Troubleshooting Printing Issues

Reference Number: KB-00085
Last Modified: April 13, 2023

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I sometimes have trouble printing my plan and layout files. An error message displays, the program seems to hang, or nothing at all happens. How can I resolve these types of problems?  


Chief Architect files can contain a great deal of data and depending on the project, printing can take some time. Some factors that can increase the time required for printing include:

  • Large and/or numerous imported pictures or PDF boxes.

  • Numerous individual CAD objects.

  • Large areas using small scale fill patterns or fill patterns with transparency.

  • Cropped layout views with a large amount of data located outside of the view extents.

  • Rotated layout views.

When a print job takes more than a few seconds, a Progress dialog will show that the task is being completed. If there does not appear to be any progress, you may be able to solve the problem by reinstalling the printer driver, setting your default printer, or printing to PDF instead. 

To troubleshoot printing issues

  1. First, Save  your work and exit out of Chief Architect completely, then check to make sure that your computer meets the System Requirements for your version of Chief Architect.

    If your computer is not running a supported operating system, or otherwise does not meet the system requirements for your version, please install the program on an alternate compatible computer that meets the requirements.

    If your computer does meet the system requirements for your version, please continue on to the next step.

  2. Make sure that your computer meets the system requirements for your printer or plotter. You should be able to find this in your printer's documentation or on the manufacturer's web site. 

    Some common printer/plotter manufacturer web sites include:

  3. Once you have verified that your printer is supported on your system, download and install the most recent driver for your printer from its manufacturer's website.

    Only install drivers which state that they are compatible with your version of Windows or macOS.

    If you cannot locate a valid printer driver that is compatible with your operating system, please contact the printer or plotter manufacturer directly for assistance.

  4. Once your updated printer driver is installed, restart your computer, open Chief Architect, and then Open Open Plan the plan or layout file that you experienced trouble printing.

  5. Before you try to print again, select File> Print> Clear Printer Info.

  6. After clearing the printer info, select File> Print> Drawing Sheet Setup Drawing Sheet Setup:

    • Set the Drawing Sheet Orientation to your liking.

    • Set the page Size from the drop-down list.

    • Verify the Drawing Margins. Oversized margins can result in missing information or even a blank page.

    • When printing from a layout, make sure that the Drawing Scale is set at 1:1.

    • Under Advanced Line Weight Options, the Home Designer compatibility option should always be unchecked and the Line Weight value should be set to 1 = 1/100 mm.

    • Click OK.

  7. Now, select View> Drawing Sheet Drawing Sheet to show the drawing sheet on screen.

    A blue border represents the margins of the printable area. If the margins have been set to populate from the selected printer, this border may not display on all edges of the drawing sheet.

    When selected at its border, the sheet has edit handles allowing it to be moved.

    Resizing the drawing sheet using its edit handles is possible, but can cause unexpected results. It is recommended that you instead select an available sheet size in the Drawing Sheet Setup dialog.

    After you have completed making any needed changes to the Drawing Sheet, select View> Drawing Sheet Drawing Sheet again to toggle this feature back off.

  8. Next, select File> Print> Print Preview Print Preview for an on-screen representation of how the current view will appear when printed.

    When Print Preview is on, the Drawing Sheet and line weights are displayed, and the toggle buttons for the Drawing Sheet and Line Weights are overridden.

    Objects such as camera symbols, CAD points, and the Snap and Reference Grids that do not print also will not display in Print Preview.

    Text and dimension objects appear on-screen as they will on the printed page.

    When Print Preview is enabled, color will display depending on whether Print in Color is selected in the Print dialog.

    The Reference Display does print if it is visible.

  9. After verifying that everything looks as expected in the Print Preview, select File> Print> Print Print and print your view. Make sure that the printer you want to use is selected.

If you continue to experience trouble printing, remove any printers that you no longer use from your Printers list. Then, set the desired printer as your default. 

To set the default printer on your computer

The steps to complete this task vary by operating system. For instructions, please see the appropriate link below:

Finally, if you still cannot print your file using your physical printer or plotter, try printing to a PDF file. 

To print/export to a PDF file

  1. Navigate to File> Export> Export PDF  or File> Print> Print from the menu.

  2. Under the Destination Name, use the drop-down menu to select Chief Architect Save As PDF if it's not already selected, then click the Save As PDF button.

  3. If you are able to create a PDF successfully, try sending the PDF file to your printer.

    If the PDF will not print correctly to your printer either, please contact your printer manufacturer for continued troubleshooting instructions.


Finally, if you continue to experience problems printing after going through all of these steps, please contact our Technical Support department directly, and include all of the following files listed below.

  1. If you receive an error or warning, attach a screenshot image of the message.

    See Knowledge Base article: Creating a Screenshot.

  2. If the issue only seems to occur in one particular file, use the Backup Entire Plan/Layout tool to create a folder with a copy of the file in which the error occurs, along with all referenced files.

    See Knowledge Base article: Using the Backup Entire Plan/Layout Tool.

  3. Locate and save the program's Message Log file.

    See Knowledge Base article: Locating the Message Log.

  4. Export or save your System Information.

    See Knowledge Base article: Retrieving System Information to Send to Technical Support.

  5. Sign in to the Technical Support Center and create a new support case to send to Technical Support.

    See Knowledge Base article: Using the Technical Support Center.

  6. Give the case a short but descriptive title.

    In the text of the case, type a detailed description of the problem, including the exact steps that caused the crash or error to occur, if at all possible.

    Click the Browse button and attach the Screenshot Images, the Project
    Backup, Message Log, and System Information files to your case before submitting it.

    Note: Some of the requested information may identify you, as well as specific information about your computer, but it will also help us determine the source of the problem. Please be assured that any files submitted to Chief Architect Technical Support will be used for troubleshooting purposes only.