Importing and Tracing Over an Image of a Floor Plan

Reference Number: KB-00150
Last Modified: March 18, 2020

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite


What procedure do I use to import a scanned image or photograph of a plan into my Home Designer software so that I can trace over it? The photograph has dimensions on it, and I would like to create a 1:1 scale drawing.


Use the steps below to import an image for use as a background in the floor plan view. Before opening your Home Designer software, the image must be saved with a .BMP, .JPG or .PNG file extension and placed in the same folder on your computer as the plan file you want it to appear in.

To import an image

  1. Launch your Home Designer software and select File> New Plan to create a new plan.

  2. From the menu, select File> Import > Import Picture .

    Home Designer Suite, Architectural, and Pro can also import PDF files. Please see the Related Articles section below for additional information. 

  3. In the Import Picture File dialog:

    Selecting a floor plan image in the Import Picture File dialog

    • Browse to the location of the image file on your computer.

    • Select the file to highlight it, so that its name displays in the File name field.

    • Click Open.

    Note:  We recommend keeping this image, and all related files, stored in the same folder as your plan file.

  4. The image should now be visible in the center of the plan.

Now that the file has been imported, you are ready to trace over it.

To trace the imported image

  1. First, locate a wall or object on the image that has been dimensioned.

  2. If the wall or object on the image is dimensioned to a known value, such as 10' (feet) long, select Build> Wall> Straight Exterior Wall , or Straight Interior Wall , depending on the location of this wall, then draw a new wall that is parallel to the one within the image.

    Make this new wall match the exact known length.

  3. Next, using the Select Objects  tool, click on the image to select it.

  4. Click and drag the edit handle located on the lower right corner of the image to resize it while retaining the aspect ratio.

  5. Continue enlarging the picture until the size of the wall on the picture matches the wall you created using the Straight Exterior Wall or Straight Interior Wall tool.

  6. Once the two are the same size, move the new wall you created over the top of the wall in the picture.

  7. Continue to draw new walls over the ones contained in the picture.

  8. Once you have traced all the walls, you can either select and Delete  the imported picture, or move it off to the side of the structure for reference as you continue to customize your design with Doors , Windows , Cabinets ,and other fixtures and furnishings.

By adding fixtures, furniture, and walls over the picture you will create a duplicate of the original image, and will be able to see your creation in a 3D view.

In this manner, your picture can be used as a guide or template while creating a floor plan, and a drawing scaled at 1:1 can be produced using your Home Designer software.