Organizing Your Plan Files

Reference Number: KB-00585
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors or Home Designer Essentials or Home Designer Landscape & Deck


How can I organize my plan files created in the Home Designer software?


File management can be a challenging concept for many novice computer users.

This article is written only as a guide to organized file management. Any method of saving plans and revisions will work, provided that it:

  • Creates backups

  • Prevents accidental overwrites.

  • Is consistent and easy to use

Sharing plan files over a network is not supported because of possible file degradation due to natural network causes. Whether you are sharing a plan with someone else or not, the method should be the same. 

Always copy the plan and layout from the target computer onto the local computer before working on it. When you are finished, close the file and copy it back to its backup location on the network.

To create project folders

  1. Within Windows, browse to your Documents folder, and locate a folder with the name of your Home Designer software's title followed by the word "Data".

    • This Data folder was created by the program specifically for your custom files, including Archive files and custom images and textures.

  2. Next, create a new folder inside your Data folder named Plans. All of your Home Designer plans will be saved here.

    There are several ways to create a new folder:

    • When you are saving a plan in an application like Home Designer software, click the New Folder  button in the Save Plan File dialog.

    • While in the Data folder itself in Windows, right-click in a blank space in the Data folder and select New> Folder.

  3. Create a "Master" folder for each of your drawing projects:

    • Use short, descriptive names to describe each project.

    • If you produce drawings for professional purposes, you can name the folder using customer's name or the job number.

  4. Inside each project folder, save all files related to that specific project, including:

    • As-built plans

    • Revisions

    • Custom images, backdrops and textures

    • *For Home Designer Pro only: .layout files


To save a new file in a project folder

  1. Start Home Designer and select File> New Plan  from the menu.

  2. With the new, blank plan open, select File> Save As  from the menu.

  3. In the Save Plan File dialog:

    • Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the Save in field.

    • Browse to the location of the project folder in which you want to save the file and select it.

    • In the File name field, type a short, descriptive name for the file.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and save the file in the specified location.

  4. Your plan file is now saved in the project folder created for it.


To open a file saved in a project folder

  1. Select File> Open Plan  from the menu and navigate to the client "master" folder in your plans directory, find and open your plan file. 

  2. You are now ready to start drawing.


To back up your files

Having a regular backup routine is extremely important, whether your computer is at work or home.  There are a number of different approaches to file backup. 

However you choose to back up your data, saving your Home Designer plans as described in this article is helpful because all of your custom data associated with the program is saved in one folder, the Data folder, which you can easily copy and save on a flash drive, DVD, or server.

Related Articles