Troubleshooting Printing Issues

Reference Number: KB-00085
Last Modified: February 14, 2019

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 is 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, however, 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 errors

  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 on to an alternate compatible computer that does meet or exceed them.

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

  2. Second, 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:

    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.

  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.

  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 either Portrait or Landscape as needed.

    • 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 to apply any desired changes.

  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.

    Dimension lines can locate the edges of the sheet and can be used to position other objects relative to it. 
    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 to a PDF file

  1. Navigate to File> Print> Print and in the Print dialog that opens, under the Destination Name, use the drop-down menu to select Chief Architect Save As PDF.

  2. If you are able to print to PDF successfully, try printing 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.


If none of these instructions resolve the printing issue, please contact Chief Architect Technical Support using the Online Support Center and include:

  1. If the issue only seems to occur in one particular file, use the Backup Entire Plan/Project  tool to create a folder with a copy of the problem file, along with all referenced files.

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

  2. If you are receiving an error or warning dialog box, make sure to first search this Knowledge Base for the exact wording of the error, or click on the Check Knowledge Base button in the message if one is present, as there may be specific information relevant to that error recorded in another article. If you are unable to locate any additional information on the error, make sure to attach a screen capture image of the message.

    See Knowledge Base article Creating a Screenshot.

  3. Locate the Message Log.

    See Knowledge Base article Locating the Message Log.

  4. Export your System Information.

    See Knowledge Base article Finding Information About your System

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

    Online Support Center -

  6. Give the case a short but descriptive title.

    In the text of the ticket, type a detailed description of the problem, including the exact steps that cause the behavior. 
    The more detailed you are, the more likely we will be to reproduce the issue and identify the problem.

    Click the Browse button and attach the Backup, Screenshot,  System Information,
    and Message Log files to your case, then Submit it.

    It is possible that Technical Services may need additional information regarding the issue, which they will request via a reply in the Online Support Center.