Restoring the Default Plan and Layout Template

Reference Number: KB-00333
Last Modified: July 16, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


When I open a new plan or layout, I notice that older content appears in the file. How can I open a blank new plan or layout every time instead?


Whenever a new plan file or layout file is created, all of its settings are drawn from a Template. A Template is a plan or layout file in which a user has set up the default settings, layer display options, wall types, and other user-defined options to suit his or her particular needs. Template files are otherwise blank, with no architectural or CAD drawings so that they can serve as the basis for new, untitled files. If you select New Plan or New Layout and you notice older content appears, there is a likely chance that one of your projects was specified to be used as your default plan or layout template. Follow the instructions in this article to reset the templates used when creating new files in Chief Architect.

Making changes to the Chief Architect templates is not recommended. Instead, we recommend creating your own custom templates. Please see the Related Articles section below for more information.

To restore the default plan or layout template

  1. Select Edit> Preferences  from the menu if you're on a Windows PC or Chief Architect> Preferences  if you're on a Mac.   

  2. On the New Plans panel of the Preferences dialog, note the path-name of the Plan/Layout Template that is currently active.    

    Select the New Plans panel of the Preferences dialog to specify the plana nd layout template

    • If this is referencing a project you finished in the past, you will want to select the Browse button to the right of the Plan/Layout Template fields and browse the Templates folder to select a different file.

      The default plan templates for Imperial, U.S. Units are the "Residential Template.plan" and "Kitchen and Bath Template.plan," while the default plan templates for Metric Units are the "Residential TemplateM.plan" and "Kitchen and Bath TemplateM.plan."

      The default layout template for Imperial, U.S. Units is the "ArchD 24x36 Layout Template.layout," while the default layout template for Metric Units is the "ISO1A 594x841 Layout Template.layout."

    • Once the templates are to your liking, click OK to confirm the change and close the dialog.

  3. Now, when you select New Plan or New Layout , the template that was specified will be used.

To start a new file using a different template

Many users set up multiple template files for different design needs. To open a new, blank file based on a template other than the one you have specified on the New Plans panel of the Preferences dialog, follow these steps:

  1. Select File> Templates> New Plan From Template    or New Layout From Template .

  2. In the Choose Template File dialog:  

    • Browse to the location of the file you would like to use as your template for your new drawing.  

    • Click on the desired template file to select it.  

    • Click Open to start a new, blank file based upon the selected template.

      A message box will display, asking if you want to make this your default Imperial template. Select the appropriate choice.

      Question dialog asking if you'd like to use this template as the default for new imperial plan files