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I have a number of different architectural design styles that I often use and would rather not have to set up my default settings every time I begin a new plan that will use one of these styles. How can I do this work once and save it for future use?
In Chief Architect, any time you open a new, blank plan, its initial default settings are copied from a template. You can create your own custom template plans to reflect the architectural styles, annotation sets, and materials that you use most often.
A template plan is essentially a blank plan with default settings customized to meet a particular set of design needs. You may find it helpful to create more than one template, each set up to draw a particular architectural style. It is a good idea to save all your templates in a particular location, such as a folder in My Documents or in the Chief Architect Templates directory.
If migrating forward from an older version of Chief Architect to the current one, please make sure to follow the instructions in the Migration Guide, located in your Digital Locker, to create brand new template files based on the current version profile plan.
Before you begin setting up your style defaults, it's important that you also set up your structural defaults, particularly framing, foundation, roof and wall defaults. Although not discussed in this article, other settings to consider when creating a template plan are print settings set in the Page Setup dialog, as well as custom layers and layer sets.
Begin by selecting File> New Plan from the menu to open a new, blank plan using the default profile.plan template. If you are already familiar with this process, you may want to jump ahead to just the sections that apply to your needs using the links below.
When a template plan is created, only one floor is present, so only the default settings for Floor 1 can be specified. The Floor 2 defaults are set up when you build a second floor.
Trim and moldings can be added to your template plan in a variety of ways.
If you do not see the style of molding that you need for your architectural style, you can create your own custom molding profiles, add them to the library, and apply them wherever you like in any plan - including template plans. See the Related Articles section below.
In some regards, setting up the default materials for the various objects in your plan can be the most time-consuming aspect of creating a template plan, but some time-saving features are available to help you select default materials efficiently.
Often, certain materials are used repeatedly throughout a plan. Wood of a particular type and finish, for example, may be used for molding, window and door casing and cabinetry. When you select this material as a default for one item, and it becomes available in the Plan Materials dialog. Instead of clicking the Library Material button in a given defaults dialog, and then browsing the Materials library to find the desired selection, you can find it quickly and easily in the alphabetized Plan Materials list.
Some objects may not have separate defaults dialogs. For these, you can specify the default materials for their components in the Material Defaults dialog.
Layer Sets are used to control the layer settings for different views in a plan or layout file. All views associated with a plan file - including views sent to layout - make use of layer sets stored in that .plan file.
A layer set consists of a complete list of the layers in the current plan or layout along with the display settings for each layer as set for a particular type of view or purpose. These display settings can be modified, and can be different for each layer set.
Any changes made to a layer set in one view affects all other views using the same layer set. If this is not desired, you can create a unique layer set for a particular view.
To learn more about Layer Sets, please see our online tutorial training videos on the Layer Set feature.
If you have already set up Layer Sets in another file, you can choose to Export these, and then Import them into your plan style template.
An Annotation Set is a collection of Saved Defaults for many of the tools used to annotate plan and layout files: manually-drawn Dimensions, Text, Callouts, Markers, Arrows, the Current CAD Layer, and the Active Layer Set. Multiple Annotation Sets can be saved in any plan or layout, each for a specific purpose, and you can quickly switch from set to set as you work on these various tasks.
Annotation Sets can be set up for different drawing tasks with specific annotation requirements.
For example, you could create a set for site plans with large dimensions, text, callouts, markers, and arrows; a dimension format using feet, yards, or meters instead of inches or millimeters; and custom layers for dimensions and text.
A number of Annotation Sets are included in the template plans installed with Chief Architect. You can use these sets as they are or customize them, and you can also create additional new sets in both plans and layouts.
Many of the objects included in Annotation Sets can be assigned a Text Style.
To set up Annotation Sets, you should review the online tutorial training videos on the Annotation Sets feature, as well as the Knowledge Base article on Annotation Sets in the Related Articles at the end of this article.
In Chief Architect, a Text Style is a saved set of attributes that can be assigned to any object that displays text, such as Text, Callouts, Markers, Dimensions, Schedules, CAD objects, and architectural object labels. This makes it easy to ensure that various objects display text with a consistent appearance. You can create your own or edit existing Text Styles to suit your needs.
To use the plan as your template whenever you open a New Plan file, specify it as your template in the Preferences dialog.