Downloading and Updating Library Catalogs

Reference Number: KB-00048
Last Modified: June 24, 2024

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite


How can I locate fixtures, furnishings, and other objects to place into my plans?


Fixtures, furnishings, and much more can all be downloaded into your Home Designer program's Library Browser. Home Designer will prompt you to install the core content library files the first time the program is launched. If you do not download the core content at that time, though, you can do so later on when it is more convenient.

In addition to the core content, select bonus and manufacturer content can be downloaded and used in your Home Designer designs.

Core, bonus, and manufacturer catalogs are available for download for the 5 most recent program versions of Home Designer.

To download and install core content

  1. The Library Browser side window is docked on the right side of the program window by default. You can open and close it by selecting View> Library Browser from the menu.

    In Home Designer 2023 and prior versions, a plan must be open to interact with the Library Browser.

  2. Select Library> Install Core Content from the menu.

    Install Core Content using the Library menu

    The core catalogs contain a lot of data, which may take some time to download. A progress indicator will display at the bottom of the Library Browser side window, if it is open.

  3. When the Core Catalogs have been completely installed, a Catalog Update Summary dialog or an Information dialog will display. Click OK.

    Note: If the core catalogs install with errors, or you believe that you may be missing content, select Library> Update Library Catalogs from the menu. If you continue to experience errors, please visit the "Troubleshooting Library Download Issues" resource linked in the Related Articles section below.

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To download bonus and manufacturer catalogs using the Home Designer website

  1. Select Library> Get Additional Content Online from within the software.

    You can also access the 3D Library from the Home Designer website by navigating to User Center> Catalog & Content Downloads or from within your Chief Architect account by navigating to Home Designer> Catalog Downloads.

  2. In the top right corner, click on Log In To Download and proceed to sign in to the Chief Architect account associated with your Home Designer program.

    If you're already signed in, your Chief ID will be listed alongside a Log Out option instead. If you do not have a Chief Architect account, please see the "Creating a Chief Architect Account" resource in the Related Articles section below or contact our Customer Service team.

    Note: Once logged in, be sure to select the correct Product Family, Product, and Version using the filtering options in the top right corner, as each catalog is designed to work with specific programs only. If you download and import a catalog that was not intended for your program, it may install successfully, but its content will not be available to use.

  3. Click on a library category to expand the contents.

    • Catalogs with Free next to the download arrow are free to download and access.

    • Catalogs with a dollar amount (e.g. $3.99) listed are available for purchase.

    • Catalogs with SSA Only next to the download arrow require active Support & Software Assurance (SSA), which is only available for Chief Architect Premier.

    • Mouse over the Info  symbol for a summary of details.

    • Click on the catalog thumbnail image to go to the full overview page of the catalog.

    • Click the Like button if you think the catalog is as described, of good quality, and worth recommending to others

  4. To download a bonus or manufacturer catalog, click on the Download Arrow icon or the Download Download button button.

  5. You will be prompted to select a version. Click on the Home Designer version you want to download the catalog for.

  6. Depending on your web browser, you will be prompted to either Open or Save the .calibz file.

    Some web browsers will automatically download and open a file, and some will automatically save the file to your computer.

    If you're unsure where the downloaded library file may have gone, check the Downloads folder on your system.

  7. If you chose to Open the file, it should start the download and import process into Home Designer automatically.

    Note: If the catalog fails to import into the program automatically, please follow the steps in the "Associating Plan, Layout, and Library Files with the Latest Version of Chief Architect or Home Designer" resource located in the Related Articles section below. Once you have followed the steps in the article, repeat Steps 4 - 6 above.

    If you chose to Save the file, then you will need to import the library manually. Select Library> Import Library from within the Home Designer program and then browse to where you saved the .calibz file. Typically, this will be your Downloads folder on your system. Select the .calibz file, choose Open, and the library will then be imported into your Library Browser. If you choose to use this process to import libraries, you can group select multiple .calibz files on your system and import them all at once.

  8. Once one or more libraries have been imported, an Information message will display advising that "The Library Import has completed successfully..." followed by the number of items that have been imported. Click OK.

    Information box stating "The Library Import has completed successfully."

  9. The imported catalog can now be found in the Library Browser by either navigating to its location, or by searching.

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To download bonus and manufacturer libraries using the Library Browser*

*Applies to Home Designer 2024 and newer versions.

  1. Within the Library Browser  side window, ensure that the Include Web Results  option is enabled next to the Filters search bar.

    Include Web Results is enabled

  2. Bonus and manufacturer catalogs can be accessed using one of the following methods:

    • Expand the Home Designer Bonus Catalogs and/or Manufacturer Catalogs subfolder(s), then select the View Online Catalogs  option. Proceed to browse through the list of online catalogs that pertain to the parent folder until you have found a particular object or catalog that you're interested in.

      Click on the View Online Catalogs option to see a list of additional catalogs

    • Using the search bar, search for a manufacturer or an object that you want to use in your plan.

      In the Filter Results area, objects that are installed in your library will display with the following icon and will appear in the list first, while objects that are not installed will display with a globe icon  and will appear at the bottom of the list.

      Library object selected in the Filter Results area

  3. Select an object or online catalog that is not installed, then look in the Details section located at the bottom of the Library Browser to see additional information.

    Details section in the Library Browser

  4. Click on the Download Catalog link located in the Details section, or right-click on the object/catalog and choose the Download Catalog option to prompt a Chief Architect Account Login dialog to appear. Enter the e-mail address and password associated with your Chief Architect account, then click Log In.

    Note: If you're already signed in to your Chief Architect account within the software, this Login dialog won't appear. Instead the catalog will be downloaded and you will be greeted with an Information message once it has completed.

    Chief Architect Account Login dialog

  5. If you have logged in successfully, you will receive a message stating so. Click OK. The library download will now take place in the background. Once it has completed, an Information message will display advising that "The Library Import has completed successfully..." followed by the number of items that have been imported. Click OK.

    Information dialog

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To update installed library content

Core, bonus, and manufacturer catalogs are updated periodically by the Chief Architect Content Development team to include new and improved content. Additionally, when product manufacturers update product lines, Chief Architect content may also be updated to align with these changes.

  1. Navigate to Library> Update Library Catalogs  from the menu or select the Update Library Catalogs tool at the bottom of the Library Browser to update all of the catalogs.

    In Home Designer 2024 and newer versions, you will see the following icon  next to a parent folder, as well as in the top left corner for the applicable child folders/catalogs when an update is available. Follow the process just mentioned above, or right-click on the line item displaying the icon and select Update , as shown in the image below.

    Note: On a Mac, hold down the Control key while clicking to initiate a right-click command. More information about right-click commands on Apple input devices can be found in the following Apple resource: Right-click on Mac.

    Right-click on a folder or catalog, then click Update

  2. The program will gather information about the installed content, then download any available updates. Once the update process has completed, one of the following dialogs will display:

    • If catalogs were updated, you will see a Catalog Update Summary dialog with additional information as to which catalogs were updated. Click OK.

      Catalog Update Summary dialog with the update results

    • If catalogs were already up to date, you will see an Information dialog stating so. Click OK.

      Information dialog that appears when the library catalogs are up to date

    Note: If you encounter an error message during this process or the catalog update fails, please refer to the Related Articles section below for additional resources that may be of assistance, or contact us.

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