Punch! Home Design Software is a professional-level home design system developed for anyone who needs fast, accurate home drawings and wants the flexibility to view and edit their plan in 3D. Uses for Punch! Home Design Software include:

  • Architectural drawings

  • Presentations

  • Deck design

  • 3D visualization

  • Electrical plans

  • Framing customization

  • Interior design

  • Landscaping

It’s simple to get started designing the home of your dreams. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the contents of this manual, so you’ll know where to quickly find the answers. Be sure to see “A Quick Tour” for an overview of the screen layout and a quick tour of the program. For a basic overview of tools and techniques that you’ll use throughout the design process, see “Drawing in 2D”. Please note that not all features in this User’s Guide are available in every Punch! Software title. Some features such as security components, for example, are available only in Punch! Home Design Studio Complete.

System Requirements

In order to run Punch! Home Design Software, your machine should comply with the following requirements:

  • Macintosh® OS X 10.9 or higher

  • Intel® Core™ Duo processor or faster

  • 256MB VRAM

  • 3.5 GB Hard Disk Space

  • 1GB RAM

  • DVD-ROM (for media installations only)

  • 1024x768 millions of colors display resolution

  • Keyboard and mouse

  • Internet access (to access Training Center)

Important System Settings

Some of your computer’s settings can impact Home Design Studio’s efficiency. By changing one (or more) of these settings, you can control how the program performs.

  • Set your display preferences to the default for your machine. Choose Apple > System Preferences > Displays.

Note: Refer to your computer’s Help information for recommended display settings.

  • By default, all measurements display in English Units; to choose Metric Units to go to Design > Unit of Measure and choose Metric Units from the Measurement Units pop-up menu.

Installing Punch! Home Design Software

To install Punch! Home Design Software, you must run Setup. You can’t install or reconfigure Home Design Studio by copying files directly from the distribution DVD to your hard drive.

To install Home Design Studio via DVD

1 Insert Home Design Studio Installation DVD into your DVD-ROM drive. Installation begins as soon as you insert the DVD.

2 Follow the installation prompts that appear.

Note: If installation did not begin when you inserted the Home Design Studio Installation DVD into your DVD-ROM drive, Autorun may be turned off on your computer.

To install Home Design Studio if the installation does not begin automatically

1 Insert Home Design Studio Installation DVD into your DVD-ROM drive.

2 Navigate to your computer disk drives and double-click the DVD-ROM drive (most computers will begin the installation at this point).

3 Double-click SETUP.

About This Guide

The text and graphics in this guide are tailored to help you find the information you need quickly and get the most out of Home Design Studio. Each section of this guide is divided into a series of step-by-step instructions, making it easy for you to scan a page to find exactly what you need. You can also refer to the index for additional topics on the same subject, if necessary. Instructions for installing and using Mac or Mac OS do not appear in this guide. If you’re uncomfortable with your knowledge of Mac OS or with the concepts associated with a user interface object, you should review Mac online Help before attempting any serious work with Home Design Studio.

Note: Not all features in this User’s Guide are available in every Punch! Software title. Some features may only available only in Home Design Studio, for example. To access the user’s guide

  • Choose Help > User’s Guide (or press F1).

Basic Terms

The following is a list of terms used throughout this guide. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the language used in this guide and to reinforce your understanding of basic terminology.

Click Pressing and releasing the left mouse button once.

Right-click Pressing and releasing the right mouse button once.

Control-click (Ctrl-click) Holding down the Control key while pressing and releasing the mouse button once.

Note: Pressing two fingers on your trackpad will also access the Ctrl-click features.

Double-click Pressing and releasing the left mouse button twice.

Drag Pressing the left mouse button, holding it down and moving the mouse, and then releasing the mouse button. Common uses include: “Drag to extend the wall segment,” and “Drag the object onto the design window.”

Scroll Using the scroll bars on the sides of the application window by clicking the scroller, holding down the mouse button, and dragging.

Note: Swiping two fingers on the trackpad will also scroll your view.

Graphic Cues

This guide uses several types of graphic elements. Some show the window or a dialog that appears during an operation. When this type of graphic illustration is used, every effort is made to show the element exactly as it appears on the window


Training Center

You can get started easily with Home Design Studio’s Step-by-Step Tutorials. They are available at all times, in the Training Center. Also available in the Training Center are videos showing exactly how most tools function


To access the video tutorials and tooltips

1 Click Help > Training Center. The Training Center is displayed in your default web browser. The topics are displayed on the left side of the window, organized into categories.

2 Click to expand Tools or Tutorials and then choose a category to display the cascading list of videos available.


3 Click the video you want to view and the video is displayed.

Note: You can download the corresponding tutorial drawing by clicking the link below the video; save the file to a location on your computer and then open the drawing file.

Technical Support

Before contacting Punch! Technical Support, please verify that the answer to your question is not available from one of the following resources:

  • Punch! Home Design Software User’s Guide.

  • Tutorials provided in the Training Center.

  • To visit the Punch! Customer Support Center, click the Support button on the Task Bar. At the Customer Support Center, you can register your software, search the knowledge base, or ask a question, if necessary.

  • The Customer Support Center is also available at https://www.punchsoftware.com/contact-us.

  • The Punch! Online Community is available at http://forums.punchsoftware.com. At the Online Community, users can post questions and trade useful tips and tricks. The Customer Support Center can only answer questions that are related to features of Punch! Home Design Software. They cannot answer specific questions about home building, local building codes, and so on. When contacting the Support Center, please provide the following details:

  • Serial Number; in the menu bar, choose Home Design Studio > About Home Design Studio. Your serial number appears in the dialog.


Choose Home Design Studio > About Home Design Studio. Your Serial Number appears on the window.

  • Your computer’s operating system

  • Make and model your computer

  • Video card manufacturer and model.

  • Video card driver date and version.

  • Video RAM.

  • Display settings, including hardware acceleration.

After registering for your program, you will receive free technical support. When you call, you should be in front of your computer, with the program running, and have the above information handy. The technical support contact information can be located at the Customer Support Center.


Resetting Warning Messages

When warning messages appear, you can select a checkbox to hide that message in the future. For example, if the Door Tool is active and you click somewhere in the design window that is not a wall, a message appears that the door must be placed in a wall. You can easily reset warning messages so they appear again.

To reset warning messages

1 Choose Home Design Studio > Preferences (or press Command-,)

2 Click the General tab and then click the Reset All Warnings button.

3 Click Save.

Speed Tips

You can “Speed Up” Home Design Studio by changing some of the program's settings.

  • Close the 3D View window when you are not working in 3D. No 3D calculations are performed when the 3D View window is closed.

  • Turn off shadows. For more information, see “Adding Lighting and Shadows”

  • Hide floors that are not active. Turning off inactive floors means the program will not waste resources on them.

  • Decrease the render quality. From the 3D menu, choose Rendering Options. The 3D View dialog appears. You can adjust the navigation speed and also the quality in which objects render; the lower the render quality, the faster the 3D View will render your design. (alternatively) Choose 3D > 3D Final Quality > Low.

  • Hide unused 3D objects. With a 3D view open, choose 3D > Rendering Options. In the Render section, deselect unneeded elements to hide them in the 3D view and then click OK.

Controlling Window Orientation

You can quickly minimize windows or zoom them in to maximize your view. When you have multiple drawing files open at one time, each file appears in the Window menu. You can navigate through them by choosing the one you want to view. These options are available on the Window menu.


To minimize a window

  • Choose Window > Minimize (or press Command-M). The active window is minimized to the dock.

Note: Minimized windows appear with a diamond icon beside them on the menu.

To maximize a window

  • Choose Window > Zoom. The active window is maximized.

To bring all windows to front

  • Choose Window > Bring All to Front. All hidden windows are brought to the front.

To bring a drawing file to the front

  • On the Window menu, choose the drawing file you want to see. Designing in Full Screen Sometimes it’s easier to design when you take advantage of all the real estate your screen has to offer. You can quickly switch to full-screen mode to maximize the application window.

To enter full screen

  • Click the maximize button in the top left corner of the window.

(alternatively) Choose View > Enter Full Screen (or press ^-Command-F).

To exit full screen

  • Move the cursor to the top of the screen to show the toolbar and then click the maximize button in the top left corner of the window. (alternatively) Choose View > Exit Full Screen (or press ^-Command-F).

Setting the Units of Measurement

You can set units of measurement by selecting either English or Metric measurements. You can also set the default measurements and options to be applied when any previously-drawn design is opened. For more information, see “Setting the Unit of Measurement”.

Setting the Scale

The scale is the ratio between the real-world size of objects and items in your drawing and their size when printed. For more information, see “Setting the Scale”

Check for Software Updates

Software updates can be downloaded when they are available from within the application. When updates are available, you can choose to install the update, skip the update, or receive a reminder to install later (you will be asked if you want to install the update the next time you launch the application). You can enable automatic updates so that when updates are available they are downloaded automatically.

To check for software updates

1 Choose Home Design Studio > Check for Updates. If updates are available, the Software Update window appears with a summary of the update.

2 Click Install Update to install the update(s). (optional) To automatically download updates when they become available, select the “Automatically down and install updates in the future” checkbox.

3 When the download completes, click Install and Relaunch to complete.

About Punch! Product Providers

You can access information about each manufacturer of name-brand content, for example, materials, paint, or flooring.


To access information about product providers

1 Choose Home Design Studio > Content Providers. The Content Providers dialog appears.

2 Select a product provider’s name to read information about them.

3 Click the red button to close the dialog.

About Punch! Home Design Software

You can access your serial number or check the version of your program, with one click, at any time.


To access your serial number

  • Choose Home Design Studio > About Home Design Studio. The program’s splash screen appears.