Academic, Student, & Education Licenses

Chief Architect helps educators focus on teaching concepts and less on teaching software. Chief Architect includes a complete curriculum with a digital reference manual and tutorial guide as well as access to interactive training videos making it easy to learn and teach your architectural or interior design classes.

We are offering a free Student License to allow more flexibility for students to complete coursework outside the classroom. Licenses will be valid March 17–June 30, 2020.

Technical House Drawing
Jon Jones, Teacher

"I teach Chief Architect to high school students and have never seen them more excited about any other program."

–Jon Jones, Teacher

For Students

Student Application

For Schools — Lab Packs

School Order Form

Academic Resources

Chief Architect Premier


Learn More

Available Curriculum Aides

Introductory Residential Design Project and Samples Plans

Help Resources

Along with a User Guide and Reference Manual, Chief Architect also provides web-based knowledge base articles and training videos, as well as contextual, searchable help to get you started.

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File Management

Learn about Chief Architect files and file structure as well as recommended saving practices.

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User Interface

Become familiar with the User Interface so you can quickly find tools and navigate your plan.

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Recommended Preferences

Preferences are global settings you can customize to set up your preferred working conditions.

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Critical Defaults

Review these particular defaults before starting any plan to avoid frustration later.

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CAD Basics

Drawing and editing CAD based objects is an essential skill to learn as the edit tools and methods are used for virtually all objects in Chief Architect.

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Exterior Walls, Rooms, and Dimensions

Draw walls and rooms then use dimensions to move the walls into place.

Foundation and Bearing Walls

Specify which walls are bearing walls and use the Build Foundation dialog to create a variety of foundations.

Hip Roof

Create a pitched hip roof using the Build Roof dialog.

Gable Roof

Create a gable roof by choosing the Gable Wall setting within the Wall Specification and then building the roof.

Shed Roof

Use the High Shed Gable Wall setting in addition to Full Gable Walls to create a stand alone shed roof or just the Full Gable Wall setting to create a lean-to style shed roof.

Gambrel Roof

Use the Upper pitch setting in the Wall Specification to set upper and lower pitch options to create a gambrel style roof.

Dutch Gable Roof

Use the Dutch Gable Roof setting in the wall specification to create this kind of roof automatically.

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Gull Wing Roof

Use the Upper pitch setting in the Wall Specification with the pitches opposite that of a gambrel roof to create a gull wing roof.

Half Hip Roof

Using the Upper Pitch setting on a gable wall allows you to create a half hip or clipped gable style.

Generating a Roof on Multiple Levels of a Structure

Generate a roof on the top of the second floor as well as over the single level garage.

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Download icon 6129-multiple-levels

Story and a Half Roof

Use the Ignore Top Floor setting in the Build Roof dialog to have the roof sit down on the first story walls.

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Download icon 6130-story-and-a-half

Automatic Dormer Tools

The Auto Dormer tool has different requirements than the Auto Floating Dormer tool.

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Interior Walls and Dimensions

Draw in walls and then use dimensions to move them into place.

Openings - Doors and Windows

Add doors, windows, pass-throughs, and niches to your plan.

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Download icon 6133-doors-and-windows

Placing and Modifying Cabinets

An introduction to placing and modifying cabinets and becoming familiar with the Cabinet Specification dialog.

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Download icon 6134-cabinets

Appliances and Fixtures

Appliances and Fixtures can be placed into cabinets or external to cabinets. Learn how to place and position Appliances and Fixtures precisely inside cabinets

Custom Countertops, Backsplashes and Material Regions

Custom countertops, backsplashes and material regions are all polyline based objects and basic cad tools can be used on them.

Placing and Modifying Library Objects

Place items in your plan and customize them, turn them into architectural blocks and add them back to the library.

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Download icon 6137-library-objects

Applying Materials

Use the Material panel in the Specification or use the Material Painter to apply textures and colors to the objects in your plan.

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Download icon 6138-materials

Adding Stairs to Your Plan

Use the different stair tools to create stair cases in a variety of shapes.

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Download icon 6139-stairs

Adding Outlets, Switches and Lighting to Your Plan

Add electrical fixtures using the Electrical tools or by selecting them from the library.

Automatic Floor Framing

Bearing walls, beams and joist direction lines help you control the automatic generation floor framing.

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Download icon 6141-floor-framing

Automatic Wall Framing

Automatically generate studs, trimmers, headers and other wall framing using the Build Framing dialog.

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Download icon 6142-wall-framing

Automatic Roof Framing

Use the Build Framing dialog or the Build Roof dialog to generate your Roof Framing.

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Download icon 6143-roof-framing

Automatic Deck Framing

When you use the Deck Railing tool your deck framing will generate automatically.

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Download icon 6144-deck-framing

Terrain, Site Plan

Import the Site plan image and trace over it or use the Input Line tool to input lines according to their quadrant bearing data and lengths.

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Download icon 6145-site-plan

Terrain, Landscaping

Insert elevation data, terrain features and plants to add interest to your plan.

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Download icon 6146-landscaping

Orthographic Views

Use the Orthographic View tools to create exterior and interior elevations, cross sections and details.

Perspective Views

Use these tools to create quick views of your project.

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Download icon 6148-perspective-views

Rendering Techniques

Use the different render techniques to create marketing materials.

Working Drawings

Take views of your 3d model and organize them on a layout sheet to create your construction documents.

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Download icon 6149-working-drawings

Ray Trace Basics

There are 3 main parts to a ray trace, the ray trace settings, the materials and the lighting.

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Download icon 6151-ray-trace-basics