Altium Designer Documentation

NewProject

Created: June 26, 2017 | Updated: June 26, 2017
Now reading version 18.0. For the latest, read: NewProject for version 18.1

Parent page: WorkspaceManager Commands

The following pre-packaged resource, derived from this base command, is available:


Applied Parameters: ShowDialog=True

Summary

This command is used to access the New Project dialog. The dialog provides a powerful, yet intuitive interface, that caters for the creation of any of the project types supported by Altium Designer. Every design created in Altium Designer starts with a project file that stores project level settings, such as links to each of the design documents within that project. As well as creating the new project file on the hard drive, the dialog supports adding the new project to version control, or creating it as a managed project.

Access

This command is accessed from any editor by choosing the File » New » Project » Project command, from the main menus.

Use

After launching the command, the New Project dialog will appear. Use the dialog to quickly create a new project, from the following project types supported by the software:

  • Multi-board Design project (*.PrjMbd) - the set of design documents required to manufacture a multi-board product.
    Within the project, the logical system design is drawn up on a multi-board schematic (*.Mbsdoc). On that document, each physical board in the system is represented by a Module. In the properties of each Module you reference the PCB project (*.PrjPcb), and the board (*.PrjPcb) that is to be used within that project. The physical representation of the system is presented in a multi-board assembly document (*.MbaDoc). Standard output files are added and configured for fabrication and assembly, including a BOM (*.BomDoc), Draftsman document (*.PcbDwf), and OutputJob files (*.OutJob).
  • PCB project (*.PrjPcb) - the set of design documents required to manufacture a printed circuit board.
    The electronic circuit is captured as a schematic, built up from libraries of component symbols which are placed and wired together. The design is transferred to the PCB editor where each component is instantiated as a footprint (pattern) and the circuit wiring becomes point-to-point connection lines. A shape for the final PCB is defined, along with the physical layers the board will include. Design rules specify the layout requirements, such as routing widths and clearance. The components are positioned within the board shape and the connection lines are then replaced by routing, either manually or automatically. When the design is complete, standard format output files are generated which can be used to fabricate the blank board, configure an assembly machine, and so on.
  • Integrated Library package (*.LibPkg) - the set of design documents required to produce an integrated library.
    Schematic symbols are drawn in a library editor, and model references defined. Referenced models can include PCB footprints, circuit simulation models, signal integrity models and three-dimensional mechanical models. Files that contain the models are added to the Integrated Library Package (*.LibPkg), or search paths are defined to identify their location. The source schematic symbol libraries and required models are then compiled into a single file, referred to as an Integrated Library.
  • Script project (*.PrjScr) - the set of design documents that store one or more Altium Designer scripts.
    A set of instructions that are interpreted whenever a script is executed in Altium Designer. The scripts are written and debugged in the same environment. There are two types of scripts - script units and script forms. A Script unit can use the Application Programming Interface (API) to modify design objects on a design document. A script form hosts controls, as well as using the API to a provide script dialog that act on design documents open in Altium Designer.

You can either create a shell project with no added documents (select the <Default> entry in the Project Templates region), or, where available, choose an existing, defined template. The latter are found in the specified Template Location. This is the location defined on the Data Management - Templates page of the Preferences dialog (\Users\Public\Documents\Altium\AD<VersionNumber>\Templates for a default installation).

If defaults have been specified on the System - New Document Defaults page of the Preferences dialog, they will be used when the <Default> template entry is selected.

Configure where, and under what name, the new project is to be created. This can be:

  • In a folder on a local or network drive.
  • In your version control system - within a nominated repository and folder therein - with a working copy in your preferred location.
  • As a Managed Project - within a nominated repository and folder therein - with a working copy in your preferred location. A Managed Project is one that is stored in a Design Repository created through the Altium Vault's local Version Control service, or in an external VCS repository referenced through this service.

With all options for the new project defined as required, click OK. On creation, the project will be opened in the Projects panel. If you are creating a VCS-based or Managed Project, the project (and associated source files if applicable) will be added to the specified folder within the target Design Repository, then checked out to the local working folder. Note that at this stage, the project is added to the Design Repository, but still needs to be fully commited, as indicated by the blue cross(es) overlaying the icons for the project and file(s), in the panel.

Tips

  1. The default location for new projects (drive-based and checked out working copy) is based on the entry for the Document Path, on the System - Default Locations page of the Preferences dialog. The default Document Path is \Users\Public\Documents\Altium. A sub-folder, Projects, is added to this defined path, giving a full default location of \Users\Public\Documents\Altium\Projects. Note that if you determine your own location, that location will be remembered the next time you access the dialog.
  2. If you have not yet created a Design Repository, or are currently not connected to an existing one, click the Manage Repositories button. This gives access to the Data Management - Design Repositories page of the Preferences dialog, from where you can create/connect to a repository as required.
  3. Managed Projects is a feature of an Altium Vault installation.

 

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