Incorporating Custom Colors

Reference Number: KB-00730
Last Modified: February 3, 2020

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I have found colors at manufacturers' websites, in digital photos, or in other files on my computer and want to incorporate these colors into my design. How can I accomplish this task? 

Selecting a custom color from the pineapple leaves in the painting on the wall


Incorporating colors from various external files such as web pages, picture files and movies can be easily accomplished using the Select Color dialog on a Windows computer or the Colors dialog on a Mac computer.

Begin by opening the Chief Architect plan you want to use the color you found in, and then open the source of the color you want to add such as a web page or a picture viewer program. Tile the two windows so that both can be seen on-screen at the same time.  

To create a new material

  1. Launch Chief Architect and Open  the plan in which you want to use your new color.  

  2. Select View> Library Browser , then navigate to the User Catalog.

  3. Right-click on the User Catalog folder, select New> Folder, and name your new folder Materials.  

    Right-click on the User Catalog folder in the Library Browser and select New> Folder

    Note: If you have already created a folder in your Library Browser in which you want to store the Material, you can skip this step.

  4. Once your Materials folder is created in the User Catalog, right-click on it and select New> Material.  

    Right-click on the Materials folder and choose New> Material

  5. On the Pattern panel of the Define Material dialog box that opens, enter a name for your material in the Material Name field at the top.

  6. Under the Colors heading, click on the color bar next to Material or Material Color to open the Select Color dialog.  

    Select the Color Box next to Material on the General panel of the Define Material dialog

To choose your color

  1. On a Windows computer, the Select Color dialog will display. Click on the Eyedropper tool located in the bottom left corner.   

    On a Windows computer, select the Eyedropper tool located in the bottom left corner of the Select Color dialog

    On a Mac computer, the Colors dialog will display. Click on the Eyedropper tool located at the bottom.

    Selecting the eyedropper tool in the Colors dialog on a Mac computer

  2. Position the Eyedropper tool over any visible area of your computer screen, including digital photos and websites. As you drag the Eyedropper over a particular color on your screen, a preview of that color appears in the Select Color dialog. 

    Eyedropper is picking up the color from the pineapple leaves

    In the example above, the Eyedropper has been dragged to the pineapple painting area and is picking up the color of the pineapples leaves.  

  3. When you have placed the eyedropper over the desired color, click once with your mouse and that color will be selected.

    Custom colors can be added to the custom color palette located at the bottom of the Select Color or Colors dialog. On a Windows computer, once a color is chosen, select the Add to Custom Colors button. If you're on a Mac computer, select the color present in the larger box located in the bottom left corner and drag it to one of the empty smaller boxes.

  4. Click the OK and OK once more to close the dialogs and add the new color as a custom material to the Library Browser, where it can then be accessed from any Chief Architect plan file.

To apply the color to objects

  1. Materials such as your new color are only visible in 3D views, so proceed to create a Camera  view looking at the object you'd like to apply the custom color to.

  2. To apply your new material to an object in your design in a 3D view, navigate to 3D> Material Painter> Material Painter .  

  3. In the Select Material dialog that opens, browse for and select the custom color that you created, then click OK to close the dialog.

    Selecting the custom color material using the Select Materials dialog

  4. Click on any object in the 3D view to apply the custom color to that object.