Properties Panel Improvements (New Feature Summary)

Created: August 1, 2019 | Updated: November 21, 2020
Applies to Altium Designer version: 20.0

Optimization of the Panel Layout

We have optimized the Properties panel layout for some objects to help minimize scrolling, optimize panel space usage, and arrange regions in the panel in a more convenient and logical way. Only the schematic component and PCB polygon objects have been updated with these features.

For a schematic component, the Parameters tab of the Properties panel when a component is selected has been removed and a new Parameters region has been added to the panel. Use the selection buttons at the top of the region to show or hide the desired item(s). You can add component details by using the Add drop-down to add a Footprint, Parameter, Rule, etc. Click the Show/Hide link to display/hide the preview. Click the  to edit the selected item; click the  to delete the selected item. When a parameter is selected, use the Font link to configure the text font, size, etc., and the Other link can be used to show or hide the parameter name, define the X/Y axis, configure the rotation, etc. 


In the Properties panel for a polygon in a PCB, the panel now includes an Actions region. Use the buttons to perform the stated action for the selected polygon. The Net region has been removed from the panel and the Net is now listed in the Properties region. Click the  to open the Net Name dialog to quickly jump to a specific net within the design workspace by specifying the net's name in the dialog. A Lock Position & Vertices option has been added to allow locking the polygon. Use the Show Preview/Hide Preview links to show or hide the preview.


Ability to Access Modal Dialogs

Modal dialogs that have similar layouts as the Properties panel can now be accessed for quick object editing. A new option has been added to the Schematic - Graphical Editing page and the PCB Editor - General page of the Preferences dialog that allows you to enable/disable the modal dialogs. Check the Double Click Runs Interactive Properties option to disable the display of the modal dialog and only open the Properties panel when a primitive is double-clicked in the design space. Uncheck (default) the option to display the modal dialogs when a primitive is double-clicked in the design space. 

When the Double Click Runs Interactive Properties option is unchecked, if a primitive is double-clicked in the design space, a modal dialog will open allowing you to edit the primitive. The modal dialogs have the same fields and options as the Properties panel.

The Properties panel still can be accessed if the Double Click Runs Interactive Properties option is unchecked by opening the panel using the standard techniques (Panels button, View » Panels sub-menu).

A few examples are shown below.

  • The Properties panel in Component mode and the Component modal dialog

  • The Properties panel in Sheet Symbol mode and the Sheet Symbol modal dialog

  • The Properties panel in Pad mode and the Pad modal dialog

Part Choices Region Added to Properties Panel in Component Mode

A Part Choices region has been added to the Properties panel in Component mode. The information displayed in this new region is similar to the Details region in the Components panel and Manufacturer Part Search panel, such as Supplier Part Numbers (SPNs), price, ability to view datasheets, etc.

Added New Net Mode of the Properties Panel

In order to provide dedicated access to PCB net properties, a new Net mode of the Properties panel has been added. When you select a PCB object that has a net property (track, pad, via, polygon, etc.,), the Properties panel no longer has a collapsible section titled Net. The net is now listed in the Properties or Definition region and the word Net is a hyperlink on which you can click to open the new Net mode of the Properties panel. From the Net mode of the Properties panel, you can click on the Nodes hyperlink into open the Edit Net dialog in order to edit nets (including changing the net name), adding or removing physical pins for the specified net, and specifying the track width to be used for interactive routing of that net.

Choosing a Net Connection

An icon has been added for all primitives in the Properties panel that allows you to choose a net connection. Click the  to open the Net Name dialog, which allows you to quickly jump to a specific net in the design by specifying the net name in the dialog.

Added Ability to Define Parameters for Parameter Sets 

You can now define parameters for schematic Parameter Set objects through the Parameters tab of the Properties panel. 

Dual Lock Icon for PCB Objects

A dual lock icon () is now displayed in the Properties panel for PCB objects when more than one object is selected in the PCB or PCBLIB design space. The new icon indicates that the selected objects have different lock states. Click the icon to lock or unlock all selected objects.


Added Ability to Turn All On or All Off in the Selection Filter 

With this release, in the Selection Filter you can turn all objects on or off in the Selection Filter of the Properties panel. To use the new feature, toggle the All - On or All - Off button shown in the images below.

Visibility of Panel Tabs

While scrolling in the Properties panel, the main tabs now stay visible making it easier for you to know which tab you are viewing.

Automatic Area Calculation

The Properties panel now includes an Area field for some primitives that is automatically calculated. This enables you to check the total area for selected primitives. The PCB Region, Fill, Polygon Pour, and Component primitives Properties panels now include the Area field. For Region, Fill, and Polygon Pour, the field is not editable. For a Component, if the Area is entered manually, the Area will not be automatically recalculate until the manual entry is cleared. Otherwise, the Area is calculated based on the component selection box.

Added Components Area and Density Measurements

A new feature calculates and displays the total Components Area measurement and Density percentage in the Board Information region of the Properties panel in Board mode (accessed in the PCB editor when no primitives are selected).

Improved Auto-complete Filter Results

The auto-complete filter results for text fields have been improved.


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