Design Panels Reference

Modified by Jason Howie on Dec 15, 2017

Workspace panels are an essential part of the Altium NEXUS 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, three panels will already be open. The Projects panel and Navigator panel appear docked to the left side of the application window. The Libraries panel will be in popup mode, and appears as a button on the right-hand border of the application window. Hover over, or click the button to display this panel.

An example of panels in Altium NEXUS, which can be docked (left), placed in popup mode (right), or floating. Use the Panels button at the bottom-right of the application window to quickly access available panels, in context with the active editing domain.

This page provides a handy summary of the panels available to you in Altium NEXUS, grouped by category. Use the links available to learn more about a specific panel. Panels themselves can be accessed through the View » Panels sub-menu, or by using the  button at the bottom-right of the Altium NEXUS window. In both cases, the panels listed are those 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.

Schematic 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 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.
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.
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 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.

PCB Panels

Panel Function
Collaborate, Compare and Merge This panel is command-central for performing a copper comparison between two versions of the same PCB design, and is at the heart of Altium NEXUS's collaborative PCB design functionality. It requires that the board is currently under version control, and that the repository that it is stored in is configured in the Data Management - Design Repositories page of the Preferences dialog. The panel checks if the board is the latest revision (known as the Head revision). If it is not it indicates what must be done to bring it up to date, such as Merge Required.
Mechanical CAD Collaboration

This panel allows designers to incrementally exchange data between Altium NEXUS 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 NEXUS, courtesy of the Mechanical CAD Collaboration extension. The panel is therefore also, only available, once this extension has been installed.
Pad Via Library This panel lists the Pad and Via templates contained in the current Pad Via Library (*.PvLib). New pad and via templates can be defined for the library - added through the panel, and defined courtesy of the Pad/Via Template Editor.
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 NEXUS 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. Length tuning can also be defined through this panel.
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 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).
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.
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 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.
View Configuration This panel allows you to edit and control the layers of the PCB and their associated colors and settings, and configure visibility, 3D settings, and masking. The panel also improves usability of more complex behaviors, such as layer pairs.

Multi-board Panels

Panel Function
Multi-board Assembly This panel presents all of the entities in the active Multi-board Assembly document (*.MbaDoc), including: Board assemblies, base boards, sub-assemblies, connections, layers, nets, components, and STEP models. As well as browsing the current assembly, the panel provides controls for building that assembly (adding another main assembly, PCBs, and models).
View Configuration This panel allows you to fine-tune system colors and related display options for the active Multi-board Assembly document (*.MbaDoc), at the local document level.

Draftsman Panels

Panel Function
Bookmarks This panel offers a convenient way to navigate and manage multi-sheet Draftsman documents. The panel presents an expandable tree view of the complete document structure, not unlike the Projects panel, and includes all document sheets and the primary view objects within those sheets.
Properties This panel provides editing access to the detailed properties of objects that have been placed in the active Draftsman document. If nothing is selected in the current workspace, then options relating to the active document are presented, allowing you to change general document options and sheet properties quickly, and on-the-fly.

CAM Panels

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).

Simulation & Analysis 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.

Scripting 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 & Environment Panels

Panel Function
Collaboration This panel facilitates collaborative interaction between designers to keep team members in sync. Collaboration can be performed between different design domains, with support for Schematic, PCB, MCAD, and Multi-board interactions. All interactions are stored as part of the overall design history - providing not only improved collaboration, but also a record of why, when, and by whom, design decisions were made.
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.
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.
Explorer This panel is the primary interface between Altium Designer and a connected manged content server. A managed content server stores your valuable company design data, including components, managed sheets and templates, and completed designs. From the Explorer panel you create and manage the organizational structure used in the server, 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 server.
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 managed components.

Use of unmanaged content is disabled by default in Altium NEXUS, as it is not recommended. You can restore this functionality by enabling the following options in the Advanced Settings dialog - accessed by clicking the Advanced button, on the System - General page of the Preferences dialog: Legacy.UnManagedLibraries and Legacy.LibraryPanel. The latter option enables display and use of the Libraries panel.
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.
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.
Part Search This panel provides the interface to live supplier data. It is a direct portal to the Altium Parts Provider - an aggregate supplier data service that provides access to live component information from a comprehensive range of parts suppliers.
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.
Properties This panel contains information and controls that pertain to the item currently selected in the workspace. If nothing is selected in the current workspace, then options relating to the active document, or interactive process are presented, including: Board options for a PCB document (*.PcbDoc); document options for a schematic document (*.SchDoc), or schematic/PCB library document (*.SchLib/*.PcbLib); board options for a multi-board schematic document (*.MbsDoc); options for the currently active BOM document (*.BomDoc); and options while interactively routing or length tuning. This allows you to change general document options, or interactive process options quickly, and on-the-fly.
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, or circuitry in a PCB design, including the components and the routing.

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 a managed content server).
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.
Tasklist This panel lists all of the tasks currently outstanding for the user (when signed in to their cloud-based Altium NEXUS Workspace, or on-premise Altium NEXUS Server), and which require action (for example a task related to a project reviewing activity, or a part request). Each task is a specific stage reached within an associated process workflow. Clicking on a task's entry will access a dialog containing the form and diagram of the associated process workflow - use the form to fulfil the task and submit, so that the process can flow to the next relevant stage.

 

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