Read this page to get answers to Frequently Asked Questions
about Sweet Home 3D.
3D models import
- What are the minimum system requirements to run Sweet Home 3D?
Sweet Home 3D may be run under Windows 98 to Windows 8.1, Mac OS X 10.4
(Tiger) to 10.10 (Yosemite), various Linux systems and Solaris. Your
computer should have at least a processor running at 400 MHz, 256 MB
and a graphic card with its driver updated (it runs slowly but successfully
on an iMac DV).
Note that Sweet Home 3D offline
installer doesn't run under Windows 98 (SP1 or SP2). Under
that system, you can install Sweet Home 3D only with Java Web Start,
meaning you must install Java first,
then click on the link Launch Sweet Home
3D with Java Web Start.
- Is Sweet Home 3D free?
Thanks to the services provided by sourceforge.net
and eTeks, you can
download and use Sweet Home 3D free of charge, for personal or commercial purpose,
under the terms of the GNU
General Public License. Nevertheless, if you want to reward financially Sweet Home 3D project,
you can donate the amount of your choice. Under Windows, you can also buy and download Sweet Home 3D on the i
Amazon Store (only if you reside in the USA or the UK), whereas under Mac OS X 10.7 to 10.10,
you can buy and download it on the Mac App Store.
- What are the differences between the versions available for download and the Online version?
For unregistered users, the Online version lets you test the main features of Sweet Home 3D without the ability to save the homes you
designed. For users registered on sweethome3d.com, both versions offer similar features with some differences presented in the following table:
To be able to edit homes created with the Online version in the downloaded versions and vice versa, the Online version is also able to export a home
to a SH3D file and import a SH3D file.
|Software installation after download
||Automatic download and launch of software in its web page
|Java installation not required (except for Java Web Start
||Java installation required
|No connection to Internet required
||Connection to Internet required
|Homes saved and read on your computer's disk
||Homes saved and read on sweethome3d.com
|Unlimited size for saved homes
||Size of saved homes up to 3 MB
|Sharing saved homes by copying or sending SH3D files
||Private access to saved homes from other computers connected to Internet
|Extensible and saved furniture catalog containing 95 objects
||Extensible furniture catalog containing 1025 objects
with imported 3D models saved only in homes
|Extensible and saved textures catalog containing 26 images
||Extensible textures catalog containing 236
images with imported ones saved only in homes
|Importation of furniture libraries, textures libraries and plug-ins
||No importation of furniture libraries, textures libraries and plug-ins
|Access to features from menu bar, contextual menus and shortcuts
||Access to features from contextual menus
|Full screen and multiple screens support
||Working space limited to the web page of the Online version
- When I click on the link Launch
Sweet Home 3D with Java Web Start, my browser doesn't know what
to do with SweetHome3D.jnlp downloaded file. What should I
Under Mac OS X, click on the icon of the
file while maintaining the ctrl key pressed, and choose Open in the contextual
menu that will appear (by default you should find it in the
of your home folder). Under Windows and Linux, this is probably because
Java isn't installed correctly or isn't installed at all on your system.
If you don't mind to download a bigger file (40 to 50 MB instead of
20 MB), the easiest way to fix this problem is to download Sweet Home
3D offline installer
bundled with Java and to follow installation
Otherwise, under Windows, you should install or reinstall Java available
at http://java.com, then click again on
the link Launch Sweet Home 3D with Java Web
Start. Under Linux, you must also indicate to your browser that
it should open the JNLP file with the command javaws that you'll
find in the bin subdirectory of the directory where Java is
installed (search something named jre...).
- When I click on the link Launch
Sweet Home 3D with Java Web Start, I got the error message Unsupported
JNLP version in launch file: 1.5+. Only version 1.0 is supported with
this version. What can I do?
This message means that your system tried to run Sweet Home 3D with
a version of Java that is too old (Sweet home 3D requires Java 1.5 at
minimum). Under Mac OS X, ensure
SweetHome3D.jnlp downloaded file is opened by
Java Cache Viewer (11.5.0) application. Under Windows, you should
install the latest version of Java available at http://java.com
then click again on the link Launch Sweet
Home 3D with Java Web Start. Under Linux, check that the command
javaws used by your browser to open the JNLP file, is placed
in a subdirectory of jre 1.5 or 1.6.
- When I run Sweet Home 3D, only a splash screen appears
during a few seconds. What happened?
This is a problem due to the configuration of your graphic card. Please
read the answer to the next question.
- I got the message
Sweet Home 3D will exit now because of a fatal error in 3D rendering
system. What can I do?
This is a problem due to the configuration of your graphic card.
- First, if you use Windows 7 or a previous version of Windows, open the Display Properties pane by right clicking
on desktop screen and choosing Properties item in menu. In
that pane, display the Settings tab, and click on the Advanced
button. Then in the Troubleshoot tab of the pane that opened,
check the Hardware acceleration cursor is at its maximum
on Full, confirm your choice and try to run Sweet Home 3D
- If the previous operation didn't resolve your problem, update
the OpenGL and DirectX drivers of your graphic card with the latest
available ones, and try to run Sweet Home 3D again.
- If this update still doesn't fix your problem, install Java and
click on this link
to run Sweet Home 3D with the DirectX version of the Java 3D library,
or if you prefer to run Sweet Home 3D from its installer, download
the file SweetHome3D.l4j.ini,
copy it in Sweet Home 3D installation directory (by default, it's
C:\Program Files\Sweet Home 3D or C:\Program Files (x86)\Sweet Home 3D) and relaunch Sweet Home
3D (DirectX version may work only under 32 bit version of Java).
- Finally, if this last solution doesn't work, you may still want
to use Sweet Home 3D without 3D features, by reading the answer
to the next question.
- Update the drivers of your graphic card with the latest available
ones, and try to run Sweet Home 3D again.
- If this solution doesn't work, you may still want to use
Sweet Home 3D without 3D features, by reading the answer to the
- How can I disable
3D features in Sweet Home 3D?
Since version 3.2, you may disable at Sweet Home 3D launch the features
that needs the 3D capabilities of your computer. Thus, you get Sweet
Home 2D application which runs without any 3D view, without a
3D view menu, without the capability to render photos, create
videos and import individual pieces of furniture; but you can still
draw and layout furniture in the 2D plan without problems, SH3D files
created with this version are compatible with Sweet Home 3D ones and
you can import furniture
To install and run Sweet Home 2D with Java Web Start, install Java and
click on this link (Sweet Home 3D and
Sweet Home 2D may be installed on the same computer if needed). You
may also run Sweet Home 2D by downloading the Jar
executable version of Sweet Home 3D and executing the
-Dcom.eteks.sweethome3d.no3D=true -jar path/to/SweetHome3D-4.6.jar
- Sweet Home 3D crashes when I want to edit preferences,
print, create a photo or create a video. What can I do?
This issue happens mostly on a few Linux computers when Sweet Home 3D
checks whether computing offscreen 3D images is supported by Java 3D
on your computer. This feature is required to compute the top view of
furniture in the plan, to print the 3D view and to manage the two lowest
photo and video quality levels. If Sweet Home 3D detects offscreen 3D
images aren't supported by your system, it automatically disables the
features based on it, but sometimes, the detection test itself makes
Sweet Home 3D crash! To launch a version of Sweet Home 3D which avoids this test and disables
the features depending on offscreen 3D images, add the Java option
java command in Linux SweetHome3D script, or click on
this Java Web Start link.
- How can I adjust the
memory used by Sweet Home 3D?
Sweet Home 3D can't use as much as memory as your computer can offer
by itself, but you can still change the maximum memory used by the program
if needed. This may be required for example if an error red cross appears
during the photo rendering of a home with many different and detailled
3D models. By default, the Java Web Start version uses 640 MB or 2GB at maximum according to your system,
and the installer version uses 1024 MB at maximum except under Windows
where it's still 640 MB (this maximum is displayed in the About dialog box). For the installer
version, you can change this number by udpating the value of the
-Xmx Java option,
- Under Windows, create a text file named
in the same folder as
SweetHome3D.exe, write the max
memory Java option in that file, for example
for 700 MB, then relaunch Sweet Home 3D. For a value higher than 700 MB, tested as the
highest value under which Sweet Home 3D can run safely on a 32-bit Windows computer
with little RAM, you should use a computer running 64-bit Windows and install
Sweet Home 3D 4.3 or higher.
- Under Mac OS X, right click on the application icon of
Sweet Home 3D, select Show Package Contents, open the Contents
folder, edit the Info.plist file by dragging its icon on
TextEdit application, update the
in the text
save the file, then relaunch Sweet Home 3D.
- Under Linux, edit SweetHome3D script, update the
value in the option
-Xmx1024m, save the script, then
relaunch Sweet Home 3D.
- Where can I find an icon for Sweet Home 3D under Linux?
The available icons are listed in the Launcher
icon thread of the forum.
- A new version of Sweet Home 3D is available in my
language, but all texts are still in English. How can I change texts
by the ones of my language?
Choose your language in the Language drop down list of the Preferences
pane. Under Mac OS X, this pane is displayed by choosing the Preferences
item in the Sweet Home 3D menu. Under other systems, it's displayed
by choosing the Preferences item in the File menu.
- Where can I find older versions of Sweet Home 3D?
The installers of older versions of Sweet Home 3D are available in the
section of the project on SourceForge.net.
If you want to run older versions of Sweet Home 3D with Java Web Start,
click on this link to run version 1.8
or this link to run version 0.10
(Sweet Home 3D version 0.10 is the study case of the French book
cahiers du programmeur Swing, written by Emmanuel Puybaret and published
by Editions Eyrolles in December 2006).
- How can I uninstall Sweet Home 3D?
To uninstall Sweet Home 3D, follow these steps depending on your system:
Sweet Home 3D saves also some data in files and folders separated from
the program ones, to avoid losing them when you update the software.
For your information, here are the places where you can find this data
when it exists:
- Under Windows Vista / 7 / 8, select Programs and Features
in Windows Control Panel, select Sweet Home 3D in the programs
list then click on the Uninstall button.
- Under Windows XP and previous versions of Windows, select Add
or Remove Programs in Windows Control Panel, select Sweet
Home 3D in the programs list then click on the Remove
- Under Mac OS X, move the icon of Sweet Home 3D application
in the trash. If you installed Sweet Home 3D with Java Web Start,
you may also empty the Java cache used by the program by running
javaws -viewer command in a Terminal window, then
removing Sweet Home 3D from Java Web Start applications list.
- Under Linux, if you installed Sweet
Home 3D with its installation program, move its application folder
in the trash. If you installed Sweet Home 3D with Java Web Start,
run javaws -viewer command in a Terminal window,
then remove Sweet Home 3D from Java Web Start applications list.
- Under Windows Vista / 7 / 8, imported furniture, textures, plug-ins
and user preferences are saved in the
Home 3D folder and its subfolders ; user preferences
handled with version 2.6 and previous versions are saved in the
folder of Windows registry.
- Under Windows XP and previous versions of Windows, imported furniture,
textures, plug-ins and user preferences are saved in the
and Settings\user\Application Data\eTeks\Sweet Home 3D
folder and its subfolders ; user preferences handled with version
2.6 and previous versions are saved in the
folder of Windows registry.
- Under Mac OS X, imported furniture, textures, plug-ins and and
user preferences are saved in the
Home 3D subfolder of your user folder ; some user preferences
might also be saved in the files
com.eteks.sweethome3d.SweetHome3D.plist found in
Library/Preferences subfolder of your user folder.
- Under Linux, imported furniture, textures, plug-ins and and user
preferences are saved in the
of your user folder ; user preferences handled with version
2.6 and previous versions are saved in the
subfolder of your user folder.
- I downloaded a 3DS model from the web, but Sweet Home 3D doesn't import it correctly and some parts of the model are
scattered. What can I do?
First, be sure to use at least the version 4.5 of Sweet Home 3D that improved 3DS format support. But it's
still possible that a few models are imported incorrectly with that version. Try to convert the 3DS files that don't work in OBJ files with FBX Converter, first converting 3DS files in FBX files, then
converting generated FBX files in OBJ files.
- How can I import 3D models in OBJ, DAE or 3DS format with the Mac App Store version of Sweet Home 3D?
security reasons required by Apple, it's possible to import in the Mac App Store version individual 3D models, only if they are stored in a ZIP
archive or if it's a file in KMZ format. If you create or download a 3D model in OBJ, DAE or 3DS format, you'll have to save first the file(s) of
this model in a ZIP archive that you'll be able to import in Sweet Home 3D afterwards. To achieve this, select the files of the 3D model in the
Finder (OBJ file + MTL file + possibly images, DAE file + images or 3DS file + images), and choose the File > Compress menu item to
create a ZIP archive containing selected files.
If you use Safari to download 3D models which are available as ZIP archives (like the
ones of the free models page), you should also know that the preferences of this browser propose an Open safe
files after downloading option that is selected by default; therefore, all downloaded ZIP archives will be automatically unzipped. If it's the
case, instead of creating again a ZIP achive from files unzipped by Safari, it's more handy to uncheck the Open safe files after downloading
option to download models directly in ZIP format.
- Does Sweet Home 3D support 3D models that use textures?
Yes from version 1.6. You may import the 3D model file directly or a
ZIP file that contains the 3D model file and its texture files. Note
that once imported, a 3D model file and the files depending on it (MTL
file, texture image files...) are copied in private directories of Sweet
Home 3D to let you move these files elsewhere or even delete them.
- How can I change the color of the different parts
of a model in OBJ format?
The OBJ file format is a text file format that is quite simple. From
its description at Java
3D web site, this
discussion and this
one available on Sweet Home 3D forums, you may change the color
of the different parts of an OBJ model by adding usemtl colorName
rows in the file, where colorName is one of the color
described in this
document. From version 1.6, you may also describe model color and
texures in a MTL
file referenced by the OBJ
file with a
mtllib mtlfile statement.
- How can I create a new category of furniture?
During the Import furniture wizard, you may choose the category
of an imported 3D model with an editable drop down list. Thus,
if you want to add an imported model to a new category, type a new category
name in the text field of this drop down list. If it doesn't exist,
it will be created.
- Which program can I use to create 3D model files?
You may use any program able to create or export 3D models in OBJ, DAE/Collada or
3DS format. Among the free programs, start with Art
of Illusion if you never used any 3D modeling program, because it's
quite easy to learn and use. Blender
is also a very popular program supported by a large community, but it's
much more difficult to learn. Both programs are able to export to OBJ
format and run under Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
- How can I transfer the furniture I imported on an
Whether they come from the default catalog or were imported, all the
pieces of furniture you use in a home are saved in the matching SH3D
file. Thus you may transfer and open a SH3D file on any other computer
even if it runs under an other operating system.
On the other side, the pieces imported in the catalog of Sweet Home
3D are saved in private folders separate from program one to avoid losing
them during an upgrade of the program. If you want to transfer these
pieces to the Sweet Home 3D catalog of an other computer, you may use
Once you installed this plug-in,
choose the new menu item Furniture > Export imported furniture
to SH3F... to create a SH3F file and import it on the other computer
with the Furniture > Import furniture library... menu item
(caution, this plug-in doesn't work with the Java
Web Start version of Sweet Home 3D).
If required, you may edit a SH3F file with the downloadable
Furniture Library Editor.
- I chose Furniture > Import furniture...
menu item to import a 3D model, but during the wizard, I got the message
Sweet Home 3D must exit now because of a fatal error in 3D rendering
system. What can I do?
This is a problem due to the configuration of your graphic card. Please
read the answer to the same question
in the Installation section. If it doesn't
solve your problem, you may also try to import
librairies of additional 3D models.
- How can I create a roof on top of a house?
Sweet Home 3D supports the creation of ceilings seen from below,
but doesn't manage the creation of roofs yet. Nevertheless, you can
use various tricks to cover a house: if the roof is flat, you can draw rooms in a level matching
that roof; if you want to add a sloping roof, you may assemble blue
red slate roof or polygonal
roof 3D models available at the 3D models
import page. You may also be interested by the Tutorial
for sloping ceilings, roofs, dormers and more written by Hans Dirkse.
- How can I create different stories or levels in a home?
From version 3.4, use the Plan > Add level menu item
to create new levels, then choose Plan > Modify level to adjust its elevation,
height and other attributes.
- How can I create round walls?
From version 3.0, you may create round walls either with Wall creation
tool, or afterwards with the wall modification pane. If you want to
draw a round wall, keep the ctrl key (alt key under Mac
OS X) pressed when you click a second time at the end point of a new
wall; an arc of a circle joining the two ends of the new wall will appear,
and you can modify the arc extent of the round wall by moving the mouse
pointer, until you click a third time. The angle of this arc extent
may be entered with the keyboard too, once you pressed the Enter
key, or ctrl + Enter (alt + Enter under
Mac OS X) keys if you were already using keyboard mode to enter the
length of the wall. To modify the arc extent of a wall afterwards, double-click
on the wall and modify the value of the Arc extent field in its
wall modification pane.
- How can I change the opening side of a door or a window?
When magnestism is active, the opening side of a door or a window towards
the interior or the exterior depends on the side of the wall where you
drag and drop it. The location of the rotation axis of a door or a window
towards the left or the right may be reversed by double clicking on
it in the plan or the furniture list, then selecting the Mirrored
shape option in the furniture modification pane.
- Is it possible to manually set the rotation center of the 3D view in Aerial view mode?
In Aerial view mode, the observer can turn around his home in the 3D view to view
it from various angles. By default, this rotation is centered on the middle of
the bounding box which contains all the walls, rooms and furniture added to home,
and this center is automatically updated at each modification. This behavior ensures
the user always sees his home entirely with no way to get lost in the 3D view.
If you want to move this center of rotation, enable the Aerial view centered on selection
option in the preferences pane and select the object(s) in the plan around which
the aerial view will turn, or use the Virtual visit mode which lets you choose
any point of view. If you want to see some rooms hidden by walls in Aerial view mode,
you may also set the walls transparency in the modification pane of the 3D view.
- Importing a background image seemed to run correctly
but no image appears in plan. What is going on?
Check the size you chose during the second step of the Import background
image wizard. The entered value must match the size of the line
drawn below in the real life, not its size at screen or on the paper
you scanned. If the current unit is centimeter, this value will be probably
much larger than 100.
- Sweet Home 3D refuses to open a SH3D file I created,
or opens it incorrectly. Is there a way to repair it?
When Sweet Home 3D saves a home, it attempts to create first a temporary
file that replaces the previously saved file only once the temporary
file is successfully created and if there's enough disk space. This ensures that there's very little
chance that your previous SH3D file gets corrupted even if the last
save operation failed. Nevertheless, some users still report they can't
open their SH3D file. If this is your case, try to open your SH3D file with Sweet Home 3D 4.4 and
above, to check if the program can repair it. If it still can't open your file, please try
to describe to the developer
of Sweet Home 3D the circumstances of the last save operation (was
is successful?), whether the SH3D file was transferred or not by email,
ftp or with an USB key, what happens when you try to open the file that
causes problems, and join a compressed version of your SH3D file if
Finally, try next time to back up regularly your SH3D files, like you
should do for any document you spend hours on.
- Can I import a SH3D file in the Online version?
From version 4.4, you may import a SH3D file in the Online version by clicking
on the 6th button shown on the tool bar. You may also export a home from
the Online version to a SH3D file to edit it with Sweet Home 3D installed version.
Importing and exporting services are available only to the users who are
registered and logged in.
- The 3D view of Sweet
Home 3D is always black or shows twice
the same image. What can I do?
Under Windows, installing Java and running Sweet
Home 3D with DirectX generally solves this problem. Read also the
answer to this question in the
- Sweet Home 3D refuses to print the 3D view. What can
This is a problem due to the configuration of your graphic card that
can't create offscreen 3D images. Please read the answer to this question
in the Installation section.
- How can I improve the lighting of the 3D view?
Depending on your graphic card, the 3D view may look too bright or too
dark. You may adjust Light brightness in the pane displayed by
choosing 3D view > Modify.... If you want a more
photorealistic rendering of the 3D view, choose 3D view >
Create photo... from the menu and select the best quality available
in the displayed pane, after checking you use at least the
3.0 of Sweet Home 3D.
- How can I speed up the rendering process in photo
and video creation panes?
In the photo creation pane, computing an image at the two best
quality levels may take a few minutes, and in the video creation pane,
computing the video may take many hours. To speed up the rendering process,
try the following tips:
Note that the graphic card isn't used at all to compute images at the
two best quality levels, so using a better one won't help.
- increase the max memory allocated
to Sweet Home 3D,
- create smaller images or videos, and/or compute them with a lower
- turn off useless lights,
- use less detailed 3D models,
- use texture images with a lower resolution,
- use a computer with a more powerful CPU (running at a higher frequency
and/or with more cores).
- Sweet Home 3D hangs when I try to save my home. How
can I fix this?
If you run Sweet Home 3D under Windows with Java 6 (check in the dialog
box displayed by Help > About Sweet Home 3D menu item), this
problem is probably due to the bug
#6372808 in Java. As this bug was fixed, you should just have to
ensure you use the lastest Java version if you use the Java Web Start
version of Sweet Home 3D, or use the latest version of Sweet Home 3D
if you installed it with its installer. Nevertheless, if you still experience
some problems, install and run Sweet Home 3D under Java 5, by following
the following steps:
This will run Sweet Home 3D installer with Java 1.5.0_22. Once Sweet Home
3D is installed and launched, check if it works better by choosing File
> Save... or File > Open... in Sweet Home 3D.
Where are missing features listed?
- download the latest Java 5 version available at http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index_jdk5.jsp
Environment (JRE) 5.0 Update 22 at this time),
- install it in the default location,
- open an Execute dialog box by choosing Execute...
menu item in Windows Start menu,
- copy the following command and paste it in the text field of the
Execute dialog box (including the quotes):
"C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.5.0_22\bin\javaws.exe" http://www.sweethome3d.com/SweetHome3D.jnlp
- click on Ok.
You'll find requested features at this page
and in some discussions of Sweet
Home 3D forums.
Sweet Home 3D roadmap is described in this
- How can I contribute to Sweet Home 3D?
You may contribute to Sweet Home 3D in many ways:
- How can
I contribute to the translation of Sweet Home 3D in an other language?
Localizing Sweet Home 3D in a language consists of the translation of:
This may be achieved by one or more persons and should take at least
four days of work.
Please, read the translation guide
and/or write to the developer
of Sweet Home 3D to receive more instructions about this process.
Thanks to Pencilart for her contribution
to the translation of this page.
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