Altium Designer Documentation

Off Sheet Connector

Modified by Phil Loughhead on Jun 19, 2017

The Off Sheet Connector dialog.

Summary

This dialog allows the designer to specify the properties of an Off Sheet Connector object. An off sheet connector is an electrical design primitive. Off sheet connectors are used to connect nets across multiple schematic sheets that are descended from the same parent sheet symbol.

For information on how a placed off sheet connector object can be modified graphically, directly in the workspace, see Graphical Editing.

Access

The Off Sheet Connector dialog can be accessed prior to entering placement mode, from the Schematic – Default Primitives page of the Preferences dialog. This allows the default properties for the off sheet connector object to be changed, which will be applied when placing subsequent off sheet connectors.

During placement, the dialog can be accessed by pressing the Tab key.

While attributes can be modified during placement, bear in mind that these will become the default settings for further placement unless the Permanent option on the Schematic – Default Primitives page of the Preferences dialog is enabled. When this option is enabled, changes made will affect only the object being placed and subsequent objects placed during the same placement session.

After placement, the dialog can be accessed in one of the following ways:

  • Double-clicking on the placed off sheet connector object.
  • Placing the cursor over the off sheet connector object, right-clicking and choosing Properties from the context menu.
  • Using the Edit » Change command and clicking once over the placed off sheet connector object.

Options/Controls

  • Location X/Y - the current X (horizontal) and Y (vertical) coordinates for the connection point of the connector (its electical hotspot). Edit these values to change the position of the connector in the horizontal and/or vertical planes respectively.
  • Color - click the color sample to change the color used for the connector, including its text, using the standard Choose Color dialog.
  • Orientation - specify the orientation of the connector, counter-clockwise in relation to the horizontal. Options available are: 0 degrees, 90 degrees, 180 degrees, 270 degrees.
  • Style - use this field to specify the direction of the connector's arrow, pointing either Left or Right.

Properties

  • Net - use this field to specify the net name for the connector. Off sheet connectors with the same name will be electrically connected across sheets descending from the same parent sheet symbol. Connectivity is not made between sheets descending from different sheet symbols, even if they contain off sheet connectors with matching net names.
If the Net property of the off sheet connector is entered before it is placed and the value entered has a numeric ending, each subsequent off sheet connector will auto-increment this numeric value. This behavior is configured in the Auto-Increment During Placement options in the Schematic - General page of the Preferences dialog. For off sheet connectors only the Primary field applies, the Secondary field applies when the object has multiple fields, such as a Pin. 
To successfully connect a particular net across two or more sheets, the off sheet connectors on each sheet must be assigned to the same net.
  • Locked - enable this option to protect the connector from being edited graphically.
If attempting to graphically modify an object that has its Locked property enabled, a dialog will appear asking for confirmation to proceed with the edit. If the Protect Locked Objects option is enabled on the Schematic – Graphical Editing page of the Preferences dialog, and the Locked option for that design object is enabled as well, then that object cannot be selected or graphically edited. Double click on the locked object directly and disable the Locked property, or disable the Protect Locked Objects option, to graphically edit the object.

Tips

  1. It is important to remember that although there are times when an off sheet connector and a sub-divided sheet symbol can be useful, they do have limitations. They will not properly form automatic component classes and these need to be recreated manually in the PCB if you choose to use them.
  2. Port Cross-References cannot be applied to off sheet connectors, therefore Ports should be used where possible.

 

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