Altium Designer Documentation

Sch_Obj-ManagedSheetInstanceSymbolManaged Sheet Instance Symbol_AD

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

A Placed Managed Sheet Instance Symbol 
A Placed Managed Sheet Instance Symbol


A Managed Sheet Instance Symbol is an electrical design primitive. It is used to represent a Managed Sheet and usually contain predefined circuits. A Managed Sheet Instance Symbol references a managed sheet and can be re-used within and across design projects. Managed Sheet Instance Symbols include sheet entry symbols, which provide a connection point for signals between the parent and child sheets, similar to sheet symbols.

A Managed Sheet Instance Symbol can only be placed from the Vault.


A Managed Sheet Instance Symbol is available for placement in the schematic editor only. Use the following steps to access the placement command:

  • Ensure a schematic sheet is the current active document.
  • Open Vault Explorer (DXP » Vault Explorer) and locate the target Managed Sheet item.
  • Right click the item then select Place XXX from pop-up menu.


After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair and you will enter Managed Sheet Instance 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 Managed Sheet Instance Symbol.
  2. Move the cursor to adjust the size of the Managed Sheet Instance Symbol, then click or press Enter to anchor the diagonally-opposite corner.

Additional actions that can be performed during placement – while the Managed Sheet Instance Symbol is still floating on the cursor are:

  • Press the Tab key to access an associated properties dialog, from where properties for the Managed Sheet Instance Symbol 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 Managed Sheet Instance Symbol counterclockwise or Shift+Spacebar for clockwise rotation in increments of 90°.
  • Press the X or Y keys to mirror the Managed Sheet Instance Symbol 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 Managed Sheet Instance Symbol object directly in the workspace and change its size, shape or location, graphically.

When a Managed Sheet Instance Symbol object is selected, the following editing handles are available:

A selected Managed Sheet Instance.

A selected Managed Sheet Instance.

  • Click and drag A to resize the Managed Sheet Instance Symbol in vertical and horizontal directions separately.
  • Click and drag B to resize the Managed Sheet Instance Symbol in vertical and horizontal directions simultaneously.
Resizing the Managed Sheet Instance Symbol will not affect the absolute positions of any Sheet Entries within it.
  • Click anywhere on the Managed Sheet Instance Symbol away from editing handles and drag to reposition it.
The Managed Sheet Instance 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 and Sheet Symbol File Name dialogs, respectively). Editing handles are not available when either of these objects are selected:


The selected Designator or 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:

  • Press the Spacebar to rotate the text. Rotation is anti-clockwise and in steps of 90°.
  • Press the X or Y keys to flip the text along the X-axis or Y-axis respectively.
    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 and then click once to invoke 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

The following methods of non-graphical editing are available:

Via an Associated Properties Dialog

Dialog page: Properties for Managed Sheet Instance

This method of editing uses the Properties for Managed Sheet Instance dialog to modify the properties of a managed sheet instance object.

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

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

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

The Managed Sheet Instance Designator and Filename text fields can be formatted independently of the managed sheet instance itself. The corresponding properties dialogs for each - the Sheet Symbol Designator and Sheet Symbol File Name dialogs - can be accessed using the methods described above (replacing managed sheet instance symbol object with either sheet symbol designator or sheet symbol filename).

The Sheet Symbol Designator and Sheet Symbol File Name dialogs  The Sheet Symbol Designator and Sheet Symbol File Name dialogs
The Sheet Symbol Designator and Sheet Symbol File Name dialogs

Via an Inspector Panel

Panel pages: SCH Inspector, SCH Filter

An Inspector panel enables the user 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 List, SCH Filter

List panel allows the user 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.

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