How can I get quick info on each drawing tool?
Click on any tool button with the Right mouse button.
That will bring up extremely useful illustrated help on that tool and graphic links to many other tools and features.
How can I draw lines and other drawing elements at an angle?
Normally, the cursor is held at a horizontal or vertical angle to make drawing easier.
To release the cursor, just press the Shift key while drawing. The cursor will then go wherever you put it.
Is there a way to automate the tedious drawing of repeated lines, such as siding or stair treads?
The Clone tool and the Speed setting are made for this.
Set the "Speed" setting at the right of the status bar to the
appropriate distance. That will make the cursor move that distance each time you press a
numberpad key. Then:
Repeat the last two steps ontil all the lines are drawn.
- Draw the first line across the top of the wall
- Click the "Clone" button on the left hand toolbar
- Press the "2" key on the numberpad to move the cursor down
- Press the "Enter" key to clone the previous line
I draw more accurately somehow? It's hard to do it right with the mouse.
Yes, you can.
Use the arrow keys. The stand-alone keys move the cursor one pixel at
a time. The Number Pad keys (if Num Lock is on) move the keys a
By pressing the Plus and Minus keys, you can
change that distance. The current setting is shown at the right end
of the Status Bar.
Can I make custom pre-drawn figures?
You can't add figures directly to the figure menus, but you can draw
anything you like and save it to a clip file for re-use.
- Draw it
- Select it
- Use "Save Selection to Clip File" from the File menu.
Use "Load Clip File" to re-use the clip file.
How can I re-size pre-drawn figures easily and accurately?
A fast but not very precise way to resize a pre-drawn figure:
- Press the Plus or Minus keys while dragging the figure into place.
- The size of the figure will be changed in increments of about 10° each key press
To resize a figure more precisely:
- Click the right mouse button on the figure while it's still in the menu.
- When the Figure Resize form appears, enter new values in the width and height boxes.
To resize a figure that has already been placed in the drawing:
- Select the figure
- Use the Resize button on the Alter Plan toolbar
I get lines across the drawing. For example when drawing a filled polygon,
I get a line across it after clicking twice to terminate the polygon.
drawing operations leave "artifacts" on the screen. The
example you give is due to a reaction from Windows filling the
polygon on top of the full-screen cross hairs. Clicking the
"Redraw" button removes artifacts. They are not part of the
plan, and will not be saved or printed.
We appreciate hearing about
conditions that create artifacts, so we can try to eliminate them.
biggest problem has been that I cannot figure out how to easily and
accurately locate a door or window within a wall. I
draw the wall then want to insert a window for example that's located
6"-0" down from the top corner of the wall and is 5'-0"
wide. How do I position it so it is located dimensionally correctly?
One quick way
is to start a line from a known point and watch the
"Odometers" in the status bar. Instead of drawing the line,
press the Escape key when you have the cursor where you want it.
keyboard is better than the mouse for precise movement. The numberpad
keys explained below are also useful for this.
I cannot write the necessary text in a single line.
The problem is
that the text is word wrapping in the entry window. It is too long to
fit on one line.
You can turn off word wrap from the Text entry
screen under Options in the Text Entry form's menu bar.
there a default font for use in dimensions?
the default you want to use in the Preferences screen on the Dimensions tab.
I select a number of walls with different thicknesses, then change
the fill pattern, the thicknesses also change. How come?
walls are selected and altered, all of the selected walls will be
changed to the new settings. For example, if you select a wall that
is 8" thick, then several that are 6", when
you change the
fill pattern, you will find the 6" walls are now 8" thick.
The way to avoid this is to select walls one at a time. Or select all
8" walls, make the change, then repeat with 6" walls.
Text must be
handled in the same way. If you want to change the text font, but not
the size (or the size, but not the font), select elements
individually. Select a group of elements only when you want the same
change applied to all elements selected.
I try to move or rotate some of the bathroom fixture's, like a
toilet, there's no bowl. Is this a bug?
No, it's not a
bug. It's a problem only in figures that contain an ellipse. Windows
takes a long time to draw "tilted" ellipses, those that
have been rotated so the axis are not horizontal and vertical. This
only happens when . . .
For a little
while, under the above conditions, the toilet has no bowl in order to
save drawing time. When you click to finish the insertion, the toilet
is drawn completely.
How does "Zooming" work?
Zooming is what enables you to see the entire plan at a small size, or a portion of the plan at a larger size.
How it works:
Zooming is accomplished by assigning a distance to each screen pixel.
- If we assign one inch to each pixel, a line will be four inches long after moving four pixels.
- If we assign 1/4 inch to each pixel, the line will be only one inch long.
Home Plan Pro provides several pre-set zoom levels that use common distances per pixel in both US and metric modes.
The "Screen Resolution" label above shows the real-world distance assigned to each pixel.
An attempt is made to stay on the same area of the plan when you zoom in. In some cases, this doesn't
work very well, and you can lose track of where you are in the plan. Zoom back out,
or use the "Move to Upper left" button under the Zoom Bar.
Can HomePlan Pro work in metric measurements?
You can switch between Metric mode and US mode from the Options menu.
When in metric mode, you can specify mm, cm, or mm.
Note: Metric and US modes use a different scale. If that were not the case,
each screen pixel would have to represent a difficult distance. You
would have to move in increments of odd millimeters, or fractions of
The program is designed to be used in one mode or the other.
- In Metric mode, each pixel represents 25 mm in the default drawing size.
- In US mode, each pixel represents one inch in the default drawing size.
The F9 key will convert dimensions without changing modes. If you
just want to know what the true conversion would be.
confused about zooming. Sometimes I lose my plan when zooming. Am I doing something wrong?
You are not doing anything wrong. "Zooming in" by definition means that you will see less of the plan, but what you do see will be bigger.
When you zoom out, the plan appears smaller, and may be off the screen.
You can scroll to see the rest of the plan or zoom back out.
Click the "Fit Plan to Screen" button below the Zoom bar to see it all.
Note: If you lose track of where you are in the plan,
click the "Move to Upper Left" button below the Zoom bar.
Zoom Bar Buttons
The Zoom bar has several buttons, each selects a different zoom level. At each end of the Zoom Bar is a button with either a plus or minus sign.
- Clicking the plus button activates the next greater zoom level button.
- Clicking the minus button activates the next lesser zoom level button.
You can also click directly on each of the buttons with round dots to select its zoom level.
- As the buttons approach the Plus sign, the plan becomes further "zoomed in". You will see a smaller area of the plan, but in greater detail.
- As the buttons approach the minus sign, the pln becomes further "zoomed out". You will see more of the plan, but with less detail.
The distance assigned to each screen pixel at the current zoom level is shown in a label below these buttons
Make Plan Fit Screen
What exactly does this button do?
Click this button to make Home Plan Pro select the zoom level that will come closest to filling the visible drawing area.
No changes are made to the plan.
Click on a Spot to Zoom
What does this button do?
After clicking this button, click a spot on the plan.
The plan will be zoomed in to the next level.
The spot clicked will be in the center of the screen (or as close as possible if it's near a plan edge)
No changes are made to the plan.
Move to Upper Left
What exactly does this button do?
Click this button to view the upper left of the plan. The plan will be moved to the upper left of the drawing area if appropriate.
The zoom level is not changed.
After several zoom changes, it's easy to lose perspective as to where you are in the plan.
This button and the Make Plan Fit Screen buttons can be helpful.
No changes are made to the plan.
How can I select a drawing size before starting a plan?
You can select a drawing size when starting a new plan.
In previous versions prior to version 5, you could only zoom in or out one zoom level after selecting a drawing size.
Version 5 and later allow you to zoom to any zoom level regardless of the drawing size. You can change the zoom level at any time.
Selecting a drawing size in version 5.x simply selects a convenient zoom level for your new plan.
You can uncheck the "Always Show This Dialog" box on the Drawing Size form, if you don't want to select a
drawing size. You will just see a blank screen at a default zoom level.
How does zooming affect printing?
The size of the drawing on the screen has no effect on the scale that you use on your printouts.
Only at the printing stage, does scale need to be determined based on paper size and the plan to be printed.
- Feel free to select a zoom level that will show the most detail, if that's what you need, or zoom out to show a larger area of your plan.
- Press the "Fit Plan to Screen" button to show the full extent of your plan.
Your plan, and the future print scale are not affected by the zoom level you use to draw.
do some lines/misalignments show when I zoom out on the screen but
not when I zoom in?
There are just
so many pixels on your monitor. If we assign 1/2" per pixel when
zoomed in, and then zoom out so each pixel = 1", the monitor
isn't able to show the 1/2" accurately.
The actual distance is
stored in the plan, and when you print, it should print correctly.
Printers have much greater resoultion than your monitor, and print
much more precisely.
Files- Saving and Opening
thought I could have more than one plan open in your new version,
but I don't know how to do it.
You can open
as many as you like. However, only one at a time can be viewed in the
work area. To select another plan already loaded, click on Windows in
the main menu. Then click to select the plan you need.
When I try to open one of my
existing files, I get: "C:\HomePro\Data\ken2.pln
is already loaded. Do you want to replace it with the version on disk?" What's
You can have
as many plan files open as are needed. But if you ask to load one
that is already loaded, this is the message that appears. The reason
for it is that the program wants to be sure it does what you want. If
you load the disk copy, it will overwrite the one already loaded.
And you may
want to do this. For example, if you have made a lot of changes which
you want to discard, reload the disk copy and let it overwrite the
one you were working on. You can see a list of all plans loaded by
clicking in Windows in the main menu.
will also come up if you have "Load Last Plan" set in
Preferences on the Start Up tab, then try to load the file again.
That is, with this setting, the last plan you were working with is
automatically loaded when you run the program. If you then try to
load it again, you will get this message.
How do I use "Clip Files"?
You can draw anything you like, select it, and save it to a clip file for re-use.
- Draw it
- Select it
- Use "Save Selection to Clip File" from the File menu.
Use "Load Clip File" to re-use the clip file.
Can I back up my plans in Home Plan Pro?
The File menu has items to backup the current plan and to restore from the backups. It makes a standard "zip" file.
In addition, Home Plan Pro makes a backup of the current file every time you save it.
The backup is made before the regular save.
This is so that if the file should become corrupted, or if you just want to abandon any changes, you can load the backup and compare it with the current state of the plan.
To backup the current state of the plan, click the Save button twice.
You can turn off or control this routine from the "Manage Backups" item on the Tools menu.
much space (bytes) does the program take up?
installation takes about 2.2 megabytes. Plans you draw run from 20k to
200k each depending on the number of drawing elements.
Tools and Routines
How does the "Snap Grid" work?
You can use a grid to force the cursor to stop in regular increments.
Most drawing probably doesn't lend itself to restricting cursor movement, but there are times when drawing in modules such as two feet or 100mm is desired.
This is when the snap grid comes in handy.
From the View menu, you can
(a Snap Grid spacing is saved for each zoom level)
- Turn the grid on.
- Show or hide visible lines showing the grid.
- Adjust the spacing between grid points.
Or you can click the snap labels in the Status Bar.
You will use the Snap Grid Settings form to adjust the grid spacing.
See Preferences Snap Grid for other options.
cannot get the area calculation to work nor can I find a way to have
it post the square feet as I go along.
Area tool is under Tools in the main menu. Click on the corners of
the area to be calculated. Click twice on the last point. The area is
filled in with a grid, and the total area is displayed.
You can repeat
this process with another area. Both the current and total area are
shown. When you cancel the tool or select another tool, only the
total is saved. The next time you select the tool, you are asked if
you want to add to the total, or start over.
How does "View Alter" on the Tools menu work?
View / Alter is a handy tool to allow you to scroll through your plan one element at a time, and delete or alter any of the drawing elements.
A View / Alter tool bar appears. (You can drag it out of the way with the mouse).
- Use the on-screen buttons or their keyboard equivalent, to step through the plan.
- Use the Home key to go to the beginning of the plan.
- Use the Plus key to recreate each drawing element, the number of the element, and the type (line, rectangle, etc) is shown at the bottom of the tool bar, and the element itself is highlighted.
- Use the Alter Plan Toolbar buttons to modify the highlighted element.
- Use Esc to quit.
want to make a material list to estimate costs. Can I do that?
Home Plan Pro
does not generate material lists. To do so, would require much more
information from you while drawing, and defeat our purpose of
providing a way to quickly produce straightforward working drawings.
like to have Home Plan Pro automatically create an elevation view of
provides the tools needed to draw elevations. It does not draw them
automatically. To do so would require much more information from you
For example, when you insert a window, you would need
to provide such things as the height of the window and the distance
above the floor. This would slow down drawing. And keeping track of
such information would slow down the program, particularly when
Since our customers want to draw quickly, Home Plan Pro is
designed for them to do so.
How does this evaluation process work?
Our programs are provided for your use to determine whether they fill your needs.
There is no obligation on your part for trying this software, unless you decide to purchase.
- You do not need to pay anything.
- You do not need to do anything.
- Just use the program for thirty days.
We have no way of even knowing that you are trying our software, unless you explicitly order the Unlock code. ($39.00)
When the thirty day period expires, the program will cease functioning.
You can remove it from your machine, or revive it by purchasing an unlock code.
How do I know I won't be charged for downloading?
You can not be
charged for trying the program. We do not ask for your
credit card information. While some sites do require this information
before you download, we do not.
We don't even ask for your name or
email address. So we don't know anything about you at all.
We invite you to try it. You buy if you
like it. If you decide not to buy, just use the Windows' "Remove
Program" option to delete the program from your disk.
have tried your software and like it. My question is after I have
drawn the floor plan, would your company draw a set of blueprints per
my specs? Or should I look elsewhere
for this service?
blueprints is a photographic process, and there are blueprint shops
that do this. It probably won't be necessary. Most building
departments will accept plans on plain paper. You may need to have
the drawing enlarged, if your printer does not support large enough
paper to get the appropriate scale (usually 1/4" per foot).
Check with your county building department. A copy shop should be
able to do the enlargement.
How do I set a printing scale?
The print scale settings are at the lower left of the printing screen.
The largest possible scale of the printout is determined by the
actual size of the structure drawn and the size of the paper you are
Only the scale options that will fit the drawing on the
selected paper will be active.
To get a larger scale for a given drawing, you need to use larger
If your printer doesn't support larger paper, you can print on
regular paper and have it enlarged at a copy/print shop. If you put
something on the drawing four feet long, you can ask them to blow
it up until it is one inch long. That will provide 1/4" per ft scale.
My plan prints tiny in the corner of the paper. How can I fix this?
This condition is an indication that there is a drawing element
somewhere beyond the area you consider to be the plan.
Commonly, it is an erasure, or a tiny dot that is hard to see, but that
nevertheless, convinces Home Pro that it needs to be printed.
The actual plan has to be made smaller In order to fit this unwanted
drawing element on the paper.
We need to get rid of the unwanted drawing element.
This should leave the unwanted drawing element behind and solve
- 1. Use the Group Selection tool to select only the main drawing
- 2. Paste that into a new plan.
I would like to send plans to customers and builders. How can they view and print them?
Home Plan Pro provides a free plan viewer that anybody can download and use to view or print plans drawn in Home Plan pro.
Send your people the following link:
After they download and run the installation, the can load plans that you email them. They can view and print, they just can't draw.
is the largest sheet size you can print on?
You can print
on any size sheet your printer supports. Click the "Paper
Size" drop down list to see what sizes your printer supports.
Some printers also support a "User Size" function. If yours
does, you can set the paper size from the "Custom" menu
item on the Printer Screen.
Kinko's ™ has a free
that might help. Although it installs like, and looks like a printer driver, it actually makes a file that you can upload or take to their store and have them print a large copy.
am having trouble with font sizes while printing. Sometimes the text is too big or too small to read. Sometimes it runs over the rest of the drawing.
Trying to decide how to size text is tricky. Typically, you don't want text to
keep getting bigger or smaller in proportion to the drawing size,
else the text would be huge when drawing tiny things, and tiny when
drawing huge things. However, some text scaling is needed. You should use the Detailed Print Preview prior to printing.
Using the Detailed Print Preview:
Click the "Detailed Print Preview" button on the Print Control Screen.
Zoom to 100% and scroll to view text as it will be printed.
Adjust the text size from the panel on the right side of the preview.
Zoom back out if necessary and assure that text is not over-running other elements
Click the "Print" button to print the plan
area which I fill with the Fill drawing tool looks great on the
screen. But it looks awful when I print it. What gives?
patterns will not scale to the printer resolution. The higher the
printer resolution, the tinier the spaces in the patterns become.
This is a Windows thing, and there is no known way to beat it. You
can use "Scalable Patterns" from the tool bar button and
select a pattern there (Fifth button in the right column). These
patterns do scale to the printer.
The Preference "Drawing" Tab has a setting for scaling text. What's that about?
On the "drawing" tab of the Preferences screen:
We recommend using the "Automatically Decide" setting, unless you have a compelling reason to do otherwise.
- "Never Scale Text" always shows text the same size as it was entered.
- "Always scale text" does just that.
- "Automatically Decide" makes the decision for you.
How can I keep text from being so big on some printouts?
Use the "Detailed Print Preview" prior to printing.
If the text is too big, you can adjust it there, or you can limit text to a font size that you select.
Use the "Set Text Limits" button to select a maxmium font size.
Can I use my Wheel Mouse to move the plan?
Sure. By default, it scrolls the plan vertically. Press the Control key to cause it to move the plan horizontally.
Moving & Selecting
How can I draw something to the left or top of what I have already drawn? The scrollbars stop there.
Each scrollbar has a red arrow in front of it.
Use these red arrows to shift the plan toward the right or toward the bottom of the drawing area to create drawing room.
Later, click the "Move Up Left" button to move everything to the upper left corner.
I see on the Preferences form that we can choose between two navigation methods. Which should we use?
The Navigation Box has four rows, each with four rectangles. When you click on one of these sixteen rectangles, the plan shifts to the coresponding area of the plan.
The Viewport Navigator has one rectangle that you drag around to move the plan.
It's simply a matter of personal preference.
Can you explain the use of the numberpad and the "Speed" setting?
Use the Number pad keys to move the cursor a calibrated distance.
Use the Plus and Minus keys to change this distance.
The distance the cursor will move is displayed at the lower right, labeled "Speed".
A speed setting is saved separately for each zoom level.
How can I move to the end of a previous line?
It isn't always easy to place the cursor exactly on a previous drawing element.
If you can get the cursor within six pixels, you can press the Period (.) key to make the cursor snap to the exact point.
- Get the cursor close
- Press the period key
This routine will snap to the end or beginning of lines or rectangles, to the corners of rectangles and polygons, and to the center of an ellipse.
When I want to move a drawing element, especially if I can't see it all without scrolling, it is very difficult to move it precisely.
After selecting such an element, click the "Properties" button instead of the "Move" button.
You can move the element by changing its distance to the left and top of the plan in inches or millimeters.
Is there an easier way to quickly select a drawing element for moving, etc.?
If you want to quickly select just a single drawing element, click the right mouse button on its perimeter
(Click pre-drawn figures on their centers. Bezier curves on their ends).
The element will be selected, and a popup menu appears with options tailored to the nature of the element you selected.
No matter whether I use the selection tool or the Group Selection tool, I can't select pre-drawn figures.
All drawing elements except two are selected by clicking on their perimeter.
The exceptions are:
- Pre-drawn figures: Selected by clicking their center
- Bezier Curves: Selected by clicking their ends
software creates problems with my keyboard, and I can't use most of
the letters. (The Text function is therefore unavailable!)
If you are
using a laptop without a number pad, you need to un-check "Turn
Num Lock on when starting" on the Preferences "Startup"
tab. This handy feature provides number pad users with a neat way to
move measured distances, but interferes with the combination
keyboards found on many laptops.
file I open, opens with a "fill pattern" texture filling
the whole screen!!! What's wrong?
It sounds like
the snap grid is turned on. Home Plan Pro remembers the setting, and
so it comes back on each time you start up. Uncheck "Snap
On" and/or "SnapVisible" under View in the main menu.
is the "internal" folder for?
uses it to decompress the text for the "How to" menu pop up
messages, and a few other things. We were using "\work" but
some users started saving plans there and they got deleted. We
switched to a more unique folder name, and added a cautionary message
if users try to save there.
I keep getting an error when I call up the print menu. It says "Invalid
Floating Point Operation". What does this mean?
It's probably a corrupted element in that plan.
Try selecting the visible part of the plan with the Group Selection tool
(don't use Select All). Then paste it into a new plan. That should
leave the corrupted element behind.
[Q & As]
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