Mastering Chief Architect X6 and X7 - Quick Start Workshop

Mastering Chief Architect X6 and X7 - Quick Start Workshop

Introduction to Chief Architect X6In this 3 part series, you'll discover the steps to optimise the program while we work our way through the entire process of creating a set of building plans using Chief Architect.

We'll go through the process of creating a small house plan and as we proceed you'll learn step-by-step a systematized strategy you can use to create your plans. 

As a result of this course, you'll gain insight into the planning process as well as the correct use of Chief Architect in that process. You'll also learn many short-cuts and techniques that you won't find anywhere else. 

Members will have access to each class presented by Dan Baumann. Just click the "Watch Video Tutorials" button after you login. 

Note: You can search this page by selecting CTRL+F (Windows) Cmd+F (Mac) and type in your search word(s). Then find that clip in each video. 


Not a Member? Join Now

Join ChiefExperts.com Today!


Part 1 - Intro. to Chief X6/X7 - Planning & Starting Your Design
Watch part one of Chief Architect X6 Introduction

Here is where the fun begins. With a checklist that lays out the best practices for using Chief Architect to complete a set of plans, you'll get a brief overview of the program with a brief tour of the toolbars, defaults and other main parts of the program. Then we'll dig into the process of discovery that makes it easier to start a plan. We'll lay out walls, roofs, stairs that form the basis of our the model and the things ultimately needed for the working drawings.

1. Introduction (1:48)

2. Adjusting the Toolbar (6:24)

  • Extended toolbar
  • Moving toolbar icons
  • Customize toolbars
  • Reset toolbars

3. Intro to the Screen Layout(26:57)

  • Using keystroke short cuts
  • 3D cameras
  • Dimension, manual and automatic
  • CAD details
  • Using the Help Button
  • 3D Cameras
  • Layout
  • Edit Icons

4. Setting Preferences (Mouse Function) (17:03)

  • Curser size
  • Contextual Menus 
  • Click twice to display
  • Mouse functions
  • Control Key to Move an Item
  • Drawing Walls with the Right Mouse Button
  • Bending Walls or Lines with the Right Mouse Button

5. General and Plan Defaults (3:06)

  • Change default settings within a plan
  • Set floor and ceiling defaults first

6. Library Browser (3:57)

  • Change location and size on the screen
  • Moving browser to other screens
  • Search filter for the browser
  • Update Library Catalogs

7. Starting a New Plan from a Template (18:18)

  • Start a New Plan on the First Floor
  • Laying Out Walls
  • Define and Adjust Wall Types
  • Adding and Deleting Wall Layers
  • Plan Materials versus Library Materials
  • Adjusting Wall Materials
  • Define the Main Layer

8. Dimensioning Defaults and Overview (16:57)

  • Editing Dimension Defaults
  • Dimensioning Walls Into Place
  • Use Shift A for auto exterior Dimensions
  • Using dimension handles

9. Creating and Laying out Walls (2:27)

  • Room specifications
  • Naming rooms
  • Setting room defaults
  • Using back clipped cross sections
  • Creating a second floor
  • Adjusting floor and ceiling height

10. Setting Platforms, Levels & Rooms (7:38)

  • Changing room defaults
  • Using cross sections
  • Creating a second floor
  • Adjusting floor and ceiling heights

11. Adding a Garage (8:57)

  • Adding a foundation
  • Change foundation wall defaults
  • Save cross section views

12. Adding Stairs and Open Below Rooms (11:21)

  • Define railings 
  • Set stair defaults
  • Adding a landing
  • Adjusting risers and treads
  • Open below defines a stairwell
  • Skirt boards

13. Adding a Deck (5:16)

  • No locate settings on railings
  • Using the centering tool
  • Transform replicate tool
  • Adding steps to a deck

14. Automatic and Manual Roofs (6:36)

  • Roof baselines
  • Roof settings in the wall specification dialog
  • Manually changing a roof pitch

Total Running Time 2 Hours, 17 Minutes


Part 2 - Adding Details to the Model
Watch Part Two of Chief Architect X6 Introduction 

Continuing through the checklist, we'll add elements like windows, doors, cabinets and more. You'll see how to add these things so they will end up in the correct views for the working drawings and how to make sure everything is proceeding accurately. Of course during this session you'll learn many ways on the optimal use of the program. 

1. Introduction (1:01)

2. Using The Text Tools (9:03)

  • Leader lines
  • Basic text
  • ¼" annotations
  • Text default settings
  • Rich text
  • Plain text
  • Using link options
  • Group selecting text

3. Marque Select Tools (7:29)

  • All on layer set
  • Selection behavior choices
  • Group selecting specific items
  • Selecting mulled windows

4. 2D CAD Basics (7:27)

  • CAD detail windows
  • Copying
  • Sticky button for multiple copies
  • Multiple copy button settings

5. CAD Tools Overview (16:29)

  • Transform Replication Tool
  • Make parallel tool
  • Snapping points
  • Point to point snap
  • Edit handles
  • Chamfer and fillet tools
  • Break tool
  • Keystroke short cuts
  • Error message
  • Line to an arc

6. Adding Windows (23:20)

  • Import, adjust, or remove the 3D backdrop
  • Creating a custom default window
  • Adjusting mulls between individual windows
  • Minimum separation distance in defaults
  • Mull windows by grouping
  • Make transom windows
  • Show component labels
  • Adding grids
  • Adjusting grids
  • Side component size
  • Bottom component size
  • Shaped tops

7. Adding Doors (10:12)

  • Curser click position determines hinge
  • Hinging change icons
  • Doors in library
  • Separate trim and materials on each side
  • Reverse interior and exterior materials and trim
  • Show door open or closed
  • Change camera type
  • Sliding and pocket doors
  • Side lights

8. Cabinets With Library Shortcuts (17:39)

  • Adjust defaults
  • Using manufacturers' library
  • Material painter icons
  • Add custom cabinets to your library
  • Add an entire kitchen package to your library

9. Cabinets (16:08)

  • Curser location determines base cabinet type
  • Cabinet components
  • Changing cabinet box shape
  • Change cabinet front components
  • Lazy Susan cabinets
  • Adding moldings

10. Moldings (10:38)

  • Adding and shaping custom countertops
  • Adding a sink
  • Custom molding polyline
  • Adding a molding profile
  • Adjusting height and extruded direction

Total Running Time: 1 Hour, 59 Minutes



Part 3. Completing the Working Documents
Watch Part Three of Chief Architect X6 Introduction 

Detailing your plan is challenging and often the most tedious part of the process. In this session, we'll discuss the best methods to create your section and plan details. We'll then assemble the different views of your plan on the layout including floorplans, elevations, 3D views, render views and more. You'll be ready to hit the print button and review your completed plan.

1. Introduction (3:21)

2. Focus: Detailing and Assembling the Plan (3:29)

3. Questions from Part 1 and 2 (4:38)

  • Modeling the building
  • Details you need
  • Cross section from the model

4. Drawing a Section from Scratch with 2D CAD (13:28)

  • Cross section cameras
  • 3D cameras
  • What detail do you need
  • CAD detail windows
  • CAD tools
  • Using transform replicate

5. 2D CAD Part 2 (14:43)

  • Using multiple copy
  • Point to point move
  • Temporary dimensions
  • Snapping
  • Drawing groups
  • Number style as pitch

6. 2D CAD Part 3 (11:53)

  • Leader line text
  • Annotation sets for sections
  • Copy and paste text
  • Group CAD detail and add to library

7. Create a Section from the Model (8:22)

  • Back clipped cross section camera
  • Framing the model prior to taking a section view
  • Adding terrain
  • Stairs
  • Floor framing
  • Floor beams
  • Framing the Entire Model
  • Bearing lines

8. Section from the Model Part 2 (10:25)

  • Joist direction
  • Fill new framing members
  • Adding trusses
  • Framing individual walls
  • Retain wall framing

9. Section from the Model Part 3 (11:53)

  • Turning on all framing in section view
  • CAD Detail from view
  • Auto detailing
  • Framing notes
  • Annotation sets
  • Automatic electrical
  • Adding text

10. Cleaning up the Dimensioning (4:11)

  • Group select dimensions
  • Dimension defaults
  • Getting rid of fractions

11. Setting Up Your Layout (3:36)

  • Page labels
  • Drawing on page 0

12. Creating the Layout (10:18)

  • Auto elevations
  • Change elevation camera specification
  • Send view to layout
  • Making changes from the layout page
  • Updating the layout page
  • Aligning floors on individual layout pages

13. Creating the Layout Part 2 (9:44)

  • Layout annotation sets
  • CAD detail section views to layout 
  • Add 3D views and photos
  • Vector views to layout
  • Editing vector view camera lines

14. Printing (4:44)

  • Adding and deleting pages
  • Save as a PDF and Print as a PDF
  • Marking up or commenting on a PDF with Acrobat 
  • Paper printing size

15. Paper Print Size (6:00)

  • Using ¼" scale 
  • Printing a model

Total Running Time: 1 Hour, 55 Minutes