Altium Designer Documentation


Created: May 10, 2019 | Updated: May 14, 2019
Now reading version 20.2. For the latest, read: FindComponent for version 21
Applies to Altium Designer versions: 19.0, 19.1, 20.0, 20.1 and 20.2

Parent page: IntegratedLibrary Commands

The following pre-packaged resource, derived from this base command, is available:

Applied Parameters: None


This command is used to search for a particular component, or model, in the current Available File-based Libraries or in all file-based libraries along a specified search path.


This command is accessed from the Schematic Library Editor by choosing the Tools » Find Component command from the main menus.


After launching the command, the File-based Libraries Search will open. Use this dialog to search for a particular component or model, either from within the Available File-based Libraries or in file-based libraries found along a specified search path. If you have Database Libraries currently added to the Available File-based Libraries, you can conduct a search for a component record within a specific table of the linked database.

The searching process can be summarized as follows:

  • Searching is performed by defining Filters that are applied to all libraries that can be searched according to the current search Scope.
  • The Scope includes the type of libraries to search; only one type can be searched at a time (Components, Footprints, or Database Components). 
  • The Scope defines which libraries will be searched; it is either the libraries Altium Designer currently has access to (Available File-based libraries) or all libraries within a folder (Libraries on path).
  • When searching libraries on a path, the target is a specific folder and can also Include Subdirectories.
  • You can also search within the search results by setting the scope to Refine last search
The dialog can be set to operate in either Simple or Advanced modes. In Simple mode, there are a defined set of filters from which to select or type entries. In Advanced mode, you have access to defining a logical query expression of any complexity to precisely target the component/model for which you are searching. A logical query expression is a string you enter using specific keywords and syntax - from an established Query Language - which will return the targeted object, when the search is performed. When searching for Database Components, this mode effectively shows and allows manual editing of the SQL query.

After the search has been defined as required, click the Search button. The search will be performed with results listed in the Components panel. Search results are listed in terms of component/model name, associated library and any description.


  1. When defining search criteria, use the * wildcard to increase chances of an effective search since different manufacturers use different prefix and suffixes. For example, use *RES* to search for a generic resistor.
  2. If searching along a specific library path and your search produces no results, check that the path is correctly specified. Also, try searching for a component that you know is in a library to check that everything is set correctly.
  3. The full list of libraries available to the current project (the Available File-based Libraries) is made up of the following:
    1. Project Libraries - those libraries that have actually been added to the active project and appear listed as constituent documents for the project in the Projects panel.
    2. File-based Libraries - those file-based libraries that are available for all projects. This list is persistent across design sessions. Supported library formats can be installed from file (on a local or network drive), or from a managed content server. In the latter case, you are creating a named collection of server folders containing the Component Items that you want to have access to through the Components panel.
    3.  File-based Libraries that have been found along the Library Search Paths defined for the project. These paths are defined on the Search Paths tab of the Options For Project dialog. Clicking the Paths button will take you directly to this tab from where you can define further search paths or modify existing ones as required.

  4. The File-based Libraries Search dialog can also be accessed directly from the Components panel by clicking the Search Button button at the top of the panel.


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