HD Suite - printing options?


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I have jumped from HDPro to trying a trial of HD Suite now - as an alternative to investing $ 650AUS dollars - this will only be $ 130AUD - I see this as a foot first into the quicksand, perhaps a little more slowly than jumping into waist deep mud - as it were.


Are there users that can advise or comment if HD Suite,

  • The 'Print Model' - feature does this in fact work in this version ?
  • A comparison chart of Chief and HD depicts its not available at all in HD?
  • Yet the HD comparison chart states it is available - from what I see anyway.
  • The HD comparison chart says no printing output is possible - is this correct ?
  • On the other hand comparison chart depicts maximum sheet size of printer - so I'm confused.
  • Will it produce elevational views - I don't think it will ?
  • What other known unknown limitations does this version , Home Designer Suite, have please?

That comparison chart would be better demonstrated in a more graphic format. imo.


There are allot of features there.






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The largest size you can print to using HD Suite 2016 is Arch "B" - 12" x 18"


I have never used "Print Model" in my twenty years + use of Chief or HD so I cannot say, I would recommend you call "Sales" and ask them, they know.




  • The HD comparison chart says no printing output is possible - is this correct ?



Suite is not capable of creating annotated, scaled elevations and cross sections like Architectural and Pro.


The main limitation of Suite IMHO is having to set up roofs via settings instead of HD Pro's manual roof tools which then limits your choices relative to roof design.


In my opinion Home Designer Pro is the way to go, it has the most choices (freedom) and largest paper size choices. You get what you pay for.




Software by itself does nothing but take up space on a hard drive, you should think of it as a tool only that you use after learning how to. The software does NOTHING on its own. The more you spend, the more function you purchase in terms of ability

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Based on your earlier questions, it does sound like going with anything less than Pro (which has layouts, manual control over roof and framing, advanced CAD tools, etc) is going to just be a disappointment for you. 


The company's Sales folks are going to be the ones best equipped to answer these types of questions on the comparison between programs and their features though.




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You know you want to jump in Neck deep Rob :) never mind waist deep  , I started like you are planning 8 years ago and just wish I had taken the plunge straight away now. I suggest you Buy Pro at a minimum and then Trade it In if you want the extra Features during the once a year Chief Sale if needed.( or keep your eyes open for a 2nd hand Copy perhaps)


The printing thing  you can get around with the "print to 1/2 scale" and print at 200% trick , assuming Suite can Print to Scale and not just do Images ?


I went straight to HDA , as I needed Elevations etc (as David mentioned) which the comparison didn't mention back then...


Can Suite do those Fancy divided Lite Windows you like?

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Any Chief Architect product is a steal compared to maintaining a license of ArchiCAD (ArchiCAD is a fine program though). I have never used it but many Chief Architect Premier users who used to use it say Chief is easier to use and learn than ArchiCAD.



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The ArchiCAD background feedback from DJP - is very true. It is a fine program - but in my 16 years use of it  I have barely scratched the surface with its multitude of features. But this is not about it - but about Home Designer & Chief.


As an experienced used of the former - I am still blown away with the latter. ( HD & Chief)

And yes - imo, HD & Chief  are more user friendly.


I did email sales at the Chief HQ and they have answered my questions re earlier post.


Mick - No HD Suite does not allow raking or pivoted sill - but will match roof slope at head.

I went there first actually. (ha ha)


I have a local Contractor here who after I introduced him to its estimating/quantities feature he has jumped in with Chief Premier - up to his neck Mick. Probably a little over his head actually.


I have a nail bag too I tell him, but its only filled with paper clips.


But like most contractors I know - he blames me for his poor design skills.

The software does not design buildings I told him  - the user does that, it outputs only as good as what you input to it.

Anyway- that's another story.

He designed and output his own recent new home house plans and approval doc's - without me. (Smarty-pants he be!)

Next time I'll keep it all to myself. They were not as good as I would do, of course - but they were still approved.


The comparison charts on the software are contradictory in a few spots - and rather non-comparative. imo.

Anyway - its all good - I'm trailing HD Suite - for the enjoyment of it and as a comparison to HDPro.

It's fine for the money - $126 AUS. A bargain actually.

And a stepping stone.

You have very beautiful detailed design basics in the USA.

Not much of that here in AUS. More pseudo minimalist colonial revival - if thats a vernacular?


Thank you gentlemen for you comments as experienced user/operators.

PS - what is this trade in thing, and is the licence transferable then?

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I have never found the comparison matrix that useful myself and why I ended up upgrading fairly quickly to Pro, and finely Chief (cos I wanted too :) ) , there is no comparison when it comes to doing ConDocs, and to a certain degree I am having to teach myself the better/faster way to do stuff as Pro is "ingrained" after 5yrs or so.


Do you have the OZ house Plans HD used to have in the Library? and the OZ Breed Plants ? not sure if still available but I have them if you need them, let me know, nothing too fancy, they are from 6-8 years ago when Chief had a Oz divison but then closed down..... though I see a new support no# in Oz now again.


You can upgrade your software anytime after buying it to another better version  and essentially get an instant rebate for your title against the new title, this renders the old licence invalid but you can still use both programs on your computer if wanted, though plans done in newer versions wont open in the Older ( or lessor) versions. Pro has a rebate against Chief of $500 , and there is usually once a year Xmas /new year usually) a 10% sale on Chief you can apply too. Chief does come with a 30 Day money back guarantee too ,if it doesn't suit your needs.


you can look at different scenarios on the Chief Upgrade page or the HD Upgrade page too






BTW to be clear.....You cannot transfer licence (to someone else) of any HD Product though you can resell the Chief licence at a later date , with a $50 transfer fee.

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I have the OZ trees - they are fairly average, nothing too flashy or indigenous about them though.

No OZ plans as you refer to though.

I prefer starting with a blank palette as it were anyways.


I do recall having read about the upgrade paths - which is an incentive for sure. Very smart.

Chief guru's have replied to me regarding the sheet size output upgrade to an A1 max sheet - which equals 2 x A2 or 4 x A3 size equivalent.

My metric sized  A1 is about your 24" x 18" I think?

I was told it would be discussed in the product review.

I'm not holding my breath though.

Nor waiting for that matter.

Thanks Mick.

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