Altium NEXUS Documentation

Exporting a Design to OrCAD from Altium NEXUS

Created: March 6, 2019 | Updated: March 6, 2019
All Contents

Altium NEXUS includes a range of design file export options that allow native design files and data to be transferred to OrCAD® design software. The exported files relate to schematic based data, and apply to both older legacy (DOS) systems and more recent OrCAD programs.

The OrCAD design file exporter is accessed through Altium NEXUS's Export menu (File » Export), where the available range of export options is relative to the currently active design file.

Installing the Exporter

The OrCAD Importer/Exporter can be installed alongside all other importers and exporters as part of initial installation of Altium NEXUS. Ensure that the OrCAD option - part of the Importers\Exporters functionality set - is enabled on the Select Design Functionality page of the Altium NEXUS Installer.

The OrCAD Importer/Exporter is selected for installation as part of the Importers\Exporters area of functionality.
The OrCAD Importer/Exporter is selected for installation as part of the Importers\Exporters area of functionality.

If support has not already been added during initial installation of the software, it can be added from the Configure Platform page when managing the extensions and updates for your installation through the Extensions & Updates view (click on the  control at the top-right of the workspace and choose Extensions and Updates from the menu):

  1. From the Installed page of the view, click the Configure button at the top-right - to access the Configure Platform page.


First access the Configure Platform page of the Extensions & Updates view.

  1. Scroll down the page and enable the entry for OrCAD in the Importers\Exporters region of the page.

Enable the OrCAD option under Importers\Exporters.Enable the OrCAD option under Importers\Exporters.

  1. Click the Apply button at the top-right of the page. Altium NEXUS must be restarted for the changes to take effect; click Yes at the dialog prompt.

Export OrCAD Capture Schematic

To convert an Altium NEXUS Schematic document (*.SchDoc) to a binary OrCAD Capture schematic file (*.dsn), use the File » Export » Orcad v7 Capture Design command while a schematic is the currently active Altium NEXUS document. The exported file’s target name and folder can be specified in the browser dialog that opens.

An OrCad schematic document may also be exported as part of an Altium NEXUS Output Job by adding the Orcad v7 Capture Design (AutoSCH) generator to the Output Job's Export Outputs category (Add New Export Output).

Export OrCAD Capture Schematic Library

To convert an Altium NEXUS Schematic Library document (*.SchLib) to an OrCAD Capture Schematic Library file (*.olb), select the File » Export » Orcad Capture Schematic library command while a schematic library is the currently active Altium NEXUS document. The exported file’s target name and folder can be specified in the browser dialog that opens.

Export OrCAD SDT Schematic

To convert an Altium NEXUS Schematic document (*.SchDoc) to an OrCAD SDT file (*.sch), select the File » Export » Orcad SDT Schematic command while a schematic design is the currently active Altium NEXUS document. The exported file’s target name and folder can be specified in the browser dialog that opens. The exported schematic applies to legacy OrCAD products such as OrCAD SDT, PC2 and 386+.

Export OrCAD Netlist

To generate and export an OrCAD-compatible netlist (*.net) from an Altium NEXUS Schematic document (*.SchDoc), select the File » Export » Netlist Schematic command while a schematic design is the currently active Altium NEXUS document. Specify the exported file’s target name and folder in the browser dialog that opens.

Next, then set the NetList format to  OrCad/PCB2 netlist using the drop-down in the Export NetList dialog. Select a Scope option of Project or Document to specify netlist generation for all available project schematics or just the currently active schematic, respectively.

An OrCAD Netlist may also be exported as part of an Altium NEXUS Output Job by adding the OrCad/PCB2 generator to the Output Job's Netlist Outputs category (Add New Netlist Output).

As an alternative to exporting an OrCAD compatible netlist, the file can be generated and added to the current Altium NEXUS project via the Design » Netlist For Project or Design » Netlist For Document commands. In the same way as outlined above, use the Netlist for Project or Netlist for Document command to specify the scope of the schematic netlist generation, and the OrCad/PCB2 sub-command to determine the file format.
Found an issue with this document? Highlight the area, then use Ctrl+Enter to report it.

Contact Us

Contact our corporate or local offices directly.

We're sorry to hear the article wasn't helpful to you.
Could you take a moment to tell us why?
200 characters remaining
You are reporting an issue with the following selected text
and/or image within the active document: