Message: Unexpected character encountered when parsing.

Reference Number: KB-01141
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors or Home Designer Essentials


When I try to move a selected object by clicking on a dimension line, a Warning message sometimes tells me:

"This is not a valid measurement. The object will not be moved."

What does this mean?


To move a selected object using a dimension, click on a dimension line and then type a new value into the inline dimension text editor.  Only three types of characters are allowed:

  • Numerals
  • Decimal mark
  • Length or distance unit indicators (for example, ', ft, mm, or m)

If you type a character that does not fall into one of these categories, the Warning message will display. Click OK to close the message box, then click on the object and try again.

A complete list of unit indicators available for use can be found on the Unit Conversions panel of the Preferences dialog (Edit> Preferences  from the menu on a PC or Chief Architect> Preferences on a Mac).

If you choose to use a unit indicator, it should be added after the numerals.  If you do not use a unit indicator, inches will be used in Imperial files and millimeters will be used in metric files.

Here are some characters to avoid:

  • Thousands separator
  • Grave accent ` character instead of apostrophe ' character for feet
  • Two apostrophes ' instead of a single quotation mark "
  • Complete words instead of unit indicator abbreviations or characters