Perspective & Orthographic 3D Camera tools
Orthographic is ideal for cross section and elevation views. Perspective is ideal for Full Overview, Floor Overview (Doll House), Floor Camera, Full Camera , and Framing Views. Camera views can be named, edited, and saved. Use 3D Settings Controls to adjust the display options and settings.
Copy Saved Cameras
Duplicate perspective and overview cameras in the same plan, or between existing plans, to easily replicate angle, direction, and other camera attributes.
Isometric View Tools
View designs from any of the eight standard Isometric viewing angles.
Export 360° Spherical Views
Ray Traced and Rendered cameras can be shared locally and to the cloud, and in apps and embedded in websites for interactive navigation. Export Render Views at a resolution of up to 8192 x 4096.
3D Navigation Tools & Virtual Tours
Create 3D views and navigate, spin, rotate, pan, orbit, tilt, and move forward or backward. Use the View Direction Tools to quickly set the view to top down, left side, right side or bottom angles.
Responsive 3D Navigation
Significant speed improvements in camera views while navigating the scene.
iOS Compatible Movies
Record walk-throughs and animations that you can share to watch on your iOS devices. Available in the Mac version only.
Create detailed walkthrough recordings along paths. Add key frames at any point on the spline to control view direction and speed; walk up or down stairs and to span walkthrough between floors.
3D Orbit Mode
Use [ALT + Middle Mouse] button controls to enter Orbit mode; system returns to previous edit state when buttons are released
Reflections and Fast Shadows in Render Views
Quickly generate views where mirrors show reflections, sunlight streams through windows, and objects cast shadows. Navigate these scenes in real-time. Save reflection and shadow settings with the camera.
Sun and Shadow Controls per Camera
Optionally specify that the sun is anchored to the active camera and illuminates the scene from the same angle as the view or choose to save the orientation of the sunlight for each camera in your design; preserve the sun angle in views sent to layout. Control whether shadows are generated through defaults for perspective and orthographic cameras, or toggle them ON or OFF and save the state with a particular view
Opaque Glass in Camera Views
Set glass to appear as solid fill (non-transparent) in camera views. Choose to show glass as opaque or transparent by default per Render Technique, or adjust individual views
Display Shadows on Elevations
Turn on shadows in vector elevation and section views to display lighting effects and shadows for overhangs and other architectural elements.
Control Shadow Intensity
Control the darkness of shadows in Vector Views and Technical Illustration views using an intensity slider.
Enhanced Render Features
Ambient Occlusion, Bloom, and Bump Maps are all optional elements that can be used in Rendered Views.
Specify Normal Maps in Material Definitions to add depth and realism to materials for Rendered and Ray Traced views. For example, show the depth of board and batten siding, texturing on drywall, and grout in brick.
Photo Realistic Rendering
The Chief Ray Tracer offers significant performance improvement with its ability to use multiple core processors. Lighting and materials have specific properties that can be set for very photo realistic rendering. Export common image formats for presentations and marketing use.
Ray Trace Assistant
Predefined and editable settings for indoor and outdoor scenes jump start your photo realistic ray trace renderings.
Progressive Ray Tracing
Preview ray trace renders as they refine and iterate image quality; export the image at any time or define the amount of time for the ray trace from 1 minute to 24 hours or an unlimited time.
Specify Ray Trace Size in Inches or Millimeters
Set the number of pixels per inch to specify High or Low Resolution.
3D Focal Blur Control of Ambient Light
Use depth of field in Ray Traced views, just like a real camera. Create renderings that exhibit similar detail as real photography. Enhanced control of ambient light within Ray Tracing.
Save Image Settings with Ray Trace Configurations
Preserve settings like tone mapping, intensity, contrast, and saturation to reuse in ray traces.
Generated Sky Model
Create a realistic sky that updates with time of day; control the level of haze.
Artistic Rendering Techniques
3D Standard Render, Watercolor, Squiggle Line Drawing, Technical Illustration, Painting, Vector View, Glass House, and DuoTone render modes transform the look and feel of a scene in real-time.
Advanced Render Technique Defaults
Use Pre-set attributes or customize your own for the different Render Technique styles. For example, set the squiggle amount for Line Drawing or the colors for Technical Illustration.
Fast Line Drawing Views
Rendered views using the hand drawing or "sketched" feature (Water Color with Line Drawing, and Line Drawing) are as fast to generate as other Rendering Techniques.
Cross Section Render Technique controls
Access the render techniques for Cross Section views through the camera specification dialog.
Cross Section Slider™
Show views being cut from the top, bottom, front, back, left and right side. Adjust the amount cut away from the model.
Delete / Remove Surface tool
Temporarily remove surfaces in 3D views to expose and visualize the underlying model.
Cross Sections, Back-Clipped Cross Sections & Elevations
Use the orthographic camera to create an elevation or cross section view. Back-Clipped Cross Section views control the cut distance generated for a cross section. Cross Sections can also be clipped at the sides to control the width of view.
Nudge Move in Elevation Cameras
Move items incrementally using the arrow keys.
Auto-generate Exterior & Interior Room Elevations
Stepped Cutting Plane Cross-Section
Generate Cross Section Views along a custom plane and use breaks to create steps in the Cross-Section.
Dimension, Annotate and Detail Cross Sections & Elevation Views
Use the text, arrow, dimension, and CAD tools to add complete details to your Cross Section and Elevation views. Select and edit, delete, resize, or move objects. Add notes and dimensions or insert CAD details.
Automatic Labels in Elevations
Generate schedule callouts and labels for windows, doors, cabinets, and other items in Cross-Section and Elevation views.
Show Cameras as Callouts
Easily set up view callouts directly from the camera object. Show Elevation, Section, and Cross-Section cameras as Callouts in Plan Views. Add callout labels and descriptions; callouts remain when sent to layout.
Automatically Populate Camera Callouts with Layout Page Information
Choose to include layout page label in camera callout second line text. Callout information automatically updates if layout label is changed.
Control Plan Display of Cross Section Camera Callouts
Choose to display Cross Section Camera Callouts on all floors or on camera owner floor only.
CAD Details Catalog & Auto-Detailing tool
Toggle between displays for insulation and fill patterns. Choose from over 500 CAD Details in the premium SSA catalog to overlay on your design.
Opening Indicators – Doors, Windows & Cabinets
Show or hide opening indicators for hinge side of doors, windows and cabinet using Layers in Elevation, Cross Section, and Plan views.
Layout tool – for construction documents
Layout sheets are used to organize plans, elevations, CAD details, schedules, site plans, and other items for construction documents. The drawings can be scaled and printed at any size. All views are dynamically linked to the original model reflecting any update you make. Reorder the Layout pages for construction documents. Create templates for Layouts with borders and title blocks.
Set up multiple Pages per Layout File
Advanced Layout Editing
Edit line views sent to the layout, rescale views sent to layout, re-link views on the layout to reference different files.
Live Layout Views
Specify views that have been sent to layout to update in real time, or use edit tools and menu commands to update the view directly from the layout page.
Send Colorized Elevations to Layout
Generate fully detailed Section and Elevation views and send them to layout in color mode; views will retain scale, can reflect Render Techniques, and can be automatically updated in real-time.
Perspective Layout Views
Create perspective views and send them to a layout and retain the view’s link to the plan; easily transition to camera view and update it to the layout. Unlike an image sent to layout, these views can be printed at high resolution.
Plot Line Layout Views with Shadows
Send views to layout as Plot Line views with controls over line weights; choose to include shadows and color fill in the view.
Group Edit Layout Views
Select multiple layout views and modify their display modes and updating properties at once.
Center Objects in Layout
Use the Center Object tool to quickly orient items on layout pages.
Layout Page Information Dialog
Access and control information specific to each layout page like page label and revision information.
Layout Page Table
Create drawing schedules, like Table of Contents, for layouts by controlling each page’s attributes such as Label, Title, Description, and Comments.
Layout Page Macros
Create macros for page label, title, description, and comments for individual layout pages. Macros move with pages as they are edited and re-ordered.
Automatic Layout Page Numbering
Use the ‘#’ character in a Layout Page Number Label to automatically number the pages sequentially.
Document Revisions for Layouts
Revisions can be noted for changes to any layout page and displayed in a Revision Table with information such as; revision number, authors’ info, date, description, and label. Current (or last) revision can be displayed using macros.
Control Layout Template Pages
Specify multiple Template pages in a Layout and assign individual pages to reference a template.
Reference Display Drawing Order
Control whether the reference display sent to Layout is drawn on top or beneath the active floor.
Update Reference Display and Annotation Sets Used in Layout Views
Use the Plan View controls in the Layout Box Specification dialog to update the Reference Display and Annotation Sets used.
Delete Active Layout Pages
Delete any un-needed layout page whether or not it contains any content.
Catalog Library Browser
Choose from thousands of items. Download new content from Chief Architect or from third party sources. The Library includes generic and manufacturer brands.
A project organization tool to manage and navigate project files, floors, elevations, cross sections, 3D views, cameras, and CAD details. Rename cameras, view multiple projects at once, easily access details and share them between projects.
Independent Control of Library Browser and Project Browser
View the Library Browser and the Project Browser as tabs of the same window, or disconnect them to view them simultaneously and independently.
Manage Layout Pages through the Project Browser
Delete, insert new, and edit layout page information from the Project Browser. Layout pages display with different icons in the Project Browser for template pages, blank pages, and pages that will print.
Drag to Reorder Layout Pages
Use the Project Browser to drag-and-drop to change the sequence of Layout pages.
Create CAD Details from within the Project Browser
Right-click context menu allows new CAD Details to be created and named as needed.
Design Structures with multiple Floors
Excludes attic and basement or foundation.
Set Heights by Absolute or Relative Position
When editing objects, specify heights or offsets based on Absolute location in plan, or the object’s relative position to other plan locations.
Choose pre-defined Plan Templates or create your own.
Time Tracker™ tool
Measure working time per project, per client, or per task. Start and stop the Time Tracker. View, edit, and export a time log, and add notes for each project. Time Tracker automatically re-starts with you as you work in a design.
Plan Database tool
Create a plan database to organize your plan portfolio.
Plan Check tool
Provides a review for basic room egress, roof, wall layout, and more.
Rotate & Flip Plan tools
Use Flip Plan to create a mirrored version of your design. Use Rotate Plan to change the orientation of the floor plan on your screen.
Import Multiple Pictures at Once
Similar to importing .PDFs, import a series of reference images into a view.
Crop Picture Images Added to Plan and Layout
Crop handles allow picture boundaries to be reduced or enlarged.
Insert & Exchange Floors
Use the Floor Above/Below tool to insert and exchange floors. Insert new Floors or levels between existing floors.
Draw Order Controls
Use the Draw Order Edit Tools to fully control the display of items in plan view in relation to each other. Move object forward and backward in a group, or move to different drawing groups altogether.
Specify R-values for walls, floors, ceilings, and platforms.
Space Planning Assistant
Drag-and-drop room bubbles and arrange them before converting them to walls. Provides a quick way to lay out rooms that adjoin the project to illustrate how the completed project would look.
Open Specification Dialog for Space Planning Room Boxes
Adjust attributes, like fill and label, for room boxes.
Print designs that can be assembled into 3D Models.
Loan Calculator tool
Calculate mortgage payments.
Home Designer® Plan Share
Share Chief Architect® plans with the consumer / DIY Home Designer® products of the same release version. Your clients can use this for floor/space planning and change colors, materials and textures. Features a Plan Lock to prevent Home Designer from editing the Plan file. See https://homedesignersoftware.com/products/matrix.html for more information about Home Designer®.
Chief Architect Viewer file compatibility
Share your Chief Architect design files with clients using the free Chief Architect Viewer software.
Room Defaults – ceiling height, style, moldings, wall covering, floor materials
Control the initial behavior by specifying default values. Define room attributes by room type.
Custom Room Definitions
Create and specify room types to customize the available rooms list to suit your most common needs and regional naming conventions.
Specify when a room is calculated in the Living Area
For example, specify the garage or attic to be included or excluded in the living area calculation.
Define Conditioned or Unconditioned Spaces
Specify rooms as conditioned, unconditioned, or use the room type’s default to generate insulation calculations on the materials list.
Name individual Rooms
Name individual rooms from a defined list of types or create new names. Custom Room Label controls - assign room types as well as custom room labels. Rooms display dimensions with interior area measurements. Multiple Room Select to group edit the Room attributes.
Custom Room Label controls
Assign room types as well as custom room labels.
Room Label Dimension Format Defaults
Define the display of the dimensions supplied with a room label. Edit units, fraction or decimal display and other settings much like standard dimension formats.
Control over new Room specifications when additional floors are added
Use the Floor Defaults dialog to set up a new floor’s attributes.
Display any combination of Room Label Size Layers
Display the Dimensional Size and the Square Footage labels for a room at one time.
Accurately Layered Floor & Ceiling Platforms
3D model includes Finished Floor and Finished Ceiling layers. Use these layers to add dimension details and define floor coverings, finishes, and sub-layers.
Floor Material Region Tool
Create floor inlays and other floor finish configurations without room boundaries.
Raised Floor Platforms
Specify raised floor platforms that are automatically framed.
Short Ceilings for Rooms within Larger Rooms
Create plant shelves, shorter closets, or other rooms that have a lower ceiling than the greater space and control the ceiling platform and materials automatically.
Molding display control by Room
Specify height, width, and orientation of moldings from floor or ceiling. Control the display of moldings in any room type.
Room Molding Polyline & 3D Molding Polylines tool
Automatically generate a molding polyline derived from the room's perimeter. Reshape the polyline as desired and attach multiple molding profiles. Designate sizes for each profile and specify its height off the floor. 3D Molding Polylines create horizontal and vertical moldings.
No Molding / Railing on Selected Edge
Easily access the control for including or removing moldings and railings on a polyline through an Edit Toolbar toggle.
Automatically generate a polyline derived from the room's perimeter. Use the polyline tools to generate a Materials List, view the area, or convert to a molding, slab, and other custom options.
Room Polygon tool
Create a Room automatically with pre-specified dimensions.
Room Divide Tool
Create separations of rooms without walls using the Room Divide Tool – great to differentiate flooring for rooms.
Wall Styles include interior, exterior, railing, pony, half wall, curved, angled, raked, stepped. All styles are customizable with unique layers. Wall Types include structural wood, stucco, steel, ICF, SIPS, glass block, railings.
Draw and edit Walls in 2D and 3D
Create custom Wall styles with multiple layers
Use controls in the Wall Type Definition dialog to easily move wall layers toward the interior or exterior of the wall, set materials, and define individual properties of each wall layer. All the Wall layers calculate into the Materials List.
Default controls for interior and exterior walls; use Set As Default to update values for default walls.
Store Walls in Library Browser
Add custom wall definitions to the Library for reuse.
Specify wall labels or generate automatic labels when Wall Details are created. Cross-reference wall details in Project Browser with walls in plans and use macros to create dynamic wall labels.
Draw half walls and specify their default values (also known as solid railings). Include wall assembly layers and control them just as you would a standard wall.
Paint One Wall
Quickly change the material on the surface of a single wall in a room
Wall Material Region Tool
Design wall areas specifying different materials and assemblies.
Create recesses in walls like a shower niche or wall display. Define the niche depth, casing, arch, and other attributes similar to windows.
Interior Railings Only
Specify interior and exterior railing styles with unique attributes like newels, balusters, materials, handrails, and heights.
Rail & Shoe Controls on Railings
Specify size, shape, and custom profiles for top rail, middle rail, bottom rail and beam. Control the height off of floor for the bottom rail (shoe) for Railings and Ramp Railings.
Railing Top and Bottom Rail
Specify railings and fences with symbol panels, then define the size, and profile of the hand railing and shoe rail separately.
Control the Thickness of Railing Panels
Separate controls for the thickness of balusters and railing panels that are inserted into railings.
For a two section Wall, define materials for each section. Control window and door display, dimensions, framing, alignment between floors. Adjust the height of individual Pony Walls by typing the lower wall’s height into the dialog.
Double Walls for Marriage Walls and Multi-Family Units
Includes window and door control.
Multiple Framing Layers in Wall
Create wall types with multiple framing layers and automatically generate framing for both layers; ideal for furred basement walls.
Specify wall intersections / framing on a per wall end basis using the Thru-Wall attribute. Turn ON or OFF Thru-Wall connection display in plan view.
Support for ICF and SIP Wall Connections
Specify multiple main layers for wall types to represent construction types such as ICF and SIP walls.
Control Wall Connection Layer Intersections
Manually control wall intersections by dragging the intersecting wall to snap to a specific layer of another wall.
Create Raked & Stepped Walls
Control heights of walls, add breaks and adjust in Cross Section and Elevation views. Define stepped foundations with vertical footing control.
Wall Align tool
Align walls on another floor (individually or group selected). Toggle the floor reference to see through to the floor above or below.
Automatic Attic Walls
Control creation and options.
Steel Framing with C-Channels & U-Channels
Specify steel framing members and show them in 3D Framing views.
Set up designs for Remodeling
Place New, Existing, Demolition and Remodeling Walls on unique layers.
Wall Editing Flexibility
Adjust wall lengths by selecting dimensions or temporary dimensions that run parallel to the wall.
Continuous Wall Draw mode
Right click to enable continuous wall drawing mode - speeds up wall draw time.
Terrain Walls follow terrain contours.
Wall Corner Boards & Quoins
Place Corner Boards and Quoins at wall intersection corners. Set default size and material attributes.
Auto Place and Delete Corner Boards and Quoins
Automatically add trim details to wall corners. Option to delete all corner boards and quoins on a per floor or per plan basis through the Delete Objects dialog.
Smart Cabinet Tools
Create any style of Cabinet using the smart parametric tools including Framed, Frameless, Curved, Angled and Bow. Adjust drawers, face frames, doors, styles, shapes, shelves, moldings, backsplashes, appliances, countertops and several other items. Use a specification dialog to define and customize your Cabinets.
Specify Cabinet Top Height
Quickly adjust wall cabinet heights to the same level using the floor to top control in the Cabinet Specification Dialog
Manufacturer Catalogs & Smart Parametric Cabinets
Cabinet catalogs include door and drawer styles, colors, wood species, and accessories.
Top and Bottom Hinged Cabinet Doors
Design cabinets with awning and hopper style doors.
Define Cabinet Defaults
Control the initial behavior by specifying default values - define, colors, sizes, doors and drawer styles, moldings, materials, countertops, hardware, and several other attributes for the cabinets as you begin a new design.
Dynamic Cabinet Face Defaults
Configure the default cabinet front to automatically update cabinets in the design that are set as “Use Default”; configure a single cabinet in a plan and use “Set as Default” to update other cabinets to match.
Show Cabinet Doors Open
Use layers and controls in the cabinet dialog to draw doors and drawers open in 2D and 3D views.
Hide Cabinet Doors
Use the "Cabinets, Doors & Drawers" layer to show or hide their display in Elevation, Plan (when drawn open), and Perspective Views.
Edit Multiple Cabinets’ Configuration at Once
Group select cabinets and modify their face items at one time to create similar cabinets easily.
Multiple Faced Cabinets
Use the Split Items button to add horizontal and vertical layout of doors and drawers on any cabinet. Create Entertainment Centers and Vanity cabinets with doors on one side and drawers on the other.
Cabinet Face Item Locking
Lock editing on cabinet face items as you modify a cabinet to more easily control the manipulation of the cabinet front. Size of appliances inserted into cabinet fronts are given higher priority, preventing them from being resized less frequently as the cabinet’s face items are modified.
Multiple Door and Drawer styles per cabinet
Assign different door or drawer styles to a single cabinet; wall cabinets with glass doors on top; drawer bases with slab and panel drawers.
Cabinet Hardware per Drawer
Control the hardware attached to any door or drawer on a single cabinet separately.
Separate Material for Cabinet Components
Apply a separate material to each cabinet element, including shelves, toe kicks, individual doors and drawers, cabinet feet, moldings, and countertops.
National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Standardized
Cabinet display options conform to NKBA standards including countertops, line styles, labels and more. NKBA approved software for professional certification testing.
Place Multiple Appliances in a cabinet
Add an oven and a warming drawer to the same cabinet; adjust or replace the appliance type by editing it in the Cabinet Specification dialog.
Evenly Space Doors and Drawers on Cabinet Fronts
Use the Equalize Layout button on Horizontal and Vertical Layouts to space their components equally.
Custom Countertop Tool
Draw and edit countertops manually. Add countertop holes, edge profiles, adjust the thickness and height off the floor. Dialog preview allows you to visualize a custom counter as you manipulate its properties.
Convert Automatic Countertops to Custom Countertops
Change the automatically generated countertop to a custom countertop that can be edited and resized independently from the cabinet.
Countertop Edge Molding
Control the display of edge molding applied to custom countertops.
Rounded Cabinet and Countertop Corners
Specify rounded or chamfered corners on a cabinet box and Automatic Countertops.
Control Counter Overhang
Control the overhang distance of automatic countertops for each side of a cabinet.
Custom Backsplash Tool
Click to generate a Custom Backsplash that automatically fits around cabinets, openings, and appliances.
Add crown moldings, light rails, dentil and rope molding details to Cabinets
Easily create Stacked Molding
Add multiple moldings to objects and specify vertical and horizontal offset distances with different Molding Profiles to create stacked moldings.
Cabinet Millwork & End Panels
Pilasters, feet, legs, and moldings. All resize automatically as the cabinet changes. Attach End Panels to the sides and back of cabinets. Panels can be set to be automatically generated when an end or back is exposed, or they can be manually turned on or off. Control materials by specifying finished, unfinished, or automatic sides. The automatic feature can determine if the cabinet is exposed or against another cabinet.
Cabinet Feet Flexibility
Control cabinet feet attached to cabinets, such as including toe-kick with feet and controlling feet attached to adjacent cabinets.
Cabinet Closed Toe Always Present
Set cabinet toekick to closed on a per-cabinet basis, regardless of the cabinet being connected or adjacent to other cabinets.
Set Defaults for Cabinet Side Panels
Specify cabinet side panels to ‘Use Default’ to quickly update and change side panel style.
Integrated Side Panels
When creating cabinets with Inset Doors, specify integrated side panels; control the frame sizes for sides to produce a singular recessed side panel or an inset side panel.
Match Front Option for Cabinet Sides
Automatically specify that the side configuration of a cabinet matches the front; create peninsula end cabinets with matching panels on exposed sides.
Edit Configuration of Sides, Back, and Front of Cabinets Independently
Choose to match the sides and back of a cabinet’s configuration to its front, or individually customize the layout of panels, doors, drawers and appliances for any side of a cabinet
Create cabinet fillers automatically between cabinets, or add them manually.
Frameless and Framed Cabinet Controls
Change the cabinet style in one click with the Frameless and Full Overlay options for cabinets.
Blind Corner Cabinet Controls
Turn On or Off Automatic Blind Corner Cabinet behavior.
Cabinet Mounted Electrical
Attach outlets and switches to the sides of cabinet boxes, soffits, and panels. Outlets will automatically snap to, and move with, cabinets with which they are associated.
Save any Cabinet, group of Cabinets, or an entire room of Cabinets as an Architectural Block and store in the Library for future use. Unblock the cabinet grouping and modify as needed. For example, store kitchen islands or an entire kitchen in your library for future designs.
Architectural Blocks act as Cabinets
Controls such as default layer, library preview display, floor to bottom height, plan view display, and bounding box size allow Architectural Blocks to act as better representations of cabinet units like bathroom vanities.
Regular & Sloped Soffits
Generate sloped soffits that automatically match roof or ceiling pitch, or manually adjust slope. Control the initial behavior by specifying default values.
Control Soffit Molding
Specify whether soffits interact with room molding from within the Soffit Specification dialog.
Custom Door & Window tools
Create any style of Door, Doorway, and Window including Arched, Shaped and Mulled. Use the Smart Parametric tools. Doors styles include interior, exterior, sliding, pocket, bi-fold, atrium, double-swing, and garage. Hardware Library - Hinges, Handles and Locks. Window styles include interior, exterior, single/double hung, sliding, casement, corner, recessed, bay, and box.
Smart Parametric Doors & Windows
Catalog Doors have interior and exterior material settings. Define colors and wood species.
Door Defaults by Door Type
Set unique door defaults for different types of doors: hinged, pocket, bifold, sliding, and garage.
Create an opening between two rooms.
Glass Louver Window Type
Choose the Glass Louver window type and adjust louver size to create Jalousie Windows.
Bump windows together at wall corners and choose to include or remove the corner post at the sash joint to create a glass corner
Atrium Door options
Create Center Swing Double-Doors, also known as atrium patio doors. Define a variety of other ways to open the doors.
Mulled Door and Windows
Create custom Mulled door and window blocks. Move, dimension, and label them as single units and add them to the Library. Mulled Units that contain Doors are automatically recognized as Door objects for Schedules and Schedule Labels.
Visual Door Placement Feedback
Visualize door placement prior to actually placing the door with intuitive control of the hinge and swing.
3D Door Display Options
Edit tools “Show Door Open in 3D” and “Show Door Closed in 3D” make it fast and easy to control the state of doors in 3D views. Adjust the Hinge/Swing Amount for Bi-fold doors.
Specify Doors as Safety or Fire Doors
Use setting to indicate if a door is a fire door, which will be reflected in the door schedule.
Specify Number of Hinges for Doors
Control the number of hinges displayed for all door types.
Windows and Doors for Double Walls
Control openings for double walls in multi-family and marriage wall configurations; specify double units or single units that span both walls.
Window and Door Casings Display in Plan View
Display or hide interior and exterior casings using the “Casings, Interior” and “Casings, Exterior” layers.
Control Trim for Interior Doors and Windows
Separately specify the materials and trim assigned to each side of an opening.
Objects Bump at Casings
Move cabinets, furniture, or other objects and bump to stop their movement when encountering door and window casings .
Control Plan Display of Symbol Windows
Assign custom CAD Blocks to symbol windows, like Garden Windows, to control their display in Plan View.
Automatic Frame Depth
Set window frame depth to automatically fit into wall.
Place Windows and Doors at Wall Joints
Span windows and doors at the intersection of multiple walls or at wall breaks to accurately represent the placement of openings in a variety of construction situations.
Divided Lites for Openings
Create Windows and Glass Doors with an unlimited number of lites.
Design your own muntins using the CAD tools and attach them to windows.
Window Treatments & Shutters
Adjust curtains by the height off floor and height above casing. Specify shutters on either side of a window. Blinds fit inside casing when attached to Windows.
Symbol Based Shutters for Doors and Windows
Attach shutter objects from the Library Browser to doors and windows through the Shutter tab of the specification dialog – control their height and vertical position.
Door & Window Lintels & Sills
Specify sills, lintels, and aprons for openings and set the height, width, and overhang. Attach custom symbols to Window or Door casing and set the height and width.
Bay, Box, Bow Windows
Select then edit a group of bay, box or bow windows. Specify width, depth, and height from floor and ceiling of Bay/Box/Bow Windows within dialog; control the structure of the units, including wall type, ceiling and floor platforms, and roofing.
Window Glazing Area and U-Factor for Doors and Windows
Create gable, hip, shed, gambrel, mansard, and other roof styles automatically. Use the Auto-Rebuild Roofs feature to automatically update the roof as your design changes. Define Roof attributes per eave wall including multiple Roof Pitches & Overhangs
Build Roof Options
Controls for Custom Ceilings Only
Specify pitch, overhang, raise off plate for energy heels, curved roof information, framing details, fascias, gutters, exposed rafters and roof returns and many other options. Includes roof and ceiling framing and trusses. See the Framing section for details.
Access controls for the automatic roof through the Defaults dialog alongside the other defaults in the project.
Roof Gable Line tool
Draw a line over a door or window and the program will automatically generate Gable roof. Specify the pitch and overhang for the gable within the line’s specification dialog.
Gable & Hip Roof Toggle Tool
Toggle the roof between these two styles using the Gable / Hip tool in 3D and 2D.
Auto Roof Returns™ for Gable Walls
Gable, Hip, Full, Sloping and Flat.
Auto Dormer™ tool
Generate floating (false) and structural dormers automatically. Set the dormer size, roof pitch, and accurately place them on a roof. Dormers types – eyebrow, gable, hip, shed, gambrel, mansard, barrel, and hip curved.
Roof Assembly Controls
Create roof assemblies with multiple layers, much like floor and ceiling platforms; great for specifying SIP roofs.
Draw and Edit Roofs in 2D and 3D
Design with both the 2D and 3D views up at the same time to visualize the changes in design.
Automatic Ceilings & Ceiling Tools
Automatic ceilings are created once a roof is generated. Manual Ceilings can be drawn and modified to reflect non-standard ceiling designs; create cathedral, tray, coffered, and barrel ceilings.
Ceiling Planes Relative to Floor
Custom ceiling planes can be set as "Relative to Floor" to easily locate them in reference to floor levels other than level 1.
Actual and Projected Area of Roof Planes
Macros and references to both the Actual and the Projected square footage of Roof Planes in the roof dialog’s Polyline tab.
Control Rafter Spacing per Roof Plane
Specify rafter spacing values for individual roof planes in a design.
Fascia & Sub Fascia control
Control the size and display of fascia boards.
Flush End Boxed Eaves
Auto-generate boxed roof soffits that are flush at gable walls and control their materials.
Gutters & Frieze Moldings
Create custom profiles for gutters and friezes. Attach them to roofs so that they update and resize as the roof design changes.
Apply Shadow Boards to the fascia of roof planes automatically. Specify molding profiles and stack moldings to create the desired molding build-up.
Non-Editable Ridge Caps
Automatically generate Ridge Caps on roofs; turn ridge caps on/off on a per roof basis; assign custom ridge cap profiles.
Automatically cut the roof with correct structural framing. Define Square or Plumb sides and frame width and height.
Specify tread width, length, tread number, overhang, and thickness. Set riser height, top and bottom height. Specify details about stringers, open underneath, runners, railing details, baluster and newel styles and shapes, brackets, handrails on walls next to stairs, around corners, and hand rail profile. Specify riser heights, tread width, start height, and bottom height.
One-Click™ Stairs & Ramps
Auto place stairs from platform to platform. Platform to terrain Stairs and Ramps automatically connect to the terrain when drawn from the ground to the structure.
Auto L-Shaped and U-Shaped Stairs
Use the L and U stair tools to automatically drop stairs with landings into plans; stairs will orient and snap to adjacent walls.
Advanced Stair tools
Customize curved sections, flared treads, starter treads, winders, definable walk line, maintainable tread width, and landings.
Visual Feedback while Placing Stairs
While in stair mode, see feedback of stair's location and orientation before dropping into the design. Stairs will snap to, rotate, and align with nearby walls when dropped in a view.
Detailed Plan Display
Display tread overhang as dashed lines on stairs in plan view, also choose to show or hide stair stringers using its layer while controlling the line style and color. Include and control the display of a cut or break line for stair display in plan view; use a drag handle to position the break line, or specify in the dialog.
Wrap Around Stairs
Connect treads around corners to form stairs for decks and other specialty spaces.
Creates stairwell and the platform to match the staircase.
Stair Defaults for Interior & Exterior Stairs
Set up defaults for stairs to create the same custom style every time.
Stair and Ramp Dialog Preview
While editing the properties of stairs or ramps, see modifications in the dialog’s live preview.
Default Ramp is ADA compliant. Specify length, slope rise and run. Specify overhangs, railings, tread surface, open underneath, baluster and newel styles, shapes, and hand rail profile.
Set up default attributes for ramps.
Create Custom Landings to auto-connect Stair sections or Ramp sections together. Choose auto adjust features for the height and thickness based on stair or ramp connection. Turn railings on or off per Landing edge.
Modify railings on landings independently from stairs. Dialog preview allows you to visualize your landing as you manipulate its properties.
Stair Landing Labels
Display and customize labels for stair landing polylines.
Railings specified for stairs can be customized with the following elements; rail style (balusters, open, middle rail, panels), multiple rails and their controls, newel spacing and offset, and baluster spacing.
Stair Railings in Plan View
Display stair railing, newels, and balusters in plan view; include fill styles on railings.
Stair Handrail Returns and Extensions
Specify returns at each of a stair’s handrails and specify horizontal extension lengths to meet code requirements for stair handrails .
Custom Newels & Balusters
Choose from newels and balusters in the Library Catalog or import your own.
Newel and Baluster Spacing
Specify newel and baluster spacing; define multiple newels along the stair and set baluster spacing per tread and along bottom rail.
Create custom railing styles such as glass, cable, or panels.
Railings Follow Stairs
Specify railings adjacent to stairways and choose whether or not the railing slopes with the stair.
Railing Opening & Wall Surface Offset
Control whether an automatic opening is created when attaching a Stair or Ramp to a wall or railing. Control the offset of the automatic wall surface under a Stair.
Foundation Tools for Slab, Pier, Crawlspace, Full Basement, Stem Walls, Footings, Post & Beam, Grade Beam
Excludes Pier Foundations and custom controls over footings and slabs
Set up a default foundation type, controlling stem-wall height, footing size, slab or pier information. Edit the foundations settings after it has been built.
Auto Rebuild Foundations
Automatically update the foundation plan to align with the 1st floor as the design progresses.
Create monolithic slab foundations with inset ledges for masonry wall construction. Specify curbing for monolithic slab foundations and specify garage specific settings.
Brick Ledge on Stem Walls
Set Brick Ledge depth in the wall specification to automatically generate a notch in the stem wall top.
Wall/Footing Below Attribute
Generate a footing, or foundation wall + footing below, when automatic foundations are created by setting a wall as a Bearing Wall.
Slab Footing Specification
Control footings for slabs on a per edge basis; resize, dimension, or exclude the footing.
Vertical Footing Control
Define stepped foundations with vertical footing control. Choose to show or hide vertical footings for stepped foundations.
Select Round Piers or Square Pads and control their size and position in the dialog. Toggle between round and square with a single click.
Create Posts with Footings Independently of Terrain
Rebar calculations for Posts & Beams
Specify the amount of rebar required for foundations so that it is calculated on the Materials List.
Slab Volume Calculations
Listed in the slab specification dialog for easy reference
Wall Footing Offset
Choose to center footings on Wall's main layer or specify an offset value.
Slab Footing Offset Default
Specify default offset distances for footings under slab foundations.
Automatic Framing - floors, walls, ceilings, roofs, openings, headers
Turn on / off automatic framing – move a window and the framing updates. Define Trimmers and Headers based on opening sizes.
Manual Framing Tools
Draw individual framing members or select and edit automatically generated members.
Separate Layers for Framing Types
Framing items are automatically separated onto layers by type (Sill Plates, Posts, Beams, Joists, Blocking, etc.).
Label controls for posts, beams, and other framing objects. Set up custom labels and assign them to layers.
Floor, ceiling, and roof trusses. Create trusses that automatically conform and fit between platforms; manually edit and customize them. Truss options include scissor, attic, step down, girder, sub-girder, drop hip, jacks, kingpost, gable end, reduced gable, energy heel.
Automatically generated truss details for floor, ceiling, and roof trusses. Each truss is labeled for easy identification.
Label controls for trusses in specification dialog, name value pairs added for trusses.
Roof Framing Options
Hand Stack or Truss Frame. Define rafters, ridges, lookouts, sub-fascia, blocking, bridging. Valley fill roof trusses. Exposed Rafter Tails and custom rafter tail cuts - choose a molding profile or draw your own profile.
Control Roof Lookout Framing
Turn on or off the automatic generation of lookout framing in the Framing dialog; specify the max spacing for Roof Lookout Framing in the Framing Dialog.
Control of Birdsmouth cuts for Rafters
Turn off auto calculation of birdsmouth and manually specify the birdsmouth seat.
Framing for Custom Ceilings
Framing panel added to ceiling specification dialog allows you to define custom ceilings’ framing independently from roof framing.
Wall Framing Options
Define number of plates, stud thickness, spacing, bridging, miter ends, framing for short walls and knee walls. Balloon Wall Framing platforms extend through walls or walls through platforms. Steel Framing for walls, headers, joists, and rafters - automatically creates C-Channel and U-Channel shaped framing members for typical steel framing. Define the number of Rim Joists generated on a per wall basis.
Multiple Sill Plates
Specify the number and size of sill plates that are added to foundation walls.
Specify Mudsill per Wall
Adjust the thickness of mudsill framing on a wall by wall basis.
Wall Framing Details per Wall
For each wall, view and edit wall framing, add dimensions or callouts. Use to produce framing schedules or wall details.
Rebuild Framing per Wall or Roof Plane
Choose to generate framing for a single object without re-creating the framing for the entire plan.
Wall Framing per Opening
Specify that window and door openings use custom or default settings for Headers, Trimmers, Sills, and other framing related components on the Framing tab of the specification dialog.
Create Built-up Headers
Specify headers with up to 10 members and 5 trimmers for each opening.
Specify Walls as ‘Bearing’
Automatically control the generation of butt or lap framing over a wall with the Bearing attribute.
Wall Framing for Pony Walls and Solid Railings
Plan view display of framing generated for pony walls and solid railings.
Post & Beam framing tools
Specify Round or Square posts. Customize the default attributes of framing posts and beams; show cross box in plan view, width and depth, materials, and other attributes.
Floor Joists Flush with Stem Wall Top
Automatically generate floor framing platforms inside the foundation which hang from stem walls.
Rim Joist Control
Control the material type and size of rim joists independently from the platform framing.
Automatic Platform Holes and Foundation Holes
Use polyline tools to generate holes for the floor or ceiling and automatically generate framing around them.
Deck Framing Options
Define Plank overhang, width, gap, direction, border planks, beams and joists. Define widths, spacing, direction and type of planks. Automatically re-build framing as the design changes. Include or exclude beams, posts, and footings.
Deck Support Controls
Specify size and type of deck posts and height, width, shape of deck footings for individual deck rooms or as project defaults.
Deck Framing Layers
Deck framing, posts, beams, and footings are each added to their own separate layers.
Deck Post and Beam Defaults
Control defaults for fill, size, line style, and other attributes for deck structures.
Treated Deck Framing
Specify Deck Framing Members as “treated” to reflect the lumber type in your materials list.
Comprehensive CAD objects and editing tools: Points, Lines, Polylines, Splines, Arcs, Circles, Ovals, Boxes, Arrows, Fence, Trim Extend, Parallel, Perpendicular, Reflect, Replicate, Transform, Fillet, Chamfer, and several others.
Use cross-box, blocking box and insulation detail tools to add feature elements to cross-sections and callouts.
3D Primitive, Advanced Polyline & Face Tools
Create custom solids with a variety of shapes. Edit polylines using Polyline Subtract, Polyline Union, and Polyline Intersection. Create solid faces, extrude and revolve them to create custom objects. View and rotate a 3D preview while adjusting the attributes of primitive shape objects.
Polyline Solid Tools
Create 3D shapes using the Polyline Solid tool. Create custom countertop shapes, backsplashes, tub platforms, etc.
Polygon CAD Tool
Creates regularly-shaped polylines of pre-specified dimensions. Specify the number of sides and specify the polygon size by length of sides or overall radius.
Convert 2D CAD to Smart Object
Excludes Elevation and Terrain Objects
Quickly convert CAD to Polyline Solids, Molding Polylines, Countertops, Slabs, Landings, Holes in Roofs and Platforms. Convert Arcs and Circles to Polylines. Convert polylines to Revision Clouds and Material List Areas. Convert to Elevation and Terrain data, Sprinklers, Roads, Road Markings, and Sidewalks.
CAD Detail From View
Generate a CAD Detail from any view. Add or remove lines, add dimensions, fill patterns, text, and callouts. Use CAD details in your Layout and save to the Library for future use.
Import CAD files, such as AutoCAD®, and convert CAD lines to fully configured 3D walls, windows, and doors.
Architectural CAD Details
Includes a subset of CAD Details
Details for residential structural elements. Detailed assemblies for floors, roofs, decks, walls and foundations. Over 500 details are included in the premium SSA catalogs.
Accurately create objects using coordinates
Use the Enter Coordinates dialog and specify absolute or relative coordinates for objects created by clicking and dragging.
Align / Distribute Objects tool
Define distribution and automatic alignment of CAD objects.
Create and manage CAD Details & Blocks
Draw customized details and diagrams, print them to scale, and save for reuse in the Library.
CAD Block Management
Interface in the CAD Block Management dialog displays a preview of the selected block, offers columns for sorting and renaming blocks, the ability to add blocks to the library, and multiple select and insert blocks directly into a design.
Auto Purge CAD Blocks option
Unused CAD Blocks can be automatically purged from plans when the program is closed.
Specify Insertion Points for CAD Blocks
Define an exact location for inserting and placing CAD Blocks.
Custom Line Style Editor
Design your own lines styles and reuse them throughout your projects.
Closed Polylines and Filleted Polylines
Select any polyline and choose Close Polyline to automatically connect the start and end points. Editing of filleted polylines retains fillet radius.
Fillet All and Chamfer All
Quickly edit polyline corners, like custom counters, with fillets or chamfers with the click of a button.
Arc Creation Modes
Choose from a number of methods to precisely draw arcs.
Current CAD Layer & CAD Points saved with plans and layouts
When a plan is closed and re-opened, the CAD Layer used in the previous session is active.
Visual CAD Snaps™
Snap indicators – center, end point, tangent, and several others. Snap to objects or a grid. Snap to Reference Floor layer (a floor above or below the current floor).
Edit CAD using Same Line Type Control
Quickly create new line, spline, or arc segments at the end of existing objects using the Same Line Type handle.
Angle Snap preview while drawing
Multiple Copy tool
Replicate objects at pre-defined increments. Set default increments for different types of framing objects, as well as general objects.
Paste Hold Position tool
Copy an item between layers, plans or floors while maintaining orientation and exact position.
Point-to-Point Move tool
Accurately move or copy objects.
Set up unique layer groupings for display and printing. Create separate Layer sets for Electrical Plans, Framing Views, or Space Planning. Edit, copy, and rename existing layer sets; use the Layer Set toolbar to quickly swap active Layer Sets or swap Layer Sets using Annotation Sets.
In addition to the default Layers, add, change and delete custom Layers.
Filter Layers in Display Options Dialog
Search for keywords of layers to quickly access relevant information in the Display Options Dialog.
Assign objects to Layers for Display & Materials List
Choose which objects display in 2D and 3D and if they are to be used in Material List. Change the default layer used for individual objects and assign them as necessary.
Layer Eyedropper & Layer Painter tool
Select a layer assigned to an object using the Layer Eyedropper tool, then apply that layer to a different object with Layer Painter.
Layer Hider tool
Click on an object in plan view to turn off its layer display.
Control display attributes by Layer
Set color, weight, and line style on a per layer basis. Lock layers as necessary to prevent editing.
Object Layer Properties edit tool
Quickly and easily modify the layer properties for any object .
Layer Set Defaults dialog & Management dialog
Assign 2D and 3D views to Layer Sets. For example, assign the Cross Section camera to a “Wall Cabinets” only view. Manage Layer Sets - import, export, copy, edit, delete, and create new layer sets from one dialog. Set the currently active set and the reference set.
Assign Cameras to Layers
Layer Set Defaults for Camera Types
Specify unique layer sets for each camera type; Full Camera, Floor Camera, Full Overview, Floor Overview, Cross Section, Back-Clipped Cross Section, and Wall Elevation. Control the layers displayed for any of these cameras when they are initially created by assigning layer sets in the Layer Set Defaults dialog.
Stair and Ramp Up/Down Arrow layer control
New layer for stair and ramp arrow allows you to control the display separately.
New “Footings, Step Markers” layer
Control the step markers display, line style, color, line weight, and text style.
Reference Layer Sets
Reference Layer Sets are retained for each view sent to Layout pages.
Baseline, Centerline, Angular, End-to-End, Interior, Point-to-Point, and Temporary dimensions. Use One-Click Auto Dimensions™ for exteriors.
Running Dimension Tool
Draw dimension with cumulative values from base item to each dimensioned object in a single dimension string.
Display Secondary Dimensions
Show two formats of dimension text on the same dimension string.
Specify Dimension Units, Accuracy, & Display
Use Imperial and Metric systems. Control the units displayed for dimensions, number height and font, arrow size and style, accuracy in decimals or fractions to 1/128" or 0.0078125.
Dimension Label Fill option
Specify solid or transparent fill for dimensions' text.
Append text to dimensions
Insert additional text before or after the dimension value for any dimension string. Choose the dimension number to which text is added.
Define where Dimensions locate
Locate to centers, rough openings, casing, interior layer, main framing layer, sides, and several other locations.
Dimension to Cabinet Toe Kicks, Moldings, Backsplashes and Countertops
Set up locate configuration for dimensions; use the automatic dimension tools in elevation views to automatically include these dimensions.
Input Accurate Dimensions using a DISTO™ or other Laser Distance Meter
Use a Bluetooth or Wireless compatible device to automatically measure a space then input the distances directly into dimension strings.
National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Automatic Dimensions
Automatically dimension interior rooms and elevations to the National Kitchen and Bath Association dimensioning standards.
Automatic Interior Dimensions
Automatically dimension interior rooms. Set defaults for locating objects.
Automatic Story Pole Dimensions
Use the Story Pole Dimension tool to automatically generate labeled markers for key locations and dimensions between them in Elevation and Cross-Section views.
Automatic Elevation Dimensions
Use the Auto Elevation Dimension tool to add dimensions to Elevation and Cross Section views.
Auto Exterior Dimensions
Add dimensions to the design exterior with a single click. Define the default behavior, like included objects and distance offsets, of Automatic Exterior Dimensions.
Exclude Interior Walls from Auto Exterior Dimension
Set up Auto Exterior Dimension Default to exclude interior walls.
Auto Refresh Exterior Dimensions
Keep Auto Exterior Dimensions up-to-date as you move walls and openings in your design.
Delete Automatic Dimensions
Use the Delete Objects tool to delete Automatic Dimensions from a Floor or the Entire Plan. Manually edited or modified dimensions will remain.
Multiple Dimension Defaults
Define multiple dimension styles and attributes for your specific needs, such as defaults for floor plans, cabinet elevations and site plans. For each Default, define the attributes for number height, unit of measure, arrow, fonts and more.
Precisely Position Objects with Dimensions
Select any object, and enter a corresponding dimension number to move the object a set distance.
Input Math to Edit Dimensions
Use simple arithmetic formulas while editing dimensions to easily move objects in a design.
Wall Editing with Dimensions
Adjust wall lengths by selecting dimensions or temporary dimensions that run parallel to the wall. Display Wall length as you draw; press TAB to input an exact dimension.
Tape Measure Tool
Use the Tape Measure Tool to find the measurements of any item.
Snap to the Center of Cabinets, sides and corners of Appliances and Fixtures, Furniture, Framing, and Callouts and Markers.
Dimension Snapping Controls
Specify how dimensions attach to walls, framing, and openings when dragging new dimension strings; exclude walls, snap to sides or centers of framing, and choose multiple opening options.
Dimension to 3D CAD items Elevation Views
Snap dimensions to countertops, polyline solids, and slabs, regardless of the view in which they were originally drawn.
Define or convert any dimension extension to a Centerline Extension
Open the specification for any dimension and select an extension number to change its values or change it to a centerline.
Box and Bumpout Extension Snaps
Snap to projected 90° intersections.
Electrical & HVAC Tools
Create Electrical, Plumbing and Heating / Ventilation plans. Electrical – place lights, switches, outlets, low voltage, and wiring. Circuit Connection tools draw the connections and circuits for your electrical layout. Connect electrical components together to create circuits. Adjust the lines and arcs of the circuit design. Connections will automatically change switches for 3-way and 4-way. Specify Electrical, Fixture, and Furniture items to attach to ceilings and roofs and auto-rotate to match the pitch of roofs or vaulted ceilings.
Control the initial behavior by specifying default values. Set up default objects to be placed when adding lights and outlets to a room, set the height for outlets and switches off the floor or countertops.
Auto Place Outlets
Places outlets at regular intervals based on room type. Use the Auto Place Outlet tool to add GFCI outlets to your kitchens and bathrooms.
Electrical Lighting & Lighting Sources
Use Light Sources in addition to light fixture symbols to enhance the lighting in a scene. Light Fixtures have light sources for Render and Ray Trace Views.
Custom Lighting Controls
Define custom lighting with shadows, attenuation and intensity; turn lighting on or off per fixture to control whether a light is used for a 3D scene.
Choose from common wattage/lumens values for lights or specify custom values.
Adjust Lighting Dialog
Locate lights by label name or room location.
Continuous draw mode for Electrical Connections
Quickly generate electrical connections for each circuit in your design.
Photo-realistic lighting effects with the Ray trace rendering
See the Rendering section for additional detail.
Generate a 3D terrain model with elevation data you enter or import.
Create Plot Plans, Site plans, & Subdivisions
Input accurate length, bearing and setback information.
Automatic Plan Footprint tool
Use the Plan Footprint tool to automatically generate a CAD Detail for a Site Plan. Turn on only the layers you need visible for the site plan such as roof planes, overhang and exterior walls.
Import Terrain Assistant
Import GPS data: text files, DWG/DXF. Generate Terrain information by importing GPX data from mobile devices.
Terrain Elevation Splines, Polylines, Regions & Points
Input elevations data for Terrain by drawing splines, lines, and points. Attach elevation value to each object, then automatically generate the terrain contours. A Clear Terrain tool is available to remove contouring and adjust elevation data.
Terrain Modifier tools
Hills, Valleys, Elevated Regions, Flat Regions.
Display Line Angle Controls
Display angles as Azimuth Bearings, Quadrant Bearings, Degrees, Minutes, or Minutes + Seconds.
Advanced Terrain dialog
Use the dialog controls for terrain smoothness, triangle generation, terrain's skirt, clipping around structures, and full control over terrain contours.
Retaining Walls, Terrain Break tools
Generate retaining walls with built-in terrain breaks to automatically create steps in the terrain with the wall. Use the Terrain Break tool for steps without the wall structure.
Terrain Accessory tools
Stepping Stones, Streams, Garden Curbing, Pre-defined Garden Beds, Blocked garden beds.
Road & Sidewalk tools
Tools to create a Road, Road Median, Road Striping/Marking, Curb, Gutter, Driveway, Sidewalk and Cul-de-sac. Automatically attach a sidewalk to the road or driveway objects you are generating and specify custom curb profiles.
Spline & Polyline Driveway tools
Road & Driveway Defaults
Preset sizes, types, and materials for these tools to fit your standard development process.
North Pointer & Sun Angles for shadows
Define a North Pointer and Sun Angle. Specify latitude, longitude, date and time; generate shadows in 2D and 3D. Sun Angles are listed by date and time stamps in dialogs for easy identification.
Deck Designer™ tool
Design Straight and Curved Decks. Define roof and ceiling attributes for a covered deck. Control the orientation and size of deck planking, gap, width, overhang, direction, border planks, beams and joists. Full Deck framing – see framing section for more details. Polygon Deck tool, specify the number of sides and the size of a deck.
Create picket, privacy, iron, and panel fences. Choose gate styles from the Library Catalog. Fences follow the terrain.
Sprinkler Designer™ tool
Place sprinkler heads and connect them to create irrigation runs and zones.
Interior Plants Only
Plants Images - Trees, Shrubs, and Flowers can be placed in 2D and 3D views. Over 4,000 plants are included in the premium SSA catalogs.
Create & Import Plants
Import photos of plants and add them to the Library Browser to use in your designs. Add plant growth information and adjust transparency attributes.
700+ 3D Plants in the Premium SSA Catalog
Use 3D Plant Symbols for added detail. Generate realistic 3D views where plants cast shadows.
Plant Chooser™ with Hardiness Zone Maps
Plant Hardiness Zone maps show plant data by region. Use the Plant Chooser to filter results by attributes like common name, water and light needs, and 2D or 3D plant object.
Detailed plant information – common and scientific name, type, sub-type, characteristics, height range, zones, sun and water needs, bloom time, and leaf and flower color.
Create Landscaping Plans
Assign fill colors to plants in Plan view and display plant labels, garden beds, and contours. Place text and CAD details. Create Plant Schedules.
Grow Plants tool
Use sliding scale and grow the plants up to 20 years from the current maturity.
3D & 2D Editing of Architectural Objects.
Place and edit objects directly in 3D and 2D Plan View or Elevation View. Design simultaneously in 2D and 3D for any of the views.
Center Objects tool
Center cabinets under windows, windows in walls, dormers on a roof, and several other items 3D and 2D.
Match Properties / Apply Properties tool
Match properties between items of the same type. Edit similar items, including Electrical and Images.
Object Painter™ / Eyedropper
Use eyedropper functionality to match properties from one object and apply them to another object. Choose which attributes to be applied between objects, and use scoping to apply changes by object, by room, by floor, or to entire plan.
Material Painter™ & Default Painter
Apply colors, materials and textures to objects or components of the object. Apply colors as solid or stain. Use the Default Painter tool restore items to their default material.
Material Eyedropper™ & Color Chooser™
Material Eyedropper: copy a material from one object and apply to another. Color Chooser: capture colors and materials from a photo or website, such as tile for a custom backsplash or a wood stain color for a floor.
Material Properties Settings
Make rendered and ray traced views more photo realistic with Pre-Defined Metals. Specify attributes for these Pre-Defined Metals: Aluminum, Brass, Bronze, Chromium, Copper, Gold, Iron, Nickel, Silver, Stainless Steel, Tin, Titanium, Tungsten, and Zinc.
Material Class Definitions
Use class definitions to define your materials: General, Plastic, Brushed Metal, Shiny Metal, Pre-Defined Metal, Matte, Mirror, Polished, Transparent, and Translucent. Preview the Material classes for standard rendering or ray trace. Ray trace preview includes the option to choose a sphere, cube, or teapot shape to help visualize the attributes of materials.
Flexible Previews in Define Material Dialog
Easily set up material properties and see live updates of the effects of settings in the Ray Trace dialog preview. Choose ray trace quality settings within dialog to preview materials as you would see it in your scene.
Screen Capture tool - create custom materials
Screen capture an image and apply in the design, such as a photo of tile for a custom backsplash.
Toggle Patterns on or off in Vector View™
Assign Custom Patterns to Materials or Object Fill
Control the scale and rotation angle, transparency, and color of Patterns.
Manage Plan Materials
Manage all the materials used in the design. Replace materials used in a plan with a material from the Library Catalog. Select a group of materials to merge.
Apply Plan Materials using Material Painter
When using Material Painter, choose from a list of materials from the Library Browser or Plan Materials to quickly select new materials or reuse those that are used in your design.
Import Custom Symbols
Create custom 3D objects or import from manufacturers.
Rotate Previews in Symbol Specification Dialog
While editing or importing symbol objects, drag and rotate the 3D preview to see all angles of the item.
Origin Indicator for Symbol Specification
Turn on the visual UCS indicator while importing or editing a symbol to easily see and manipulate the object in relation to the origin location and its X, Y, and Z orientation.
Create Custom Moldings
Draw your own molding profile. The software will extrude the molding in 3D. Choose to retain the scale of symbol based items and moldings when modifying one dimension.
Catalog Library Browser
Access thousands of Objects / Items, both Manufacturer and generic. Download, import and create new objects. Search for objects in the Library or use the advanced search features to filter the results. Number of Library Items is displayed in the status bar.
Library Search & Instant Search bar integrated into the Library
Search for Library items by keyword, object type or style. Instant Search bar is integrated into the Library, just start typing in the search bar to find objects in the Library. Customize Library Search Attributes, view or modify key words for searching on Library objects.
Library Browser Filtered Views
Choose to show or hide entire library catalogs in the Library Browser tree. Improved library load times as hidden items are not loaded into the Library Browser.
Library Search Improvements
Enhanced search algorithm more reliably finds results by prioritizing results through better word matching and includes folders in search results; use quotes to search for specific phrases or words.
Core, Bonus, Manufacturer and User Catalogs from previous installs automatically migrate and update to latest version at install time; User Catalog automatically migrates from previous installs. Use the catalog migration dialog to specify which catalogs to bring forward.
Export Entire User Library
Easily backup and transfer User Library at the top level of the User Library Tree.
Automatic Catalog Updates
Check for updates for catalogs distributed by Chief Architect and automatically update to the latest version. Options to Continue or Cancel downloads when Chief Architect closes. Catalog Downloads automatically restart if Chief Architect is closed then re-launched . Notification dialog lists which catalogs have been updated after the updated catalog process is complete.
Library Object Shortcuts
Create shortcut items to any object in the Library Browser to customize your organization.
Multiple Select Library Items
Use the Shift or Ctrl keys to copy, move, and edit groups of objects.
Preview Objects / Items in the Library before they are placed in a design
Visual feedback for the size and orientation of objects being placed from the library and edited in plan and 3D views. Rotate, Spin and Zoom the Library preview.
Replace From Library tool
Select objects in the plan and replace with an object in the Library. Replace single items or all identical items in a plan.
Update library items associated with an object by 'painting' them onto the item; visual feedback through the cursor and when hovering over objects. Update doors, cabinet doors, railing panels, newels, balusters, handrails, casings, shutters, and window treatments in 2D and 3D.
Convert Plan Materials to Library Materials
Materials that are in use in the plan can automatically be added to the Library.
Import New 3D Objects from Library Browser
Use the Right-Click contextual menu in the Library Browser to import new 3D Objects directly into their Library folder.
Edit Backdrops from the Library Browser
Open Backdrop properties in the Library Browser to re-assign referenced images and adjust spherical settings. Use the ‘New Backdrop’ menu item to create a new backdrop directly from the Library.
Edit Symbol Objects from the Library Browser
In addition to adjusting the Symbol Properties for objects, edit the specifications like Layer and Label and save with the object in the Library Browser
Create 3D Objects that Cut Terrain Holes
Library Objects can be defined to cut holes in terrain, like window wells and swimming pools.
Automatically generate Materials Lists
Automatic Materials List with columns for equipment, unit costs, percent markup, and labor costs. Change order of the columns. Generate a list for the entire plan, single room, or defined area using a polyline.
Master Materials List
The Master Materials List stores master data, such as price. Choose which data is stored in a Master List, and when to load saved Master List information into your project's Materials List. Save and load multiple Master Materials Lists.
Specify Layers when calculating a Materials List
Use Layers to control what is included in the Materials List.
Comments and Notes per Object
Replacing the former "Components" construct, use the Object Information panel to easily add and manipulate Code, Comment, Description, and Manufacturer fields through items' specification dialog. Data appears in both Materials Lists and Schedules.
Export Materials List with accounting codes, descriptions, quantities, and pricing. Accounting codes conform to the NAHB Standards.
Create Schedules for Doors, Windows, Cabinets, Fixtures, Appliances, Furniture, Electrical HVAC, Plumbing, Plants and Room Finish. Exclude specific items from Schedules such as cabinet hardware. Automatically Customize the information contained in the Schedule and label controls for Schedules.
Control the Order of Objects and Columns in Schedules
Manually drag and re-order items in a schedule to move it up or down in the list. Reorder, rename, hide, and duplicate columns in schedules as desired.
Schedule Size Formatting
Visual feedback while editing column width on schedules. Set schedule attribute to display text in all caps, or leave unchecked to show text as displayed in dialogs.
Multi-Line Text in Schedules
Resize schedule column widths to wrap text to multiple lines in narrow columns .
Display a preview thumbnail of objects as a column in schedules; change the view type to control the style of the display.
Display Identical Objects in Groups or Individually in Schedules
‘Group Similar Objects’ option allows schedules to be organized so that each object is itemized with its own callout, or grouped and counted together with like items.
Multiple Callouts for items Duplicated between Schedules
See additional callouts referencing each schedule in which an object is included.
Callout Label Shapes
Designate rectangular, diamond, capsule, and other shapes for schedules’ automatic callout labels.
Room Name Column in Schedules
Display Room Name column in door, window, cabinet, fixture, furniture, and electrical schedules.
Room Specific Door/Window/Cabinet Schedules
Select a room and use the Room Object Schedule tool to isolate objects associated with the room.
Reference Height for Electrical Schedules
Display the reference height column to indicate installation height on walls, or distance off floor and ceiling.
Window and Door Schedules
Display columns for Divided Lites, Finish Type, Shutters, and Trim to provide full information about each window and door. Use options to show or hide Casing, Lintel and Sills, and Treatments and Shutters in the schedule thumbnail images.
Cabinet Schedule Improvements
New column options for cabinet schedules, including Box Height, Side Finish, and Door Hinging.
Create a schedule with labels and callouts for framing members; quickly reference sizes and materials for different framing members. Create schedules that reference Deck Framing only.
Cut & Buy Lists
The Structural Lumber Table can be used to calculate lumber materials for a Cut List and a Buy List. This calculation is in addition to square feet and lineal feet calculations and can be especially helpful for your framing and decking board calculations.
Real-time Cut List / Buy List
Use dropdown option in the Materials List to swap between reporting styles being displayed
Annotation Sets control a subset of defaults including Dimensions, Text, Arrows, Markers, Callouts, and Layers. Annotation Sets can be used to quickly change your defaults and streamline the annotation process.
Annotation Sets Saved with View
Annotation Sets are retained from view to view so that they automatically swap as you swap between views.
Fully editable Text tools
Control font, size, weight, color, position, justification, and more.
Advanced Rich Text tools
Format text with varying colors, font, and more. Convert plain text to rich text.
Copy Text from Word Processing Apps
Create text and tables using word processing applications then copy/paste into Chief as Rich Text.
Create unlimited Text Styles and assign them per layer, per default, or per object to control the appearance of labels, dimensions and other text in your design.
Convert Text to All Caps
Define custom Text Styles using Uppercase as an attribute and apply it to annotation elements to display text as capitalized.
Text Leader Line tool quickly creates callouts and notes
Create Leader Lines using Rich Text or Plain Text types.
Architectural fonts: City Blueprint, Country Blueprint, Chief Blueprint
Use any built-in font included with your operating system.
Uses a built-in or custom dictionary. Syntax highlighting and a context menu allow for quick corrections while editing text.
Font control, font defaults, and text macros for page number, date, and others.
Customizable Text Arrows
Callouts & Markers
Place Callouts and Markers in Plan, Elevation, Layout, and Detail views. Adjust fill color, line style, line weight, and double-headed Callouts. Callouts and Markers have unique layers. Use multiple default styles for Arrows, Markers, and Callouts.
Include line returns in customized labels to create wrapping effects and multi-line label text
Custom Door, Window, & Cabinet Labels
Type your own customized labels for any Door, Window, or Cabinet object. Control cabinet label size and orientation.
Select and rotate labels independently in Plan view. Set default label rotation and offset; set label rotation to be relative or absolute to the rotation of the object.
Labels for Polylines
Specify custom labels for polyline-based objects and reference them through plan display and macros
Automatic Roof Labels
Display labels for roofs, skylights and holes. Label includes pitch direction arrow and the roof angle in pitch or degrees. Modify the arrow style and text style of the roof labels.
Labels for Layout Boxes
Automatic labels for layout views will display the camera name for elevation and section views or the floor plan name for plan views. Create custom labels that will move with the views as you set up your layout .
Specify labels for Light Source or “added light” objects
Uniquely name light sources in your scenes for easy recognition.
Soffit, Shelf, and Partition Labels
Assign custom labels through the new Label Tab for soffits, shelves, and partitions.
Labels for Bay, Box, and Bow Windows
Customize labels through the Label Tab of the Bay, Box, and Bow Window dialogs.
Room Label background fill
Specify background fill color or solid or transparent fill for room labels.
Control the location of Labels
X and Y offsets for labels allow you to control the orientation of labels in relationship to the object.
Embed Hyperlinks in Text
Add links to website or other files using the text tools.
Encircle objects with revision clouds, or draw your own. See a preview of the Revision Cloud you are creating or editing from within its specification dialog.
Text Macros & User Defined Text Macros
Excludes User Defined Text Macros
Insert macros into text objects. Add Contact Info, File Info, Plan Info, Special Characters, and Time and Date macros. Create custom Macros, such as macros for Contractor, Supplier, or Revision Number.
Use macros to include Window Type, Top Elevation, Bottom Elevation, and Floor to Header height in window labels.
Label macros for Electrical Lights, Stairs & Ramps, Roof Pitch / Slope, and Layout Boxes
Create Dynamic Label Macros
Use Text Macros in combination with the Ruby Scripting tools to dynamically update object labels or other annotation in your design.
Text Macro Management dialog
Create New, Edit, Copy, Delete, and Test custom macros from within the Text Macro Management dialog.
Use the Ruby Scripting Console for writing program scripts - such as determining room volume, custom cabinet labels and several others. Includes an Interactive tutorial on how to create user-defined macros.
Printed Paper sizes
Specify printed paper sizes to fit your design scale or set your design to scale to paper size.
Save Prints in PDF Format
Save to a PDF file for outsourcing a print job – great when you do not have a large format printer.
Displays printable area, paper edges, and line weights.
Drawing Sheet Setup
Determine plan sheet size and specify how it prints to different paper size.
Span printing across multiple pages
Print a large format sheet on a smaller paper size and tape together to make the larger sheet.
Specify Page Printing Range and Collation
Choose to print all, selected page ranges, or specific pages from your Layout.
Control line style begin and end size
For example, for a dashed line define the start and end dash size.
Import & Export Chief Objects
Excludes Wall Types, Ruby Scripts, and Line Styles
Import/Export Annotation Sets, Layer Sets, Hot Keys, Wall Types, Line Styles, Defaults, Macros, and Ruby Scripts. Share with other users or transfer them from plan to plan.
Export Materials List to Microsoft Excel, CSV, TXT, or HTML
Import PDF files
Import Adobe® PDF file formats into plans, layouts, and CAD Details; retain print resolution and quality when printing final documents with embedded PDF files.
Import & Export 2D DXF
Advanced Layer Mapping to assist with importing.
Import or Export DXF and DWG files.
Import & Export 3D files
Import 3D DXF, DWG, OBJ, 3DS, SKP. Export 3D DXF, DWG, 3DS.
Collada Import and Export
Import and export 3D Collada format files (.DAE) and referenced texture files.
STL Import and Export
Import and export 3D objects in .STL format.
SketchUp 8 object import
Import SketchUp format files in both Mac and Windows 32 bit and 64 bit and Mac operating systems.
Import image files: BMP, JPG, GIF, PCS, TIFF, PCX, PNG, Metafiles, TGA
Image import - specify transparency color and add plant data or image information for materials and backdrops. Display Metafile on plan, elevation, and layout views. Specify fill style to show through and transparency on the image.
HD Picture Export
Create and export high-quality, larger than screen resolution renders (watercolor, technical illustration, and final view with shadows).
Export Images with Transparent Background
Export .PNG and .TIF images that treat the backdrop as transparent, making it easy to overlay the graphics on other artwork without the need for additional photo manipulation.
Import Terrain Elevation data
Import survey data from AutoCAD or other sources.
3D Mass Import
Group import 3D DWG, DXF, 3DS, OBJ, SKP files and convert them to Library Objects.
Create Materials from Textures
Group import texture image files and convert them to materials automatically.
Convert 3D View to Symbol
Create a custom object using Chief Architect's design tools and then round-trip covert a view to a unified library item.
Mac & PC compatible
Chief Architect can be installed and run natively either on Mac or Windows operating systems with a single license.
The 64-bit version is more efficient in managing memory and you will see better performance on larger plan files. A 32-bit version is available and will also run on 64-bit operating systems.
Support for Multiple Monitors
Tabbed view windows can be torn or undocked from main user interface and moved between monitors independently.
Touch Screen Optimization
Smooth and accurate touch controls for pinch zoom, pan, rotate and other controls for Windows computers (not supported by Mac OS).
Use Gestures to Navigate
For Mac Trackpad users, gestures such as Panning and Zooming, can be used to navigate in a view.
HD Interface Graphics and Icons
Toolbar buttons and new high definition icons scale to fit screen resolutions and increased DPI (128px vs 20px)
Control UI Button Size
Use Preference settings to change the size of toolbar buttons. Make the display of the toolbars bigger without adjusting system settings.
Modify the toolbar to match your work style. Add and remove buttons, create toolbar groupings, dock and undock toolbars. Create Toolbar Sets. Use the search bar to quickly locate buttons.
Excludes Terrain, Space Planning, and MEP toolbars
A collection of tools on a toolbar set organized by discipline: Default, Terrain, Kitchen & Bath, Space Planning, and Mechanical Electrical Plumbing.
Easily access all of the child tools for the selected parent tool through the static Toolbar Palette.
Assign and change shortcut key mapping. Set up Sequential Hotkeys. Assign combinations of keystrokes, up to 4, to be used sequentially as shortcuts to tools.
Specify Preferences & Defaults
Set up Preferences for display and editing tools to customize the interface to your needs. Specify defaults for most architectural elements so that their initial placement suits your project's design and style.
Directory Navigation through Preferences
Easily view and access the location of files stored and referenced through Chief Architect in the Preferences dialog.
Easily bring forward settings from previous Chief Architect versions.
Faster Undo / Redo
The architecture for UNDO and REDO is improved; notice faster, more responsive, and more UNDOs (up to 100) without affecting performance.
Dockable Layer Display Options
Configure Active Layer Display Options Dialog to be docked and accessible while designing to quickly and easily control your layers.
Dialogs Remember Last Position
Location and size of dialogs can be retained for the next time they are accessed.
Rendered Previews in Dialogs
View, rotate, and spin previews of 3D objects in specification dialogs to get a better sense of their attributes while making modifications.
3D Mouse Support
Use a 3Dconnexion Mouse as your input device to efficiently navigate camera views.
Missing Graphic File Handling
Interface to aid in updating, replacing, deleting, and ignoring missing graphics files.
Virtual Graph Paper™ display
Adjust grid to display a reference in any increment, great for modular design, space planning, and as an indication of scale.
Set Auto-Archive Preference to schedule how frequently projects are backed up to an archive file.
Create Archival .ZIP Files
Export an archive of a project that combines all files into a single .ZIP for easy storage. Use the Backup Plan feature to overwrite files into an existing folder instead of requiring an empty directory.
Unicode Special Character Support
User accounts and files using accented Western letters can be leveraged for most interactions in the software.
Export energy calculations to U.S. Department of Energy’s REScheck™ software.
Chief Viewer™ - a Free downloadable viewer
View and annotate 3D camera views and Virtual Tours.
Support & Software Assurance
Updates, Major Releases and New Versions, Priority Technical Support, Over 500 Online Training Video access, Download Library Catalogs access, Discounted Training Seminars, Discounts on Secondary Licenses.
Deactivate a license remotely from your Chief Architect online account.
30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee
If you are not completely satisfied, Chief Architect, Inc. will gladly refund your purchase price within 30 days of purchase.