Altium Designer Documentation

Exporting a Design to PADS Logic from Altium Designer

Created: August 30, 2019 | Updated: August 30, 2019
Now reading version 19.0. For the latest, read: Exporting a Design to PADS Logic for version 24
Applies to Altium Designer versions: 19.0, 19.1, 20.0, 20.1, 20.2, 21 and 22

Altium Designer includes a software extension for exporting design project schematics to a PADS® Logic 5.0 format. The PADS Logic Exporter extension creates outputs compatible with PADS Logic 5.0 using a text file format, which should also be supported by future versions of PADS.

Altium Designer also offers a PADS Logic Importer. The Importer is included with Altium Designer by default but is not necessarily enabled. To enable the importer, access the Extensions & Updates view (click the  control at the top-right of the design space then choose Extensions and Updates from the menu), then click Configure at the top right corner. Under the Importers\Exporters area, select the PADS option and click Apply.

PADS Logic Exporter Extension

To use the exporter, ensure the PADS Logic Exporter extension is included in the Software Extensions region on the Installed tab of the Extensions & Updates view.

If the PADS Logic Exporter extension is not listed or is at any time uninstalled, the extension will need to be installed. To do so, access the Extensions & Updates view, then open the Purchased tab where the PADS Logic Exporter extension will be listed (the extensions are listed alphabetically). Click  to download the extension, then restart Altium Designer when prompted.

Using the Exporter

To use the export functionality:

  1. Make a schematic the active document.
  2. Choose the File » Export » PADS Logic 5.0 command from the main menus.
  3. Use the Export File dialog that appears to define where, and with what name, the exported PADS file is to be saved.
  4. Use the Export settings dialog to choose between exporting the whole project (all sheets) or just the selected (active) sheet.
  5. Another dialog will follow to confirm a successful export – the exported txt file is then available in the nominated save location.

Example export of an active schematic sheet to PADS Logic 5.0 format.
Example export of an active schematic sheet to PADS Logic 5.0 format.

The exporter may also produce a corresponding log file ([project_name].log) if schematic export errors are encountered. Note that a Warning! xxx not connected! log entry (where xxx is a component/pin name) indicates that the component pin is connected directly to another component pin or net, rather than connected via an intervening Wire object.

Export restrictions

  • The extension does not support Harness export because PADS does not have a compatible entity.
  • Multi-level hierarchies are not supported because PADS only allows one level.
  • All exported Pins will have the same length regardless of source data. Pins have a parametrized length in Altium Designer, while PADS pins are standalone objects whose lengths are defined as graphics coordinates.
  • Since PADS does not support junction points over Buses, a T connection for two Buses is not compatible. Only single Nets are supported.
  • Repeat modifiers in sheet symbols are not supported because PADS does not have a compatible entity.
  • Ports set directly to Buses are not compatible, however, Ports set to corresponding Nets will be exported.
Found an issue with this document? Highlight the area, then use Ctrl+Enter to report it.

Contact Us

Contact our corporate or local offices directly.

We're sorry to hear the article wasn't helpful to you.
Could you take a moment to tell us why?
200 characters remaining
You are reporting an issue with the following selected text
and/or image within the active document: