Turning On the Reference Display

Reference Number: KB-00475
Last Modified: April 12, 2016

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


Is there a way to superimpose or reference the contents of Floor 1 on top of Floor 2; in a way that would allow me to edit Floor 2 while seeing where objects are located on Floor 1?


Although a given plan can have multiple floors, only one can be active for editing at a time. However, one floor, called a reference floor, can be superimposed on the working floor to help you keep walls and rooms in line. In addition, the option to switch between working and reference floors is available. This article describes how to make use of the Reference Floor.

Begin by opening a Chief Architect plan file. To make use of the Reference Floor features, the plan must have at least two floors.

In floor plan view, select Tools> Reference Floors to display the Reference Floors sub-menu.

Reference Floor Display

This option displays one floor as a reference superimposed over the current floor plan. The contents of the reference plan cannot be edited; however, they can be used to position walls, stairs and other items in the plan. A second floor must first be created before the first floor can be used as a reference.

Swap Floor/Reference

This option works with Reference Floor Display On to simultaneously change the current plan into the reference plan and the reference plan into the current plan.

Change Floor/Reference

This option specifies which floor plan is used as the current plan and which one is the reference plan. The Reference Floor Display and Swap Floor/Reference commands use these settings.

Up One Floor

This option, allows you to make the floor above the current floor the new, active floor.

Down One Floor

This option, allows you to make the floor below the current floor the new, active floor.

To modify which items to display

  1. In floor plan view, select Tools> Reference Floors> Change Floor/Reference

    Note: The floor number displayed will be equal to the current active floor

  2. Click on the Define button in the Reference Floor Layer Set section

  3. Add or remove check-marks as needed in the Disp display column to add/remove layers to/from the reference display view

    This dialog box can also be used to change the color of the Reference Display items.

  4. Click OK to close the Layer Display Options dialog box and click on OK again to close the Change Floor/Reference dialog box to save your changes.