3D Viewer

The 3D Viewer renders individual rooms, or even entire scenes, in three dimensions. Access it by navigating to the Ribbon Bar's "View" tab and clicking the "View 3D" button.


This feature is useful for displaying tile designs and mosaics, and can even include 3D clipart and custom models. Wall features such as windows, cased openings, and doors may also be displayed.

Individual rooms can be resized and the various objects that make up the scene can be rotated and rearranged directly in the Viewer. Once a scene is finalized it can be saved as an image or printed.


When the Viewer is opened, the drawing area is replaced with a 3D rendering of one or more rooms from the drawing. Additionally, a new "3D" Ribbon Bar tab is enabled with controls that are specific to the Viewer. When 3D work is complete, click the "Close 3D Editor" button rather than simply switching to another ribbon bar tab.


By default, only the currently selected room is rendered when the Viewer is loaded. Left-click a room name in the Explorer to switch to it.

How To:

Navigate the 3D Rendering

The checkboxes in the "Mouse" section of the ribbon bar control how the cursor interacts with the rendering. Only one option at a time may be enabled. All functions listed below require that the mouse cursor be placed over the 3D view. Ribbon_Bar_Mouse_Area.png
  • Pan
    Hold down the right or left mouse button and and move the cursor to pan.
  • Zoom
    Hold down the right or left mouse button. Push the mouse forward to zoom out or backward to zoom in.

    Tip: Rolling the mouse wheel forward or backward zooms in or out regardless of which Mouse setting is enabled. Save time by using this functionality rather than switching to the Zoom setting on the ribbon bar.

  • Rotate
    Hold down the right or left mouse button and move the cursor to rotate the room(s).
  • Walkthrough
    Select this option to place the camera inside the currently selected room at approximately eye level and navigate through it in first-person. If the Walkthrough box is checked while Scene mode is enabled, a new window containing a list of all rooms will appear. Left-click one to select it, then click the "Choose" button, and the camera will be placed within that room.

    Navigate through the scene in Walkthrough mode using the following techniques:
    • Rotate Camera
      Hold down the left or right arrow key to rotate the camera in either direction. Another option is to place the cursor over the 3D view, hold down the right or left mouse button, and move the cursor to rotate the camera in any direction.
    • Move Camera
      Hold down the up or down arrow key to move forward or backward, respectively. This can also be accomplished by placing the cursor over the 3D view and rolling the mouse wheel up or down.

View Multiple Rooms

Multiple rooms may be rendered together by checking the "Scene" box in the Ribbon Bar's "3D" tab.

When this feature is enabled, a check-box is added next to each room in the Explorer window. Place a check next to each room that should be included in the scene. Uncheck rooms that should be hidden. 3D_Viewer_Scene_Explorer.png

Resize Rooms

Note: The "Highlight Selection" box in the upper-left corner of the ribbon bar must be checked and the "Scene" box must be unchecked in order to resize rooms in the 3D Viewer.

Left-click a surface in the 3D viewer to select it. A selected surface will have a red outline around its perimeter and handles on each corner, at the midpoint between corners, and on the center of the surface. Left-click and drag any handle to resize the surface.

During a resize operation, red guidelines and  measurements will be generated to help ensure accuracy. The size and shape of any attached wall flaps will also be adjusted automatically when necessary.


Arrange Rooms and 3D Clipart

Note: The "Highlight Selection" and "Scene" boxes must be checked in order to move and rotate rooms in the 3D Viewer.


With Scene mode enabled, left-clicking a room or piece of 3D clipart selects it and places red and yellow handles on various surfaces within it. The surface on which a handle appears dictates which 3D axis it controls.

  • Click and drag a yellow handle to push or pull a room. A temporary measuring line will appear to aid in room placement. Release the mouse button when the room reaches the desired location.
  • Click and drag a red handle to rotate a room. A temporary wireframe image of the room will appear as a guide along with an angle indicator. Release the mouse button when the desired angle of rotation has been reached.

Example: In the screenshot above, a user wants to move the selected room into the background and rotate it so that the L shape faces the opposite direction. To "push" it, she would need to utilize the yellow handle on the back wall. To rotate the room, she could use either the red handle hovering where the room's ceiling would be or the one attached to the floor. This is because both handles are pointing in the same direction, which indicates that they both rotate along the same axis.

Adjust Lighting and Perspective

3D_Viewer_Adjust_Lighting_and_Perspective.png Left-click the "Lighting and Perspective" button under the Ribbon Bar's "3D" tab. A new window will appear.


  • Preview Panel
    On the right side of the Options window is a panel that displays a preview of the scene.
    • Place the cursor over the panel, hold down the left or right mouse button, and move the mouse to rotate the preview.
    • A red dot shows the current camera position in relation to the scene and the direction it's pointing. This is merely an indicator as the camera can only be moved in the actual 3D viewer.
    • Two yellow dots represent the two light sources for the scene. They can be moved by left-clicking and dragging. The light sources are locked to the translucent globe surrounding the preview and will slide along the globe's surface as they are moved.
  • Light Source Intensity
    The sliders in this panel control the brightness of the scene's non-directional ambient light, as well as that of the two point light sources.
  • Light Source Specularity
    Specularity refers to how reflective a surface is. Increasing the specularity of either light source will cause the surfaces on which it shines to display what are known as "specular highlights." A specular highlight is the bright spot that appears on an object when it is viewed at certain angles.

    Specularity can be used to provide a visual cue to the shape of an object and its location relative to the scene's light sources. In the example to the right, the first table is rendered with extremely low specularity, while the second one was rendered with both light sources' specularity set to maximum.
  • Perspective
    Perspective involves rendering scene elements closer to the camera as larger than those further away. This slider controls the intensity of that effect. Pulling the slider all the way to the left will completely eliminate perspective.

    Tip: When using the "Walkthrough" feature, set the Perspective slider to Full for easier navigation.
  • Restore Camera Position
    Restore the preview camera to its default location and orientation.

    Note: This button only affects the preview camera. It does not affect the scene camera as represented by the red dot in the preview panel.
  • Restore Defaults
    Restore all Lighting and Perspective settings to their defaults.
  • Apply or Reject Settings
    Click OK to apply the current Lighting and Perspective settings to the scene and close the options window, or click "Apply" to apply the current settings without closing the window. Clicking "Cancel" will abandon any setting changes and close the window.

Print or Save Image

The 3D view can be printed, exported as a PDF, or copied to Windows' clipboard. All of these options are accessed through the Print section of the "3D" Ribbon Bar tab. 3D_Viewer_Print_Section.png
  • Print
    Send whatever is currently visible in the 3D Viewer to the printer immediately.
  • Print Preview
    Open a preview of the 3D plan. Click the "Options" button to access certain print settings that are specific to this report. There are also buttons in the Preview window to export the image as a PDF or send the preview to the printer.
  • Copy to Clipboard
    Copy the current image to Windows' clipboard. It is then possible to paste it into a piece of image editing software for adjustment or enhancement.

Miscellaneous 3D Viewer Options

  • Highlight Selection
    Allow objects in the 3D viewer to be selected and display a red outline around the current selection. Its functionality is slightly different depending on whether or not Scene mode is enabled.

    • Scene Mode Disabled
      Individual surfaces within a room may be selected. This includes the floor and any attached wall flaps. A selected surface has handles around its perimeter that allow for resizing.
      See: "How To: Resize Rooms" above.
    • Scene Mode Enabled
      Entire rooms or 3D models may be selected. A selected object will have a red box surrounding it along with red and yellow handles on each surface that allow for rotation and movement.
      See: "How To: Arrange Rooms and 3D Clipart" above.
  • Shadow
    Control whether or not shadows are rendered. Disable shadows to improve performance in very complex scenes or on underpowered hardware.
  • Wireframe
    Enable or disable wireframe rendering. A wireframe is a simple, white polygon mesh rendered against a black background.
  • Room Name
    Display room names. The locations of room names in the 3D viewer will match the locations specified for each room in their Room Properties.
  • Show Add-Ons
    Display an outline around rooms that contain perimeter-based Add-Ons. If an Add-On product has not been assigned a color, its outline will be yellow. Otherwise the outline color in the 3D viewer will match that of the Add-On product.
  • Default Walls
    Enable a set of display-only walls in rooms that do not already contain 3D wall flaps. Transitions such as windows, cased openings, and doors are rendered automatically when default walls are enabled.

    Note: Default Walls are only for visualization purposes. They do not affect material calculation in any way.
  • Wall Settings
    Open a new window containing various options related to Default Walls. These settings only affect Default Walls and thus do not have any influence over any 3D wall flaps.
    • Height
      Text field in which a height for the walls must be entered.
    • Thickness
      Text field in which a wall thickness must be entered. Valid range: 0' - 2'0
    • Color
      Drop-down box in which a color for the walls must be specified.
  • Zoom to Fit
    Automatically adjust the zoom level so that all objects currently being rendered fit within the viewable area.
  • Restore Camera Position
    Reset the 3D Viewer camera to its original position.
  • Texture Quality
    Control the level of detail on 3D objects' surfaces. Options available are High, Medium, or Low. Reduce texture quality to improve performance in very complex scenes or on underpowered hardware.


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