Creating Custom Templates from Existing Projects

Reference Number: KB-03094
Last Modified: July 16, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I finished developing a plan or layout file in Chief Architect and would like to use the file as a starting point for future projects. What is the best way to do this?


In Chief Architect, a Save As Template tool is available that allows you save a template file from an existing plan or layout file. This tool is useful as it provides the option to keep or delete a variety of items that are in the current file prior to creating the template.

Note: Custom Plan and Layout Templates can also be created and setup to you liking using the default, out of the box file(s). Please see the Related Articles section to learn more. 

To create a custom template from an existing project

  1. Select Open Plan   or Open Layout , then open the file you want to create a template from.

  2. Select File> Templates> Save As Template Save as Template button icon from the menu.

  3. Determine what items you would like to keep in the template and de-select those boxes. We don't recommend deleting Unused Layers, Unused Line Styles, or Unused Wall Types.

    Determine what to delete in the Save as Template dialog box for plan files

    For layout files, Non-Template Page Data can also be deleted. We don't recommend deleting CAD Details, CAD, Page Tables, Revision Tables, or Text.

    Save as Template dialog for layout files

    For more information on each of these options, click the Help button at the bottom of the dialog to open your program's Documentation.

  4. Check the Set Template as Default for Imperial/Metric Plans box if you would like this file to be the default template when you create a New Plan / New Layout .

  5. Click OK to get prompted to provide a name for the file and choose a location on your computer to save it to.

  6. When you click Save, the original plan file remains open, and a new plan with the specified name and save location is created.

If you chose not to set this custom template as your default template, or overlooked the option to set it as such, you can change this at anytime by accessing the program's Preferences.

To specify the default template

  1. Select Edit> Preferences from the menu 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, click the Browse button to the right of the Plan Template or Layout Template text field for your unit of measurement.

    New Plans panel of the Preferences dialog

  3. In the Select a Plan/Layout Template File dialog, browse to the location of your new template file and click Open to specify this file as your plan or layout template.

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