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How can I organize my plan files for Chief Architect?
File management can be a challenging concept for many novice computer users, but it is very important to skill to develop. In order to use your computer effectively, it is vital to know how to save your work properly, where it is saved on your computer and how to find it again.
It is also wise and extremely advisable to have a backup system for your data in place so that in the event of a hardware malfunction, such as a computer virus or hard drive failure, or a natural disaster, that you always have backup of your important files.
It is also extremely important to always remember to only work on plans that are saved on your local machine's hard drive. Never work on files over a network server, external hard drive, or usb flash drive type device
. Not only is working using this method unsupported, it can also lead to file corruption and data loss.
These options can, however, be a good way to back up your data, just remember to always copy the file from that location to your local machine's hard drive before attempting to work on it. Once it is on your computer, then you can open the file, make your modifications, save the file, exit out of the program, and copy it back to the network server, external hard drive, or usb flash drive device location.
Most individuals or companies have an off-site incremental backup run every night, and a full backup at least once a week, so they never lose more than a day's worth of data should something unexpected occur such as a computer virus, hard drive failure, or natural disaster.
This article is offers an example of one way to organize your Chief Architect files; however, any method of saving plans and revisions that creates backups, prevents accidental overwrites, and is consistent and easy to use will work.
- Within Windows, create a folder in Documents named Plans.
All your plans will be saved here.
- Create a client folder for the customer and name it with your Customer's Name or Job number (Example: WJohnson Remodel).
- Launch Chief Architect and select File> New Plan a new, blank plan file.
- Set your default settings for this plan, then select File> Save As from the menu and save the blank plan to the client folder. Give the plan the appropriate client name or number (Example: WJohnson Remodel.plan).
- Select File> New Layout to open a new, blank layout and set up your Title Block, Borders, etc. on page 0.
- Select File> Save As from the menu and save the layout to the client master folder and name it with the same name as the plan (Example: WJohnson Remodel.layout).
- This is important! Select File> Close to close the plan and layout files.
- Now, select File> Open Plan from the menu and navigate to the client folder in your plans directory, find and open your plan file (Example: WJohnson Remodel.plan).
- Next, select File> Open Layout from the menu and navigate to the client folder in your plans directory, find and open your layout file (Example: WJohnson Remodel.layout).
- You are now ready to start drawing. Since you opened the plan and layout from the client's folder, Chief Architect will save the plan back to that folder.
When you finish a phase of the project, make a backup of this client's folders on a CD or flash drive.
If you want, you can delete some or all of the Archives folders created by the program.
It is best to open plan and layout files from the target computer then immediately save the plan and layout to the local computer before working on it. Then open the plan and layout from the local computer, do your work, then save your work locally as well as to the desired folder on the originating computer.
This way you have backup of the plan should something go wrong and also helps avoid data corruption that can occur when working across a network.