The information in this article applies to:
I am working in a large plan and I notice that the program is working very slowly and is sluggish or seems to lag. Is there something that can be done to remedy this?
By far, the most common reason for Chief Architect to run slowly is working in an unsupported fashion, such as over a network server location, external hard drive, or usb flash drive device.
In addition to experiencing slowness working in files, working in this type of unsupported fashion is very risky because it can lead to file corruption and data loss.
For these reasons, it is extremely important to always work on files that are saved on your local hard drive. This means that you should copy the file from a network server, external hard drive, or usb flash drive device's location to your computer's hard drive before opening it in the software. Then, make your changes, save the file, exit the program, and then copy the file back to its network server, external hard drive, or usb flash drive device location.
If you are working on your computer's hard drive, with file's being saved as recommended in the Guide to File Management, and are still experiencing slow plans, then please continue with the information provided in this article.
There are a number of things that you can do to speed up the drawing process when working in a large plan that is saved on your computer's hard drive. We'll go through each of these in order of importance, starting with the most common reasons you may be experiencing slowness in a plan.
First, verify that your computer meets, or better yet, exceeds, the minimum system requirements for running your version of Chief Architect.
These system requirements for the current version of the software can be located online at: https://www.chiefarchitect.com/products/sysreq.html
If your system meets or exceeds our minimum system requirements, it may be worth running a diagnostic memory check to see if there are any issues with your computer's memory. For information on running a diagnostic memory check, please view the appropriate link below based on your operating system.
Mac OSX Mountain Lion: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH11342?locale=en_US
Mac OSX Mavericks: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH14291?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
Mac OSX Yosemite: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH18765?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
Mac OSX El Capitan: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH21879?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
Avoid working with multiple 3D camera views open. Every time you make a change to the plan, the program will redraw the entire model. Depending on the complexity of the design, this may take a long time.
You can see how many view windows are opening by selecting the Window menu. Open view windows are listed at the bottom of the menu.
If you are using the Generated Sky setting, keep in mind it takes in to account the orientation of the sun, so if you've set the sun to follow your camera, then the generated sky will regenerate each camera movement to account for the new sun direction, which can cause slowness in 3D camera views.
If you need to work in 3D views, turn off any layers that aren't needed for the task. This will improve your redraw time.
For example, if you need to work on landscaping or roofs in a Full Overview, consider turning off the layers for Fixtures and Furnishings in the Camera View or Section View layer sets.
You can even create new layer sets with these layers turned off, and use them as your default when new camera views are created.
In elevation and plan views, if you use a high number of macros in text or labels that are displayed, this can slow down panning, zooming, and moving objects in these views.
Avoid importing 3D objects from outside sources that have a large number of complex surfaces, as these can greatly slow down camera views.
To check the number of surfaces for imported symbols:
By default, picture files and PDF files are referenced from outside of your Chief Architect file. You can, however, open the Specification dialogs for both of these types of objects and check the "Save in Plan" option to embed the picture, or PDF, in the plan. If you chose this option, it can cause significant slowdown when working in the plan or layout file.
Instead of saving pictures or PDF files in the plan, the recommended method for transferring a file between computers, or to another individual, is to use the Backup Entire Plan feature to ensure that no data is lost that would result in a missing file message. This feature not only allows you to export the picture and PDF files along with the plan and layout, but also all of the associated custom backdrops, materials, and images you may be using for the file. For more information on using the backup entire plan tool, see the Related Articles section at end of this article.
Avoid using complex fill styles and patterns extensively in your plan and CAD Details.
When you send a cross section/elevation, camera view, or overview to your layout, you have the option to select Live View to make the view dynamically linked to the plan file. You can also select for this view to Update On Demand, or Update Always. Selecting Update Always can potentially contribute to slowness in your plan.
To change a view set to Update Always so that it only updates on demand, select the view in your layout, then click the Open Object edit button to open the Layout Box Specification dialog. On the General panel, under Camera View Options, select Update On Demand and then click OK.
In addition to the suggestions above, if you have been using a file through several versions of Chief Architect, you may have unnecessary leftover data such as unused CAD Blocks, materials, and layer sets that can be removed to reduce the overall size of your plan file.
Chief Architect does not recommend reusing plan files by deleting everything out of an existing plan file and renaming it using the Save As option.
It is important to always start new plan or layout files from a template created in the current version of the software.
If you are unfamiliar with setting up template files, please review the Template articles listed in the Related Articles section at the end of this article.
If you have a large number of layer sets named Layout Set #, review the software's documentation on the Send to Layout dialog, as often you will want to be using the currently active layer set, as opposed to making a copy of it.
Slowness can be potentially encountered when running Chief Architect full screen on an iMac with a 5K monitor. Reduce Chief Architect's window size so that it is not full screen and continue working to see if performance is improved.