Sharing a Plan File With a Home Designer User

Reference Number: KB-00516 Last Updated: 07-22-2014 01:52 PM

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors or Chief Architect Lite


I would like to be able to send my plans back and forth between myself and someone else who is using a different Chief Architect program, how can I accomplish this task?

Example: I am a Chief Architect Premier user, and would like to communicate back and forth with an individual using one of Chief Architect's Home Designer consumer software  programs.  How can I send them a plan that they can open and modify in their version?


If a Chief Architect user wants to be able to send a Home Designer user a file, first check to make sure that the versions that both users have are compatible. If the versions are compatible, then, the Chief Architect user needs to allow for editing in the Home Designer programs before sending the file.

To allow editing in Home Designer

Chief Architect PLAN files are locked by default to allow a Chief Architect user to send a plan to a Home Designer user so they can view the plan but not make changes. If you want to share a plan file for editing then you need to unlock the file.

  1. Open the PLAN file that you want to unlock.

  2. Click Edit> Default Settings... , select Plan then click the Edit button.

  3. In the General Plan Default, check the Allow Editing in Select Home Designer Products check-box.

  4. Click OK to accept the change then Done to close the Default Settings dialogue.

Now save the plan file with this new setting and it is ready to share with a Home Designer user.

Please note that the editing abilities available to the Home Designer user will be within the limitations of their program. For example, Home Designer Suite does not have the capability to manually edit roof planes, create and modify custom counter tops, and has no layout tool.

If you are uncertain as to whether or not your version of Chief Architect is the same version as the individual using the Home Designer program, you can use the information below as a guide.

  • Chief Architect X6 - Home Designer 2015
  • Chief Architect X5 - Home Designer 2014
  • Chief Architect X4 - Home Designer 2012
  • Chief Architect X3 - Home Designer 10
  • Chief Architect X2 - Home Designer 9

Files created in prior versions of Chief Architect cannot be edited in Home Designer products.

Keep in mind that if, as a Chief Architect user, you can open a PLAN file created in an earlier version of a Home Designer program, you will be able to open and modify the file, however, if you send it back to someone using a prior version Home Designer program, they will not be able to reopen the file in their version.

For example, if the Home Designer person is using a Home Designer 2014 program, and you are using X6, then they will be able to send you their file, which you can open, modify and save, but they will not be able to reopen the file unless they upgrade to the equivalent 2015 software program.