Creating and Using Layout Templates

Reference Number: KB-00737
Last Modified: January 28, 2019

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier


I would like to create and use a layout template in Chief Architect. How do I do this?


A template file has all of your preferred default settings, layer display options and other file-specific information saved and waiting for you.

A layout template can also feature a border with your company information, logo, text macros and other details. When you identify a file as a template, Chief Architect refers to that file for this information any time you open a new layout file.

Creating a layout template is easy and can save you a lot of time when creating a new layout file.

To setup a layout template

  1. Start by selecting File> New Layout  from the menu to create a new, blank layout file.

  2. Navigate to File> Print> Drawing Sheet Setup .

    Drawing Sheet Setup dialog where the drawing sheet size, scale, and other print settings can be set

    • Set the Drawing Sheet Orientation and Size to your liking.

      In most cases, the Printer Paper and Drawing Sheet sizes should be the same.

    • Make sure the Drawing Scale is set at a 1 to 1 scale.

      Example: 1 in = 1 in

      It is important not to change this, as the drawing scale is set when you send individual views to the layout.

      For more information about drawing scale as well as line weight scaling, click the Help button at the bottom of this dialog.

    • Make any other desired changes, then click OK to apply your settings and close the dialog.

To create a layout border and title block

  1. First, go to Page 0 of the layout file.

    Page 0 is the Default Page Template. Items placed on this page show on every page of the layout that is assigned to follow this Page Template. It's possible to set up more than one page template. Please refer to the Related Articles section below for more information.

  2. Using the CAD tools, create a border and title block that you want to display on each page of the layout.

  3. Using Text or Rich Text , add a company name, project information and any other notations that you may want to display on each page of the layout.

  4. To insert a company logo, image, or PDF, select File> Import> Import Picture   or File> Import> Import PDF .

  5. Macros are special commands that insert dynamic information into a text box. Select the Insert Macro  tool to insert a macro.

    Text Macros are available in both plan and layout files, but are particularly useful in layouts, allowing you to automatically insert useful information such as the page number, date and time, and file name.

    Inserting the Layout Page Number macro in the Text Specification dialog

    • You can use the Layout Page Number (%page%) macro to show the page number for each page of the layout.

    • Use one of the Time or Date macros to insert the date or time in the layout to automatically let you know when you printed this layout.

    • Add the file name for this layout sheet using one of the File Info text macros.

    • Inserting this next to the binding edge will allow you to determine which file it is or even where this set of plans is located on your computer, should you need to reprint them in the future.

To save and use this file as a template

  1. Select File> Templates> Save As Template .

  2. Give the new layout template a logical name.

  3. Click the Save button, and the program will automatically save the template to the program's Templates directory on your computer.

  4. You will be prompted if you want to use this file as your default layout template. Clicking Yes will update your program's Preferences so that every time you open a new layout, this file will be used.

  5. To use this or any other template file to create a new layout, select File> Templates> New Layout from Template .

To change the default layout template

You can change the default layout template that is used whenever you open a new layout file by accessing the program's Preferences dialog.

  1. Select Edit> Preferences  if you're on a Windows PC or Chief Architect> Preferences  if you're on a Mac.

  2. On the New Plans panel of the Preferences dialog:

    New Plans panel of the Preferences dialog where Templates can be specified
    • Click the Browse button to the right of the Layout Template text field for the unit of measurement you're using.

    • In the Select a Layout Template File dialog that opens next, browse to the location of your new layout template file, select it, and then click Open to specify this file as your default layout template.

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