Web Meeting-Using Chief to get to a cabinet order.


Recommended Posts

Going to have a web meeting (free, using Zoom.us) July 11th at 2 pm Eastern Time ends at 4 pm Eastern, limit 25 attendees. Will be recorded (if I don’t muck that up).
If interested get in touch -   markmc   at  markjamesandco.com
Please include:

  • what you do (KD, dealer, builder, etc)
  • anything in particular you are interested in (no promises but I’ll see if I can make adjustments)
  • how long you’ve used Chief, current version and what you used before if anything.


This is open to all but keep in mind it’s meant for kitchen designers and others who need to create a cabinet order or develop pricing working in Chief Architect (call it a 2020 refugee camp :)

In general- creating a schedule with all the information needed generate an order in a spreadsheet template of using an online ordering system. It’s based on part of the system I’ve used with Chief for the last few years as a kitchen designer/dealer updated for X10 (70% of it will work in X9-time to upgrade) The general idea at this point it:


Basic cabinet configuration
Using the OIP for mods and accessories
Defaults-basic face configuration, OIP for defaults, few quirks &  gotchas in the default settings
More cabinet configurations, saving to library,
library management for brands and projects and defaults


Quick design sample
using hotkeys and replace from library
Adjusting the modifications per item
Getting non-cabinet items into the schedule -moldings, millwork, corbels, etc.


Schedule and Export
Schedule set up, multiple schedules
Checking the schedule against intent
Exporting the schedule, adjusting the spreadsheet
tricks to speed pricing, using pdf catalog for lookup, in a spreadsheet template, checking (brief)
Using  an online system (the only online order system I currently have access to is a complete custom brand I’m going to use a portion of a recording I made in the past for this but may reach out to someone  to work in that part)
Q & A


IF time allows I can touch on creating detail drawing for the manufacturer, checking the details against the print.


Current attendees not all are forum regulars- CharlesVolz, Cheryl_C_Crane, scottharris, Susan Durling, Andrew, GerryT, Paul Machado (maybe on vacation), Robert Zebrowski, a few folks from QCCI (on a single feed), Tim_Houston, Johnny

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Cheryl_C_Crane said:

MarkMc, Please hold a place for me, I really want to know how to price using CA!  BIG Thank You for doing this, it is much appreciated, Cheryl

Send an email so I can send an invite.

markmc   at  markjamesandco.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Update to to the plan for this-

  1. Cabinet defaults setting up OIP fields and some macros. The macros are very simple since I'm no wiz in the dark arts.
  2. Schedule default and how to get an alternate for use in pricing (and where the rocks are so you don't trip)
  3. Generating mfg cabinet/mod codes from pdf catalog, formatting entries for OIP field used for pricing using a spreadsheet template (provided), a little copy paste special, convert to table stuff and tools used to quickly get the codes where you want them.
  4. Saved cabinets in the user library, how much data to include when. Using replace from library.
  5. Change schedule to alternate, copy schedule, paste to sheet. Revert schedule to default for printing.
  6. Adjusting pasted columns to match a spreadsheet order form. What's worth having to look up and fill in (IOW what is not worth automating)
  7. Using the sheet data in an online ordering system
  8. Using the sheet data in 2020
  9. A very brief section on generating cabinet details need for order submission and a method to check accuracy (avoid mistakes).


I'd like to present each section and follow that with a Q & A, then move on to the next section.


 I'd originally intended to barely mention much about macros. However in the process of putting the presentation together something came up. While the way I've been moving data from Chief to order for the last few years has been fine for me it can be a bit complicated, cumbersome. An easier method occurred to me, requiring far less spreadsheet manipulation after the fact. (in some case none).

While working that out I found a way to also include prices for "some" things; mdoifications and accessories in particular. I was already in the process of updating my user library cabinets per brands to coincide with changes I've made in X10. I've spent the better part of the last week fiddling with this newer approach. I should have it all together by the webinar.


However far I get I will send each attendee a zip file ahead of time with the macros, sample plan with OIP fields and schedule, and a spreadsheet template I'm using (as both open/libra office and excel). IF you sent me a PM instead of an email please email me so I can send you the file.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had not intended to bump this but felt the need to add some more specifics that could  be useful to a few people I spoke with and referred to this thread.

An overview -


How it works-the short answer is pretty well.

I could possibly price simple projects; ones with few changes or mods, using brands with limited offerings, faster in 2020 or ProKitchen. OTOH for most of my work generating on the whole generating a complete project (design, drawings, renderings and order) is faster, cleaner, more complete and easier than using anything else I have tried.


The system is designed to:

  • generate a ballpark price quickly

  • be usable by folks with modest computer skills

  • maximize the time saved compared to require to adapt and use

  • adapt to any brand of cabinets (though where it shines is if you use modifications)

  • keep code entry as simple as possible

  • minimize the need to look up pricing- pricing for modifications and pre-configured cabinets is kept in the system (including moldings and millwork)

  • minimize the time spent configuring cabinets and accessing them from the library

  • organize the user library to minimize time negotiating the library when changes are made

  • provide data that can be used in any of three ways of creating and order (spreadsheet, online order form, 2020)

  • minimize the possibility of mistakes, allow for easy checking prior to export and stay “live” based on the design

  • to minimize typing-entry of data is drag and drop (or copy/paste) into fields.

  • At the same time be adaptable to custom entry when needed

  • provide a means of having readily available header information (brand, construction, style, species, finish, etc.)

At first glance there are some aspects of setting this up that will appear complicated. Since I did the heavy lifting and handing you what you need to set it up; it is not difficult to use and fulfills the stated goals well.


The presentation is a one time deal and a thank you to the hard working folks at Chief and this forum.

I’m undecided what I’ll do with the session recording aside from distributing to the attendees. I’ve got more time into this than I intended and I don’t want do a lot of follow up (lacking restraint, I likely couldn’t resist).


What you will be given to use: The files have expired, been removed.

  • any macros required to make the system work including mulitple dimension formats to suit your mfg requirements (to 1/16th in fractions & decimal, Rounded to the inch, rounded to 3” increments)

  • a spreadsheet template to format your codes to work within the system

  • a sample plan with default cabinets configured to work with the system

  • assorted static instructions for when you can’t remember how (text, images, maybe a pdf) so you don’t have to go back and rummage through the video


What you need (besides Chief Architect):

  • spreadsheet software (plenty of free choics if you don’t have one) you won’t need to know a lot about it

  • ideally a pdf catalog of your mfg catalog (other formats can be as even better but I”ve never managed to acquire any)

  • a pdf reader -optional: the ability to export to a spreadsheet can be useful

  • optional- a program called Stickies; free from www.zhornsoftware.co.uk


What you will need to do for your work:

  • place your mfg codes and some pricing into the provided spreadsheet template and save

  • the only spreadsheet actions you will need to know are-insert row(s) or column(s); copy/past; paste special (exact example provided); and lock a spreadsheet (optional)

  • Design as you normally would

  • If you need order data not already in your saved mfg spreadsheet add it (to only one cell)

  • Either drag and drop pre-configured cabinets OR use “Replace from Library”

  • Your moldings and other accessories needed for the order are placed from the library. Quantities is changed using copy and paste in place

  • Set the order of your cabinet schedule and check it

  • change the columns shown in the schedule, copy and paste to a spreadsheet

  • undo the column change and set your schedule columns for final print in Chief

  • Use the exported data in the method you prefer for final pricing: spreadsheet order template (an example supplied), online ordering or 2020 (will work best in versions before they tied catalogs to support)or ProKitchen (but that may be different to work with and I’m not dealing with it)

  • When using the “spreadsheet order template” method you will still have to look up “some” pricing. (for me that amounts to 6-10 lines per order, mostly wall cabinets)

I've been getting the data I need to order cabinets out of Chief for 5 years, with 6 manufacturers, with varied order requirements and systems for submission. At first that was limited, then a bit complicated, currently this is the best I've worked out.



  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mark, I know that you have invested hundreds of hours over the last 5 years working out a way to price (estimate) quickly using CA, not to mention all the great suggestions that you made and Chief incorporated into the Cabinets components. And, I can tell that this is causing you to invest more of your time to help the CA community.


I truly, truly, appreciate to opportunity to learn from you, ~Cheryl

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/26/2018 at 8:22 AM, MarkMc said:

Going to have a web meeting (free, using Zoom.us) July 11th at 2 pm Eastern Time ends at 4 pm Eastern, limit 25 attendees. Will be recorded (if I don’t muck that up).
If interested get in touch -   markmc   at  markjamesandco.com


Mark, thanks much for setting up this webinar July 11 - looking forward to it.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mark, I would love to attend but as of now,  that is something I would not use.  But I do thank You for what you are doing and hopefully you can help CA take businesss away from you know who.  



  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mark, Thanks for putting on the meeting. I will be 'digesting" the information and looking at the Templates & Spreadsheets closely.  If I could conquer Cabinet pricing using CA without also using 2020 I'd become an independent rep for a dealer. 


Currently, I work for the big orange box. I love consulting with their customers and showing how their space may be reconfigured, repurposed, or simply updated to reflect how we live in our homes today. Watching customers see their thoughts come to life with PBR is a buzz.


Loading (redrawing) the design in 2020 is a buzz-kill!


It's easy to verify that I am the designer with the highest sales/hour goal in the HD Region although I've only been with the company for 3 years. I'd leave in a heartbeat to be more productive (no time spent on 2020).


CA gives me the JuJu. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 11 months later...
5 hours ago, MarkMc said:

Someone asked for video from this session-here is the one for using an online ordering system. I'm still messing with Ruby macros to streamline the process but have not had much time to dedicate to this since I don't need it myself, it looks like I several variations will be needed, working on learning Ruby, selling my house, have real work and a life....so eventually I'll have something, then will decide what to do with it.

For anyone who was at the web meeting the system can also be used to go from a schedule into a spreadsheet template that is a cabinet order form.



Thanks Mark , guess I missed this last year , thought it was next month at 1st :) , do you still have the files from the Workshop , so I can follow along?





Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/24/2019 at 9:47 PM, Kbird1 said:



Thanks Mark , guess I missed this last year , thought it was next month at 1st :) , do you still have the files from the Workshop , so I can follow along?





The vid I posted is not of the meeting it was made prior for use during it. The vid from the meeting was something like 125 MB and I'd figured out a that there was better way to do all this the day before the meeting so things were a little choppy.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seeing this thread spawned a couple of reminders:

1. We were using X10 last year and you may need your X10 key,

2. Mark has been a tireless stalwart in improving CA for practical Kitchen & Bath work. He ALWAYS responds to the needs of other CA Users QUICKLY. He is the EverReady Bunny (showing my age) of K&B help. He's an amazing Human Bean!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

MarkMc: Wowowow

I just saw it. What a treat for KD. I would love to attend...(though leaving that evening for a trip but I'll organize myself so I can Make it).

I started using CA on Feb this year. I have used AuCad and 2020... 


Pls add me to your list:



Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, EsteeChief said:

MarkMc: Wowowow

I just saw it. What a treat for KD. I would love to attend...(though leaving that evening for a trip but I'll organize myself so I can Make it).

I started using CA on Feb this year. I have used AuCad and 2020... 


Pls add me to your list:



That meeting was a year ago. A partial video is posted above as is a zip folder with files from it. There's other useful things in this section and symbols. May go back as much as 3 years. Look around. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

Marc -- Is this webinar archived somewhere?  I'm  highly interested in moving from 2020 to CA exclusively...  I've been on these forums for an hour just reading much of what you said and I'm intrigued.  Are there any other tutorials or videos in addiiton to this that you can possibly recommend?   I snagged the sample files off this site but would love to see what else is available.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, CUChris81 said:

Marc -- Is this webinar archived somewhere? 

Video is posted above.


12 hours ago, CUChris81 said:

I'm  highly interested in moving from 2020 to CA exclusively... 

Just do it. I did. I got laid off from a hi-end kitchen dealer at end of 09, started a business Jan 1 2010, switched to Chief in Dec 2010. First job in Chief was a whole house of hi end custom cabinets-kitchen, two baths, media/LR, entry foyer, Master BR, and Office. File was a mess but it helped sell the job. I credit Chief with helping me establish myself, get better work and keep afloat starting with nothing (dogged perseverance and innate brilliance may have played a role too ;)


12 hours ago, CUChris81 said:

Are there any other tutorials or videos in addiiton to this that you can possibly recommend? 

While there are no Chief tutorials on pricing they do offer quite a bit for kitchens.

I took an online class, twice in the first year. Had my assistant take one when I was training them. They offer live classes around the country that are useful, I've sat in on some and seen lot's of presentations at shows.

The rest-I read the forum everyday and have since the beginning. For years I read almost everything even if it did not appear relevant to me. Use the Reference Manual and Help both are excellent. Learn how the software thinks then use that to your advantage.

IF you are doing anything in the way of better middle to hi end kitchens it's a no brainer. Maybe, just maybe, if you are a kitchen mill turning out a basic kitchen a day the other software makes sense-maybe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Ridge_Runner said:

Which one of those would you say played the most important role, Mark? :)

vbg-has to be perseverance, never learned to avoid rabbit holes and only talent is I read directions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now

  • Member Statistics

    Total Members
    Most Online
    Newest Member
  • Similar Content

    • By KingsOwn
      I have a problem in one file where windows drop out, or are deleted when I place a new cabinet or adjust an existing cabinet that is against the wall containing the window.
      Anyone had this happen.  Any solutions?
    • By norryboy
      Has anyone else experienced cabinet reveals changing from X12 to X13? I have attached images from an identical plan that was created in X12 from a cabinet library I created. The X12 shows as I would expect. X13 shows as expected as well. The difference starts when inserting cabinets from the library I created into X13.
      Chief has changed/added some default settings. The overlays in X12 are in the Box Construction section of the defaults. The overlays in X13 are in the Drawer Face Item Specification.
      The cabinet in X13 had the overlay changed form the default 3/4" from X12 to 1/16" when inserted into X13. I'm guessing it's because the overlay defaults have been moved to the Drawer/Door face item specification.
      I really don't want to have to redo the entire cabinet library as there are hundreds of them. The reason the library was created is due to our cabinet supplier having specific cabinet callouts.
      Thank you for any help.

    • By MarkMc
      Updated 2/28-added cabinet doors into schedule-one on it's own floating and example of it on a cabinet.
      Changed the corbel procedure-instead of specifying the symbol should be "inside" the cabinet I now embed the "holding cabinet" into where the corbel goes. This allows proper vector and watercolor views. Revised plan attached
      I finally found a way to get millwork into the cabinet schedule without using architectural blocks. Problem with blocks is the dimensions read based on orientation in the space and not on the object.
      It's a bit of a futz at first but I'm happy. Once set up the stuff can live in the library.
      Place the millwork in a new plan, convert to symbol _CABINET DOOR instead of millwork. You will have to work with the origin and stretch zones. Origin will vary if it is going in as inset or trad overlay.
      Then place a cabinet, futx with the dbx (most need to have opening for back and both sides) In 3d vector view I change the sides of the cabinet to "opening no material"
      Once cabinet is done save to library- can later add a different millwork door to it to save work.
      Plan shows a schedule, two millwork "doors" and a couple of cabinets using them for reference. Open all dbxs to get the idea. (no not doing a video)
      I also placed at the bottom of the plan what I've been doing to get moldings, loose accessories, touch up kits, toe kick etc into the cabinet schedule. These are also saved to the library for reuse.
      The Text callout is placed once and copied. Dimensions can be adjust to read properly but the quantities are off so I put that into the label.
      Bracket sch.plan

    • By MarkMc
      I received a couple of question from folks at and after yesterdays GTM I'm attaching a plan and a layout in a zip file. Consider this something for forensic examination-to use to figure out how you want ot go about things. There are very likely mistakes, I'm certain that some of the label macros need work and in the course of putting this together some unwanted ones may have dropped in from the library..
      There was a request at the meeting for annosets. I agree with Perry and Scott that you need to put together what works for you but this may help get you going. The annosets here are a recent update to mine and may have mistakes yet. Started with something, a year or so later updated it, learned some more, fudged it as I went, now going working on a new and improved revised set. No you do NOT need to change annosets with every release. Yes you can use the same annosets for multiple templates (reference manual). OR you can use different ones. It's a good idea to export them somewhere (like the CA data file) with a date associated for when you muck them up or need to go back or want them somewhere else. I keep a second set that is less used for new construction that is different than my everyday remodel set. Just cuts down on the clutter.  
      Label macros included- the principal I'm working with is to use one macro while I work so I know what is going on, then to change all the cabinets on the primary layers to have another macro that works for ordering nomenclature (3 inch increments for example) To get any of the macros out you open the macro management dbx pick it and export- then do the reverse in another plan and import (HIT F1)  
      There was a question about the molding warehouse- included some in one room with a note. Don't forget to play with the new drag a profile from the library feature.  
      Countertops-no chief will not automatically label finished edges- see the plan, keep some text int there and copy and paste. (maybe someone from the dark side can write a macro for that but I'm not going there.) A few ways to get millwork and other things into a schedule- included one arch block turned sideways to show the problem from using them. couple of odd symbols thingies for the schedules. Included-an architectural block with a wood hood and a blower insert inside it. The blower insert is currently set so you can't really resize it without going into the symnbol DBX and changing things (look in the reference manual and play with it -best way to learn) You can use this to see if the blower you want will fit in the hood the client wants. Glass house view, cross section slider, backclipped elevations. Odds and ends-if you have not seen Scott Harris method of globally changing kitchen cabinets you should check it out. Basically he keeps a couple of cabinets on the side in different door/color/construction. Then picks one and sets as default  (one reason I ONLY use cabinets that respect the defaults even though some things don't AND naturally changing from overlay to inset requires some heavy redesign) There was a mention that 2020 will underline a label if you alter the size of a cabinet from the default. Chief won't. Thing is that 2020 will also underline the label if you add an accessory or a modification to the cabinet so it is NOT saving you from yourself (unless you do those last) File and layout attached, neither is complete, but worth fooling with I think.
    • By Nate_M
      I'm wondering if anyone here has experience creating custom doors for cabinetry. Most of our work requires a custom door/drawer style or some special wainscot panels. What is the best way to create a custom door/drawer and use it with Chief Architect cabinets?
      Thanks in advance for your help!