Navigating a Project

Now reading version 18.0. For the latest, read: Navigating a Project for version 22

Design projects can quickly become complicated as they evolve, and frequently contain a large number of design documents of varying complexity and amounts of data. While this can present document navigation challenges, a project and its constituent documents is normally navigated through the Projects panel or Storage panel. These panels also offer direct access to high-level management functions such as document comparison and Version Control.

Altium Designer also provides a visually orientated project navigation aid – Project Insight – that presents selectable previews of a project's contents, available from the Projects panel. The primary advantage of using a preview-based navigation approach is that it avoids the need to open each document to ascertains its contents. This makes the task of finding the right document simple and fast, and provides a quick, visual approach to gaining an overview of a project.

Project Insight

Accessed in the Projects panel, an intuitive and visual aid to project navigation is available with Project Insight, which is part of Altium Designer's Design Insight feature. Design Insight provides a number of advanced features that assist navigation at the project, document and even connectivity level, allowing automatic preview without having to physically open multiple sheets.

The Design insight features are enabled on the System – Design Insight page of the Preferences dialog. Activate the Project Insight overview by checking the Enable Project Insight box, and optionally, the Enable Document Insight box to preview document entries.

Project Insight allows you to preview all of the documents and navigate to a particular document in your project with ease. Hover over the Project icon – if managed, if unmanaged – in the Projects panel to gain 'insight' into a project's constituent design documents. Navigate to and open a specific document by clicking on its preview image. Project Insight displays both Schematic and PCB documents.

Visually preview the documents in a project by hovering over the Project icon in the Projects panel. Click to open a document.
Visually preview the documents in a project by hovering over the Project icon in the Projects panel. Click to open a document.

If there are a large number of documents in a project, left and right arrows become active in the preview. Use these to navigate through the project files.

Documents appear in the Project Insight overview in the order they were added to the project. To view the order that files were added, enable the Show document position in project option on the System - Projects Panel page of the Preferences dialog. A number will appear next to the document entries in the Projects panel.

The Design Insight preview function also applies to individual document entries in the Projects panel – as a Document Insight. Again, simply hover the cursor over a document icon to view a preview graphic of that document, and click on the image to open the document in its editor.

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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.