The information in this article applies to:
When I open a layout file, a Referenced Plan Files dialog opens displaying a list of files present in the layout along with files not found in the layout. This window has the plan file listed in the second section and the views do not display. Why is that?
The reason why this dialog appears is because Chief Architect can no longer find one or more plan files from which views have been sent. The result of this broken link is that views sent from the plan can no longer be displayed in the layout.
To resolve this issue, you can re-link the layout file to the appropriate plan file(s), restoring the views in the layout. There are also some preventative measures you can take to avoid this from happening in the future.
You can also access the Referenced Plan Files dialog by navigating to Tools> Layout> Referenced Plan Files within a layout file.
When working with layout files, it is helpful to remember that views sent to layout are not actually relocated into that file. Rather, layout views can be thought of as "windows" that look back at the original view in the plan file.
One benefit of this arrangement is that if you make changes to the plan file, the changes will appear immediately in many types of layout views (floor plan view, for example). In order to do this, though, the program must be able to locate the original plan file that the views were sent from. If this file is moved or deleted, the link to the layout will be broken and the views that were sent to layout will disappear.
The following are some recommendations for maintaining links between plan and layout files.
You can avoid issues where referenced plan, image, or PDF files are lost if you store all the files for a project in the same folder. Here are some helpful tips to managing your files so that your projects work well in Chief Architect.
When naming your files, try not to use any punctuation such as periods, question marks, exclamation marks, commas, etc.
Good file management usually involves organizing your files into different folders, however, try to keep the path to your file as short as possible.
As an example, the path
C:\Users\John\Documents\Projects\Smith Residence\Smith Residence.plan is a reasonable path and the file name is descriptive enough to help identify it.
In contrast, a folder or file with a very descriptive name such as
C:\Users\John\Documents\Projects\Smith Residence\Smith Residence - 6500 N. Mineral Dr. - Gable roof with wrap around porch.plan is an overly descriptive file name and may cause problems saving, or with auto archives and other backup systems. This is mainly due to a 260 character limit in some file systems.
To avoid problems related to saving or automatic backups, it is extremely important that you not work on files directly from the Archives folder.
In addition, try to avoid moving or renaming the plan or layout file once they have been linked together.
If one of these files must be moved, it is best to move them both together, along with any other referenced files, such as images or PDFs.
If you need to move projects from one computer to another, you can use the Backup Entire Plan/Layout tool from the layout. Please see the Related Articles section to learn more.