamfer, and several others.
3D Primitive, Advanced Polyline & Face tools

X

X

Create custom solids with a variety of shapes. Edit polylines using Polyline Subtract, Polyline Union, and Polyline Intersection. Create solid faces, extrude and revolve them to create custom objects.
Polyline Solid tools

X

X

Create 3D shapes using the Polyline Solid tool. Create custom countertop shapes, backsplashes, tub platforms, etc.
Polygon CAD tool

X

X

Creates regularly-shaped polylines of pre-specified dimensions. Specify the number of sides and specify the polygon size by length of sides or overall radius.
Convert 2D CAD lines and polylines to other Chief objects

X

Excludes Elevation and Terrain Objects

X

Quickly convert CAD to Polyline Solids, Molding Polylines, Countertops, Slabs, Landings, Holes in Roofs and Platforms. Convert Arcs and Circles to Polylines. Convert polylines to Revision Clouds and Material List Areas. Convert to Elevation and Terrain data, Sprinklers, Roads, Road Markings, and Sidewalks.
CAD Detail From View tool

X

Generate a CAD Detail from any view. Add or remove lines, add dimensions, fill patterns, text, and callouts. Use CAD details in your Layout and save to the Library for future use.
CAD-to-Walls™

X

X

Limited to DXF
Import CAD files, such as AutoCAD®, and convert CAD lines to fully configured 3D walls, windows, and doors.
Architectural CAD Details

X

Includes a subset of CAD Details Includes a subset of CAD Details
Details for residential structural elements. Detailed assemblies for floors, roofs, decks, walls and foundations. Over 500 details are included in the premium SSA catalogs.
Accurately create objects using coordinates

X

Use the Enter Coordinates dialog and specify absolute or relative coordinates for objects created by clicking and dragging.
Align / Distribute Objects tool

X

X

X

Define distribution and automatic alignment of CAD objects.
Create and manage CAD Details & Blocks

X

X

X

Draw customized details and diagrams, print them to scale, and save for reuse in the Library.
Auto Purge CAD Blocks option

X

X

X

Unused CAD Blocks can be automatically purged from plans when the program is closed.
Specify Insertion Points for CAD Blocks

X

X

X

Define an exact location for inserting and placing CAD Blocks.
Custom Line Style Editor tool

X

Design your own lines styles are reuse them throughout your projects.
Close Polyline tool, Filleted Polylines radius

X

X

X

Select any polyline and choose Close Polyline to automatically connect the start and end points. Editing of filleted polylines retains fillet radius.
Arc Creation Modes

X

X

X

Choose from a number of methods to precisely draw arcs.
Current CAD Layer & CAD Points saved with plans and layouts

X

X

X

When a plan is closed and re-opened, the CAD Layer used in the previous session is active.
Select Same, Load Same & Make Same tools

X

X

Match properties between items of the same type. Edit similar items, including Electrical and Images.
Visual CAD Snaps™

X

X

X

Snap indicators – center, end point, tangent, and several others. Snap to objects or a grid. Snap to Reference Floor layer (a floor above or below the current floor).
Angle Snap preview while drawing

X

X

X

Multiple Copy tool

X

X

X

Replicate objects at pre-defined increments. Set default increments for different types of framing objects, as well as general objects.
Paste Hold Position tool

X

X

X

Copy an item between layers, plans or floors while maintaining orientation and exact position.
Point-to-Point Move tool

X

X

X

Accurately move or copy objects.

Layers

Layer Sets

X

X

X

Set up unique layer groupings for display and printing. Create separate Layer sets for Electrical Plans, Framing Views, or Space Planning. Use the Layer Set toolbar to quickly swap active Layer Sets. Swap Layer Sets using Annotation Sets.
User-Defined Layers

X

X

X

In addition to the default Layers, add, change and delete custom Layers.
Filter Layers in Display Options Dialog

X

X

X

Search for keywords of layers to quickly access relevant information in the Display Options Dialog.
Assign objects to Layers for Display & Materials List

X

X

X

Choose which objects display in 2D and 3D and if they are to be used in Material List. Change the default layer used for individual objects and assign them as necessary.
Layer Eyedropper & Layer Painter tool

X

X

X

Select a layer assigned to an object using the Layer Eyedropper tool, then apply that layer to a different object with Layer Painter.
Layer Hider tool

X

X

X

Click on an object in plan view to turn off its layer display.
Control display attributes by Layer

X

X

X

Set color, weight, and line style on a per layer basis. Lock layers as necessary to prevent editing.
Object Layer Properties edit tool

X

X

X

Quickly and easily modify the layer properties for any object .
Layer Set Defaults dialog & Management dialog

X

X

X

Assign 2D and 3D views to Layer Sets. For example, assign the Cross Section camera to a “Wall Cabinets” only view. Manage Layer Sets - import, export, copy, edit, delete, and create new layer sets from one dialog. Set the currently active set and the reference set.
Assign Cameras to Layers

X

X

X

Layer Set Defaults for Camera Types

X

X

X

Specify unique layer sets for each camera type; Full Camera, Floor Camera, Full Overview, Floor Overview, Cross Section, Back-Clipped Cross Section, and Wall Elevation. Control the layers displayed for any of these cameras when they are initially created by assigning layer sets in the Layer Set Defaults dialog.
Stair and Ramp Up/Down Arrow layer control

X

X

X

New layer for stair and ramp arrow allows you to control the display separately.
New “Footings, Step Markers” layer

X

X

X

Control the step markers display, line style, color, line weight, and text style.
Layer and Line Style Information are stored with cabinets, CAD blocks, and other objects stored in the Library

X

X

X

Reference Layer Sets

X

X

X

Reference Layer Sets are retained for each view sent to Layout pages.

Dimensions

Dimensioning tools

X

Excludes Baseline Excludes Baseline, Centerline
Baseline, Centerline, Angular, End-to-End, Interior, Point-to-Point, and Temporary dimensions. Use One-Click Auto Dimensions™ for exteriors.
Running Dimension Tool

X

X

X

Draw dimension with cumulative values from base item to each dimensioned object in a single dimension string.
Display Secondary Dimensions

X

Define the display of secondary dimensions.
Specify Dimension Units, Accuracy, & Display

X

X

X

Use Imperial and Metric systems. Control the units displayed for dimensions, number height and font, arrow size and style, accuracy in decimals or fractions to 1/128" or 0.0078125.
Dimension Label Fill option

X

X

X

Specify solid or transparent fill for dimensions' text.
Append text to dimensions

X

Insert additional text before or after the dimension value for any dimension string. Choose the dimension number to which text is added.
Define where Dimensions locate

X

X

X

Locate to centers, rough openings, casing, interior layer, main framing layer, sides, and several other locations.
Input Accurate Dimensions using a DISTO™ or other Laser Distance Meter

X

X

X

Use a Bluetooth or Wireless compatible device to automatically measure a space then input the distances directly into dimension strings.
National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Automatic Dimensions

X

X

Automatically dimension interior rooms and elevations to the National Kitchen and Bath Association dimensioning standards.
Automatic Interior Dimensions

X

X

X

Automatically dimension interior rooms. Set defaults for locating objects.
Automatic Elevation Dimensions

X

X

Use the Auto Elevation Dimension tool to add dimensions to Elevation and Cross Section views.
Auto Exterior Dimensions

X

X

X

Add dimensions to the design exterior with a single click. Define the default behavior, like included objects and distance offsets, of Automatic Exterior Dimensions.
Auto Refresh Exterior Dimensions

X

X

X

Keep Auto Exterior Dimensions up-to-date as you move walls and openings in your design.
Delete Automatic Dimensions

X

X

X

Use the Delete Objects tool to delete Automatic Dimensions from a Floor or the Entire Plan. Manually edited or modified dimensions will remain.
Multiple Dimension Defaults

X

X

X

Define multiple dimension styles and attributes for your specific needs, such as defaults for floor plans, cabinet elevations and site plans. For each Default, define the attributes for number height, unit of measure, arrow, fonts and more.
Precisely position objects by entering a dimension

X

X

X

Select any object, and enter a corresponding dimension number to move the object a set distance.
Enhanced Wall Editing with Dimensions

X

X

X

Adjust wall lengths by selecting dimensions or temporary dimensions that run parallel to the wall. Display Wall length as you draw; press TAB to input an exact dimension.
Tape Measure tool

X

X

X

Use the Tape Measure Tool to find the measurements of any item.
Dimensions snap to objects

X

X

X

Snap to the Center of Cabinets, sides and sides of Appliances and Fixtures, Furniture, Framing, and Callouts and Markers.
Enhanced Control of Dimension Snapping

X

X

X

Specify how dimensions attach to walls, framing, and openings when dragging new dimension strings; exclude walls, snap to sides or centers of framing, and choose multiple opening options.
Dimension 3D Solid Primitives and Faces

X

X

Snap dimensions to centers, edges, and corners; enable/disable dimensioning to these items in the Locate Objects area of the Dimensions dialog.
Define or convert any dimension extension to a Centerline Extension

X

X

Open the specification for any dimension and select an extension number to change its values or change it to a centerline.
Dimension locations for wall tops, bottoms and cross sections

X

X

X

Wall Elevation Views include dimension locations and extension for wall tops and bottoms. Cross Section Views include dimension locations and extension lines for finished floor and ceilings.
Box and Bumpout Extension Snaps

X

X

X

Snap to projected 90° intersections.
Auto Exterior Dimensions for Slab Foundations

X

X

Automatically dimension monolithic slab foundations with a single click.
Dimensions Snap to Foundation Footings

X

X

Accurately dimension foundation footings with manually drawn dimensions.

Lighting / Electrical / HVAC

Electrical & HVAC tools

X

X

X

Create Electrical, Plumbing and Heating / Ventilation plans. Electrical – place lights, switches, outlets, low voltage, and wiring. Circuit Connection tools draw the connections and circuits for your electrical layout. Connect electrical components together to create circuits. Adjust the lines and arcs of the circuit design. Connections will automatically change switches for 3-way and 4-way. Specify Electrical, Fixture, and Furniture items to attach to ceilings and roofs and auto-rotate to match the pitch of roofs or vaulted ceilings.
Electrical Defaults

X

X

X

Control the initial behavior by specifying default values. Set up default objects to be placed when adding lights and outlets to a room, set the height for outlets and switches off the floor or countertops.
Auto Place Outlets tool

X

X

X

Places outlets at regular intervals based on room type. Use the Auto Place Outlet tool to add GFCI outlets to your kitchens and bathrooms.
Electrical Lighting & Lighting Sources

X

X

X

Use Light Sources in addition to light fixture symbols to enhance the lighting in a scene. Light Fixtures have light sources for Render and Ray Trace Views.
Define custom lighting with shadows, attenuation and intensity

X

X

X

Turn lighting on or off per fixture to control whether a light is used for a 3D scene.
Lighting Units

X

X

X

Choose from common wattage/lumens values for lights or specify custom values.
Edit Lighting properties of electrical objects directly from the Library

X

X

Easily control lighting

X

X

X

Turn lights on or off with a single click.
Adjust Lighting Dialog

X

X

X

Locate lights by label name or room location.
Continuous draw mode for Electrical Connections

X

X

X

Quickly generate electrical connections for each circuit in your design.
Photo-realistic lighting effects with the Ray trace rendering

X

X

X

See the Rendering section for additional detail.

Terrain & Landscape

Terrain tools

X

X

Generate a 3D terrain model with elevation data you enter or import.
Create Plot Plans, Site plans, & Subdivisions

X

X

Input accurate length, bearing and setback information.
Automatic Plan Footprint tool

X

X

Use the Plan Footprint tool to automatically generate a CAD Detail for a Site Plan. Turn on only the layers you need visible for the site plan such as roof planes, overhang and exterior walls.
Import Terrain Assistant

X

Excludes DWG
Import GPS data: text files, DWG/DXF.
Improved GPX data import from Smart Phone Apps

X

X

Generate Terrain information by importing GPX data from mobile devices.
Terrain Elevation Splines, Polylines, Regions & Points

X

X

Input elevations data for Terrain by drawing splines, lines, and points. Attach elevation value to each object, then automatically generate the terrain contours. A Clear Terrain tool is available to remove contouring and adjust elevation data.
Terrain Modifier tools - Hills, Valleys, Elevated Regions, Flat Regions

X

X

Display Line Angle Controls

X

X

X

Display angles as Azimuth Bearings, Quadrant Bearings, Degrees, Minutes, or Minutes + Seconds.
Advanced Terrain dialog

X

X

Use the dialog controls for terrain smoothness, triangle generation, terrain's skirt, clipping around structures, and full control over terrain contours.
Retaining Walls, Terrain Break tools

X

X

Generate retaining walls with built-in terrain breaks to automatically create steps in the terrain with the wall. Use the Terrain Break tool for steps without the wall structure.
Terrain Accessory tools

X

X

Stepping Stones, Streams, Garden Curbing, Pre-defined Garden Beds, Blocked garden beds.
Road & Sidewalk tools

X

Tools to create a Road, Road Median, Road Striping/Marking, Curb, Gutter, Driveway, Sidewalk and Cul-de-sac. Automatically attach a sidewalk to the road or driveway objects you are generating and specify custom curb profiles.
Spline & Polyline Driveway tools

X

Road & Driveway Defaults

X

Preset sizes, types, and materials for these tools to fit your standard development process.
North Pointer & Sun Angles for shadows

X

X

X

Define a North Pointer and Sun Angle. Specify latitude, longitude, date and time. Generate shadows in 2D and 3D.
Deck Designer™ tool

X

X

Design Straight and Curved Decks. Define roof and ceiling attributes for a covered deck. Control the orientation and size of deck planking, gap, width, overhang, direction, border planks, beams and joists. Full Deck framing – see framing section for more details. Polygon Deck tool, specify the number of sides and the size of a deck.
Fence tool

X

X

Create picket, privacy, iron, and panel fences. Choose gate styles from the Library Catalog. Fences follow the terrain.
Sprinkler Designer™ tool

X

X

Place sprinkler heads and connect them to create irrigations runs and zones.
Landscaping Plants

X

Interior Plants Only 200+ Plants
Plants Images - Trees, Shrubs, and Flowers can be placed in 2D and 3D views. Over 4,000 plants are included in the premium SSA catalogs.
Create & Import Plants

X

X

Import photos of plants and add them to the Library Browser to use in your designs. Add plant growth information and adjust transparency attributes.
3D Plant symbols
700+ 3D Plants in the Premium SSA Catalog
Use 3D Plant Symbols for added detail. Generate realistic 3D views where plants cast shadows.
Plant Chooser™ with Hardiness Zone Maps

X

X

Plant Hardiness Zone maps show plant data by region.
Plant Encyclopedia™

X

X

Detailed plant information – common and scientific name, type, sub-type, characteristics, height range, zones, sun and water needs, bloom time, and leaf and flower color.
Create Landscaping Plans

X

X

Assign fill colors to plants in Plan view and display plant labels, garden beds, and contours. Place text and CAD details. Create Plant Schedules.
Grow Plants tool

X

X

Use sliding scale and grow the plants up to 20 years from the current maturity.

3D Design & Materials

3D & 2D Editing of Architectural Objects - Walls, Windows, Cabinets, Roofs, Stairs, …

X

X

X

Place and edit objects directly in 3D and 2D Plan View or Elevation View. Design simultaneously in 2D and 3D for any of the views.
Center Objects tool – center objects in 2D & 3D

X

X

X

Center cabinets under windows, windows in walls, dormers on a roof, and several other items 3D and 2D.
Material Painter™ & Default Painter

X

X

X

Apply colors, materials and textures to objects or components of the object. Apply colors as solid or stain. Use the Default Painter tool restore items to their default material.
Material Eyedropper™ & Color Chooser™

X

X

X

Material Eyedropper: copy a material from one object and apply to another. Color Chooser: capture colors and materials from a photo or website, such as tile for a custom backsplash or a wood stain color for a floor.
Material Properties Settings

X

X

X

Make rendered and ray traced views more photo realistic with Pre-Defined Metals. Specify attributes for these Pre-Defined Metals: Aluminum, Brass, Bronze, Chromium, Copper, Gold, Iron, Nickel, Sliver, Stainless Steel, Tin Titanium Tungsten, and Zinc.
Material Class Definitions

X

X

X

Use class definitions to define your materials: General, Plastic, Brushed Metal, Shiny Metal, Pre-Defined Metal, Matte, Mirror, Polished, Transparent, and Translucent. Preview the Material classes for standard rendering or ray trace. Ray trace preview includes the option to choose a sphere, cube, or teapot shape to help visualize the attributes of materials.
Improved Previews in Define Material Dialog

X

X

Easily set up material properties and see live updates of the effects of settings in the Ray Trace dialog preview. Choose ray trace quality settings within dialog to preview materials as you would see it in your scene.
Screen Capture tool - create custom materials

X

X

Screen capture an image and apply in the design, such as a photo of tile for a custom backsplash.
Toggle Patterns on or off in Vector View™

X

X

X

Assign Custom Patterns to Materials or Object Fill

X

X

X

Control the scale and rotation angle, transparency, and color of Patterns.
Manage Plan Materials

X

X

X

Manage all the materials used in the design. Replace materials used in a plan with a material from the Library Catalog. Select a group of materials to merge.
Import Custom Symbols

X

X

Create custom 3D objects or import from manufacturers.
Rotate Previews in Symbol Specification Dialog

X

X

X

While editing or importing symbol objects, drag and rotate the 3D preview to see all angles of the item.
Lock Aspect Ratio for Resizing Symbols and Moldings

X

X

Choose to retain the scale of symbol based items and moldings when modifying one dimension.
Create Custom Moldings

X

X

X

Draw your own molding profile. The software will extrude the molding in 3D.

Library / Catalog

Catalog Library Browser

X

X

Excludes Manufacturer & Bonus Catalog Downloads
Access thousands of Objects / Items, both Manufacturer and generic. Download, import and create new objects. Search for objects in the Library or use the advanced search features to filter the results. Number of Library Items is displayed in the status bar.
Library Search & Instant Search bar integrated into the Library

X

X

X

Search for Library items by keyword, object type or style. Instant Search bar is integrated into the Library, just start typing in the search bar to find objects in the Library. Customize Library Search Attributes, view or modify key words for searching on Library objects.
Catalog Migration

X

X

X

Core, Bonus, Manufacturer and User Catalogs from previous installs automatically migrate and update to latest version at install time; User Catalog automatically migrates from previous installs. Use the catalog migration dialog to specify which catalogs to bring forward.
Automatic Catalog Updates

X

X

X

Check for updates for catalogs distributed by Chief Architect and automatically update to the latest version. Options to Continue or Cancel downloads when Chief Architect closes. Catalog Downloads automatically restart if Chief Architect is closed then re-launched . Notification dialog lists which catalogs have been updated after the updated catalog process is complete.
Replace From Library tool

X

X

X

Select objects in the plan and replace with an object in the Library. Replace single items or all identical items in a plan.
Library Browser filtered views

X

X

X

Choose to show or hide entire library catalogs in the Library Browser tree. Improved library load times as hidden items are not loaded into the Library Browser.
Library Tree Reorganization

X

X

X

Manufacturer, User, Chief Architect Core, and Chief Architect Bonus catalogs are now grouped into separate categories for easier navigation.
Library Object Shortcuts

X

X

X

Create shortcut items to any object in the Library Browser to customize your organization.
Multiple Select Library Items

X

X

X

Use the Shift or Ctrl keys to copy, move, and edit groups of objects.
Preview Objects / Items in the Library before they are placed in a design

X

X

X

Visual feedback for the size and orientation of objects being placed from the library and edited in plan and 3D views. Rotate, Spin and Zoom the Library preview.
CAD Block Dimensions Style Preserved in the Library

X

X

Dimension styles used with CAD Blocks and added to the Library Browser are preserved so their attributes are retained when added to a new plan or layout.
Convert Plan Materials to Library Materials

X

X

X

Materials that are in use in the plan can automatically be added to the Library.
Edit Backdrops from the Library Browser

X

X

X

Open Backdrop properties in the Library Browser to re-assign referenced images and adjust spherical settings. Use the ‘New Backdrop’ menu item to create a new backdrop directly from the Library.

Materials List & Cost Estimating

Automatically generate Materials Lists

X

X

X

Automatic Materials List with columns for equipment, unit costs, percent markup, and labor costs. Change order of the columns. Generate a list for the entire plan, single room, or defined area using a polyline.
Master Materials List

X

X

X

The Master Materials List stores master data, such as price. Choose which data is stored in a Master List, and when to load saved Master List information into your project's Materials List. Save and load multiple Master Materials Lists.
Specify Layers when calculating a Materials List

X

X

X

Use Layers to control what is included in the Materials List.
Materials List Components

X

X

X

Add detailed information to objects– such as glazing to a cabinet finish. Components information is then posted to the materials list. Choose which details to show or hide on the final Materials List using Components.
Material Schedules

X

X

X

Create Schedules for Doors, Windows, Cabinets, Fixtures, Appliances, Furniture, Electrical HVAC, Plumbing, Plants and Room Finish. Exclude specific items from Schedules such as cabinet hardware. Automatically Customize the information contained in the Schedule and label controls for Schedules.
Control the Order of Objects and Columns in Schedules

X

X

X

Manually drag and re-order items in a schedule to move it up or down in the list. Reorder, rename, hide, and duplicate columns in schedules as desired.
Choose to Display Identical Objects in Groups or Individually in Schedules

X

X

X

‘Group Similar Objects’ option allows schedules to be organized so that each object is itemized with its own callout, or grouped and counted together with like items.
Room Name Column added to Schedules

X

X

X

Display Room Name column in door, window, cabinet, fixture, furniture, and electrical schedules.
Reference Height for Electrical Schedules

X

X

X

Display the reference height column to indicate installation height on walls, or distance off floor and ceiling.
More Detail in Window and Door Schedules

X

X

X

Display columns for Divided Lites, Finish Type, Shutters, and Trim to provide full information about each window and door.
Indicate Door Style in Schedules

X

X

X

Style column can be displayed to show the door type – panel, glass, slab, or Library Name. Choose to include columns in door schedules that indicate swing, hinge side, and interior/exterior doors.
Multiple Callouts for items Duplicated between Schedules

X

X

X

See additional callouts referencing each schedule in which an object is included.
Improved Schedule Size Formatting

X

X

X

Better visual feedback while editing column width on schedules. Set schedule attribute to display text in all caps, or leave unchecked to show text as displayed in dialogs.
Cut & Buy Lists

X

X

The Structural Lumber Table can be used to calculate lumber materials for a Cut List and a Buy List. This calculation is in addition to square feet and lineal feet calculations and can be especially helpful for your framing and decking board calculations.

Text / Annotation / Scripting

Annotation Sets

X

Annotation Sets control a subset of defaults including Dimensions, Text, Arrows, Markers, Callouts, and Layers. Annotation Sets can be used to quickly change your defaults and streamline the annotation process.
Annotation Sets Saved with View

X

X

Annotation Sets are retained from view to view so that they automatically swap as you swap between views.
Fully editable Text tools

X

X

X

Control font, size, weight, color, position, justification, and more.
Advanced Rich Text tools

X

X

X

Format text with varying colors, font, and more. Convert plain text to rich text.
Text Style tools

X

X

Limited
Create unlimited Text Styles and assign them per layer, per default, or per object to control the appearance of labels, dimensions and other text in your design.
Text Leader Line tool quickly creates callouts and notes

X

X

Create Leader Lines using Rich Text or Plain Text types.
Architectural fonts: City Blueprint, Country Blueprint, Chief Blueprint

X

X

Use any built-in font included with your operating system.
Spell Checker

X

X

X

Uses a built-in or custom dictionary. Syntax highlighting and a context menu allow for quick corrections while editing text.
Enhanced Text control

X

X

X

Font control, font defaults, and text macros for page number, date, and others.
Customizable Text Arrows

X

X

X

Callouts & Markers

X

X

X

Place Callouts and Markers in Plan, Elevation, Layout, and Detail views. Adjust fill color, line style, line weight, and double-headed Callouts. Callouts and Markers have unique layers. Use multiple default styles for Arrows, Markers, and Callouts.
Custom Door, Window, & Cabinet Labels

X

X

X

Type your own customized labels for any Door, Window, or Cabinet object. Control cabinet label size and orientation.
Rotate Labels

X

X

X

Select and rotate labels independently in Plan view. Set default label rotation and offset; set label rotation to be relative or absolute to the rotation of the object.
Automatic Roof Labels

X

X

X

Display labels for roofs, skylights and holes. Label includes pitch direction arrow and the roof angle in pitch or degrees. Modify the arrow style and text style of the roof labels.
Labels for Layout Boxes

X

X

X

Automatic labels for layout views will display the camera name for elevation and section views or the floor plan name for plan views. Create custom labels that will move with the views and you set up you layout .
Specify labels for Light Source or “added light” objects

X

X

X

Uniquely name light sources in your scenes for easy recognition.
Soffit, Shelf, and Partition Labels

X

X

X

Assign custom labels through the new Label Tab for soffits, shelves, and partitions.
Labels for Bay, Box, and Bow Windows

X

X

X

Customize labels through the Label Tab of the Bay, Box, and Bow Window dialogs.
Room Label background fill

X

X

X

Specify background fill color or solid or transparent fill for room labels.
Control the location of Labels

X

X

X

X and Y offsets for labels allow you to control the orientation of labels in relationship to the object.
Embed Hyperlinks in Text

X

X

X

Add links to website or other files using the text tools.
Revision Cloud tool

X

Encircle objects with revision clouds, or draw your own.
Text Macros & User Defined Text Macros

X

Excludes User Defined Text Macros Excludes User Defined Text Macros
Insert macros into text objects. Add Contact Info, File Info, Plan Info, Special Characters, and Time and Date macros. Create custom Macros, such as macros for Contractor, Supplier, or Revision Number.
Window Macros

X

X

X

Use macros to include Window Type, Top Elevation, Bottom Elevation, and Floor to Header height in window labels.
Label macros for Electrical Lights, Stairs & Ramps, Roof Pitch / Slope, and Layout Boxes

X

X

X

Create Dynamic Label Macros

X

Use Text Macros in combination with the Ruby Scripting tools to dynamically update object labels or other annotation in your design.
Text Macro Management dialog

X

Create New, Edit, Copy, Delete, and Test custom macros from within the Text Macro Management dialog.
Ruby Scripting

X

Use the Ruby Scripting Console for writing program scripts - such as a determining room volume, custom cabinet labels and several others. Includes an Interactive tutorial on how to create user-defined macros.

Printing

Printed Paper sizes

X

X

X

Specify printed paper sizes to fit your design scale.
Save Prints in PDF Format

X

X

X

Save to a PDF file for outsourcing a print job – great when you do not have a large format printer.
Print Preview

X

X

X

Displays printable area, paper edges, and line weights.
Scale-to-Page or Paper Size

X

X

X

Drawing Sheet Setup

X

X

X

Determine plan sheet size and specify how it prints to different paper size.
Span printing across multiple pages

X

X

X

Print a large format sheet on a smaller paper size and tape together to make the larger sheet.
Specify Page Printing Range and Collation

X

X

X

Choose to print all, selected page ranges, or specific pages from your Layout.
Control line style begin and end size

X

X

X

For example, for a dashed line define the start and end dash size.

Import / Export

Import & Export Chief Objects

X

Excludes Wall Types, Ruby Scripts, and Line Styles Excludes Hotkeys, Ruby Scripts, and Line Styles
Import/Export Annotation Sets, Layer Sets, Hot Keys, Wall Types, Line Styles, Defaults, Macros, and Ruby Scripts. Share with other users or transfer them from plan to plan.
Export Materials List to Microsoft Excel, CSV, TXT, or HTML

X

X

X

Import PDF files

X

X

Import Adobe® PDF file formats into plans, layouts, and CAD Details; retain print resolution and quality when printing final documents with embedded PDF files.
Import & Export 2D DXF

X

X

X

Advanced Layer Mapping to assist with importing.
AutoCAD® Compatibility

X

X

Excludes DWG
Import or Export DXF and DWG files.
Import & Export 3D files

X

X

Excludes DWG, Excludes 3D Export
Import 3D DXF, DWG, OBJ, 3DS, SKP. Export 3D DXF, DWG, 3DS.
Collada Import and Export

X

X

Import Only
Import and export 3D Collada format files (.DAE) and referenced texture files.
STL Import and Export

X

Import Only Import Only
Import and export 3D objects in .STL format.
SketchUp 8 object import

X

X

X

Import SketchUp format files in both Windows 32 bit and 64 bit operating systems. SKP import is not available on Mac OS.
Import image files: BMP, JPG, GIF, PCS, TIFF, PCX, PNG, Metafiles, TGA

X

X

X

Image import - specify transparency color and add plant data or image information for materials and backdrops. Display Metafile on plan, elevation, and layout views. Specify fill style to show through and transparency on the image.
Import Terrain Elevation data

X

Import survey data from AutoCAD or other sources.
3D Mass Import

X

X

Group import 3D DWG, DXF, 3DS, OBJ, SKP files and convert them to Library Objects.
Create Materials from Textures

X

X

Group import texture image files and convert them to materials automatically.
Convert 3D View to Symbol

X

X

Create a custom object using Chief Architect's design tools and then round-trip covert a view to a unified library item.

User Resources

Updated User Interface

X

X

X

Dialogs have been updated with a new look and feel, and have been re-designed to optimize the access to controls.
Mac & PC compatible

X

X

X

Chief Architect can be installed and run natively either on Mac or Windows operating systems with a single license.
64-bit version

X

X

X

The 64-bit version is more efficient in managing memory and you will see better performance on larger plan files. A 32-bit version is available and will also run on 64-bit operating systems.
Support for Multiple Monitors

X

X

X

Tabbed view windows can be torn or undocked from main user interface and moved between monitors independently.
Customizable Toolbars

X

X

X

Modify the toolbar to match your work style. Add and remove buttons, create toolbar groupings, dock and undock toolbars. Create Toolbar Sets. Use the search bar to quickly locate buttons.
Toolbar Sets

X

Excludes Terrain, Space Planning, and MEP toolbars Excludes Space Planning, MEP, Kitchen & Bath toolbars
A collection of tools on a toolbar set organized by discipline: Default, Terrain, Kitchen & Bath, Space Planning, and Mechanical Electrical Plumbing.
Tool Palettes

X

X

X

Easily access all of the child tools for the selected parent tool through the static Toolbar Palette.
Dialogs Remember Last Position

X

X

X

Location and size of dialogs can be retained for the next time they are accessed.
Rendered Previews in Dialogs

X

X

X

View, rotate, and spin previews of 3D objects in specification dialogs to get a better sense of their attributes while making modifications.
Customizable Hotkeys

X

X

Assign and change shortcut key mapping. Set up Sequential Hotkeys. Assign combinations of keystrokes, up to 4, to be used sequentially as shortcuts to tools.
Use Gestures to Navigate

X

X

X

For Mac Trackpad users, gestures such as Panning and Zooming, can be used to navigate in a view.
Specify Preferences & Defaults

X

X

X

Set up Preferences for display and editing tools to customize the interface to your needs. Specify defaults most architectural elements.
Improved Directory Navigation through Preferences

X

X

X

Easily view and access the location of files stored and referenced through Chief Architect in the Preferences dialog.
Virtual Graph Paper™ display

X

X

X

Adjust grid to display a reference in any increment, great for modular design, space planning, and as an indication of scale.
Auto-Archive

X

X

X

Set Auto-Archive Preference to schedule how frequently projects are backed up to an archive file.
REScheck™ Support

X

Export energy calculations to U.S. Department of Energy’s REScheck™ software.
Chief Viewer™ - a Free downloadable viewer

X

X

View and annotate 3D camera views and Virtual Tours.
Support & Software Assurance

X

X

X

Updates, Major Releases and New Versions, Priority Technical Support, Over 500 Online Training Video access, Download Library Catalogs access, Discounted Training Seminars, Discounts on Secondary Licenses.
Improved Activate/Deactivate Options

X

X

X

Deactivate a license remotely from your Chief Architect online account.
30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee

X

X

X

If you are not completely satisfied, Chief Architect, Inc. will gladly refund your purchase price within 30 days of purchase.