Altium Designer Documentation

View Configurations

Modified by Susan Riege on Jul 7, 2017


The View Configurations dialog

Summary

This dialog allows the designer to configure and manage View Configurations. A View Configuration is simply a snapshot of configured display settings, which you can configure, save and load as required. The presentation of the View Configurations dialog will change depending on whether the workspace is currently in 2D or 3D Layout Mode when the dialog is accessed, or whether a 2D or 3D configuration is currently being viewed/edited.

With a 2D View Configuration, the dialog is used to configure and enable the special layers and the system layers. You can also control the display state of each object type (Full, Draft, or Hidden), as well as various additional display and transparency options. With a 3D View Configuration, the dialog is used to configure how the board is rendered in 3D.

Access

The View Configurations dialog can be accessed from both the PCB Editor and the PCB Library Editor in the following ways:

  • PCB Editor - click Design » Board Layers & Colors command from the main menus.
  • PCB Library Editor - click Tools » Layers & Colors command from the main menus.
  • Press the L key.

Options/Controls

The dialog is composed of a static pane on the left-hand side and a series of tabbed pages on the right. The type and number of tabs displayed depend on whether you are viewing/editing a 2D or 3D configuration.

Left-Hand Pane

  • Select PCB View Configuration – lists the names of the currently saved view configurations. The Kind column tells you if it is a 2D or 3D view configuration. Click on an entry to view that configuration (through one or more tabbed pages of options/controls, depending on the view type) and make any changes as required.
    Note that clicking Apply (or OK) will use the selected view configuration, however, if you have made any changes to options for that configuration, you must save those changes using the Save view configuration or Save As view configuration links in the Actions region of the pane.
  • Path – displays the full filename and path of the view configuration currently selected (or hovered over) in the Select PCB View Configuration list.
    • Explore Folder – click this link to launch Windows Explorer then open the folder containing the currently selected view configuration. All default configurations are stored in the following folder (for a default installation of Altium Designer): \Users\<ProfileName>\AppData\Roaming\Altium\Altium Designer <GUID>\ViewConfigurations.
  • Description – displays any description for the currently selected view configuration. Note that descriptions can only be entered when creating a new view configuration.
  • Actions – this region presents various commands for working with view configurations at the configuration file level (*.config_2dsimple, *.config_3d), as opposed to the detailed options/control level:
    • Create new view configuration – click to access the New View Configuration wizard, which will guide you through the process of creating a new 2D or 3D view configuration, complete with name, description, and a location to store the configuration file. Once finished, the new view configuration will be added to the list of available view configurations.
    • Save view configuration – click to save any changes made to options (on tabbed page(s)) for the currently selected view configuration.
    • Save As view configuration – click to access the Save View Configuration File As dialog from where you can save the currently selected view configuration as a distinct, new configuration with a different name. The newly saved configuration will be added to the list of available view configurations.
    • Load view configuration – click to access the Load View Configuration File dialog from where you can browse to and open a view configuration file (*.config_2dsimple, *.config_3d). The chosen view configuration will be added to the list of available view configurations.
    • Rename view configuration – click to access the Rename View Configuration dialog from where you can specify a new name for the configuration as required.
    • Remove view configuration – click to remove the selected view configuration. A confirmation dialog will appear, click No to simply remove the configuration from the available view configurations list. Click Yes if you want to also remove the view configuration file from the hard disk.
Saving a View Configuration adds it to the RegisteredViewConfigurations.ini file. This file resides in the \Users\<ProfileName>\AppData\Roaming\Altium\Altium Designer <GUID>\ViewConfigurations folder for a default installation of the software. This file stores the name and location of each View Configuration. It is used to populate the Select PCB View Configuration list and also the Change View Configuration drop-down list, available from the PCB Editor (from the PCB Standard toolbar), and the PCB Library Editor (from the PCB Lib Standard toolbar), in either 2D or 3D viewing mode.

Tabbed Pages

If viewing/editing a 2D configuration, the following tabs are presented:

If viewing/editing a 3D configuration, the following tab is presented:

Additional Controls

If viewing/editing a 2D configuration, the following additional controls are presented at the lower-left of the dialog:

  • 2D Color Profiles – click this button to access the 2D System Colors dialog from where you can manage your system-wide 2D color settings. Note that as 2D color settings are system-based, they are not saved as part of a view configuration, but will apply to all PCB documents.
  • Layer Pairs – click this button to access the Mechanical Layer Pairs dialog from where you can define pairs of mechanical layers to be linked so that an object placed on one of the layers will flip to its paired layer when that object is switched to the opposite side of the board.
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