Obtaining Library Catalogs for Home Designer 10

Reference Number: KB-01172
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional, Architectural, Suite, Interiors, Essentials, and Landscape & Deck covers


I just installed the program, and the only library content I have is a catalog called "Home Designer Basic Content". When I look through this catalog, all I see are previews of items - not the items themselves. How do I actually obtain this content so I can use it?


Home Designer 10 programs install with a subscription to a Basic Content catalog, which is a library of symbols, materials, images, and other items that can be used to enhance your drawings. This content can be downloaded at your convenience, as needed.

To download subscribed library content

  1. Right-click on a library item, library folder, or library catalog in the Library tree view and select Download from the contextual menu.

    • Multiple items can be selected and downloaded using the Ctrl or Shift keys.

    • You can also download items from within the Select Library Objects dialog.

    • If Download is not available in the contextual menu, then either the content has already been downloaded or it is not part of a subscribed catalog.
  2. A progress bar will display at the bottom of the Library Browser.

  • Click in the progress bar to display the percentage of the download completed.

  • Click again in the progress bar to display the number of items downloaded.

  • Click the Pause  button to temporarily stop the download process.

  • Click the Resume  button to continue the paused the download process.

  • Click the Stop  button to cancel the download process entirely. Any data downloaded to that point will be retained, but the download process cannot be started again from the point where it was stopped.

To avoid missing data, avoid exiting out of Home Designer while a subscription or download is in progress. If this occurs, you can update the catalog to obtain the missing information, as described below.


Additional catalog subscriptions - including dozens of Manufacturer Catalogs - are also available for all Home Designer 10 programs except Home Designer Essentials.

About Library Subscriptions

Home Designer library catalogs are made available using subscriptions because this offers users a number of valuable advantages

  • The size of the program installer is reduced, allowing faster downloading and installation.

  • Content can be searched and browsed, and downloaded as needed, at your convenience.

  • Content updates can be easily obtained. 

When you subscribe to a library catalog, an index of its contents - including search and preview information for each item - is downloaded and added to your library. You can download the actual content at any time to best suit your needs:

  • Download individual items or folders of items as you need them. This option is advantageous because it is fast and allows you to control the size of your library database.

  • Download an entire catalog at once. This option is particularly helpful if you do not always have internet access. Downloading an entire catalog may take some time; however, you can perform other tasks in the program while subscribed library content is being downloaded.

To subscribe to online library catalogs*

*not available for Home Designer Essentials 10

  1. Select Library> Get Additional Content Online  from the program menu to launch your default internet browser to http://www.homedesignersoftware.com/useraccess/content.html then browse to the content that applies to your version.

  2. Browse to a catalog that you would like to subscribe to and click on the name of its .catom file.

    • The Name Brand Content page is organized by category. To view the catalogs in a category, click the arrow to the left of the category heading to expand it.

    • For the purposes of this example, we will browse on the website to Stone & Brick> Cultured Stone.

  3. You will then be prompted to Open or Save the the file. If you are given the choice, select Open.


  4. As subscription process takes place, you can view the progress of the subscription at the bottom of the Library Browser.

    • The time required for a subscription to run to completion will vary depending on the size of the catalog as well as your internet connection.

    • You can perform other tasks in the program while the subscription process runs. It will continue even if you close the Library Browser. It will, however, be cut short if you exit out of Home Designer and data may be missing as a result.

    • When the subscription is complete, the progress bar will no longer display and the catalog's contents can be browsed, searched, and downloaded whenever you wish.

If Save is your only option when you download the .catom file, save the file to an easy to find location on your computer, such as your Windows Desktop, and then follow these steps:

  1. If your Home Designer program is not running, launch it and select File> New Plan .

    Select Library> Subscribe to Library Catalog from the menu.

  2. In the Subscribe to Library Catalog dialog:

  • Change the Look in: location to your Windows Desktop, where you have saved the .catom file.

  • Select the file to highlight it so that its name displays in the File Name: field, and click the Open button.

  • The subscription process will run in the same manner as described above.

  • When the subscription is complete, you can delete the saved .catom file, as all necessary subscription information is saved within the library catalog.

  • Subscribed library content can be browsed, searched using the Library Search feature, and downloaded. Subscribed content can also be updated, making it easy to obtain the latest content without having to uninstall and reinstall.

    To obtain updated library content, simply right-click on a subscribed catalog in the Library Browser tree list and select Update Catalog. If any updates have been published, the information will download to your library:

    • Downloaded content with updated information will be replaced by new, downloaded content.

    • Content that has not been downloaded and has updated information will receive new search and preview attributes, if applicable.

    • Brand new items will be added to the library catalog and represented with previews, but will not be downloaded automatically.

    • Obsolete content will be removed from the catalog, regardless of whether it has been downloaded.

    To delete subscribed library content 

    1. Right click on a library catalog that you want to remove from your Library Browser and select Delete.

    2. When prompted, select Yes to move the folder to the trash.

    3. Next, in the Library Browser, scroll down to the Trash folder, right click on it and select Empty Trash.