Creating Cabinets with Open Doors

Reference Number: KB-01130
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I want to show my cabinets with open doors, how do I do this?


To create a cabinet with open doors, you will first create a cabinet with no doors, manually create detached doors and apply any desired hardware, place them on the cabinet then rotate them about a pivot-point.

For this tutorial we will be using a wall cabinet.

To create an open cabinet and stand-alone doors

  1.  From the menu, select Build> Cabinet> Wall Cabinet ,and click to place it on your plan.

  2. With the Select Objects tool selected, click to select the cabinet, then click Open Object to open the Wall Cabinet Specification dialog.

    • On the General panel we will specify a Width of 36". 

    • On the Front panel, click to select the doors on the preview and press Delete to remove them, leaving an opening, then click OK to close the specification dialog. 

  3. From the menu, select View> Library Browser .

  4. Browse to Chief Architect Core Catalogs> Architectural> Cabinet Doors, Drawers, & Panels and select the door style of your choice.

    For this tutorial, we will be selecting
    Rectangular> Framed> Divided Glass EP

  5. Select the desired cabinet door in the Library Browser, then click in a blank space in front of, but not snapped to, the cabinet. You should receive the following message:

    "No suitable cabinet was selected to insert the library cabinet door/drawer. Would you like to place the door into the plan as a fixture?"

    Yes to place a cabinet door. 

  6. With the Select Objects tool, click to select the cabinet door and press the Open Object edit button to display the Fixture Specification dialog.

    • On the General panel, set the Height to 34 1/4", and Floor to Bottom to 54 7/8" to make fit the wall cabinet.


    • On the Label panel, place a check mark next to Suppress Label.

    • Press OK to apply these changes and close the dialog.

Do not worry about moving the door to the cabinet just yet, we will position the door once we have added the hardware.

To add hardware to your door

  1. Use the Zoom tool to zoom in on the right edge of the door, where you are going to place the knob.

  2. Click View> Library Browser to display the Library Browser window again if you have closed it.

  3. Browse to Chief Architect Core Catalogs> Architectural> Hardware> Cabinet Hardware> Knobs and select a knob.

    For this example, we are using "CK 08".

  4. Click to place it on your door.

  5. Using the Select Objects tool, select the knob and pull it back so the back of the knob snaps to the face of the door.

  6. With the knob still selected, click Open Symbol  to display the Symbol Specification dialog, and on the 3D panel, place a check next to Specify Origin then set the Z value to 0", and press OK.

  7. With the knob still selected, click Open Object to open the Hardware Specification dialog. 

  8. Set the Floor to Bottom height to 56 1/2", and press OK.

Now let's take a look at the knob and make sure it is sitting where we want it.

  1. Click 3D> Create Orthographic View> Cross Section/Elevation , click in front of the door and drag through to the backside of the door to get a front elevation view of the door and knob.

    Make any necessary adjustments to the position the knob. 

  2. Close out of the Elevation view and use the Select Objects tool to drag a selection marquee around both the door and knob to select them both, then click Make Architectural Block

  3. Click Open Object to open the Architectural Block Specification dialog:

  • On the General panel, uncheck Display Bounding Box.

  • On the Label panel, place a check next to Suppress Label

Before proceeding to the next section, you can take this time to use these same techniques to add additional hardware, such as hinges, if you so desire.

To place the doors

  1. Use the Select Objects tool, click to select the newly blocked door object, click Point-to-Point Move , click once on the back right corner of the door, then click once more on the center snap point of the face of the cabinet.

    Note: If no snap point is present in the center of the cabinet, navigate to Edit> Snap Settings, and make sure "Midpoint" is checked.

  2. With the door still selected, press Copy/Paste , then Reflect About Object , then click the center line of the cabinet face.

To open the doors

  1. Click CAD> Points> Place Point , then click on the back left corner of the door to place a pivot point.

  2. Using the Select Objects tool, click to select the door you wish to open.

  3. Click Edit> Edit Behaviors> Rotate/Resize About Current Point .

  4. Using the door's Rotate handle, click and drag the rotate the door, pivoting off the Point.

    Hold the Ctrl key on a PC keyboard or Command on a Mac keyboard to disable Angle Snaps if you want a different angle than what is given.

  5. Repeat steps 1 and 4 on any and all other doors you wish to open, but make special note that the Rotate/Resize About Current Point feature utilizes the most recent point placed as the "Current Point", so any modifications may require clearing and replacing of Points prior to rotation.

  6. Click CAD> Points> Delete Temporary Points to clear all points.

  7. Click Edit> Edit Behaviors> Rotate/Resize About Current Point to set the behavior back to normal.