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Mobile App FAQs

Can I use my property plan or survey as a background?

Yes! Save your plan or survey in the photo gallery on your phone or tablet. (Hint: you can just snap a photo of your survey if you have a paper version.) In the Home Outside app, tap Settings, and then tap Photo. Select your image, and you’re done! Note that you will need to enable access in your device’s Privacy Settings first.

I located my property using the Map Tool. How do I import the satellite image of my property into Home Outside?

  • After tapping Map Tool in Settings, enter the full street address in the search bar.
  • Drag the pins to mark the corners of your property (use the button at the bottom to add as many pins as you need).
  • Tap “Apply” (the checkmark icon) to add the image to your design.
  • The map image will be imported into your design in its own layer. Rotate and resize the map image to fit your design area, then lock the Map layer in Layers so it is not inadvertently edited while you design over it.

I want to upload a photo as a background, but the app tells me it doesn’t have access to my photos or videos.

Go into your device’s Settings > Privacy > Photos, and toggle the Home Outside button to ON.

Can I resize an imported image?

Yes, you can resize and rotate the imported image just as you would any other selected item. 

I selected a design from my saved Designs and I want to add to it, but I can’t see the edit tools and tapping doesn’t select anything.

You may still be in Preview mode. Tap the pencil icon in the top right corner to edit your design. Changes will be saved automatically to your saved Designs.

The top and bottom toolbars just disappeared!

If you’re in Preview mode, tap the screen, and they’ll come right back. If you’re in Design mode, tap the center of the top navigation bar (where your design’s name is) to make the toolbars disappear and reappear. You may want to do this to see your complete design without toolbars in the way.

I’m having a hard time selecting an element without accidentally moving other elements.

Use the Lock Layers feature to avoid moving elements inadvertently. Tap the Layers icon at top right, and tap the Lock icon to lock a layer. Then continue designing in a new layer. If you need to make changes to a locked layer, just go back to Layers and tap the Lock icon again to unlock it.

I touch an element, but it does not get selected.

Try pinching the screen outward with two fingers. This will zoom in on the area you want to work with, making the elements bigger. When an element is bigger, it responds to touches more easily.

When I tap an element, why can’t I see the selection ring around it?

If you’re zoomed in too far, the ring might be too large for your screen. Zoom out and you’ll see it.

I added some elements to my design, but I realize I want to move and rotate them together. Can I do that?

Yes! You can group adjacent elements together (this works best if they are all in the same layer) and then move, resize, and rotate them as one unit. Tap one of the elements, and then the Group [+] icon in the bottom toolbar. A white rectangular outline will indicate that the elements have been grouped together. Tap Ungroup [-] to remove an element from a group (indicated by a red outline).

How can I apply a grid background?

To turn on gridlines, tap the Settings symbol. Scroll down to Grid and tap the toggle to make the grid visible. Use the slider to adjust the size of the grid. Exit the Settings menu to see the grid in design mode.

How can I make a Layer invisible?

Tap the Layers icon, then tap the eye symbol to the left of the Layer you wish to make invisible. Tap it once more to make the Layer visible again.

Can I re-order my Layers list?

The symbol at the far right of each Layer serves as a “handle” for dragging it to a different place in the list. Place your finger on this symbol and drag the Layer up or down.

I made a Notes layer for my design and I’d like to print out the notes as a list. Can I do this?

Yes. This is a great way to keep track of plant variety names, shopping lists, and tasks. If you email the design to yourself (using the Share feature), the notes will appear in the body of the email, and you can copy, save, or print them.

How do I share a design on email or social media?

Exit design mode and return to either Preview mode or your saved Designs. In Designs, tap the thumbnail of the design you want to share, which will bring you to Preview mode. In Preview, look for the Share button in the bottom toolbar. You must have an email account associated with your device in order to share a design via email. 

How can I print my design?

Save your design as a photo by tapping Share (from Preview mode), then Save as Photo. You can then print from your device’s photo gallery.

Can I turn my screen to change my design from Portrait to Landscape orientation?

No. At this time, the mobile app works in Portrait orientation. Our desktop app for Mac allows users to create and edit designs in Landscape or Portrait orientation. 

Desktop App FAQs

Please note: We have discontinued the desktop version of the Home Outside app. If you are still using the app and need assistance, please see the FAQs below or contact our support team at For a fully supported and updated version, please download the mobile app. Thank you!

How do I send my design file from the Home Outside desktop app to the mobile app?

Designs created with the desktop app are compatible with the mobile app and vice versa. Select a design in your Gallery and click the Save button to save a design file (.pdesign) to your personal computer. To transfer this saved design to your mobile device, use Apple’s Air Drop; an online file sharing service (like Dropbox); or send the design file to yourself as an email attachment. If you don’t already have it, install the Home Outside mobile app on your device. Using your mobile device, tap the Home Outside design file icon and opt to open it with the Home Outside mobile app.

How do open a design I created with the mobile app?

Create a design using the mobile app, then use the Share button to email it to yourself to transfer it to your computer. Once the design file is in your personal files, use the Open From File button in the Designs section to select the mobile design from your Finder files. Rotate the screen view with the rotate view button in the upper-right toolbar to fit the desktop app and refine your design.

Can I import my property plan or survey?

Yes! If your property plan is in JPG or PNG format already, you can import the image as a layer in your design. If you have a property plan or survey as a PDF file or in another format, first save your PDF as a JPG or PNG to your computer files. Use the Import Image icon in the Home Outside app’s left margin tools to select the JPG or PNG, it will import as an adjustable image.

*Tip: If your imported image is a large file, the file may appear larger than the design canvas when imported. Use the blue rotation ring to resize and rotate the imported image to fit within the design canvas.

Can I re-order my Layers list?

The symbol at the far right of each Layer serves as a “handle” for dragging it to a different place in the list. Click on this symbol and drag the Layer up or down. The layers in the top of the list are seen above the layers below it. Adjust the layer transparency by clicking the checkerboard icon to the left of the layer’s name.

My design is getting full and I’m having a hard time selecting an element without accidentally selecting other elements.

Use the Lock Layers feature to avoid affecting certain elements inadvertently. Click the layer you’d like to lock then click the lock button at the bottom of the layers panel to lock in place all of the elements in that layer. A small white lock icon will appear on the preview thumbnail of your locked layer. To unlock, choose that layer again and press the lock/unlock button at the bottom of the Layers panel to unlock the elements on that layer.

What’s the difference between saving a design file, an image (PNG), and a PDF of my design?

When you save a design file, this saves your design in its current status outside the app so it can be transferred to mobile and edited, sent to a friend for editing, or saved in your personal files in case you accidentally delete it from the Gallery or uninstall the program. A design file can only be viewed if opened by the Home Outside app, whereas an image of your design can be seen and transferred like any photo. A PNG is an image of your design area without the titleblock, scale bar, or north arrow. Use the PDF tools to create a formatted 11×17” plan complete with project information, scale bar, north arrow, and your design notes.

How do I update my Home Outside desktop program to the most recent version?

If you have selected the auto-update setting in your Mac’s System Preferences > App Store, the Home Outside desktop app will automatically update when new versions are available. If not, manually approve program updates by opening your Systems Preferences panel, select App Store panel, click Show Updates, and click Update for the Home Outside desktop app.

Will my design files be deleted if I update Home Outside desktop to a newer version?

No! Designs created in Home Outside desktop will stay in your Gallery unless you use the app’s Delete button to delete them. If you perform a routine update of Home Outside desktop, your gallery designs will not be deleted. If you remove Home Outside Desktop from Mac’s applications dock, your gallery designs will not be deleted. Designs in your gallery would delete only if you delete the Home Outside desktop program from your applications folder.

Home Outside desktop appears to be running slowly – what should I do?

Try closing any other open applications, particularly other design programs, and/or try quitting and then re-opening Home Outside.

Most other issues can be resolved by closing your design to return to the Gallery, then reopen the design. If the issue still doesn’t resolve, try quitting the app (click the red circle in the upper right of your program screen), wait a minute, then re-open the program. Your designs will be saved in the Home Outside app’s Gallery when the app is closed and re-opened. If that still doesn’t work, use the Gallery Save Design button to save your design files to your computer’s files. Then, delete the app from your Applications folder to uninstall. Re-install the app from your Purchased apps in your Mac App Store.

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