Converting an Object into a Symbol

Reference Number: KB-00809
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I have created a custom fixture or furnishing and would like to convert it into a symbol that I can save in the Library Browser. How do I do this?


While 3D symbols can be imported from third parties, you can also create your own symbols in Chief Architect using any combination of architectural and CAD-based objects.

The easiest way to create a symbol from a 3D model created in Chief Architect is to use the Convert to Symbol tool.

When the object(s) are configured as desired, you can use the Convert to Symbol tool to create a single symbol assigned to a category of objects that reflects how the object will be used.

  • For example, if you designed a cabinet door, select Cabinet Door/Drawer as the symbol’s category so you can assign the resulting symbol to a cabinet.

To convert an object into a symbol

  1. Create a 3D camera view in which the object or objects that you wish to convert to a single symbol are the only things displaying.

    Note: Symbols cannot be created in a 2D plan view. 

  2. From the menu, select Tools> Symbol> Convert to Symbol .

  3. In the Convert to Symbol dialog:

  • Choose the appropriate Symbol Category from the drop-down list.

    If you are creating an object that you want to be able to be applied to another type of parametric object in Chief Architect, such as Cabinet doors/drawers, knob/pull hardware, built-in appliances, etc it is very important to select the appropriate type of object.

  • Check Add to Library.

  • Check Show Advanced Options.

  • Click OK.

  • In the Symbol Specification dialog:

    • On the 3D panel, give the Symbol a descriptive name.
      If it will be applied to another object, such as an appliance, cabinet foot, or door hardware, then you may also want to adjust the Origin Offset.

    • On the 2D panel, you can select a different CAD Block than the one automatically generated when you convert to a symbol.
      To learn more about creating CAD Blocks, see the Related Articles section below.

    • On the Options panel, you can typically make a number of adjustments, depending on the type of symbol that you are creating.

      Click on the Help button located near the lower right of the dialog to learn more about the options specific to the type of object you are creating.

    • On the Materials panel, you can set any desired different materials for the object.

    • On the Sizing panel, you can adjust the bounding box for the symbol.
      To learn more, see the Related Articles section below.

    • Click OK when you have completed making changes in the Symbol Specification dialog in order to add it to your User Catalog in the Library Browser for use in future plans.