Message: A graphic file cannot be found.

Reference Number: KB-00935
Last Modified: January 13, 2016

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors or Home Designer Essentials


When I open a file that another Chief Architect user has sent to me, or a file created in a previous version of Chief Architect, I see the following message:  

"One or more files referenced by this view could not be found."

Why is this message appearing?


This Information message displays when the program cannot find the backdrop image or a picture file associated with the plan or layout file you are opening. This message displays the file path, and when extended it will show you the location of the missing file, texture, backdrop, etc.

  • If the missing file is associated with an item in the Chief Architect Library, you may be able to resolve the issue simply by downloading the needed library content.
  • If another Chief Architect user sent you this file, then that user likely has a graphic file you do not have. Have the other user send you the plan file by following the steps in our article on Using the Backup Entire Plan Tool linked in the Related Articles section below.
  • If the missing file is a custom backdrop, image, picture or texture, you have several choices to resolve this issue in the short term:
    • Help the program locate the missing file,
    • Replace the missing file with a new file,
    • Remove the reference to the missing file from the plan or layout in question.

To locate or replace the missing file

If you know that the graphic file in question, or a replacement graphic file is saved on the computer that you are currently using, then you can do the following.

  1. In the message dialog, click on the Replace File or Add Search Directory button to open the Browse For Missing File or Browse For New Folder For Missing File dialog respectively and direct the program to the file's location.

  2. In this dialog, browse to the location of the graphic file on your computer, select it, and click OK.

    If you chose Replace File, instead you can search for any file with the same file type, select it, and click OK to replace the missing file.

    Before directing the program to the file's location, you may want to consider copying it in Windows Explorer to a location where it isunlikely to be lost in the future. Then, open the plan or layout file and point the program to the new location, as described above.

    To learn more about organizing your graphics files, read To organize your custom graphic files, below.


  3. If the graphic file is saved on a different computer, and not on the one you are currently using, then you will need to copy it to the machine where it is missing.

    There are many ways you can do this: via e-mail, using a removable storage device such as a flash drive, or by copying across a network if you have one.

    Once the file is saved on the computer where it was missing, place it in an appropriate location in Windows Explorer where you will be able to easily direct the program, and where it will not be deleted or moved in the future.

  4. If you know that multiple missing files can be found in the same location on your hard drive, click the Add Search Directory button and browse to that folder. The next time the program needs to find a missing file, it will check this location.

To remove the missing file reference from the plan or layout

A third option is to click the Done button and open the plan or layout without finding or replacing the missing file, and then removing whatever is referencing that missing file from the drawing:

  • If the missing file is a backdrop, choose a different backdrop on the Backdrops tab of the 3D View Defaults dialog.

  • If the missing file is an image or picture, locate and either replace it with a different image or picture object, or simply delete it.

  • If the missing file is being used by a material, you can locate any object using that material and either modify the material's definition to use a different texture file, or replace it with a different material altogether using the Replace Material button.

    Replacing the image, material or texture with a solid red.jpg is a good way to find where the material is used in the plan.

In the longer term, there are some things you can do to prevent this problem from occurring in the first place.

To organize your custom graphic files

To make sure that texture, image, picture and backdrop images referenced by your Chief Architect files are always located by the program, there are some simple file management strategies that you can follow.

  • Save Graphic Files in the Data Folder

    You can save custom graphics in the Backdrops, Images, and Textures folders located in the Chief Architect Data folder.  In a typical installation, the Data folder is located in My Documents.  This option is recommended for any graphic files that are associated with items saved in the Chief Architect Library or are likely to be used in more than one plan or layout file. 

  • Save Graphic Files in the Project Folder

    If you have support files that are only applicable to one project, you can copy them into the folder where the plan and layout files for that project are saved.

    To learn more, visit the Guide to File Management article linked in the Related Articles section.

To share custom graphic files

If you need to move a plan or layout file to another computer or share it with another Chief Architect user, it may be important to also move or share the graphic files associated with it as well.  The easiest way to ensure that all such files are included is to follow the steps outlined in our article on Using the Backup Entire Plan Tool linked in the Related Articles section below.