Obtaining and Updating Library Content

Reference Number: KB-00090
Last Modified: February 14, 2024

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


My Library Browser is empty, or appears to be missing important content. How can I easily obtain this library content to use in my designs?

A variety of different manufacturers that partner with Chief Architect for 3D content


If your Library Browser is empty, then you have not yet downloaded the core catalogs. While the program will prompt you the first time you launch it to download and install this core content, you can choose to restart this process at any time if you did not download it in its entirety.

In addition to the core catalogs, a large variety of bonus and manufacturer content can be downloaded and used in your Chief Architect designs.

Core, bonus, and manufacturer catalogs are available for download for the 5 most recent program versions of Chief Architect.

To install core content

  1. Launch Chief Architect and create a New Plan .

  2. The Library Browser side window is docked on the right side of the program window by default. You can open and close it by selecting View> Library Browser from the menu.

  3. Select Library> Install Core Content from the menu.

    Install Core Content option located in the Library menu

    The core content contains a lot of data, which may take some time to download. A progress indicator will display at the bottom of the Library Browser side window, if it is open.

  4. Once all the core catalogs have been successfully installed, a Catalog Update Summary dialog or an Information dialog will display. Click OK.

    Note: If you're unable to download the core catalogs using this method, please visit the "Troubleshooting Library Download Issues" resource located in the Related Articles section below.

Return To Top

To obtain bonus and manufacturer content using the Chief Architect website

  1. Launch your web browser and navigate to: https://www.chiefarchitect.com/.

  2. Click on My Account in the top right corner of the webpage.

  3. Enter your e-mail address and password, then click SIGN IN.

    Note: If you cannot remember your password, click on Forgot My Password to reset your password.

  4. Once you have signed in, mouse over the Chief Architect tab at the top and select Catalog Downloads to access the 3D Library webpage.

    You can also get to the 3D Library webpage from within the software by navigating to Library> Get Additional Content Online from the menu.

    • Catalogs with Free next to the download arrow do not require SSA and are free to download.

    • Catalogs with SSA next to the download arrow require active Support & Software Assurance (SSA) to download.

      Note: If your Support & Software Assurance is not active, please contact our Sales team .

    • Catalogs with a dollar amount (e.g. $3.99) listed are for Home Designer and Chief Architect users that don't have SSA, but want access to catalogs that are typically only available to SSA users.

    • Place your mouse cursor over the Info  symbol for a summary of details.

    • Click on the catalog thumbnail image to go to the full overview of the catalog.

    • Feel free to Like Like Button the catalog if you think it is as described, of good quality, and worth recommending to others.

  5. To download a bonus or manufacturer catalog, click on the Download Arrow Download Arrow symbol or the Download Download Button button.

  6. You will be prompted to select a version. Click on the Chief Architect version you want to download the catalog for.

  7. Depending on your web browser, you will be prompted to either Open or Save the .calibz file.

    Some web browsers will automatically download and open a file, and some will automatically save the file to your computer.

    If you're unsure where the downloaded library file may have gone, check the Downloads folder on your system.

  8. If you chose to Open the file, it should start the download and import process into Chief Architect automatically.

    Note: If the catalog fails to import into the program automatically, please follow the steps in the "Associating Plan, Layout, and Library Files with the Latest Version of Chief Architect or Home Designer" resource located in the Related Articles section below. Once you have followed the steps in the article, repeat Steps 5 - 7 above.

    If you chose to Save the file, then you will need to import the library manually. Select Library> Import Library from within the Chief Architect software and then browse to where you saved the .calibz file. Typically, this will be your Downloads folder on your system. Select the .calibz file, choose Open, and the library will then be imported into your Library Browser. If you choose to use this process to import libraries, you can group select multiple .calibz files on your system and import them all at once.

  9. Once one or more libraries have been imported, an Information message will display advising that "The Library Import has completed successfully..." followed by the number of items that have been imported. Click OK

    Information message stating the Library Import has completed successfully.

Return To Top

To obtain bonus and manufacturer content using the Library Browser*

*Applies to Chief Architect Premier X15 and newer versions.

  1. Within the Library Browser side window, ensure that the Include Web Results  option is enabled next to the Filters search bar.

    Include Web Results is enabled

  2. Bonus and manufacturer catalogs can be accessed using one of the following methods:

    • Expand the Chief Architect Bonus Catalogs and/or Manufacturer Catalogs subfolder(s), then select the View Online Catalogs  option. Proceed to browse through the list of online catalogs that pertain to the parent folder until you have found a particular object or catalog that you're interested in.

      Select the View Online Catalogs option

    • Using the search bar, search for a manufacturer or an object that you want to use in your plan.

      In the Filter Results area, objects that are installed in your library will display with the following icon and will appear in the list first, while objects that are not installed will display with a globe icon  and will appear at the bottom of the list. 

      Searching for "faucet" in the Library Browser

  3. Select an object or online catalog that is not installed, then look in the Details section located at the bottom of the Library Browser to see additional information.

    Details for the selected catalog.

  4. Click on the Download Catalog link located in the Details section, or right-click on the object/catalog and choose the Download Catalog option to prompt a Chief Architect Account Login dialog to appear. Enter the e-mail address and password associated with your Chief Architect account, then click Log In.

    Note: If you're already signed in to your Chief Architect account within the software, this Login dialog won't appear. Instead the catalog will be downloaded and you will be greeted with an Information message once it has completed.

    Login dialog where an e-mail address and password can be entered

  5. If you have logged in successfully, you will receive a message stating so. Click OK. The library download will now take place in the background. Once it has completed, an Information message will display advising that "The Library Import has completed successfully..." followed by the number of items that have been imported. Click OK.

    Information message stating the Library Import has completed successfully.

Return To Top

To update installed library content

Core, bonus, and manufacturer catalogs are updated periodically by the Chief Architect Content Development team to include new and improved content. Additionally, when product manufacturers update product lines, Chief Architect content may also be updated to align with these changes.

  1. Navigate to Library> Update Library Catalogs  from the menu or select the Update Library Catalogs tool at the bottom of the Library Browser to update all of the catalogs.

    In Chief Architect X15 and newer versions, you will see the following icon  next to a parent folder, as well as in the top left corner for the applicable child folders/catalogs when an update is available. Follow the process just mentioned above, or right-click on the line item displaying the icon and select Update , as shown in the image below.

    Note: On a Mac, hold down the Control key while clicking to initiate a right-click command. More information about right-click commands on Apple input devices can be found in the following Apple resource: Right-click on Mac.

    Updating a catalog that has new content available

  2. The program will gather information about the installed content, then download any available updates. Once the update process has completed, one of the following dialogs will display:

    • If catalogs were updated, you will see a Catalog Update Summary dialog with additional information as to which catalogs were updated. Click OK.

      Catalog Update Summary dialog

    • If catalogs were already up to date, you will see an Information dialog stating so. Click OK.

      Information message stating that Library Catalogs are up to date.

    Note: If you encounter an error message during this process or the catalog update fails, please refer to the Related Articles section below for additional resources that may be of assistance, or contact us.

Return To Top