PCB Panel - Components Mode

Now reading version 18.1. For the latest, read: PCB Panel - Components Mode for version 21

The Components mode of the PCB panel
The Components mode of the PCB panel


The PCB panel allows you to browse the current PCB design using a range of filter modes to determine which object types or design elements are listed, highlighted or selected. The panel also has editing modes for specific object types or design elements that provide dedicated controls for editing procedures. You also can access the properties for any element listed in the panel.

In the PCB panel’s Components mode, the three main regions will change to reflect an object hierarchy:

  • Component Classes
  • Components within a class
  • Component Primitives (pads, tracks and arcs).
While the middle sections change between modes, the top and bottom portions of the PCB panel remain the same. For a panel overview and information on those sections, please see the PCB panel page.

Panel Access

When the PCB Editor is active, click the Panels button at the bottom-right corner of the workspace and select PCB from the context menu. Alternatively, you can access the panel through the View » Panels »PCB command.

Panels can be configured to be floating in the editor space or docked to sides of the screen. If the PCB panel is currently in a group of panels, use the PCB tab located at the bottom of the panels to bring it to the front.

Once the PCB panel has been opened, select the Components option from the drop-down menu at the top of the PCB panel to enter Components mode.

Select Components from the drop-down menu.
Select Components from the drop-down menu.

Browsing Components

The PCB panel regions allow a cumulative filter selection through
component classes to individual components to component items (primitives).

Right-click on a component or component primitive entry then choose the Properties command (or double-click on the entry directly) to access to the Properties panel in the associated mode, from where you can view/modify the properties of the component/primitive as required.

Right-click on a component class entry then choose Properties (or double-click on the entry directly) to open the Edit Component Class dialog for that class. From the dialog you can view/modify the component membership of the class, rename it, or add additional classes.

Editing a selected component class. 
Editing a selected component class.

The display/inclusion of each component primitive type in the Component Primitives region of the panel depends on whether the corresponding option for each has been enabled on the right-click menu accessed from either the Components or Component Primitives regions.

Right-click on a component or component primitive entry to select the items to include.
Right-click on a component or component primitive entry to select the items to include.

In summary, as you click on an entry in the panel's list, a filter will be applied based on that entry. The visual result of the selection (in the design editor window) is determined by the highlighting methods enabled (Mask/Dim/Normal, Select, and Zoom). Multiple entries can be selected in each region, using standard Shift+Click and Ctrl+Click features.

While browsing, components can be easily locked or unlocked by double-clicking in the box to the right of the Footprint column in the Components region.

Locking/Unlocking from the PCB panel saves you from having to navigate
through the Properties panel.

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The features available depend on your Altium product access level. Compare features included in the various levels of Altium Designer Software Subscription and functionality delivered through applications provided by the Altium 365 platform.

If you don’t see a discussed feature in your software, contact Altium Sales to find out more.