Importing Plant Images

Reference Number: KB-00391
Last Modified: July 19, 2021

The information in this article applies to:



I want to import photographs of plants that are in different developmental stages than those already in the program. How do I do that?

Exterior of a cottage with a surrounding garden bed that contains plants


The following steps make use of image files that are not included with the program. You can use image files that are already on your computer, or you can create new ones. These same basic steps can be used to import other images into your plans such as people, pets, cars, etc.  

In Chief Architect, image objects are more than just 2D pictures. Images have size and height attributes, and can contain transparency information. In floor plan view, they display only as 2D symbols; but in 3D views, the visual information that they contain is displayed.

To create a new plant image and save it to the library

  1. First, launch your Chief Architect software, and Open  the plan in which you want to place your custom plant image.  

  2. Next, select View> Library Browser  to open the Library Browser if it's not already open. 

  3. Right-click on the User Catalog and select New> Plant Image.  

    Right-click on User Catalog and select New> Plant Image

  4. On the Image panel of the Plant Image Specification dialog that displays, click the Browse button.

    Click the Browse button located on the Image panel of the Plant Image Specification dialog

  5. Locate the plant image you would like to use on your computer, select it, then click Open.

    Selecting an image of a plan and clicking Open

    Note: Keep in mind that if you want this image to display like the other plant images in Chief Architect, you may want to crop it appropriately and set the transparency information in a photo editing program prior to bringing in the image. 

  6. Back in the Plant Image Specification dialog:  

    Image panel of the Plant Image Specification dialog

    • On the Image panel, enter the Height or Width. Adjusting one will adjust the other, maintaining the correct proportion, so long as you leave the Retain Aspect Ratio box checked.

    • Enter a Finished Floor to Bottom/Top value to specify the elevation at which the image displays. A value of 0 inches for the Finished Floor to Bottom works well in this case, but if we knew we would be placing this plant into a window flower box, for example, we may want to enter the height of this instead.

    • The Transparency panel allows you to either use transparency from the image file, or use a custom transparency color. If you choose to use a custom transparency color, for example, a tree image that has mostly a blue sky background, then you will want to use the Tolerance slider to apply the level of tolerance that you want applied to colors that are almost the same.

    • Select the Plant Information panel to enter information about the plant such as its common and scientific names, flower and leaf colors, bloom time, etc. Setting this information can be helpful if you are importing a variety of custom plant images that you would like to be able to search for using the Plant Chooser .

    • Enter any additional information for the plant, such as a description, or lighting or hardiness zone comments on the Plant Description panel.

  7. Click OK to close the dialog and the new plant image will automatically be added to your User Catalog located in the Library Browser. You can now select the plant image form the library, and click in your plan to place it.

  8. Take a Camera view to see the results.