Creating a Cabinet Detail

Reference Number: KB-00580
Last Modified: February 13, 2019

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


Can you offer some suggestions for creating cabinet details?

Cabinet Detail - Wall Elevation with dimensions


Cabinet elevations can be easily created to suit your needs using the Wall Elevation and CAD Detail From View tools.

To create a cabinet elevation

  1. Open the plan file for which you would like to create cabinet details.

  2. Select 3D> Create Orthographic View> Wall Elevation from the menu, then click and drag to draw a cross section/elevation camera arrow directly towards the front of the cabinets you wish to detail.

    Placing and pointing the camera in Floor Plan view

    • Begin the cross section arrow as close as possible to the cabinets to prevent unwanted information from displaying in front of the cabinet faces

    • Make sure that the camera arrow passes through the front surfaces of cabinets as well as any appliances in the view, as appliances often extend out further than cabinet doors and drawers

    • If you wish to show a cross section of a corner cabinet, position the beginning point of the camera arrow so that the arrow does not cross through the nearest surface of that cabinet

    Note: The Cross Section/Elevation and Backclipped Cross Section tools can also be used to create a cabinet elevation; however, these tools will display all floors while the Wall Elevation tool only displays the current floor.

  3. Zoom in on the portion of the view with the cabinets that you would like to detail.

    Wall Elevation view of kitchen cabinets, fixtures and appliances

    If you find it helpful, you can also select View> Color to toggle off the color in this view.

  4. If you see objects such as decorative furnishings, electrical fixtures or labels that you do not want in your detail drawing, you can turn off their display in the Layer Display Options dialog.

    • To open the Layer Display Options dialog, select Tools> Layer Settings> Display Options from the menu

    • You can also access this dialog from the Layer or Line Style panels in many objects' specification dialog

    • In this example, the Doors layer is turned off to make room for vertical dimension lines to the right of the cabinets

  5. Select 3D> Save Active Camera from the menu, then select 3D> Edit Active Camera . In the Wall Elevation Specification dialog, type a short name for your saved cabinet elevation, such as Kitchen Elevation A.

    Wall Elevation Specification dialog with Name specified as Kitchen Elevation A

To add dimensions to the elevation

  1. Select Edit> Default Settings from the menu. In the Default Settings dialog:

    • Click the arrow next to "Dimension".

    • Select "Dimensions" and click the Edit button.

  2. In the Saved Dimension Defaults dialog, click the click Edit button.

  3. On the Setup panel of the Dimension Defaults dialog:

    Changing Reach value to one in the Dimension Defaults

    • Change the Reach value to 1" to avoid locating unwanted objects

    • Go to the Primary Format panel, use the drop down menu to select "in" as the Units

    • Go to the Locate Objects panel, under the Cabinets heading, select the options you want to be able to dimension to

    • Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes.

  4. Select CAD> Dimension> End to End Dimension from the menu, then click and drag to draw a dimension line through one of the cabinets that you would like to detail, from edge to edge.

  5. Select the dimension line to display its edit handles, then click and drag the diamond-shaped Add Extension Line edit handle to the far edge of an adjacent cabinet to create a new extension line locating that edge.

    Dimension line showing diamond edit handle

    • The Add Extension Line edit handle is located near the Move handle, and beside the dimension line rather than on it

    • Continue clicking and drag this edit handle to add as many extension lines as desired

  6. With the dimension line selected, click and drag the Move edit handle so that the dimension line displays below the base cabinets, above the wall cabinets, or to the left or right of the cabinets if the dimension measures heights.

    Wall Elevation with dimensions below the cabinets

  7. With the dimension line still selected, click the Open Object edit button. On the Extensions/Markers panel of the Dimension Line Specification dialog:

    Dimension Line Specification dialog with 1.5 inch Length entered and Apply To All button selected

    • Uncheck the box beside Use Default

    • Specify the desired Length Towards Marked Object and Length Away From Marked Object

    • Click the Apply to All button to apply the specified Length to all extension lines associated with this dimension line

    Note: In some program versions, Length Toward Marked Object always points downward or to the right, while Length Away From Marked Object always points upward or to the left. You can also click on individual extension lines and edit their lengths using the edit handles.

  8. Repeat steps 4 through 7 to draw both horizontal and vertical dimension lines in the elevation view, as needed.

    Wall Elevation view with horizontal and vertical dimension lines

  9. Select 3D> Save Active Camera from the menu to save your work in the camera.

Automatic dimensions also can be created and customized to suit your needs.

To create automatic dimensions

  1. Select 3D > Create Orthographic View > Wall Elevation .

  2. Select CAD > Automatic Dimensions > Auto Elevation Dimensions  or NKBA Auto Elevation Dimensions .

  3. Each dimension line can be edited in the same way as manual dimension lines.

Wall Elevation with automatic dimensions

You can print a Wall Elevation or send it directly to layout as it is. In Chief Architect Premier, you can also add, change, or even delete lines in the view by converting it into a CAD drawing using the CAD Detail from View tool. 

To create a CAD Detail from an elevation view*

*The CAD Detail from View tool is not available in Chief Architect Interiors. 

  1. With your saved elevation view open select CAD> CAD Detail from View from the menu.

  2. Select CAD> CAD Detail Management from the menu, and in the CAD Detail Management dialog:

    • Click on the name of your new CAD Detail. Its name will begin with "Elevation" followed by a number and it will be indicated as open under the Open column.

    • Click the Rename button and type a short, descriptive name for your detail then click OK.

      CAD Detail Management dialog - Rename button selected and new CAD Detail Name displayed

    • Click OK to close the CAD Detail Management dialog and return to your CAD Detail.

CAD Detail from View creates a line-based 2D drawing based on the current view and places it in a CAD Detail window. This drawing is saved with the plan file but is not linked to the 3D model in any way. Future changes made to the original view will not be reflected in the CAD Detail. When this occurs, you will need to create a new CAD Detail, so it is best to create details only when your plan is near completion.

An elevation view often contains more information than is needed for a cabinet detail.

To trim a CAD drawing

  1. Select CAD> Boxes> Rectangular Polyline from the menu, then click and drag a rectangle around the portion of the drawing that you want to use for your detail.

     Wall Elevation view with a Rectangular Polyline drawn around the wanted section

    • Don't worry about positioning it accurately as you draw. Once the polyline is created it can be edited with precision

    • In addition to the edit handles the polyline's edit tools can be used to resize, reshape and move it into position

  2. When the polyline has been edited so that it frames the part of the drawing that you want to use, select it and click the Trim Objects edit button.

  3. Next, click and drag to draw a temporary line just outside one edge of the polyline.

    Trim line drawn through the lines to be deleted

    • This temporary line is called a fence and it will select every line intersecting your polyline and delete the portion of that line that is outside the polyline

    • You may find it helpful to turn off Object Snaps while drawing temporary fences

  4. Repeat steps two and three for each edge of the polyline.

  5. Click the Select Objects button, then click and drag as needed to marquee-select any remaining lines outside of the polyline and Delete them.

    Selection marquee around remaining lines to delete

  6. When you are finished you may want to select and Delete the polyline as well.

If you prefer, you can use Leader Lines or Text and Text Lines with Arrows instead of dimensions to specify heights in your detail drawing.

To call out cabinet heights

  1. Select CAD> Text> Leader Line from the menu.

  2. Click and drag a line beginning at the edge that you want to locate such as the counter top or the bottom of a wall cabinet, then click to create additional leader line segments and then a text object.

  3. In the Rich Text Specification dialog type the height of the object being called out and click OK.

  4. Click the Select Objects button, then click on the dimension line that also locates this object and Delete it.

  5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 as needed for your drawing.