Altium Designer Documentation

Sch_Obj-DeviceSheetSymbolDevice Sheet Symbol_AD

Created: September 21, 2017 | Updated: September 21, 2017
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Parent page: Schematic Objects

A placed Device Sheet Symbol
A placed Device Sheet Symbol


A device sheet symbol is an electrical design primitive that is used to represent a device sheet and usually contains predefined circuits. A device sheet symbol references a device sheet and can be re-used within and across design projects. Device sheet symbols include sheet entry symbols, which provide a connection point for signals between the parent and child sheets.


Device sheet symbols are available for placement in the schematic editor only. Use one of the following methods to access the placement command:

  • Click Place » Device Sheet Symbol from the main menus.
  • Right-click then select Place » Device Sheet Symbol.
  • Click the Place Device Sheet Symbol button () on the Wiring toolbar.


After launching the command, the Select Device Sheet dialog will appear with all declared device sheet folders. Choose a device sheet to place then click OK. The cursor will change to a cross-hair and you will enter device sheet symbol placement mode. Placement is made by performing the following sequence of actions:

  1. Click or press Enter to anchor the top-left corner of the Device Sheet Symbol
  2. Move the cursor to adjust the size of the Device Sheet Symbol, then click or press Enter to anchor the diagonally-opposite corner and complete placement of the Device Sheet Symbol.

Additional actions that can be performed during placement while the device sheet symbol is still floating on the cursor are:

  • Press the Tab key to access an associated properties dialog, from where properties for the pin can be changed on-the-fly.
  • Press the Alt key to constrain the direction of movement to the horizontal or vertical axis, depending on the initial direction of movement.
  • Press the Spacebar to rotate the pin counter-clockwise or Shift+Spacebar for clockwise rotation. Rotation is in increments of 90°.
  • Press the X or Y keys to mirror the pin along the X-axis or Y-axis respectively.
While attributes can be modified during placement (Tab to bring up associated properties dialog), keep in mind that these will become the default settings for further placement unless the Permanent option on the Schematic – Default Primitives page of the Preferences dialog is enabled. When this option is enabled, changes made will affect only the object being placed and subsequent objects placed during the same placement session.

Graphical Editing

This method of editing allows you to select a placed Device Sheet Symbol object directly in the workspace and change its size, shape or location, graphically. When a Device Sheet Symbol object is selected, the following editing handles are available:

A selected Device Sheet Symbol

  • Click and drag a handle to resize the device sheet symbol.
  • Resizing the device sheet symbol will not affect the absolute positions of any sheet entries within it.
  • Click anywhere on the device sheet symbol away from editing handles and drag to reposition it.

The device sheet symbol designator and filename text fields can only be adjusted with respect to their size by changing the size of the font used (accessed through the Sheet Symbol Designator dialog and the Sheet Symbol File Name dialog. Editing handles are not available when either of these objects are selected:

A selected Designator and File Name

Click anywhere inside the dashed box and drag to reposition the text object as required. The object can be rotated or flipped while dragging by:

  • Pressing the Spacebar to rotate the text. Rotation is counterclockwise and in increments of 90°.
  • Press the X or Y keys to flip the text along the X-axis or Y-axis.
If the Enable In-Place Editing option is enabled on the Schematic - General page of the Preferences dialog (Tools » Schematic Preferences), you will be able to edit the name for the Designator or File Name directly in the workspace. Select the text object you want to edit then click once to enable the feature. Type the new name as required and then click away from the text object or press Enter to effect the change.
If attempting to graphically modify an object that has its Locked property enabled, a dialog will appear asking for confirmation to proceed with the edit. If the Protect Locked Objects option is enabled on the Schematic – Graphical Editing page of the Preferences dialog, and the Locked option for that design object is enabled as well, then that object cannot be selected or graphically edited. Double-click on the locked object directly and disable the Locked property or disable the Protect Locked Objects option to graphically edit the object.

Non-Graphical Editing

Via an Associated Properties Dialog

Dialog page: Device Sheet Symbol

This method of editing uses the Device Sheet Symbol dialog to modify the properties of a device sheet symbol object.

The Device Sheet Symbol dialog
The Device Sheet Symbol dialog

During placement, the Device Sheet Symbol dialog can be accessed by pressing the Tab key.

After placement, the Device Sheet Symbol dialog can be accessed in one of the following ways:

  • Double-click on the placed device sheet symbol object.
  • Place the cursor over the device sheet symbol object, right-click then choose Properties from the context menu.
  • Click Edit » Change from the main menus then click once over the placed device sheet symbol object.

The device sheet symbol Designator and Filename text fields can be formatted independently of the device sheet symbol itself. The corresponding properties dialogs for each - the Sheet Symbol Designator dialog and the Sheet Symbol File Name dialog - can be accessed using the methods described above (replacing "device sheet symbol" with the relevant object whose properties you wish to view/modify).

The Sheet Symbol Designator dialog and Sheet Symbol File Name dialog    The Sheet Symbol Designator dialog and Sheet Symbol File Name dialog
The Sheet Symbol Designator dialog and Sheet Symbol File Name dialog

Via an Inspector Panel

Panel pages: SCH Inspector, SCH Filter

An Inspector panel enables the designer to interrogate and edit the properties of one or more design objects in the active document. Used in conjunction with appropriate filtering - by using the applicable Filter panel or the Find Similar Objects dialog - the panel can be used to make changes to multiple objects of the same kind, from one convenient location.

Via a List Panel

Panel pages: SCH ListSCH Filter

List panel allows the designer to display design objects from one or more documents in tabular format, enabling quick inspection and modification of object attributes. Used in conjunction with appropriate filtering - by using the applicable Filter panel or the Find Similar Objects dialog - it enables the display of just those objects falling under the scope of the active filter – allowing the designer to target and edit multiple design objects with greater accuracy and efficiency.


  • The Filename property of the Device Sheet Symbol, which can be set on the Properties tab of the Sheet Symbol dialog, must be set to the file name of the schematic sheet that the symbol represents. The *.SchDoc extension is not used in the Filename for device sheets.
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