Altium Designer Documentation

Schematic - Graphical Editing

Modified by Tania Mashkoory on Oct 31, 2018

Parent pageSchematic Preferences


The Schematic - Graphical Editing page of the Preferences dialog.

Summary

As its name suggests, this page of the Preferences dialog provides numerous controls related to editing of schematic-based documents directly in the workspace.

Access

The Schematic – Graphical Editing page is part of the main Preferences dialog that is accessed by clicking the  control in the upper-right corner of the workspace then selecting the Graphical Editing entry under the Schematic folder.

Options/Controls

Options

  • Clipboard Reference – if this option is enabled, when you copy or cut a selection within the workspace, you will be asked to select a reference point. This is useful when copying a section of circuitry that is to be pasted back into a schematic sheet. This reference point will be the point where the section of circuitry will be held when pasting. Note that the clipboard reference location is overridden by the nearest electrical hot-spot if the Object's Electrical Hot Spot option is enabled.
  • Add Template to Clipboard – enable this option to also copy the current sheet template to the clipboard when you copy or cut from the current schematic sheet.
  • Display Names of Special Strings that have No Value Defined - enable this option to display the names of special strings when they have no defined value. Disable this option to essentially hide these names, which can be of great benefit when several special strings with long names start to overlap.
  • Center of Object – hold the object being moved or dragged by its reference point (for objects that have one, such as library components or ports), or its center (for objects that do not have a reference point such as a rectangle).
  • Object's Electrical Hot Spot – hold the object being moved or dragged by the nearest electrical hot spot (for example the end of a pin). With this option enabled, the software moves the clipboard reference location of the object that is about to be pasted to its nearest electrical hot-spot.
  • Auto Zoom – if this option is enabled, the schematic sheet is automatically zoomed when jumping to a component. Zoom level remains as it was if this option is disabled.
  • Single '\' Negation – if this option is enabled, a net name can be negated by typing a backslash character before the first letter in the net name. This applies to ports, net labels, and sheet entries.
  • Confirm Selection Memory Clear – the selection memories can be used to store the selection state of a set of objects. To prevent inadvertent overwriting of a selection memory, enable this option.
  • Mark Manual Parameters – parameters displayed with a dot denotes that auto-positioning has been turned off and that parameters are moved or rotated with its parent object (component, for example). To hide the dots, disable this option.
  • Always Drag – if this option is enabled, every time you drag a group of objects on a schematic document, the electrical wiring stays connected. Note: to keep the connections clean while dragging, press the Spacebar to cycle through the different corner modes.
  • Shift Click To Select – enable this option if you want to use Shift+click to select specific primitives in the workspace. When this option is enabled, click the associated Primitives button to open the Must Hold Shift to Select dialog to access a list of primitives from which you can determine which are to use this Shift+click method for selection.
  • Click Clears Selection – enable this option if you want to deselect all design objects by clicking anywhere on the schematic workspace. Regardless of the setting, you can deselect a selected design object by clicking on it.
  • Place Sheet Entries automatically – enable this option if you want to have a sheet symbol generate a sheet entry with a matching net name automatically every time a new connection with a valid net name is wired to that sheet symbol. Otherwise, a connection with no net name wired to a sheet symbol will generate a sheet symbol with a system generated net name.
  • Protect Locked Objects – enable this option if locked objects are not to be moved and are to be ignored if they are part of a selection that is being moved. Disable this option and you will be prompted with a warning dialog if you attempt to move locked objects.
  • Display Strings As Rotated – enable this option to display strings at their rotation angle (including upside down and left-reading). Disable this option to have strings always kept as right-reading, as they are rotated.
  • Reset Parts Designators On Paste – enable this option to reset component designators when pasting onto a schematic sheet. When components are pasted, their designators will be reset to "?".
  • Sheet Entries and Ports use Harness Color - enable this option if you want Ports and Sheet Entries to change color to match the color of the Signal Harness. If you specify a color for the Signal Harness, the Port or Sheet Entry will change to match. Disable this option if you prefer your Port and Sheet Entries to maintain their default color.
  • Net Color Override - enable this option to view net highlighting. When this option is disabled, the Net Color Override dialog will appear if you attempt to highlight nets.

Auto Pan Options

  • Enable Auto Pan - check to enable auto-panning.
  • Style – auto-panning comes into effect when the cross-hair action cursor is active and you move the cursor to the edge of the view area. If auto-panning is on, the sheet will automatically pan in that direction. Set this field to control cursor movement during auto-panning. The options are: Auto Pan Off,  Auto Pan Fixed Jump (pans the sheet by a fixed step, which is set in the Step Size field - the cursor remains at the edge of the view area), and Auto Pan ReCenter (pans the sheet by a fixed step, which is set in the Step Size field - the cursor is re-centered in the view area after the pan).
  • Speed – drag this bar to set the auto-panning speed. The further to the left the bar is, the slower or finer the auto-panning movement.
  • Step Size – enter a value to set the size of each auto-panning step. The step size determines how fast the document pans when auto-panning is enabled. The smaller the value, the slower or finer the auto-panning movement.
  • Shift Step Size – enter a value to set the size of each step when the Shift key is held during auto-panning. This determines how fast the document pans when auto-panning is enabled and the Shift key is pressed. The smaller the value, the slower or finer the auto-panning movement.

Color Options

  • Selections – this field shows the current color used as the highlight color for selected items. When an object on a schematic sheet is selected, it will be highlighted using this color. Click the field to access the Choose Color dialog, from where you can change the color as required.
  • Special Strings with No Value - this field shows the current color used as the highlight color for special strings that have no assigned value. A special string that has no assigned value on a schematic sheet will be highlighted using this color. Click the field to access the Choose Color dialog, from where you can change the color as required.

Cursor

  • Cursor Type – select an option from the dropdown list to set the style of the "crosshair" editing cursor. This cursor is displayed when you are performing any editing action in a schematic document. The following options are available: Large Cursor 90 (cursor takes the form of a horizontal and vertical line extending from the edge of the document area); Small Cursor 90 (cursor takes the form of a small cross made with a horizontal and vertical line); Small Cursor 45 (cursor takes the form of a small cross made with 45 degree lines); Tiny Cursor 45 (cursor takes the form of a tiny cross made with 45 degree lines). 
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