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2020 files import

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Would like to know if there is a way to input the manufactures catalog that was created for 2020 design?

I read all the info on 2020 design and I don think that is worth the money, but as a Dewils dealer, their catalog is only available for 2020 design.

I'm Chief user since 2006 and have no plan to switch to another program.

The file textures are in jpg for all four cabinet lines. I can import those. But cabinets itself its another story. I know that with 2020 design, program automatically prices all the options you add, but I can use the printed catalog for that, (although the option in Chief would be great). 

Did anybody successfully import the catalogs, or its possible to convert them and than import, or anybody have different option- besides spending $2800 for the program that I will only use for one line of the cabinets? 

All my designs are done with Chief Architect.


Any input will be appreciated


Zoran V.



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I'm sure someone that does cabinets will have advice


if not, you should contact CA's tech support and they can advise



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1 hour ago, ZVConstruction said:

Would like to know if there is a way to input the manufactures catalog that was created for 2020 design?

You can't import 2020 catalogs. You don't need to.

Short answer-there is a video (don't remember who recorded and posted it)- I think in the tips section- from a goto meeting I did last year.

In that I touch upon most of what you need but it did run off track from what I wanted to get done. I gave up 2020 years ago despite owning a copy and having used it for 15 yrs. I currently handle 3 brands with 3 lines each and have used Chief and this system for 3 others over the last 6 years.


In general-you are going to set up templates for each brand OR use a template for type of structure/ceiling height etc and import defaults for the cabinets from another plan as needed. To make the template work for a brand you MUST use the cabinets from the build menu NOT the cabinets from any of Chiefs libraries (they don't follow the dynamic defaults well enough)

Make a folder for each brand in your user library. You will want to keep the most commonly used cabinets that take time to configure-3DB, 4DB, 2DB, microwave, trash poullout(S), oven, fridge- like that. You can add them as you make them or spend a little time and do a batch to start with. I like to keep those cabinets all at 15" wide (for use with "replace from library")

For each of those cabinets add ALL of the most commonly used modifications to one of the OIP fields (I use the Code field). It is easier to delete them than to add them.

I also keep lists of mods both in a spreadsheet and a shorter list copied from the sheet to stored Stickies ( You can drag and drop the code for the mode from the sheet or the stickie to the OIP field. (protect the sheet and it will only copy, hold ctrl dragging from a stickie)

Do you design work with just the cabinets from the build library, set sizes to what you need. Once done, go around and use replace from library to place your saved cabinets. Resize each one as needed as you go. OR if you can just drag the user library cabinets in as you go-(I find the first method faster YMMV)

You have to make a choice about how you deal with finished sides. Chief has fixed the labeling but not how they work. SO you either need to set your defaults for side to

1) ALL unfinished (my preference)

2) to auto knowing some will be missing and some finished that should not be

3) set them all to finished.

Whichever method you MUST go back and fix something. Pick the one that will allow you to avoid mistakes.

Door styles-I've posted several versions of plans in the symbols section to use as a kit to make your own door styles. It is very quick, quicker than rummaging though a bunch of other brands looking for a close match. Learn how to make door symbols, you won't regret it.

Pricing- The GTM video I mentioned goes over how to get an order out of a Chief schedule- again it went a bit off track. I hope to have one to Scott Harris before KBIS though at this point it will be brief. The biggest trick to doing this well is the  labels. Naturally the cabinets in your user library for each brand will have the correct labels. For the rest-If your brand happens to match Chief's labels your are in luck. If not the alternative's are a custom macro (I've done one or two that are close to ok-again likely in some of the plans I've posted in the past) OR you change labels as needed either in Chief.

Getting the order out of Chief-simply have the columns you need set in Chief. Select the schedule, copy.  Paste special (as plain text-comma deliminted) into a spread sheet. From there you either manipulate the sheet to copy and paste your data into a spreadsheet template of an order form OR better yet simply drag and drop from the copied sheet into your brands on line ordering system. The advantage of the latter is you won't have to look up pricing. For the one brand I have that does not have an online system I use a spreadsheet template and look up the prices in a pdf catalog (with my own added bookmarks) using multiple monitors. Pricing and ordering is very quick.

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Many thanks to Mark for a great presentation and Scott for hosting this meeting. I will post the recording when it has all uploaded.

Sorry that I missed Scott's introduction as I was sorting out an audio issue that took me a few minutes, but there is still 3 hours of seriously deep cabinet discussion here that you will likely have to watch many times over to understand it all.




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