Altium Designer Documentation

Search Path Options for a Project in Altium Designer

Created: July 28, 2015 | Updated: June 19, 2017
Now reading version 17.1. For the latest, read: Project Options - Search Paths for version 21
Applies to Altium Designer versions: 15.1, 16.0, 16.1, 17.0 and 17.1

The Search Paths tab of the Project Options dialog


The Search Paths tab of the Project Options dialog enables you to specify the search paths to library and model files for the project.


This dialog is one of multiple tabs available when configuring the options for a project and is accessed from within the Options for Project dialog. To access the Options for Project dialog:

  • From the PCB or schematic editor, click Project » Project Options.
  • Right-click on the project name on the Projects panel, then click Project Options from the context menu.


Ordered List of Search Paths 

This table shows the ordered list of search paths for library and model files (e.g., PCB footprint libraries, Simulation and SI models). For each path, you can specify the filter and the recursive settings.

  • Path - location of the search path.
  • Filter - the filter for the search. By default, the filter searches for all files.
  • Recursive - check to search all the sub-directories of the search path directory. Double click on a search path to edit this path.
The above areas are defined using the Edit Search Path dialog. 


  • Add - use to open the Edit Search Path dialog to add a new search path. 
  • Delete - use to remove a selected search path.
  • Properties - use to edit the properties of the selected search path.
  • Move Up - use to move the selected search path up one line.
  • Move Down - use to move the selected search path down one line.

Files Found on All Search Paths 

This table shows the library and model files that are found from the Ordered List of Search Paths list. Use the Refresh List button to view an updated list.

Setting up a path does not mean that the libraries on that path are installed in the project. You are really just setting up 'pointers' to where those libraries reside on the hard disk.

The paths you define are local to the current project. If you wish to make libraries available to each project within the application, you will need to add the libraries to the Installed Libraries list. This, again, is a list of pointers to library files that exist on the hard disk. Adding libraries to the Installed Libraries list is a separate and distinct operation.

The search paths specified in this tab will be used in the order that they are listed. A default search path exists, which is the path to the actual project document. This default path will be searched first before searching the paths defined in the tab.




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