Importing, Modifying, and Tracing Over an Image of a Floor Plan

Reference Number: KB-00150
Last Modified: August 16, 2023

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 floor plan into my Home Designer software? Additionally, how can I modify and/or trace over the image?


Image files can be imported into a floor plan view by navigating to File> Import> Import Picture. The imported image can then be modified using the object's edit handles, and it can be traced over using the various tools located in your Home Designer software.

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, browse to the location of the image file on your computer, select it, then click Open.

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

    Selecting a floor plan image in the Import Picture File dialog

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

To select and modify an imported image

  1. Using the Select Objects  tool, click on the picture to select it.

    Edit handles shown around an imported floor plan image

    • Edit handles will display in the center of the image, all four corners of the image, and on each side of the image.

    • Dragging the corner sizing handles will allow for resizing the image proportionally.

    • Dragging the side, bottom, or top handles will allow you to crop the image vertically or horizontally.

    • Dragging the center handle will move the image around.

    • The triangle edit handle allows the image to be rotated.

By selecting an image and then selecting the appropriate handle, an image can be precisely resized and placed in plan view.

To trace an 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, move it off to the side of the structure for reference as you continue to customize your design with Doors , Windows , Cabinets ,and other objects, or hide the layer it's on using the Display Options .

    In Home Designer 2024 and newer versions, imported pictures and PDF's are placed on the "Pictures/PDF Boxes" layer. In Home Designer 2023 and prior versions, these imported files are placed on the "CAD, Default" layer. For more information on turning layers on and off, please see the "Toggling the Display of Objects" resource in the Related Articles section.

By adding fixtures, furniture, and walls over the picture, you can 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.