Altium Designer Documentation

Design Panels Reference

Modified by Jason Howie on Jun 19, 2017

Workspace panels are an essential part of the Altium Designer environment. Editor-specific panels provide an alternate view into the data being edited, while system-wide panels, like the Projects panel, give access to design data across multiple editors.

When the application opens for the first time a number of panels will already be open. Some panels, including the Files and Projects panels, will appear grouped and docked to the left side of the application window. Others, including the Libraries panel, will be in pop-out mode, and appear as buttons on the right-hand border of the application window. Hover over, or click on a button to display these panels.

An example of panels in Altium Designer, which can be docked (left), placed in pop-out mode (right), or floating. Panel access buttons are available at the bottom-right of the
application window.

This page provides a handy summary of the panels available to you in Altium Designer, grouped by category. Use the links available to learn more about a specific panel. Panels themselves can be accessed through the View » Workspace Panels sub-menus. Alternatively, at the bottom-right of the Altium Designer window there are buttons that provide quick access to the available workspace panels, in context with the document editor you are currently using.

For an overview on working with panels, including general tips and tricks, see Working with Panels in Altium Designer.

CAMtastic Panel

Panel Function
CAMtastic This panel provides quick access to the list of layers that are available in the current CAM document, and also enables you to view design-related information arising from commands including object querying, netlist extraction, and Design Rule Checking (DRC).

Design Compiler Panels

Panel Function
Compiled Object Debugger This panel enables you to view detailed information about an object or document selected in the Navigator panel, or to interrogate an offending object selected in the Messages panel.
Differences This panel is used to display the logical or physical differences found by the software's built-in Differences Comparator when comparing design documents. For example, when comparing the source document hierarchy (schematics) for a project against the PCB design document. The panel allows you to interactively explore the differences before the decision to create an Engineering Change Order (ECO), that will be used to synchronize the project documents.
Navigator This panel allows you to browse either the compiled active source document, or all compiled source documents in the active project. The panel utilizes the connective model of the design, created upon compilation, as its foundation for navigation.

Draftsman Panel

Panel Function
Properties This panel provides editing access to the detailed properties of objects that have been placed in the active Draftsman document.

Editor Panels

Panel Function
Signal Integrity This panel is the control center for performing signal integrity analysis on a design. It enables you to screen all nets in a design, against various defined signal integrity rules, in order to quickly identify problematic nets. These nets can then be analyzed in greater detail by running fast reflection and crosstalk analyses. The ability to add virtual terminations allows you to ascertain what additional circuitry need be added to the design to resolve these problem areas, and hence obtain the most efficient signal integrity performance.
Sim Data This panel enables you to add waveforms from the available source data to the active wave plot. It also allows you to obtain measurement information based on the selected waveform and/or use of measurement cursors.

Help Panels

Panel Function
Shortcuts This panel presents a list of available shortcuts for the currently active Editor. By keeping the panel visible, you can quickly peruse the shortcuts available to you, depending on what you are working on. For example, having a schematic document open will show the various Schematic Editor shortcuts. And when you are running an interactive command, those interactive shortcuts will also be listed in the panel.

PCB Panels

Panel Function
3D Visualization This panel displays up to three simultaneous 3D views, including cross-sections and a floating Board Insight. Using this panel, you can examine all aspects of your design inside and out in 3D, while still working on it in either 2D or 3D layout modes in the main workspace. The panel displays are shown based on the position of the cursor in the main window.
Board Insight This panel provides detailed information about any objects currently under the cursor. Briefly pause the cursor over PCB objects in the main workspace to update the contents.
Collaborate, Compare and Merge This panel is command-central for performing a copper comparison between two versions of the same PCB design.
Mechanical CAD Collaboration

This panel allows designers to incrementally exchange data between Altium Designer and mechanical CAD applications (such as SOLIDWORKS), using the ProStep EDMD exchange format. Based on XML protocol, this collaborative standard is often simply referred to by the name of the exchange file format - IDX (Incremental Design EXchange format).

Support for this standard of collaboration between ECAD and MCAD domains is available in Altium Designer, courtesy of the Mechanical CAD Collaboration extension. The panel is therefore also, only available, once this extension has been installed.
PCB This panel allows you to browse the current PCB design using various filter modes to determine which object types or design elements are listed, highlighted, or selected. It also has editing modes for certain object types, or design elements, that provide you with specific controls on the panel for editing procedures.
PCB 3D Movie Editor This panel is used to create a 3D movie of a PCB. This is done by defining a series of keyframes, which Altium Designer then interpolates between, to create a smooth and engaging movie of your board. A 3D movie can be published to a variety of video file formats, such as MP4, via an Output Job file.
PCB ActiveRoute This panel is used to configure which layers are available for use in the current ActiveRoute session. It is also used to access the Route Guide feature - to define a Guide (route path) for the currently selected connections.
PCB Filter This panel allows you to apply a filtered view to the objects in the PCB workspace, through the creation of logical queries. Objects that pass the filter can be selected and edited, with all other objects being masked (not editable).
PCB Inspector This panel displays the properties of all objects currently selected in the PCB workspace. Used in conjunction with appropriate filtering, the panel can be used to make changes to multiple objects in a single edit action. Its natural partner is the PCB Filter panel.
PCB List This panel allows you to display design objects from the active document in tabular format, enabling you to quickly inspect and modify object attributes. When used in conjunction with the PCB Filter panel, it enables you to display just those objects falling under the scope of the active filter - allowing you to target and edit multiple design objects.
PCB Pad Via Templates This panel is a specialized panel that lists the pad/via templates that are assigned to the current PCB document (Local), or those available from Pad Via Libraries that have been installed or included within the current design project (Available libraries).
PCB Rules And Violations Design Rule Checking (DRC) is a powerful automated feature that checks both the logical and physical integrity of your design. This panel allows easy browsing of the enabled design rules and violations in the current board layout workspace. The panel provides a central point for browsing and editing rules, instigating design rules checks, and viewing individual violations as graphic overlays in the editor workspace.
PCB Library This panel enables you to browse component footprints stored in the active PCB library document and edit their properties. When a PCB Library document is active, the panel populates with information about the footprint currently selected in that library. The panel also supports passing changes made to footprints to open PCB design document(s).
PCBLIB Filter This panel allows you to construct filters through the creation of logical queries. A defined filter can then be applied to the active PCB component footprint, or all component footprints in the active PCB library, allowing you to select and edit multiple objects.
PCBLIB Inspector This panel enables you to interrogate and edit the properties of one or more design objects in the active PCB component footprint (or all component footprints in the active PCB library). Used in conjunction with appropriate filtering, the panel can be used to make changes to multiple objects of the same kind, from one convenient location.
PCBLIB List This panel allows you to display design objects associated with one or more PCB component footprints in tabular format, enabling you to quickly inspect and/or modify object attributes. When used in conjunction with the PCBLIB Filter panel, it enables you to display just those objects falling under the scope of the active filter - allowing you to target and edit multiple design objects.

Sch Panels

Panel Function
SCH Filter This panel allows you to construct filters through the creation of logical queries. A defined filter can then be applied to the active schematic document, all open schematic documents, or all open documents in the same project, allowing you to select and edit multiple objects.
SCH Inspector This panel enables you to interrogate and edit the properties of one or more design objects in the active schematic document, all open schematic documents, or all open documents in the same project. Used in conjunction with appropriate filtering, the panel can be used to make changes to multiple objects of the same kind.
SCH List This panel allows you to display design objects from one or more documents in tabular format, enabling you to quickly inspect and/or modify object attributes. When used in conjunction with the SCH Filter panel, it enables you to display just those objects falling under the scope of the active filter - allowing you to target and edit multiple design objects.
Sheet This panel provides a mini-viewer for the active document, allowing you to pan and zoom the actual design document in the main workspace, using the available controls in the panel.
SCH Library This panel enables you to browse components stored in the active schematic library document and edit their properties. When a Schematic Library document is active, the panel populates with information about the component currently selected in that library. The panel also supports passing changes made to components to open schematic document(s). The panel also offers the ability to define model linking for a component.
SCHLIB Filter This panel allows you to construct filters through the creation of logical queries. A defined filter can then be applied to the active schematic library component, or all components in the active schematic library, allowing you to select and edit multiple objects. The visual display of objects can be specified based on those that match the search criteria of the filter, and those that do not.
SCHLIB Inspector This panel enables you to interrogate and edit the properties of one or more design objects in the active schematic component (or all components in the active schematic library). Used in conjunction with appropriate filtering, the panel can be used to make changes to multiple objects of the same kind.
SCHLIB List This panel allows you to display design objects associated with one or more schematic components in tabular format, enabling you to quickly inspect and/or modify object attributes. When used in conjunction with the SCHLIB Filter panel, it enables you to display just those objects falling under the scope of the active filter - allowing you to target and edit multiple design objects.

Script Panels

Panel Function
Breakpoints This panel provides information on all breakpoints that are currently defined in all open script files (irrespective of the parent script project (*.PrjScr) they belong to), as well as providing commands for adding, enabling, disabling, and deleting selected breakpoints as required.
Call Stack This panel enables you to view the chain of procedure/function calls that has led to the current point of execution in the script being debugged.
Code Explorer This panel provides a visual summary of all identifiers (variables, functions and procedures) that are used in the active script document (*.pas, *.vbs, *.js, *.tcl, *.bas).
Object Inspector This panel enables you to interrogate and edit the properties and events of components in the active script form.
Tool Palette This panel provides a range of visual and non-visual components with which to build script forms when writing scripts using DelphiScript (*.pas), VBScript (*.vbs) or JavaScript (*.js).
Watch List This panel enables you to create and display a list of watch expressions, allowing you to keep track of variable/expression values as you single-step debug the current script document.

System Panels

Panel Function
Clipboard This panel stores and displays copied objects that can be added (pasted) to Altium Designer documents at any stage, allowing for multiple copy/paste operations.
Comments

This panel allows users to add comments to a defined area or point in the active document (schematic or PCB) of a managed project. The panel allows all users who are working on the document to add comments, and view all comments, without actually modifying the document itself. This feature allows facilitation of strong collaboration processes and is invaluable when issues within the document need to be pointed out without receiving conflicts. The Comments panel essentially can be used to create a 'to do' list and, as the design matures, the comments can be resolved and closed.

The panel can only be accessed when the active document is a schematic or PCB document, and is part of an opened, managed project.
Favorites This panel stores and provides easy access to custom views, consisting of position and zoom, of your project documents. Once a view is saved as a favorite, you can call it up at any time from this panel and the view will be loaded into the main design workspace.
Files This panel provides a central area from where you can open existing projects and documents, or create new ones.
Libraries This panel enables you to browse and place components from the libraries currently available in Altium Designer. All library types are supported, including browsing and placing Altium Vault components.
Messages Whether compiling a project, running a design rule check for the active PCB document, performing a mixed signal simulation, or using any of the other message-enabled features of the software, this panel provides an intelligent way of listing any warnings and/or errors that may be present, as well as any status information.
Projects This panel displays all projects that are currently open, along with their constituent documents and the VCS Revision status of each document. Any open documents that have not been created as part of a project or added to an existing open project will also be listed.
Snippets

This panel provides a simple and easy way to save and reuse sections of design circuitry or code. Saved Snippets can be added into any design without having to start from scratch each time. The Snippets system lets you save any selection of: Circuitry on a single schematic sheet; Circuitry in a PCB design, including the components and the routing; Code from within one of Altium Designer's code-aware editors.

The Snippets feature, accessed though the Snippets panel, is great for those often-used fragments and smaller sections of circuitry that you want to reuse. For larger, more standalone circuits that you wish to reuse in multiple designs - for example, power regulation circuits, USB interface circuitry, and so on - take a look at Altium Designer's support for Device Sheets (or Managed Sheets, if using an Altium Vault).
Storage Manager This panel allows you to navigate the active project in terms of its file storage in Windows, and perform document management tasks, such as file renaming. The panel also provides access to the local history feature for documents, as well as version control.
Supplier Search This panel provides the interface to live supplier data. It is a direct portal to parts databases provided through supplier web services.
To-Do This panel lists all To-Do items that are currently defined for the active project. A To-Do item is used as a reminder for a task that needs to be carried out in relation to a document at a later stage.
Vaults This panel is the primary interface between Altium Designer and a connected Altium Vault. An Altium Vault stores your valuable company design data, including components, managed sheets and templates, and completed designs. From the Vaults panel you create and manage the organizational structure used in the vault, and also create, through direct editing, any number of Items, many of which are representative of design objects. The panel really is command central, with many other features and areas of functionality available, including control of lifecycles, setting up supply chain information for components, and acquiring content from another source vault.

 

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