Using the Backup Entire Plan/Project Tool

Reference Number: KB-00987
Last Modified: April 6, 2018

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I would like to send a plan file to someone. What is the best way to send them the file so that they can see all of the materials and other related files, including those that I have created and imported?


Chief Architect plans and layouts often contain many references to other external files so it is necessary to copy all the associated files to a new location when a plan or layout is moved. A copy of your plan along with all of your textures and materials can be quickly and easily created by using the Backup Entire Plan/Project tool.

Reasons you might want to use the Backup Entire Plan/Project tool include:

  • Sending the file to someone using the Chief Architect Desktop Viewer.
  • Submitting a plan with a technical issue to Chief Architect's Support team for evaluation and troubleshooting.
  • Working with a colleague on plan changes.
  • Migrating legacy files created in older program versions.
  • Transferring files to another computer or sending them to another user.
  • Archiving or backing up your work.

To send a plan in its entirety

  1. Launch Chief Architect and Open  the plan or layout that you want to send to the person who will be viewing the file.

    Note: If you use the backup entire plan/project tool while in a layout, it will back up the layout as well as all the plans associated with the layout. However, if you use the backup entire plan/project tool from the plan view, you are only backing up the plan.

  2. Select File> Backup Entire Plan/Project .

  3. In the Backup Entire Plan/Project dialog:

    • Leave the radio button set to Backup Plan Files and All Referenced Files.

    • Starting in Chief Architect X8, you will also see a check box to Send Backup Files to Zip Archive. Check this box to automatically zip the exported folder.

      In Chief Architect X7 and prior versions, you will need to separately compress/zip the folder. Instructions are provided for this in the next section.

    • Click OK.

  4. Depending on the platform that is being used (Windows or Mac), Windows Explorer or Finder will appear asking which folder you'd like to save these files to.

    Note: Starting in Chief Architect X8, if there are files that couldn't be located during the export, a Missing Files dialog will display which allows you to replace them. Choose to replace them and then click Done to continue.

  5. Browse to an easy to find location, such as your Desktop, highlight it, and click Save.

    In Chief Architect X7 and earlier versions, you will need to also choose the Select Folder button or create a new folder for exporting the information to.

    A new folder can be created at any time by right clicking in a preferred location and choosing New> Folder from the menu.

    On a Mac, a New Folder button will also be available in the bottom left corner of the Finder. 

  6. If backed up from a plan, a copy of the plan file, including the associated files such as images, textures, and backdrops, will now be backed up.

    If backed up from the layout, a copy of the layout, all plan files sent to the layout and the associated files such as images, textures, and backdrops, will now be backed up.

  7. You are now ready to e-mail the compressed/zipped folder to the customer using the Chief Architect Viewer, another Chief Architect user, or submit the information in a ticket to Technical Support using the Support Center.

To compress the folder (X7 and earlier versions)

  1. Exit completely out of the Chief Architect program.  

  2. Navigate to your Desktop, or the location the folder was created.  

  3. Right click on the folder and click Send to> Compressed (zipped) Folder.

    On a Mac, right click the folder and choose
    Compress "Folder Name".

  4. The compressed folder can now be sent to the person who will be using the Viewer, or attached to a ticket in the online Support Center for technical assistance.