Resources for Learning Chief Architect

Reference Number: KB-01267
Last Modified: April 19, 2016

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


What are my different options for learning how to use the Chief Architect software?


Chief Architect, Inc. provides a number of resources designed specifically to help you to become familiar with our software titles, including the following.

Chief Architect Migration Guide

If you are an existing Chief Architect user who recently upgraded to the latest program version, it's a good idea to begin by reviewing the Chief Architect Migration Guide available on your Digital Locker page.

The Migration Guide includes a list of new features and feature enhancements in the latest program release, and also offers important information about how these changes may affect legacy plan and layout files that you choose to migrate forward.

Support and Software Assurance members can log in to their online account and visit their Digital Locker page at any time at:

Training Videos

Over 400 hours of online streaming training videos are available at:

Access to many of the online training videos requires current SSA membership, but many are available free of charge as well.

Chief Architect also provides videos from many user group conferences, trade shows, webinars, as well as quick tips pertaining to the software on our YouTube channel at:

Chief Architect Help Contents and Index

Chief Architect includes an extensive online Help section which contains the full Reference Manual and User's Guide.  You can access the Help by first launching Chief Architect, and from the menu click Help> Launch Help.

Alternatively, you can launch Chief Architect, and using the keyboard, press the F1 key to launch the online Help section.

Once in the software's Help, you can view the entire Reference Manual and User's Guide by chapter on the Contents tab, or search by a keyword on the Index tab.

Most dialogs have a Help button located in the lower part of the dialog. If you ever want to learn more about a particular dialog, panel, or setting specific to the dialog you are in, click on this button to quickly launch the software's Context sensitive Help on the topic and review the information.

Chief Architect User's Guide

A great introduction to Chief Architect is the Chief Architect User's Guide.  The User's Guide provides a series of quick lessons that will enable you to produce a 3D model of your structure, or a set of construction documents, as quickly as possible.

You can access the User's Guide by first launching Chief Architect, and from the menu select Help> View User's Guide or by selecting the appropriate link below for your version.

The current Chief Architect X8 User's Guide can also be located on the website at:

Chief Architect Reference Manual

The Chief Architect Reference Manual is a comprehensive document that describes the function of the tools and settings throughout the program.

You can access the Reference Manual using the same method as for the User's Guide. First launch Chief Architect, and from the menu select Help> View Reference Manual.

The current Chief Architect X8 Reference Manual can also be located on the website at:

You can also purchase physical copies of the User's Guide and the Reference Manual on the website at: 

Knowledge Base

Yet another help resource is the extensive, web-based database of help articles like this one that deal with error messages as well as common tasks that you may want to learn how to accomplish in the software.

Search hundreds of articles by keywords or browse the index at:

Personal Training

Personal Training sessions are a popular, personalized way to learn how to use the program, providing one-on-one interaction with a certified Chief Architect trainer via the Internet. Unlike a telephone call to Technical Support, who handle situations such as problems with installation, error messages or program crashes, a personal training session lets you follow along with the trainer and see what is happening on your computer screen.

If you have questions about how to use Chief Architect, consider contacting our Training Department for a personal consultation.

You can reach Training Services at 1-800-482-4433 or email for more information.


You can  learn directly from a Chief Architect Certified Trainer by registering today for an internet-based, classroom webinar. Topics range from 'Getting Started' Quick Start classes to Advanced Topics like 'Rendering Techniques' and 'Construction Documentation'.

Learn more about webinars at:

On-site Instructor Led Training Seminars

Throughout the year, Chief Architect conducts on-site, instructor led training seminars at industry trade shows and at various locations around the United States.

You can learn more about upcoming On-Site Training sessions at:

ChiefTalk User Forum

Our ChiefTalk User Forum is a great place to discuss and exchange ideas with other Chief Architect users. Here you can post questions; read discussions from other users and post suggestions for future versions of Chief Architect.

Meet and network with other Chief users, and to learn more about Chief Architect software at:

Samples Gallery

Finally, we offer sample plans, and sample plan sets in .pdf format for you to download from our website.

These samples demonstrate the many powerful ways that Chief Architect lets you assemble your own plans and documents. See, too, the sample renderings and detail drawings: