Message: The default template was not found.

Reference Number: KB-01866 Last Updated: 11-11-2014 10:03 AM

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors or Chief Architect Lite


When I try to open a new plan to start a new project, this message displays:

"The default template plan "X" was not found.  A new file will be created without using a template."

What does this mean and what should I do about it?


Whenever a new plan file or layout file is opened, all of its default settings are drawn from a template file.  You can specify what plan template is used whenever a New Plan is created, as well as what layout template whenever a New Layout is created, in the Preferences dialog.

This message will display if you try to open a new plan or layout, but the program cannot find the file that you've specified as your template.


When your template file cannot be found, a new, blank file will be created using basic system defaults that almost certainly will not meet your needs so you will want to address the problem and then discard the file using the system defaults and try again.


To specify a plan or layout template

  1. Select Edit> Preferences  from the menu.

  2. On the New Plans panel of the Preferences dialog, click the radio button beside the measurement system that you typically use: Imperial Units or Metric Units.

  3. A Plan Template can be specified underneath your selected measurement system.  Click the Browse button to the right of the Plan Template field, then select the plan file that you would like to use as your template.

    • The Select a Plan Template File dialog will open to your Chief Architect Templates folder.  Choose a template plan located here, or browse to a different location where you have a custom template saved.

    • Only choose a template file with M.plan at the end of the name if you are using Metric units.

    • Never specify a .layout file as your plan template.

    • To avoid the possibility of the program not finding your specified template, make sure it is saved on the local hard drive. 

    • To learn more about creating a plan template, see article 463 in this Help Database: How to create and use a plan style template.

  4. A Layout Template can also be specified in the same way. 

    • Only choose a template file with M.layout at the end of the name if you are using Metric units.

    • Never specify a .plan file as your layout template.

    • For information about creating a layout template, see article 737: How to create and use a layout template.