Creating a Materials List for an Event

Reference Number: KB-01000
Last Modified: November 15, 2021

The information in this article appliesto:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or HomeDesigner Suite


I would like to use the materials list in Home Designer to help me plan my event. How can I do that? 

Wedding event with tables and chairs


Planning an event such as a wedding, anniversary or graduation party can require a lot of time and patience. You can use your Home Designer software not only to help select color themes and styles for your event and decide how you will use your available space, but also to help you prepare a list of the items you will need to purchase or rent and estimate their cost.

A materials list generates based on the current state of the plan, so it is not necessary to wait until the plan is complete to generate a materials list. However, it is noteworthy that creating a materials list will generally be one of the last steps in creating a design, as it is based on accumulating quantities of various items in your model.

Materials lists can be created, edited, and printed directly from the program. They can also be exported for use in other programs.

To edit and arrange objects

When designing a plan for an event, it is not uncommon to require many copies of the same object. Instead of placing each individual item from the library repeatedly, you can arrange a single set of items and then copy and paste them to save a great deal of time and effort. 

  1. If the Library Browser isn't already open, navigate to View> Library Browser  , then either browse to the objects that you want to use, or use the search function to locate them.

    Fork in Library Browser

    In this example, the Kitchen Accessories No.1 Cookware and Kitchen Accessories No.2 Dishes and Serving Bonus Catalogs are used. 

    Please see the Related Articles section below for more information on downloading additional library catalogs.

  2. Select the item you want to place, and click in plan view to place it.

    Silverware and similar objects will automatically be placed on top of a table surface, which saves us from having to edit the Floor to Bottom height in their specification dialog after they are placed.

  3. Now that you have placed an object, it is wise to use the Select Objects  tool to select it, and click on the Open Object  edit tool to display its specification dialog. On the Materials panel, you can specify the appropriate material before making copies of it.

    Materials Panel in the Furniture Specification Dialog Box

    Note: You may find it helpful to create a custom material for some purposes. For example, if you want to use plastic-ware instead of silverware, the default material of the cutlery placed from the Library Browser will not be appropriate. For more information about customizing materials, please see the Related Articles section below.  

  4. Once you have made any necessary changes to the individual object, click OK to apply them and close the dialog. You can use the same procedure to place and edit any remaining objects in the arrangement of items you want.

    Table Set of Silverware

To group select and copy/paste a group of objects

After you have completed your first arrangement of objects, you are ready to marquee select them all together and then copy and paste everything at once to a new location. There are several ways to select multiple objects as a group.

  •  Multiple objects can be selected by holding down either the Shift key when the Select Objects  tool is active, and dragging a marquee around the objects to be selected. 

    Click-and-Drag Marquee Select

  • The marquee-select method can be used to group select similar object types. To group-select multiple cabinets, for example, click the Base Cabinet  child button, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard, drag a marquee, release the mouse button, and only cabinet objects within the marquee will be selected.

  • Alternately, instead of dragging a marquee around a group of objects, you can select a group of objects by adding them to the selection set one by one. Select an object, hold down either the Shift key, and click additional objects to select them.

    If an object is currently selected and a selection marquee is drawn around it, that object becomes de-selected. If an object is currently selected and a marquee is drawn around other objects, the original object remains selected and the other objects are added to the selection set. 

    When using the marquee-select method, both CAD and architectural objects included in the marquee are selected. To remove an object from the selection set, hold down the Ctrl/Command key and click it. 

  1. Group select the objects that you would like to copy and paste in a new location using the method that you prefer. 

  2. With the group of items selected, click the Copy/Paste  edit button to enable copy/paste mode.

  3. Click the Sticky Mode  edit button to remain in the current mode, then click to place multiple copies of the selected object(s).

    For the purposes of this example, we placed four copies of the selected reception dinner arrangement onto the same table.  

    Full Table Set

    When a group of objects, such as the table and chair arrangement in this example, is complete, you can use this same procedure to copy the entire table and the items on it and paste copies as needed for your event.

To replace objects with different objects from the Library*

*Applies to Home Designer Architectural and Home Designer Pro.

If, after you have made copies of your table and chair arrangements, you decide that you would like to change something, such as the type of chairs, but don't want to have to replace each one individually, there is a quick and easy way to do so using the Replace from Library  edit tool.

  1. With the Select Objects  tool active, click on one of the chairs in a floor plan view to select it.

    • Click the Replace From Library edit button to open the Replace From Library dialog.

      Replace From Library Dialog Box

      • Under Replacement Options, select Replace identical objects on floor.

      • Click the Library button under the Replace with section, and in the Select Library Object dialog that displays, browse to a chair that you would like to use, select it, then click OK.

        Select Library Object Dialog Box

      • Click OK once more to confirm the changes.

Once you have completed making changes in the plan, we are ready to generate a materials list.

To generate a Materials List

Depending on your version of the software, you may have the ability to generate a materials list for the whole plan, an area of the plan, or just a single room.

  1. Select Tools> Materials List> Calculate From All Floors  to generate a materials list for the entire model.

    Materials List

    Materials lists can be long, and only a portion of the list may display on your screen at one time. Use the scroll wheel on your mouse or the scrollbar on the right to scroll through the complete list. Move the mouse pointer to cells in the list to make changes.

    Any changes made to the model after a materials list is generated are not included in that list.

  2. You can control what objects are displayed in the materials list. When a materials list is open, select Tools> Materials List Specification from the menu, toggle the display of categories and columns, then click OK.

    In Home Designer 2021 and prior versions, navigate to Tools> Materials List Display Options instead.

    If the display of the category is suppressed, the information is still part of the materials list. If the materials list is exported, the information related to the suppressed categories is exported as well. 

  3. To change the description, or price, of an item, simply use your mouse cursor to click in the cell that contains that information, and either change, or add the text or numbers that you want to see reflected in this field.

    Cost of Materials in Materials List

    • After adding information to the Price column, select the Tab key on your keyboard to move to the next cell, and see that the Total Cost column updates to show that price multiplied by the Count for the item.

    • At the bottom of each section, you will see the Subtotal update, and at the very bottom of the materials list you can see the overall Total listed.

    If you are using Home Designer Pro, you can edit an item's information that's used by the materials list by going into the Components panel located in the item's Specification dialog. To learn more, please see the "Estimating Material Take Offs in Home Designer Pro" resource in the Related Articles section.

  4. Finally, select File> Print  to print the materials list or select File> Export Materials List  to export the materials list as a text file, which can be further edited in other word processing and spreadsheet programs.

    Home Designer Pro also has the ability to save a materials list within a plan file and export a materials list to an .XML (Excel Spreadsheet) file type, as well as .HTML and .CSV.

Note: The materials list is based on certain assumptions that may not match your building style. Home Designer makes no representation as to the accuracy or reliability of the materials list that is generated. Always compare the materials list with a manual take-off before providing a quote or ordering a material for a job.