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The Libraries button opens the Libraries panel, which enables you to browse and place CircuitMaker components. The panel sources components from the Octopart component database portal, which provides access to comprehensive component data for thousands of real-world components. In the background, the components are linked to matching components in the cloud-based CircuitMaker storage and management repository (community components), if available. The panel offers full details of the selected component: name, description, parameters, models, etc.
When using CircuitMaker, there's no direct access to the Octopart database or the CircuitMaker repository, as all data sourcing and linking is performed in the background. The Libraries panel is your central access point for CircuitMaker's automated component management system.
The Libraries button can be accessed by choosing View | System | Libraries from the ribbon.
The panel’s top drop-down menu lists all available component categories, as well as the Favorites Only entry for the components that you have added to your Favorites list. Use the selection options in the categories drop-down menu () to restrict the list to a particular component type.
Within the component listing, the content that is included may be managed by:
Select a component in the list to see its details (parameters and models) in the lower region of the panel. Select multiple component entries to enable the data comparison feature, where the parameter differences between the selected parts are highlighted.
To search for available components in the Components panel, enter a phrase in the Search field and/or use the panel's Categories selection to narrow the component listing to your specific needs. The search functionality prioritizes results according to the entered search criteria.
A selected component with an associated domain model (schematic symbol or PCB footprint; listed with an associated icon) can be placed on the corresponding document (schematic sheet or PCB document) by dragging and dropping, selecting Place from its right-click context menu, or using the Place button.
If a community component is not available for the component you have selected (the icon is not shown), it can be created within CircuitMaker and automatically added to the community library for others to share. To do this, right-click the entry and select Create New Component from the associated context menu. This will open a new community component entry in CircuitMaker's Component Editor, which is prepopulated with the component information (Comment, Description, and Parameters) provided by the Octopart component database.
There may be circumstances where a specific component that you need for a design is not listed in the Octopart database, and therefore not included in the available component list in the panel. This can be is resolved by creating a new, unlisted CircuitMaker component from scratch – a custom component. To create a new custom component, select the Create Custom Part option below the component list in the panel or in the component list area when there are no components found.
This opens a new blank component entry in the Component Editor, which can be populated with the information (parameters and models) that corresponds to your custom component.
If you want to make changes to an existing component and its models, select the component in the panel's component list and select Edit from the right-click menu. This will retrieve the component from the community library (or local cache) and open it in the Component Editor.
Along with the Octopart component database listing available in the Libraries panel, CircuitMaker also offers the concept of a Favorite collection of components. These represent community components that you created or edited, or any that you have manually added to the Favorites list.
To manually add a component from the Octopart listing in the Libraries panel to your Favorites collection, right-click on the component entry and select Add To Favorites from the context menu. Note that this option is only available for component entries that have an associated community component.
See the Favorites Only Mode section below to learn more.
The Compare feature allows you to compare the parameters of two selected parts. This feature is accessed by selecting two parts in the component list region. Parameters of the selected parts will be shown side-by-side, with differences highlighted in red text for easy comparison.
The Favorites component list is directly accessible from the Libraries panel by selecting Favorites Only in the panel's library selection drop-down menu.
Building up a list of favorite components means that your preferred component options are easy to access and use in your designs. Components can be placed in a design from the Favorites list using the Place button or right-click menu command and also removed from the list using the Remove From Favorites right-click menu command.
Using the Custom Only checkbox below the Search field, you can display in the panel only your custom components. Note that custom parts are distinguished by the icon in the Favorites list.
As you can see from the above image of the Libraries panel, the Favorites list can include multiple entries for one component – note the
LM217MS-TR entries. These represent two versions of the community component; the initial revision 1 and the revision 2 created by a subsequent edit – these were automatically added to the list during the saving process.
Conversely, the other listed entries shown have been added to Favorites from the Octopart library listing. Note that the entry highlighted in blue is at revision 2, which was the current version of that component when it was added to the Favorites list.
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