Altium Designer Documentation

Union Enhancements

Modified by Jason Howie on Apr 11, 2017
All Contents

What is a Union?

There are two classes of objects in the PCB editor, primitive objects and group-type objects. Primitive objects include: tracks, arcs, fills, regions, strings, 3D body objects, pads and vias. Group objects are made up from primitive objects, and include: components, polygon pours and coordinates, amongst others.

There is also another type of group object, referred to as a Union. A union is also made up of primitive objects, the difference is that a union is created as an outcome of a design action being performed in the PCB editor. For example, any set of objects can be selected and a union created from them using the Tools » Convert » Create Union from Selected Objects command, (also available from the right-click Union sub-menu). Or if you place via stitching on the board, the software is able to recognize the stitching vias as a single object because it has automatically created a union for them.

To help manage unions, the PCB panel now includes a Unions mode, as shown below.


Set the PCB panel mode to Unions, then use it to locate, examine and rename a Union.

Unions Mode in the PCB Panel

When the Unions mode of the PCB panel is selected, the panel lists all unions detected in the PCB workspace. The following types of Unions will be listed when present:

Union Type Behaviors
Drill Table Click and drag to move, click to select and display resize handles, double-click to open the Drill Table dialog, right-click on the union name in the panel to rename it.
Length Tuning Accordion Click to select, click and drag on edge/vertex to reshape, double-click to open the Interactive Length Tuning dialog, right-click on the union name in the panel to rename it.
Layer Stack Table Click and drag to move, click to select and display resize handles, double-click to open the Layer Stack Table dialog, right-click on the union name in the panel to rename it.
Smart Paste (Pasted OLE Object) Click and drag to move, click to select and display resize handles, double-click to open the OLE Object dialog, right-click on the union name in the panel to rename it.
User-defined Union Right-click on any object in the union then choose Unions » Select all in Union. Then obeys standard selected object behavior for copying, deleting, moving, rotating etc. Note that standard click will select the object under the cursor, not the union. Right-click on the union name in the panel to rename it.
Via Shielding Click to select, double click to open the Add Shielding to Net dialog, right-click on the union name in the panel to rename it.
Via Stitching Click to select, click and drag on edge/vertex to reshape, click and drag to move, double click to open the Add Stitching to Net dialog, right-click on the union name in the panel to rename it.

Query Language Keywords

The following two Query Language keywords are available for working with Unions:

  • InUnion - each union is assigned a numeric Index, use this to identify the target union. A list of indices will appear as you type in a number.
  • InNamedUnion - each union has a system-assigned name, such as Union 1, use this or the user-defined name to identify the target union. For example, InNamedUnion('Logo-Altium'), as shown in the image below.


Targeting a union by its user-defined name.

 

If you'd like to comment on the content on this page, use the Ctrl+Enter keyboard shortcut to send us your feedback. To include a section of the page in your comment (a typo, missing/wrong info, or incorrect imagery), highlight the text (max. 200 chars) and/or image first. Please restrict your feedback to documentation issues - for technical assistance refer to the Altium Forums.

Contact Us

Contact our corporate or local offices directly.

You are reporting an issue with the following selected text and/or image within the active document:
Request Free Trial

Complete this form to request a free 15 day trial of Altium Designer: