Dynamic Cross Selecting and Cross-Probing (New Feature Summary)

Created: May 11, 2016 | Updated: December 14, 2017

Cross Selecting and Cross-Probing are powerful search tools within Altium Designer that help locate objects in other editors by selecting the object(s) in the current editor. Altium Designer 17.0 includes significant enhancements to both tools. 

Cross Selecting

You can now use the Cross Select Mode function to select a range of object types. Cross selection between schematic and PCB editors functions according to the following table:

Selection in Schematic Coordinates to PCB selection of
Component, Designator, Comment, Component Parameter Footprint
Pin Pad
Wire, Port (single net), Power Port, Net Label Net (All primitives in net)
Bus, Port (bus), Sheet Entry (bus), Signal Harness, Harness Connector, Harness Entry Group of nets
Selection in PCB Coordinates to Schematic selection of
Component, Designator, Comment Component (all parts)
Pad Pin
Any net primitive except Pad Wire

Cross Select Mode

Options that specifically affect the Cross Select Mode function have been added to the System - Navigation page of the Preferences dialog. These options make cross selecting easier to enable, use and configure.

New Cross Select Mode options on the System - Navigation page of the Preferences dialog

Cross Select Mode now can be enabled/disabled in the following ways:

  • Checking or unchecking the Cross Selection option in the System - Navigation page of the Preferences dialog.
  • Using the Cross Select Mode option in the Tools menu.
  • Clicking Shift+Ctrl+X.

When the Cross Select Mode is enabled/checked, the command will have a blue box around the associated icon in the Tools menu (as shown in the following image) and the Cross Selection box in the Cross Select Mode region of System - Navigation page of the Preferences dialog will be checked. 

Cross Select Mode in the Tools menu enabled.

Masking and Zooming have been added in the Preferences dialog to make it easier to view the cross selected item(s) that you have chosen in your schematic or PCB. You can enable one, none, or both depending on your needs.

When the Reposition selected component in PCB option is enabled, in the workspace after switching between the schematic and the PCB, the Tools » Component Placement » Reposition selected component becomes active. This enables you to select a component in the schematic and reposition it in the PCB with virtually one command.

The Reposition selected component in PCB will function only when the PCB document is open and visible in either a split view or separate window.

Enable the Focus document containing selection if visible option to transfer focus to the schematic or PCB document that is visible when objects in them are cross selected. 

Use the Objects for cross selection options to select the required object you want to cross select: Components, Nets, and/or Pins. You can enable any number of the options depending on your needs.


The Highlight Methods region of the System - Navigation page of the Preferences dialog now includes cross-probing options. You can enable/disable the Masking and Zooming options for cross-probing from this region of the dialog. Use the Far/Close slider to regulate the zoom level.

Highlight Methods region of the System - Navigation page of the Preferences dialog


The Zoom Level specified on the PCB panel and the Zooming Far/Close slider on the System - Navigation page of the Preferences dialog now is the zoom factor used when cross-probing from the Messages panel for all PCB messages.

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