Altium Designer Documentation

Comments

Modified by Tiffany Cullen on Feb 4, 2021

Parent page: System & Environment Panels

Summary

The Comments panel allows you to add comments to a defined area or point in the active document 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 for the 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. Placed comments are available in real-time to collaborating users – those that have shared access to the document – and are saved to the server independently of the project, without altering its constituent documents in any way.

Panel Access

The panel is accessed from a managed project by performing one of the following then clicking in the document to define the point or area for the comment:

  • Click Place » Comment from the main menus.
  • Click View » Panels » Comment from the main menus.
  • Right-click then select Place » Comment from the design space.
  • Click the Panels button on the bottom-right of the design space then select Comment.

In order to access the Comments panel, the active document must be a schematic or PCB document of an opened managed project. Only those projects currently shared with you will be available for selection.

Note also that the Place » Comment command will only present on the menu when a component is selected on the schematic or PCB document. When the comment is made, a rectangular bounding line is drawn around the component, encompassing its symbol (including pins) and designator.

Use these links to access the corresponding command documentation pages:
Schematic Comment commands
PCB Comment commands.
For more information on support for Managed Projects from the managed content server perspective, see Managed Projects.

Adding a Comment When Not Signed Into a Server

Before using the commenting feature, ensure that you are signed in to your managed content server (such as a Workspace), and have opened a Managed Project and one of its schematic or PCB documents. Use the File » Open Project command to choose a server-based project from those that have been shared with you. The Comments panel will provide textural hints for these prerequisites:

Display Settings

The panel's  button toggles the visibility of comment marker pins on the document. Comment entries still may be selected as usual in the Comments panel listing.

Use the options drop-down menu in the Comments panel () to configure comment visibility and notifications, and the associated  button to toggle between the filtered and unfiltered view:

  • All – all comments placed on the design will be listed in the panel.
  • My – show only those comments that mention my user name and/or are assigned to my user name.
  • From – show comments placed by the selected user only.
  • Unresolved – comments that have been resolved are not included in the listing.
  • Current Document – show only comments that have been placed on the currently active document.
  • Notifications – receive email alerts for all comment activity in this design (All), for only those comments where you are mentioned or assigned (My), or do not receive email alerts at all (None).

Working with Comments

Placement

Comments are placed in the editor space from a single  command button available in the Comments panel, and may be assigned to an object, a specific point, or an area on the active document. The command invokes the comment placement mode, where the cursor changes to a crosshair that detects and highlights objects for selection:

  • Click a highlighted object to attach (pin) a comment to that object.
  • Click in an un-highlighted area to attach a comment to that specific point on the document.
  • Click away from an object and drag the cursor to create a rectangular highlighted area, and then click again to confirm its final shape to attach a comment to the specified area.

The placement action then opens a comment entry dialog that offers a field for entering the comment text, and also additional options for adding a freehand drawing to the comment () and including a reference to a specific user or group (). Click  to confirm the comment creation, which will associate the comment with a numbered pin marker on the document and also add a comment summary entry to the Comments panel.

Comments dialog

Interaction with a placed comment is through the pop-up comment dialog, which shows all entries in the selected comment thread and includes options to preview, reply, edit, resolve, and delete an entry. The dialog is opened when initially placing a comment, or when a placed comment is selected in the Comments panel or in the document editor. Press Esc or click in the editor space to close the comment dialog.

You can sequentially step through all available comments using the previous/next buttons () in the dialog's header.

Preview

Select the Show original design screenshot option in the initial comment to see a graphical capture of the editor area when the comment was placed.

Reply

Enter text, and optionally a user mention (@), in the Reply field to add a new entry to the comment thread. Click  to confirm the entry.

Mentions and Assignments

Along with text in the comment entry dialog, a 'mention' reference can be added for any other user or role registered with the connected Workspace by entering the @ character or clicking the dialog's  button. Select a name/email from the dropdown list to add the user (team member) reference to the comment, and also as an Assign To entry. Uncheck the latter option if you do not wish the comment to be regarded as specifically assigned to that user or group. A Role group (say, 'Engineers'), and therefore its constituent users, may also be added as a mention and/or assignment.

Comment Mentions and Assignments are not available when Altium Designer is connected to an Altium Concord Pro on-site (self-managed) server.

Edit and Delete

An existing comment may be edited by the author of that comment using the Edit option available from the comment's  menu. Click the  button to confirm the comment edit.

Use the Delete option to remove the currently selected comment. Note that the entire thread will be removed if the initial comment (as opposed to a Reply) is deleted.

Resolve

Click the dialog's  button to toggle the comment state between Resolved and Unresolved (the default). A resolved comment (closed as complete) is inactive and non-editable, and both its entry in the Comments panel and its pin marker on the document are grayed out.

Positioning

A comment's location in the editor space is moved by dragging its associated 'pin' to a new position – during or after its placement. When selected, the comment pin includes a connecting line to its associated object or area.

A comment also may be positioned during its initial placement by clicking and dragging when in placement mode. 

Drawing

When placing or editing a comment, select the  option button to add freehand drawing with the resulting pen cursor. Click and drag to create lines, and then right-click to finish and associate the drawing with the currently selected comment.

To access the Freehand Drawing mode of the Properties panel, press the Tab key when freehand drawing mode is active (this will be indicated by seeing the  icon in the design space). These options allow you to undo and redo comments under the Commands drop-down and change the width size and color under the Properties drop-down.

PCB Comments

Comments also can be placed on a board layout in the PCB editor space using the same placement approach to that in the schematic editor. When a comment entry is selected in the Comments panel, the system will open (and load if necessary) the associated design document. 

Comments Display Preferences

The display and appearance of comments in the editor pace are controlled from the Document Comments region on the Data Management – Servers page of the Preferences dialog. Controls are provided independently for comments displayed on schematic and PCB. To turn off the display of comments in the document editor – relying on just the Comments panel – disable the respective Show Comment Threads option.

Other controls in the region relate to the look and feel of the comment, and its reference line, respectively.


Control the appearance of comments in the editor as part of your Altium Designer preferences.

 

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