The best-laid plans: floor layouts are a
breeze with MagicPlan
Edit your rooms
Tap any of the rooms twice to open the
editing view and add extras like furniture, windows and so on.
best-laid plans: floor layouts are a breeze with MagicPlan
Tap the left icon to rotate an entire
floor. Tap the icon next to it to move or rotate a single room.
With a room selected, tap the waste bin
icon to remove it from the plan.
Get a room!
Tap here to add a new room, either by using
the camera or starting with one of the room templates.
Time required: 15 mins
What you need:
iOS 5.0 or later
Traditionally, programs that are supposed
to let you create floor plans quickly and easily are touted at consumers, but
the insist on using the technical language of those who are familiar with
computer-aided design. Not so MagicPlan, a clever free app that makes use of
your iPhone or iPad’s camera to create a digital picture of a room (or an
entire floor or a whole house) by capturing the corners and other important
elements such as doors, then putting them all together to form an approximate
plan. After that, you can measure the real room with a tape measure (a one-time
ask) and produce an accurate calibration that will result in a proper floor
There’s bags of features here (including
the ability to download plans as PDFs or AutoCAD-friendly DXF files) but in this
tutorial we’ll explain how to capture a simple room with a door, produce a
plan, calibrate it accurately and then add a second room.
Step-by-step guide: I love it when a plan comes together
Step 1 – Main menu
1 – Main menu
Download and install the free MagicPlan app
from the iTunes Store (itun.es/isZ4Gd). The first time it loads, it’ll play a
short overview tutorial (these videos play intermittently throughout the
process, usually when you select a new feature to try). Then from the main menu
tap the New Plan icon.
Step 2 – Your first corner
2 – Your first corner
Select Residential or Commercial and
whether to let the app use your location. Tap New Floor, choose a floor and
pick a name. Stand where you can see all the room’s corners, turn the iPhone on
its side, position the green pointer on the first corner and tap the icon on
Step 3 – Hidden corners
3 – Hidden corners
Stand in the same spot and rotate to the
next corner. Can’t see the actual corner? Position the pointer where you think
it is and then move the camera around slightly until all the overlaid graphics
turn green – to indicate that the app has worked out the angles for you – and
then tap again.
Step 4 – Doing doors
4 – Doing doors
Again, stand in the same spot and rotate
your way round the room. When you come to a door, position the pointer in the
same way, but this time tap the Doro icon, then move across the bottom of the
door and tap it again. To complete the room return to the first corner, tap it
again and hit Done.
Step 5 – Calibrate your measurements
5 – Calibrate your measurements
Next, grab a tape measure and measure the
dimensions of the room you’ve just planned, then return to the home screen and
tap Calibration. Select your plan, tap a wall to highlight it and use the
roller to adjust the dimensions. Hit Set and repeat for the remaining walls.
Step 6 – Add more rooms
6 – Add more rooms
Finished? Tap Done and then tap Save to
confirm the calibration, which MagicPlan will use as the basis for all future
plans. Now, you can add new rooms on the same floor from the Assembly screen
either by capturing them as before or by using one of the presets shown here.