Dwarf Fortress – Blueprints Guide

Quick guide to what blueprints do in advanced mining options.

How Blueprints Work

Alright Blueprints have been sorta weird to start with at least in my experience but I figured them out.

While in Mining Mode you can activate [ ] which is an Arrow pointing to the right just above the Burrows Menu.

Once this is open on the far bottom right of the screen there are three Icons depicted for blueprints and are as follows from left to right

  1. Blueprint Mode: This allows normal mining selection to not have the dwarves dig but allows you to plan out structures.
  2. Convert Blueprint to Regular: When this is selected any you can select tiles in a similar pattern to mining however it converts any Blueprinted square into a regular mining designation thus allowing large blueprints to be made a little bit at a time while still holding the integrity for long term planning.
  3. Convert Regular to Blueprint: This command does the inverse of the one above and converts regular mining designations into blueprints!

Video Guide

How to Use Blueprints

Think of a macro like a game blueprint. If you wanna dig out a complicated room and do it over and over, macros are your best friend. You find all this stuff in the game, just dive into settings, hit keybindings, and look up macros.

Here’s how you get a macro going:

  • First off, turn on the keyboard cursor thing in the game settings.
  • Jump into mining mode. Hit Ctrl+R, and you’re recording.
  • Now, using the keyboard, mark out the area you wanna mine.
  • Hit Ctrl+R again to stop recording.
  • Save it with Ctrl+S and name it something you’ll remember.

How to use a macro:

  • Make sure the keyboard cursor is on.
  • Head back into mining mode.
  • Load your macro with Ctrl+L
  • Kick it off with Ctrl+P, and it’ll start from where you first set it up.
  • It’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it, and it saves a ton of time.
Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 7719 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.


  1. My working style at present is using gaps to prevent planned areas from being dug, and using the digging priorities to schedule what gets dug first/last.

  2. I don’t find blueprints at all useful as implemented. If they could be copied/pasted and loaded/saved… then they would get extensive use by me.

    Macros can fill this cap, and work, but creating a macro is too prone to uncorrectable mistakes without restarting the save process. Saving keystrokes isn’t as useful. Polishing a layout, THEY selecting it and copying and saving or pasting it is far more useful.

    Hope to see the blueprint system improved in a future version as DF is my desert island game.

  3. Do you know of a way to save these blueprints like in the OG dorf fort? So that I can just save room/workshop plans

    • I’m not aware of one at the moment and sifting through searches I can’t find a way with the base version available on steam.

    • You should still be able to save/load macros between forts with the usual hotkeys (listed in settings under keybindings) which will let you save mining / room furnishing designations.
      You may need to enable keyboard cursor in the settings to fully automate the designation macro, though.

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