Troubleshooting Printing Issues in Home Designer

Reference Number: KB-00176
Last Modified: May 30, 2023

The information in this article appliesto:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or HomeDesigner Suite


I am having trouble printing my plan. An error message displays, nothing happens, or only part of my design prints although the preview shows the entire page. How can I resolve this problem?  


Home Designer files can contain a great deal of data and depending on the project, printing can take some time. Some factors that can increase the time required for printing include:

  • Large and/or numerous imported pictures or PDF boxes.

  • Numerous individual CAD objects.

  • Large areas using small scale fill patterns or fill patterns with transparency.

  • *Cropped layout views with a large amount of data located outside of the view extents.

  • *Rotated layout views.

    *Home Designer Pro Only

When a print job takes more than a few seconds, a Progress dialog will show that the task is being completed. However, if there does not appear to be any progress, you may be able to solve the problem by reinstalling the printer driver, setting your default printer, or printing to PDF instead.

To troubleshoot printing issues

  1. First, Save  your work and exit out of Home Designer completely, then check to make sure that your computer meets the System Requirements for your version of Home Designer.

    If your computer is not running a supported operating system, or otherwise does not meet the system requirements for your version, please install the program on an alternate compatible computer that meets the requirements.

    If your computer does meet the system requirements for your version, please continue on to the next step.

  2. Make sure that your computer meets the system requirements for your printer or plotter. You should be able to find this in your printer's documentation or on the manufacturer's website.

    Some common printer/plotter manufacturer web sites include:

  3. Once you have verified that your printer is supported on your system, download and install the most recent driver for your printer from its manufacturer's website.

    Only install drivers which state that they are compatible with your operating system.

    If you cannot locate a valid printer driver that is compatible with your operating system, please contact the printer or plotter manufacturer directly for assistance.

  4. Once your updated printer driver is installed, restart your computer, open Home Designer, and then Open  the plan or layout file that you experienced trouble printing.

  5. Before you try to print again, select File> Print> Clear Printer Info.

  6. After clearing the printer info, select File> Print> Drawing Sheet Setup  and in the dialog that appears:

    • Set the Drawing Sheet Orientation to your liking.

    • Set the page Size using the drop-down menu.

    • Verify the Drawing Margins. Oversized margins can result in missing information or even a blank page.

    • *When printing from a layout, make sure that the Drawing Scale is set 1:1.

      *Home Designer Pro Only.

    • Click OK.

  7. Next, select File> Print> Print Preview  for an on-screen representation of how the current view will appear when printed.

    Objects such as camera symbols, CAD points, and the Reference Grid will not display in the Print Preview.

    Text and dimension objects appear on-screen as they will on the printed page.

    When Print Preview is enabled, color will display depending on whether Print in Color is selected in the Print dialog.

  8. After verifying that everything looks as expected in the Print Preview, select File> Print> Print  and print your view. Make sure that the printer you want to use is selected.

If you continue to experience trouble printing, remove any printers that you no longer use from your Printers list. Then, set the desired printer as your default.

To set the default printer on your computer

For instructions on setting the default printer, please see the appropriate link for your operating system below:

Finally, if you still cannot print your file using your physical printer or plotter, try printing to a PDF file.

To print/export to a PDF file

  1. Navigate to File> Export> Export PDF  or File> Print> Print from the menu. 

  2. Under Destination Name, use the drop-down menu to select Chief Architect Save as PDF if it's not already selected, then click the Save As PDF button.

  3. If you are able to print to a PDF successfully, try sending the PDF file to your printer.

    If the PDF will not print correctly to your printer either, please contact your printer manufacturer for continued troubleshooting instructions.


Finally, if you continue to experience problems printing after going through all of these steps, please contact our Technical Support department directly, and include all of the following files listed below.

  1. If you receive an error or warning, attach a screenshot image of the message.

    See Knowledge Base article: Creating a Screenshot.

  2. If the issue only seems to occur in one particular file, use the Backup Entire Plan/Layout  tool to create a folder with a copy of the file in which the error occurs, along with all referenced files.

    See Knowledge Base article: Using the Backup Entire Plan/Layout Tool.

  3. Locate and save the program's Message Log file.

    See Knowledge Base article: Locating the Message Log.

  4. Export or save your System Information.

    See Knowledge Base article: Retrieving System Information to Send to Technical Support.

  5. Sign in to the Technical Support Center and create a new support case to send to Technical Support.

    See Knowledge Base article: Using the Technical Support Center.

  6. Give the case a short but descriptive title.

    In the text of the case, type a detailed description of the problem, including the exact steps that caused the crash or error to occur, if at all possible.

    Click the Browse button and attach the Screenshot Images, the Project Backup, Message Log, and System Information files to your case before submitting it.

    Note: Some of the requested information may identify you, as well as specific information about your computer, but it will also help us determine the source of the problem. Please be assured that any files submitted to Chief Architect Technical Support will be used for troubleshooting purposes only.