First Look- an Overview of Cedar Architect

Where do you start?

Understanding the user interface will help you get a quick start with your first design.  The user interface has a few key components.

Main Design Menu

The tabs in the main design menu group tools by the type of task.

  1. Layout: Tools for drawing walls and adding multiple levels
  2. Wall Openings: Select and place doors, windows, and wall openings
  3. Roof: Tools for generating a roof automatically and custom roofs
  4. Exterior: Tools to create landscape areas and paver areas 
  5. Furnishings: Access to libraries of objects such as furniture, fixtures, and architectural components.
  6. Materials:  Access to material libraries for customizing floors, walls, Ceilings
  7. HD visuals: Access to rendering profiles, sun direction, Virtual Visits, and tools for creating rendered images.

Design Tools

These are the actual tools that are used to create your design.  This tool menu is context sensitive. Tools will be displayed based on the tab selected in the main menu.  There are different kinds of tools that will be visible in this area. Some examples:

  • Configurations: Add levels to the plan, import an image of a floor plan to trace, and more.
  • Libraries: You will see categories here based on areas of the home such as bathroom, living room, outdoor.  Clicking on these will bring up options for more specific libraries like chairs, tables, etc.
  • Drawing tools: Drawing walls, rooms, landscape grass and pavement areas

Options Menu

There are two types of options displayed in this menu.  

General options appear at the top.  These are options that affect how your drawing is displayed and the behavior of some drawing tools.  
  • Units of measure
  • Magnetism / Snap
  • Display of measurements
  • Repeating choice for adding multiple instances of objects and materials
  • Display of the Roof
  • Trace Image display
  • Quick Paint controls how materials are applied
  • Proportional Sizing (for Furnishings)

Options in the second half of the menu are context sensitive and display options for tools and/or objects selected

For furnishings, options appear to customize size and materials. Also displayed are controls to delete the selected object, duplicate the selected object, mirror the object and move it down to a lower surface.

Materials have options for duplicating the material, scaling and rotating the pattern.

For a selected wall, options displayed will include the thickness and height for the wall, and the offset the wall edges are drawn at from the center-line of the wall drawn.


View / Navigation Buttons
These buttons are used to help you adjust your 2D and 3D views.  The appropriate toolset will apply depending on your current view.


Content Selection

Thumbnails of materials and objects will appear here, based on which tool and library you have selected.

NOTE:   Cedar Architect has a unique feature that makes it easy to edit even complex projects.

Items are only editable when on the Main Design tab used to place them.  To edit your walls, click Layout on the Main Design Menu.  To edit doors and windows that are in the design or add more, click Openings.  The same process applies to Furnishings, Materials, Roof, and Exterior.  

What’s next?

  • Draw the building!  Use the tools on the Layout tab and draw the walls of the house.  Change the default wall thickness at the bottom and thickness/height for individual walls in the options menu.
  • Add a roof! Access the roofing tools and add your roof with the Auto roof or Free Form roofing tools.
  • Add the doors and windows!  Go to the Openings tab and add the doors and windows to the drawing.  The size of a selected door can be adjusted in the options displayed.  Similarly, window size and elevation on the wall are modified from the options menu.
  • Paint the walls and add flooring! Click the Materials tab and you will see a wide variety of materials and colors in the Design menu on the left.  Select materials and apply to floors and walls.  You can also paint the ceilings.  Click a material thumbnail, and click the target surface to apply it.
  • Furnish the house! Click the Furnishings tab.  Click a library in the Design Menu and from the groups displayed, click a library to select. Click to select a furniture item and move the cursor to the location and click to place.You can modify the size, angle, and materials for the furnishings in the options menu displayed on the right.
  • Plan your outdoor living space! Click the Exterior tab to access the properly planning tools and layout your landscape.  Materials can be changed later and plants and accessories added as well.  Plants and other outdoor objects can be found in the Furnishings libraries under the Outdoor category.
  • When you are ready… The HD Visual tab gives you access to rending options.  Here you can set the desired sun direction and angle and render final images.  The small Web Format images are considered Test Renders.  Use the 3D views seen from Furnishings and Materials to get your plan designed the way you want it and then use rendering HD Images as a final step to complete the project.  

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