Project Options - Search Paths

Now reading version 3.2. For the latest, read: Project Options - Search Paths for version 4

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.


 The Search Paths tab of the Project Options dialog
The Search Paths tab of the Project Options dialog


The Search Paths tab of the Project Options dialog enables you to specify the search paths to library and model files for the project.


To access the Search Paths tab, the Value field for the UI.ProjectOptions.SearchPaths on the Advanced Settings dialog must be enabled (it is disabled by default). The Advanced Settings dialog is accessed by clicking the Advanced button on the System - General page of the Preferences dialog. If any changes are made in the Advanced Settings dialog, the software must be restarted in order for the changes to take effect.

This is one of multiple tabs available when configuring the options for a project and is accessed from within the Project Options dialog. To access the Project Options dialog:

  • From the PCB or Schematic editor, click Project » Project Options.
  • Right-click on the project name on the Projects panel, then click Project Options from the context menu.


Ordered List of Search Paths 

This grid shows the ordered list of search paths for library and model files (e.g., PCB footprint libraries, Simulation and SI models). For each path, you can specify the filter and the recursive settings.

  • Path - location of the search path.
  • Filter - the filter for the search. By default, the filter searches for all files.
  • Recursive - check to search all the sub-directories of the search path directory. Double-click on a search path to edit this path.
The above areas are defined using the Edit Search Path dialog, accessed by selecting an entry then clicking Properties
  • Add - use to open the Edit Search Path dialog to add a new search path. 
  • Delete - use to remove a selected search path.
  • Properties - use to access the Edit Search Path dialog to edit the properties of the selected search path.
  • Move Up - use to move the selected search path up one line.
  • Move Down - use to move the selected search path down one line.

Files Found on All Search Paths 

This grid shows the library and model files that are found from the Ordered List of Search Paths list. Use the Refresh List button to view an updated list.

Setting up a path does not mean that the libraries on that path are installed in the project. You are only setting up 'pointers' to where those libraries reside on the hard disk.

The paths you define are local to the current project. If you want to make libraries available to each project within the application, you will need to add the libraries to the Installed Libraries list. This is a list of pointers to library files that exist on the hard disk. Adding libraries to the Installed Libraries list is a separate and distinct operation.

The search paths specified in this tab will be used in the order that they are listed. A default search path exists, which is the path to the actual project document. This default path will be searched first before searching the paths defined in the tab.

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