Migrate from PADS® to Altium Designer®

Transfer All Your Designs With Complete Confidence

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Effortlessly Convert Your Siemens PADS Projects

Use the industry’s best migration tool to import your designs

Access a built-in importer for PADS projects

The Import Wizard in Altium Designer converts your designs to Altium’s file format in minutes.

Keep existing parts libraries

Convert your libraries with the Import Wizard when you migrate your design databases. You can immediately use your existing parts in new projects. 

Minimal cleanup required

The Import Wizard was built to handle PADS schematic, board, and library files with minimal cleanup after conversion.

Everything you need in a single platform

The intuitive interface in Altium Designer has all the advanced tools you need without add-ons or additional licensing.

Talk to a Migration Specialist
1-800-544-4186
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See How Simple It Is to Migrate to Altium Designer

The industry’s fastest conversion and cleanup process

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Switching from Siemens PADS to
Altium Designer in 3 Simple Steps:

STEP 1
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Prepare Your
PADS Files


Ensure data is saved in PADS format (.SCH, .PCB, and *.D for libraries) or ASCII format (.ASC)

STEP 2
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Convert Designs

Use the Import Wizard in Altium Designer to convert to Altium’s file format

STEP 3
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Start Working in Altium Designer


You can start updating your converted files and reuse your PADS libraries in new Altium Designer projects

Thousands of Customers Are Happy
They Switched From Siemens PADS

Explore Information to Help You Successfully
Complete the Migration Process

Step-By-Step Guide to Migrate from PADS

The Import Wizard tool in Altium Designer makes the PADS migration process simple and straightforward.

Access Migration Guide >

View Technical Documentation >

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Training Programs for Users of All Levels

Altium offers on-demand and instructor-led training programs so that you’re able to quickly and efficiently master PCB design with Altium Designer.

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We’re Here To Help With Your Migration Process

You are not alone, Altium offers multiple support services to ensure your success

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Published documentation pages across the Altium family of products and services

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29,000

Posts in the last 12 months in the AltiumLive community

All subscription levels include easy access to real-time support, the AltiumLive Community, comprehensive product documentation, training videos, and a knowledge base of targeted solutions for common user experiences.

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Chat Support & Support Tickets

Available to all subscribers 24/5 in all time zones

Engage with support team members via a live chat session. Through chat support, you can get answers to many common issues, including installation, licensing, error messages, or unexpected software behavior. Need more support? You can escalate your chat to a ticket.

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Documentation Center and Knowledge Base

Available 24/7 to anyone

Altium's online technical documentation is an expansive set of resources that helps you find the information you need. Whether you’re looking for a high-level overview or need precise information regarding the functionality of a specific UI element, the documentation center and knowledge base has you covered.

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Altium Academy

24/7 access to helpful videos

Altium Academy is an online learning platform for PCB designers and engineers of every skill level. Learn directly from professionals and industry experts who provide instruction on many topics, including basic PCB design principles, advanced engineering topics, and everything in between.

Migrate to Altium Designer

Discover Why So Many Engineers Choose Altium Designer Over PADS

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Migrate to Altium Designer
  • Easily convert and update your old design files
  • Keep your PADS libraries and access new components
  • Get every advanced design feature in a single program
OR
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Start a Free Trial
  • All design features are available in the trial version
  • Includes access to an Altium 365® Product Design platform
  • Test the migration process before you buy

Frequently Asked Questions

Which PADS files are needed for migration?

Users only need their .PCB and .SCH files to migrate from PADS to Altium Designer. Data can be imported from ASCII format (.ASC). To convert models and components, .D files are also needed.

How much rework is needed after importing?

The amount of rework varies with each project, but the Import Wizard in Altium Designer was engineered to minimize any required cleanup. After running the Import Wizard, make sure to view the migration log and review the converted design for any required changes.

Can we go back and forth between using Altium Designer and PADS?

After converting your files to the Altium Designer file format, your original files will still be available and can be accessed in PADS.

Can we import existing parts libraries?

Yes, all PADS parts and component libraries can be converted into Altium’s library format.

How long does it take to convert a project to Altium Designer?

It takes just a few minutes for the Import Wizard to complete the conversion process. As with any importer, it is advisable to review the converted files to ensure no cleanup is needed. Once a design is converted, it can be immediately used and updated in Altium Designer.

What happens to PADS-specific features?

Some features in PADS files may not translate as expected. Therefore, it is essential to review the converted schematics and PCB layout before finalizing your converted files. Please refer to our migration guide to see what features should be reviewed and if any cleanup is required. The overall cleanup process is short and can usually be completed in a few minutes for smaller projects.

PADS® is a registered trademark of Siemens, Inc., and/or its
subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.