Altium Designer Documentation

Schematic - General

Modified by Tiffany Cullen on Apr 23, 2019
All Contents

Parent page: Schematic Preferences


The Schematic - General page of the Preferences dialog

Summary

As its name suggests, the Schematic – General page of the Preferences dialog provides numerous general controls related to editing of schematic-based documents directly in the workspace. 

Access

The Schematic – General page is part of the main Preferences dialog that is accessed by clicking the  control in the upper-right corner of the workspace then selecting the General entry under the Schematic folder.

Options/Controls

Units

  • Select Mils or Millimeters, whichever is desired.

Options

  • Break Wires At Autojunctions - Enable this option to break wires at autojunctions (autojunctions are automatically inserted when two wires/buses/signal harnesses are connected in a T-type fashion or when a wire/bus/signal harness connects orthogonically to a pin or power port/bus power port).
  • Optimize Wires & Buses - Enable this option to prevent extra wires, poly-lines, and buses from overlapping on top of each other. Overlapping wires, poly-lines or buses are removed automatically.

    You need to enable this option to have the ability to automatically cut a wire and terminate onto any two pins of this component when this component is dropped onto this wire.

  • Components Cut Wires - Enable this option to drop a component onto a schematic wire. The wire is then cut into two segments and the segments are terminated onto any two hot pins of the component automatically. You will need to enable the Optimize Wires & Buses option first.
  • Enable In-Place Editing - If this option is enabled, the focused text field may be directly edited within the Schematic Editor rather than in a dialog box. After focusing the field you want to modify, click it again or press the F2 shortcut key to open the field for editing. If this option is not enabled, you cannot edit the text directly and you have to edit it from the Parameter Properties dialog. You can only graphically move this text field.
  • Convert Cross-Junctions - Enabling this option denotes that when the addition of a wire would create a four-way junction, it is instead converted into two adjacent three-way junctions. Disabling this option denotes that when a four way junction is created, the two wires crossing at the intersection are not joined electrically and if the Display Cross Overs option is enabled, a cross-over is shown on this intersection.
  • Display Cross-Overs - When this option is enabled, the wiring cross-overs will be displayed with small bridges on the currently focused schematic sheet.
  • Pin Direction - Enable this option to display the direction of pins of components on a schematic document. The pin direction is indicated by the orientation of a triangle symbol. 
  • Sheet Entry Direction - Enable this option to display the direction of sheet entries on a schematic document.  
  • Port Direction - Enable this option to allow port styles to be determined by the I/O type attribute of corresponding ports. 
    • Unconnected Left To Right - Enable this option and those unconnected ports on a schematic document are displayed in a left to right direction (as a right style).
  • Render Text with GDI+ - Not all fonts are supported on all output devices (and Windows will automatically substitute). To see how text is going to look on the printout, enable this check box. 
  • Drag Orthogonal - If this option is enabled, when you drag components, any wiring that is dragged with the component is kept orthogonal (i.e., corners at 90 degrees). If this option is disabled, wiring dragged with a component will be repositioned obliquely. Click the check box to toggle its status.
    • Drag Step - Select the desired size from the drop down. Options include: Smallest, Small, Medium, and Large.

Include with Clipboard

  • No ERC Markers - Enable this option to include No ERC Markers in the clipboard. 
  • Parameter Sets - Enable this option to include Parameter Sets in the clipboard. 
  • Notes - Enable this option to include Notes in the clipboard.

Alpha Numeric Suffix

Each part in a multi-part schematic component is uniquely identified by an alphabetic or numeric suffix. Use this drop-down to choose how the suffix is presented:

  • Alpha - choose this option to use an alphabetic suffix with no separator (e.g., R12A, R12B, R12C). The setting will be applied to all currently open sheets.
  • Numeric, separated by a dot '.' - choose this option to use a numeric suffix with a dot separator (e.g., R12.1, R12.2, R12.3). The setting will be applied to all currently open sheets.
  • Numeric, separated by a colon ':' - choose this option to use a numeric suffix with a colon separator (e.g., R12:1, R12:2, R12:3). The setting will be applied to all currently open sheets.

Pin Margin

  • Name - Normally, component pin names are displayed inside the body of the component adjacent to the corresponding pin. This option controls the placement of component pin names. It specifies the distance (in hundredths of an inch) from the component outline to the start of the pin name text. 
  • Number - Normally, component pin numbers are displayed outside the body of the component directly above the corresponding pin line. This option controls the placement of the pin numbers. It specifies the distance (in hundredths of an inch) from the component outline to the start of the pin number text. 

Auto-Increment During Placement

  • Primary - Enter a value to auto-increment on pin designators of a component when you are placing pins for a component. This is used for building components in the Library editor. Normally you would use a positive increment value for pin designators and negative increment value for pin names. For example: 1, 2, 3 for pin designators and D8, D7, D6 for pin names results in Primary = 1 and Secondary = -1. Set the Name to D8 and Designator to 1 in the Pin Properties panel page in pin mode before you place the first pin.
  • Secondary - Enter a value to auto-increment on pin names of a component when you are placing pins for a component. This can be used for building components in the Library editor. Normally you would use a positive increment value for pin designators and negative increment value for pin names. For example: 1, 2, 3 for pin designators and D8, D7, D6 for pin names results in Primary = 1 and Secondary = -1. Set the Name to D8 and Designator to 1 in the Pin Properties panel page in pin mode before you place the first pin.
  • Remove Leading Zeroes - Enable this option to remove leading zeroes from the string of numbers. For example, if the string is 000467 and the option is enabled, the string will become 467 with the leading zeroes removed.

Port Cross References

  • Sheet Style  - Choose one of the following sheet styles for the cross referencing of ports on a schematic sheet or schematic sheets within a project.
    • None - No sheet style is added in the cross reference string of all ports.
    • Name - Names of the sheets that the ports are linked to are added in the cross reference strings.
    • Number - The sheet numbers of the sheets that the ports are linked to are added in the cross reference strings.
The design project needs to be compiled first before any cross references can be added to the ports. Sheet Numbers can be defined in the SheetNumber field of the Parameters page in the Document Options dialog (Design » Document Options).
  • Location Style - Choose one of the following location styles for the cross referencing of ports on a schematic sheet or schematic sheets within a project.
    • None - No location style is added in the cross reference string of all ports.
    • Zone - The reference zone numbering (the sheet borders have the zones) is added in the cross reference strings of all ports that are associated to the parent objects such as the location of sheet symbols.
    • Location X,Y - The locations of the ports are published in brackets in the cross reference strings for all ports that are associated to the parent objects such as the location of sheet symbols.

The design project needs to be compiled first before any cross references can be added to the ports.

Default Blank Sheet Template or Size

  • Template - Use the drop-down to set the default user template that will be used to create new schematic sheets. If No Default Template File is selected, a default blank schematic is created when you open a new schematic sheet. Use the Data Management - Templates Preferences page to set the path to the templates directory.
  • Sheet Size - Use the drop-down to select the default blank sheet size that will be created every time you need to create a new schematic document. Sheet size can also be specified at the local document level using the Standard Page Options settings of the Properties panel in Document Options mode.
  • Drawing Area - Reflects the dimensions of the sheet size chosen in the Sheet Size field. This field is uneditable.

 

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