Data Management - File-based Libraries

This document is no longer available beyond version 4. Information can now be found here: Data Management - File-based Libraries Preferences for version 5

This documentation page references Altium NEXUS/NEXUS Client (part of the deployed NEXUS solution), which has been discontinued. All your PCB design, data management and collaboration needs can now be delivered by Altium Designer and a connected Altium 365 Workspace. Check out the FAQs page for more information.


Parent page: Accessing, Defining & Managing System Preferences

The Data Management - File-based Libraries page of the Preferences dialog
The Data Management - File-based Libraries page of the Preferences dialog


The Data Management – File-based Libraries page of the Preferences dialog provides controls to manage the file-based libraries. The libraries defined are part of the Altium NEXUS environment, and therefore, components/models within are available to all open projects.

The file-based libraries are reflected in and also affected by changes made in the Installed tab of the Available File-based Libraries dialog. This dialog is accessed by clicking at the top right of the Components panel then choosing File-based Libraries Preferences.


The Data Management – File-based Libraries page is part of the main Preferences dialog that is accessed by clicking the  control in the upper-right corner of the design space then selecting the File-based Libraries entry under the Data Management folder.


File-based Libraries

This region displays the file libraries that are available to your design projects in Altium NEXUS. The following supported library types can be added:

  • Integrated Libraries
  • Schematic Libraries
  • Database Libraries
  • SVN Database Libraries
  • Simulation Libraries
  • Protel Footprint Libraries
  • PCB 3D Model Libraries

For each entry, the following information is presented:

  • Library Name - the name of the library. 
  • Activated - use to determine whether the library is activated and therefore available for use (enabled), or deactivated and therefore not available for use (disabled). A deactivated library is treated as though it has been uninstalled but remains in the file library so it can be quickly reactivated.
  • Path - displays where the library resides relative to the nominated path specified in the Library Path Relative To field. 
  • Type - the library's type.

Additional Controls

  • Library Path Relative To - any libraries added to the File-based Libraries are installed relative to the folder specified in this field. Click on the folder icon to the right of this field to browse to the required folder, or enter the path to it directly.

For a default installation, library paths are relative to the following folder: \Users\Public\Documents\Altium\<Version>\Library.

While you can enter a full path to a library by editing its Path entry, be aware that the path will change to be relative to the specified path in the Library Path Relative To field after closing and opening the Preferences dialog.
Use of a relative path makes it easy to switch between different sets of libraries and control the source of components in your designs. Changing the entry for the path in the Library Path Relative To field will automatically reload those existing libraries in the list that are found at the new location.
A library that is not found along the specified relative path will display in red text for its entry in the list. The entry in its Type field will change to Not Found and it will be automatically deactivated. A library that cannot be found cannot be activated.
  • Move Up - click to move the selected library up in the list (where possible).
  • Move Down - click to move the selected library down in the list (where possible).
The order of the libraries in the list will be the order they appear within the corresponding drop-down in the Components panel.
  • Install - click to access a menu offering the following installation commands:
    • Install from file - choose this command to access a standard dialog with which you can browse to and open the required standard, file-based library type (*.IntLib, *.SchLib, *.PcbLib , *.DbLib , *.SVNDbLib , *.PCB3DLib , *.MDL, *.CKT, *.LIB, or *.CIR,).
    • Install from server - choose this command to access the Server Library dialog. If you are connected to a workspace, you will be able to use this dialog to create the workspace 'library', defining its name and the path to each workspace folder to be included as part of that library.
  • Remove - click this button to remove the currently selected library(ies) from the list. You can select multiple libraries in the list using standard multi-select controls (Ctrl+click, Shift+click).


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