Altium Designer Documentation

システムプリファレンスのアクセス、定義及び管理_AD

Created: March 21, 2022 | Updated: August 2, 2022

Your Altium Designer software provides a central location from where you can set up various preferences across different functional areas. These are global system settings that apply across projects and relevant documents.

Configuration of preferences is performed from within the Preferences dialog, accessed by clicking on the  control at the top-right of the main design window.

The Preferences dialog - control central for setting global system and editor-specific settings.The Preferences dialog - control central for setting global system and editor-specific settings.

The Preferences dialog provides a number of useful tools to ensure your set of preferences is just as you require, including:

  • Ability to import preferences defined in a previous instance, or version of the software.
  • Ability to save preferences to, and load preferences from, a Preferences file (*.DXPPrf).
  • Ability to set the options and controls on the active preferences page, or all pages, back to their defaults.

If you have a Workspace, you can formally release your Altium Design Preferences into a target Item (and revision thereof) in that Workspace. Once the preferences set has been released, the preferences can be reused across installations of the software.

When connected to a Workspace, a green icon () appears next to Data Management Preferences pages that are subject to the Workspace's control.

Preferences are clustered into categories. Click on an entry within a category on the left-hand side of the dialog to present the detailed page for that area on the right. Use the controls and options available on a loaded page to configure your preferences for that area of the software as required. This could be a mixture of satisfying company policy and your preferred working environment. More information about the various pages of preferences can be found below.

System Preferences

The System – General page of the Preferences dialog provides controls relating to the general settings of the software.

Options/Controls

Startup

  • Reopen Last Project Group - enable this option to open the last saved project group when the application is started. Disable this option to start a new project group session when the software is started up.
  • Open Home page on start - enable this option to display the Home Page when the application is started. Disable this option to not display the Home Page.
  • Show startup screen - enable this option if you want to see the startup screen when the software is being loaded into computer memory. This will provide visual confirmation that the software is loading. The startup process can take a while depending on whether previous workspaces with projects are being opened or not. Disable this option to not see the startup screen.

General

  • Monitor clipboard content within this application only - enable this option to monitor the clipboard when copying and pasting data within the software. With this option enabled, non-compliant data that is copied to the clipboard will not be pasted within the software. Disable this option to not monitor the clipboard data.
  • Use Left/Right Selection - check to use right side (inside area) and left side (touching rectangle) selections in all editors. This option is enabled by default. 

Reload Documents Modified Outside of Altium Designer

  • Never - select this option to never reload documents that have been modified outside of the software.
  • Ask User - select this option to ask the user for permission before reloading documents that have been modified outside of the software. Choosing this option will activate Only If Document Is Modified.
    • Only If Document Is Modified - enable this option to reload only modified documents. This checkbox is only accessible if Ask User is selected.
  • Always - select this option to always reload documents that have been modified outside of the software.

Localization

  • Use localized resources - localized resources are the installed local languages used for the software. The software platform supports simplified and traditional Chinese, Japanese, German, French, Korean, and Russian language installations. Click this option to enable localized resources for the software. Items will be translated according to the language that is installed on the machine on which the software is installed. A restart of the software is necessary if this option is selected.
By default, this option is disabled and standard English is the setting for all dialogs, menus, and hints.
  • The following options are available only if Use localized resources option is checked:
    • Display localized dialogs - choose this option to translate dialogs only. 
    • Display localized hints only - choose this option to translate hints only. 
    • Localized menus - enable this option to translate menus.
  • Advanced - click this button to open the Advanced Settings dialog to enable and disable internal optimization options.

The System – View page of the Preferences dialog provides controls relating to the look and feel of the general workspace, including behavior of panels and documents.

Options/Controls

  • Desktop
    • Autosave desktop – enable this option to automatically save the position and size of document windows settings at shut down. The desktop includes the position and visibility of panels and toolbars.
    • Restore open documents – enable this option to open documents in the workspace when the software is started according to their state in the previous session. Disable this option to start a blank workspace when the software is started.
    • Layouts 
      • Load - click to open a file browser to select a saved Desktop Layout (*.TLT) file.
      • Save - click to save the current layout as a Desktop Layout (*.TLT) file. Saved layouts can be loaded for re-use.
      • Reset - click to return to the default desktop layout configuration.
  • Popup Panels
    • Popup delay – move this slider to the right to maximize the time it takes for a panel to appear when in 'pop-out' mode. Move the slider to the left to minimize the time taken for the panel to appear.
    • Hide delay – move this slider to the right to maximize the time it takes for a panel to be hidden when in 'pop-out' mode. Move the slider to the left to minimize the time taken for the panel to disappear.
      • Use animation – enable this option if you want panels to be animated while they are being opened or closed in 'pop-out' mode. Disable this option if you want panels just to appear or disappear without any delay.
    • Animation speed – with the Use animation option enabled, move this slider to the left for slower animation or to the right for faster animation of panels in 'pop-out' mode.
  • General
    • Hide floating panels on focus change – enable this option to hide floating panels in the software when you are switching focus to a different software application. Disable this option to leave floating panels as they are when switching focus to another application.
    • Remember window for each document kind – enable this option to open documents in the same window or in individual windows in the specified locations according to the last placed document of the same kind. For example, when using two monitors, with this option enabled, you can open one schematic, drag it into a new window on the second monitor, and from then on all schematics opened will go to the second monitor. Disable this option to open documents of any kind in the same workspace.
    • Auto show symbol and model previews – enable this option to automatically display Schematic symbol and PCB footprint graphics where they exist on the Components panel.
    • Open internet links in external Web browser – enable this option to have Internet-based content open as externally loaded content in your default Web browser.
  • Documents Bar
    • Group documents if need – enable this option to group documents together on tabs on the document bar. Grouped documents are indexed numerically in ascending order. Disable this option and all open documents will have their own visible tab on the documents bar. Two methods of grouping are available:
      • By document kind – enable this option to group documents of the same type on the same tab.
      • By project – enable this option to group documents from the same project on the same tab.
    • Use equal-width buttons – enable this option to equally size all open document tabs, regardless how long the document filenames are. Disable this option and each document tab is resized according to the length of the document filename.
    • Multiline documents bar – enable this option if there are more document tabs that can fit on a single document bar. Disable this option and only one document bar can host document tabs.
    • Ctrl+Tab switches to the last active document – enable this option to toggle between the currently active document and the previously active document using Ctrl+Tab. Disable this option will toggle through all open documents sequentially when using Ctrl+Tab.
    • Close switches to the last active document – enable this option to make the last active document active again when closing the currently active document.
    • Middle click closes document tab – enable this option to close documents by using the mouse middle button (typically the Scrolling Wheel). You can then middle-click over a document tab to close that document.
  • UI Theme
    • Current - use the drop-down to select the desired user interface theme. Choices include: Altium Dark Gray and Altium Light Gray.
    • Preview - displays an example of the chosen theme in the above option.

The System – Account Management page of the Preferences dialog provides controls to configure your Altium account. Altium Designer includes various on-demand style features, made available to you upon signing into your Altium account through the secure Altium portal. Such features include on-demand licensing, automatic software updates, retrieval of updated exchange rates for use with live links to suppliers, and streamlined activation of Standalone licensing. These features are all offered in accordance with a singular underlying vision - to enhance your productivity by delivering the information you need, when and where you need it.

Options/Controls

Altium Connection

Altium Designer includes features to enhance your productivity by bringing information to you on-demand. Whenever a connection to any of these services is made, information about you and your PC may be gathered to identify you and deliver the right services. Information collected by Altium will not be shared with any third parties.

Information Gathered

When you use a feature that connects Altium Designer to the on-demand services, Altium may collect the following information:

  • MAC Addresses: Altium uses a computer's MAC address to identify a PC. If you sign in on multiple computers, each sign in request will be recorded uniquely.
  • HDD serial numbers: Along with the MAC addresses, this information provides a robust way to identify a PC for licensing purposes.
  • Altium Designer version: Altium uses the software version to differentiate between products so that the correct services can be delivered for each product.

Altium does not, and shall not, read or gather any information about the designs or files you use within Altium Designer.

All connections to the Altium portal through Altium Designer are secure. Along with the information that is gathered, information that you enter will also be communicated in requests to Altium's portal. When data is recorded with Altium's portal, the data will include a time stamp showing when the data was recorded.

Altium's Privacy Policy

Altium is committed to ensuring that all the details you provide to us remain secure. The following privacy policy discloses the information practices for Altium services.

How we use the information

The information gathered by Altium is used to provide you with the correct services that can be delivered for your product. Altium may also use the information for internal reviews and analysis in order to improve our products and services.

We will not disclose your individual information to any third party and will not sell, trade or rent that information for marketing purposes. If we need to disclose any information to conform to any laws or legal process we will do so in a manner so as to provide the maximum amount of protection legally possible for such information.

Consent

By connecting with Altium's services through Altium Designer, you are consenting to the gathering of this information and our use of this information in accordance with the principles outlined in this Privacy Policy.

Should you not wish to receive the benefits that these services bring, Altium makes it readily possible to disconnect from its on-demand services.

If at any time we change the Privacy Policy we will post those changes on the website so that you are kept fully informed.

There may be occasions where you need to disconnect from these services altogether. For example, your company may have strict, non-negotiable policies in place for connection to the 'outside world'. In instances such as this, Altium makes it possible to disconnect from its on-demand services, placing full control in your hands. Should your circumstances change, you can reconnect with Altium at any time – on-demand!

Would you like to connect with Altium?

  • Yes, I would like to allow connections to Altium's on-demand services - by enabling this option you are allowing Altium Designer to connect with Altium over its secure portal whenever you want to access one of Altium's on-demand services. Enabling this option does not mean you are instantly and constantly connected to Altium, nor does it mean we are constantly gathering your information. Connection is only made at the time you actually use one of the on-demand-style features that require connection to Altium (through the portal). For example, to sign in to your account from within Altium Designer and manage extensions and updates, you use a feature that requires connection with Altium – which is only possible if you have enabled this option to allow such a connection. Data may be gathered at the time of using an on-demand service to ensure that you are provided with the right service for you.
  • No, I wish to remain disconnected from Altium - by enabling this option, your installation of Altium Designer will stay completely disconnected from Altium. While disconnected, you will not be able to access or use any of the on-demand services that require a connection with Altium. In essence, this option is a 'full off' switch, with the trade off of not being able to use any of Altium's on-demand services.
When the option to remain disconnected is enabled,  will be displayed and all other options on the page will be disabled.
If you are actively using a Standalone license, disconnecting from Altium will not affect the license since it is already activated and in use. Whether you are signed in or working offline with the license, simply disconnect and carry on working in true standalone fashion. If you are accessing your Standalone license for the very first time, or you have inadvertently deleted the license from your computer (and have no backup of the associated license file), you will need to activate (reactivate) the license. This can only be done while connected to Altium and signed in to your Altium Designer Account.
Use of Altium Designer Live Links to Supplier Data feature does not require you to be signed in to your Altium Designer Account since searching is conducted directly with the suppliers through web services. However, when displaying pricing information in alternate currencies, exchange rates for currency conversion are refreshed daily, provided you are signed in to your account. When you disconnect from Altium, access to these rates – which are updated every 24 hours – is lost.
While disconnected from Altium, you will not be able to utilize on-demand licensing, nor will automatic checking for updates be performed. All installation changes – and management of extensions – require that you be signed in to your Altium Designer Account.

Account Sign in

  • User Name - enter your user name in this field. This is the user name created when your Altium Designer Account Credentials were created.
  • Password - enter your Altium Designer Account password in this field.
    • Sign me in when I start Altium Designer - enable this option to automatically be signed in to your account when you start the software.
These settings are reflected in and are also affected by, changes made in the Account Sign In dialog. The Account Sign In dialog is accessed by clicking Sign In on the License Management page (Click the button and select License Management from the drop-down menu).

Altium Account Management Servers

When you sign in to your account, you do so through an Altium portal. On the Altium side, a portal is simply a secure connection to a specific Altium Account Management Server.

  • Location - enter the required portal. The default portal is portal365.altium.com.

The System – Transparency page of the Preferences dialog allows you to control the transparency of floating windows and toolbars.

Options/Controls

  • Transparent floating windows - enable this option to automatically make all floating toolbars and windows that are over the workspace transparent when an interactive process is invoked. If this option is enabled, the Files panel is made transparent.
  • Dynamic transparency - enable this option to dynamically set the transparency of floating toolbars and windows. The system uses the distance of each window from the cursor to calculate its transparency. If this option is enabled, whenever the cursor is moved toward a dialog, the dialog becomes transparent. Use the Distance factor slider to determine the distance at which the transparency 'kicks in'. 
     
    • Sliding Transparency Controls

      • Highest transparency - move this slider to the right for maximum transparency whenever a cursor approaches the floating window.
      • Lowest transparency - move this slider to the right for minimum transparency whenever a cursor is moved away from the floating window.
Use the Highest transparency and Lowest transparency bars in conjunction with each other to control how transparent the windows and panels appear. For example, both bars to the far right means a floating window becomes completely transparent when an interactive process is in the way; both bars to the far left means the floating window is not transparent.
  • Distance factor - use this slider to determine the distance between the cursor and the floating window (dialog or panel) at which the transparency 'kicks in'. Move this slider to the left to set a smaller distance and to the right for a larger distance.

The System – Navigation page of the Preferences dialog provides controls relating to navigating actions in the Navigator panel.

For a high-level look at working with objects between the Schematic and PCB editing domains, see Cross-Probing and Selecting.

Options/Controls

  • Highlight Methods - select the desired methods of highlighting graphical objects during navigation, cross-probing, and when exploring differences between documents or compiler messages. Choose from the following:
    • Selecting - enable this option to select your item of interest.
    • Connective Graph - enable this option to show how your item is connected.
      • Include Power Parts - enable this option to show the connectivity through to the power parts as well in the connectivity graph. This option is only available if Connective Graph is checked.
    • Zooming - enable this option to zoom in to display your item of interest.
      • Far/Close - use this slider to control how closely the system will zoom into highlighted objects. The farther to the right (Close) you move the slider, the larger the magnification and vice versa.
    • Dimming - enable this option to dim the display of all other objects except your item of interest.
      • None/Invisible - use this slider to control the dimming. The farther to the right (Invisible) you move the slider, the more objects will be dimmed
  • Objects To Display - enable the following objects you want displayed in the Navigator panel:
    • Pins
    • Ports
    • Sheet Connectors
    • Graphical Lines
    • Net Labels 
    • Sheet Entries
    • Sheet Symbols
  • Cross Select Mode - use the following options to cross select objects between the schematic and PCB.     
    • Cross Selection - use to toggle cross selection on and off. When this is checked, each selected object in one editor will be selected in the open documents of the other editor.
      • Dimming - enable this option to dim the display of all other objects except the selected item(s).
      • Zooming - enable this option to zoom in to display your selected item(s).  
      • Reposition selected component in PCB - enables you to select a component in the schematic and reposition it in the PCB.
      • Focus document containing selection if visible - enable this option to transfer focus to the schematic or PCB document that is visible when objects in them are cross selected. 
    • Objects for cross selection - enable the required options you want to cross select: Components, Nets, and/or Pins. Any number of the options can be selected.

The System – Design Insight page of the Preferences dialog allows the user to control various aspects of design viewing, such as previews of documents, supply chain information, and hyperlinks.

Options/Controls

  • Design Insight
    • Enable Document Insight - check this option to display a preview of a document when you hover over the document icon in the Projects panel or document bar. 
    • Enable Project Insight - check this option to display a table of document previews when you hover over the project icon in the Projects panel. Schematic, PCB and OpenBus documents are displayed. You can navigate to the document by clicking on it in the preview.
    • Enable Connectivity Insight - check this option to display the connectivity of net objects when you hover over a net object. Enabling this insight option will show previews of the child sheets for sheet symbols, net connectivity across the entire project for electrical objects, and sub-parts for components. The selected net is highlighted in the preview with all other objects masked. The previews will be displayed with respect to the project hierarchy. Use Alt+Double Click on any net object to show Connectivity Insight on demand. Compile the project to establish the connectivity information before using this feature.
    • Enable Hyperlink Insight - check this option to display a link over hyperlink objects, and annotations and parameters that have a URL or website as their text string. ​
    • Mouse Hover Delay - use the slider to control the delay for the Connectivity Insight information to appear, starting with 0s (seconds) on the left to a maximum of 4s on the right. 
  • Connectivity Insight Options - use this table to further customize Connectivity Insight.
    • Insight Content to Show - a list of content areas within Connectivity Insight:
      • Document Tree 
      • Document Preview 
      • Object Hints 
      • Hyperlink
    • Launch Style - check any of the following options desired for launching Connectivity Insight information:
      • Mouse Hover - check the box for each content area you want Connectivity Insight information to launch with mouse hovering.
      • Alt+Double Click - check the box for each content area you want Connectivity Insight information to launch by using Alt+Double Click.
Disabling the Launch Style for the Document Tree will also disable the Document Preview.

The System – Projects Panel page of the Preferences dialog provides controls relating to the behavior of the Projects panel.

Options/Controls

  • General
    • Show VCS status – enable to show the status of the document in respect to the version control system (checked out or checked in).
    • Show document position in project – enable to show the document position relative to the project, indexed by a number in parentheses.
    • Show full path information in hint – enable to include full path information in the tip when the cursor hovers over a document name on the Projects panel.
    • Show Automatic Sheet Numbering – enable to display the automatic sheet numbering of documents in the Projects panel.
    • Show Components and Nets folders – enable to display the Components and Nets folders that list a PCB design project's components and nets upon validation of the project.
  • File View
    • Show Project Structure – enable to show the structure of intra-projects (consisting of sheets and sheet symbols) and inter-projects (connections between projects and the components that link them) if the File View option is selected on the Projects panel.
    • Show Document Structure – enable to show the structure of opened projects and sub-projects if the File View option is selected on the Projects panel.
  • Documents Grouping
    • Do not group – select this option if you do not want the project documents within a project listed as groups.
    • By class – select this option to list project documents in document classes: source documents, library documents and generated documents.
    • By document type – select this option if you want to group project documents according to their document type. For example, output documents will be listed under the Output Job Files folder.
  • Components Grouping
    • Do not group – select this option if you do not want the components within a project listed as groups.
    • By designator's first character – group components by the component designator's first character.
    • By comment – group components by their comments.
    • By owner sheet – group components by their owner sheets.
  • Sorting
    • Project order – select this option if you want project documents sorted according to the order they were added to the project.
    • Alphabetically – select this option if you want the project documents sorted alphabetically.
    • Open/modified status – select this option if you want the project documents sorted according to the status they are in, i.e. opened documents, edited documents, and unopened documents.
    • VCS Status – select this option if you want the project documents sorted according to whether they are logged as checked out, checked in or as standalone documents from a version control system.
    • Ascending – enable if you want the project documents to appear in ascending order.
  • Single Click
    • Does nothing – select this option to cause a single click on the Projects panel to do nothing.
    • Activates open documents / objects – select this option if you want a single click on a document in the Projects panel to bring to the front a currently open design document.
    • Opens and shows documents / object – select this option if you want a single click on a document in the Projects panel to open this document in the design space.
  • Default Expansion
    Any changes made to the Default Expansion settings require a reboot of the system for the changes to take effect.
    • Fully contracted – select this option to show only project titles.
    • Expanded one level – select this option to show only projects and their top-level documents.
    • Source files expanded – select this option to show only source documents (such as schematic documents) of a project. Other document types, such as output job files and database link file folders will remain contracted.
    • Fully expanded – select this option to show all files of open projects.

The System – Default Locations page of the Preferences dialog allows you to specify default locations for your documents, libraries, and output job files.

Options/Controls

  • Document Path - use  to open a dialog to search for and choose the desired default document path.
  • Library Path - use  to open a dialog to search for and choose the desired default library path.
  • OutputJob Path - this is the location for default Output Job files that can be added to a project when using the Project Releaser if that project currently has no Output Job file(s) associated with it. By default, two files are provided with the installation (Fabrication.OutJob and Assembly.OutJob). You can run with these default files as they are, edit them to suit your needs, and add additional Output Job files. Define the Outjobs as required within the default folder or specify your own custom folder location by using  to open a dialog to search for and choose an alternative folder location. All Output Job files found in the specified location will be added to the project.

The System – File Types page of the Preferences dialog allows you to define the file types associated with the software.

Options/Controls

  • Associated File Types 
    • Supported Extensions - this region is a list of all the file types supported by the software. 
      • Register - associate the file type by checking the box.
      • Extension - the extension of the file.
      • Description - a description of the listed file.
    • All On - click to check all file types.
    • All Off - click to uncheck all file types.
    • Group on - click to check all file types within a group once a file type is selected.
    • Group off - click to uncheck all file types within a group once a file type is selected.
    • Selected on - click to check the box of a selected file type.
    • Selected off - click to uncheck the box of a selected file type.

The System – New Document Defaults page of the Preferences dialog leads to the Data Management - Templates page of the Preferences dialog, where you can manage templates from one place. 

Options/Controls

Go to Templates - click this button to access the Data Management - Templates page of the Preferences dialog.

The System – Printer Settings page of the Preferences dialog allows you to customize page sizes for exported PDF documents. 

Options/Controls

  • Custom page sizes for exporting to PDF

    • Title - the name of the page size.
    • Width - the width of the page size.
    • Height - the height of the page size.
  • Add - click to add a size to the main list. Choices include:
    • ARCH A 
    • ARCH B
    • ARCH C
    • ARCH D
    • ARCH E
    • ARCH E1
    • C5 Envelope (162 x 229 mm)
    • DL Envelope (110 x 220 mm)
    • Folio (8.5 x 13 in)
    • JIS B1
    • JIS B2
    • JIS B3
    • JIS B4
    • JIS B5
    • Ledger (17 x 11 in)
    • Monarch Envelope (3.87 x 7.5 in)
    • No. 10 Envelope (4.125 x 9.5 in)
    • Note (7.5 x 10 in)
    • Statement (5.5 x 8.5 in)
    • Custom - click this choice to add a new page title and size.
  • Edit Page - click to open the Edit Page dialog in which you can customize the title and size of the selected page size.
  • Remove - click to remove the selected page size from the list.

The System - Mouse Wheel Configuration page of the Preferences dialog is used to configure how the mouse wheel functions. You can configure the mouse wheel functioning for all editors or specifically for PCB and/or schematic documents.

Options/Controls

Mouse Wheel Configuration

  • Action - a list of actions for which the mouse wheel can be configured. These configurations are for a mouse that has a wheel between two mouse buttons. As noted in the grid, Launch Board InsightChange Layer and Zoom Insight Lens are configurations that affect the mouse wheel only in the PCB Editor; Change Channel affects the mouse wheel only in the schematic. 
Action items that do not specify a specific editor will configure mouse wheel operations in all editors, including Draftsman.
  • Button Configuration - use these options to configure any keyboard button combination (Ctrl and/or Shift and/or Alt) that is required to be used along with the mouse wheel function (as listed in the grid) to perform that action.

The System – Installation page of the Preferences dialog provides controls relating to updating the installation of the software.

Options/Controls

  • Automatic Checking
    • Check frequency - use the drop-down to select how often you want the system to automatically check for updates. Choices include:
      • Never
      • On Start-up
      • Every day
      • Every 3 days (Default)
      • Every week
      • Every 2 weeks
      • Every month
    • Global installation service - select this option if you use global installation services.
    • Local installation service - select this option if you use local installation services.
    • Offline installation - use  to open a dialog to search for the desired folder for offline installations.
For information about installations services, refer to the Network Installation Service page.

The System - Product Improvement page of the Preferences dialog allows you to opt in or out of the Altium Product Improvement Program. The program helps Altium to improve Altium Designer through understanding our customer's behavior and environments. The information that is collected is anonymous and will not affect your designs in any way.

Options/Controls

  • Participate - enable this option to participate in the Altium Product Improvement Program.
The data collection process will not affect your computer or designs in any way.  We use a highly optimized approach to the data collection and therefore, your computer performance will not be affected in any way.
No personal data or design information will be collected and you can stop participation in the program at any time. Participation in this program is strictly voluntary and anonymous. 
  • Read Altium's Privacy Policy - click to read specifics about the type of data that is collected and how that data is used. 

The System - Network Activity page of the Preferences dialog gives you full control over network connectivity. Altium Designer uses the Internet and third party servers to connect to Altium Cloud and suppliers, to search for updates, etc. It may be desired or necessary to work offline in some situations or environments. You can disable specific network activity or disable all network activity by selecting/deselecting the listed functions on this page.

Options/Controls

Allowed Network Activities 

Click to check/uncheck each activity from which you wish to connect/disconnect:

You can also fully disable all network connectivity by clicking Allowed Network Activities (at the top of the list) to uncheck all boxes. To reconnect to all listed options, click Allowed Network Activities again to recheck all boxes.
Altium Designer must be restarted for any of the new Network Activity settings to take effect.
  • Altium Portal - check this box to connect to the Altium Portal. When you uncheck this box, Altium Cloud and Global Update Service will automatically also uncheck.
  • Altium Cloud - check this box to have access to Altium Cloud. Unchecking this option can be particularly useful when working in classified or public WiFi environments.
  • Data Management Server - check this box if access to a data management server (Vault, Nexus, Workspaces, etc.,) is required. If disabled, you will also be disconnected from the Infrastructure server for licensing.
  • Built-In Browser - check this box if access to online Help/Search functions is required.
  • License Server - check this box to allow all License Server related traffic.
  • Parts Providers - check this box if you desire access to Parts Providers' servers.
  • NanoBoard Firmware - check this box if you want to receive updates to the NanoBoard 3000 Firmware that is pre-installed with Altium Designer.
  • Global Update Service - check this box to allow automatic checking, downloading and installation of updates from the global server. 
  • Sending Crash Reports - check this box if you want to have crash reports sent to Altium.
  • Publishing - check this box to access the Publishing Destinations (for output jobs) that you specified in the Data Management - Publishing Destinations Preferences page.
  • Product Improvement - check this box if you want to connect to Altium servers for participation in the Product Improvement Program.

Data Management Preferences

The Data Management – Version Control page of the Preferences dialog allows you to set up version control options. SVN - Subversion is built-in and is, therefore, installed by default. This extension delivers the implementation of version control functionality through the use of SharpSVN. This implementation has full support for Unicode (multi-byte) characters in file names. As an example, this allows you to add files to your SVN VCS repository that include Russian characters in their names.

Options/Controls

  • Provider - lists the version control providers available.
  • Enabled - check to enable SVN - Subversion to enable the default provider.
  • Choose the SVN Version format for your local working copy when checking out new projects from all design repositories - select the desired SVN version working copy format. 
If a format other than 1.9 is selected, the working copy format should be used for checkout of new projects only. For example, if you already have a project using the 1.9 version and the 1.7 version is selected, you might encounter problems with your working copy.

The Data Management – Design Repositories page of the Preferences dialog allows you to create or connect to a design repository.

Options/Controls

Design Repositories

A Design Repository is a version control system that contains your team's design document.

  • Design Repository List - displays all the current available design repositories.
  • Create New - use to create a new design repository.
  • Connect to - use to connect to an existing design repository.
  • Properties - click to open a dialog in which you can edit the selected design repository's properties.
  • Remove - click to remove the selected design repository.

The Data Management – Servers page of the Preferences dialog includes controls to configure current Workspace usage and project release options.

Options/Controls

Servers

  • Active – this region displays information for the currently active connected Workspace.

    • Off/On – click to toggle between connecting and disconnecting to/from the Workspace. When Off is selected, a confirmation dialog opens to confirm your decision to disconnect from the Workspace. Clicking Yes in the confirmation dialog will immediately disconnect you from the Workspace. In order to reconnect to the Workspace, use the Sign In command in the upper-right corner of the design space as stated in this region of the dialog.
    • Active – shows that the Workspace that is currently active.
    • Properties – click to access a drop-down to access the properties edit commands. Choices are:

      When connected to an Altium 365 Workspace, note that lifecycle and revision naming management and the ability to set global Workspace operation permissions are not supported with the Standard Subscription Plan. As such, this functionality will not be available with this level of access to Altium 365, and the Lifecycles, Naming schemes, and Operations options will not be shown in the Properties drop-down.
  • Known Servers – click to open information for any available (yet not currently active) Workspaces.

    • Off/On – click to toggle between connecting and disconnecting to/from the Workspace. When Off is selected, a confirmation dialog opens to confirm your decision to disconnect from the Workspace. Clicking Yes in the confirmation dialog will immediately disconnect you from the Workspace. In order to reconnect to the Workspace, use the Sign In command in the upper-right corner of the design space as stated in this region of the dialog.
    • Connected/Disconnected – when Connected is displayed, you are connected to this Workspace but it is not currently the active Workspace. When Disconnected is displayed, you are not connected to this Workspace.
    • Properties – click to access a drop-down to access the properties edit commands. Choices available are:

      • Server configuration – click to open the Admin – Settings page of the Workspace's browser-based interface.
      • Connection – click to open the Connection Properties dialog to configure your connection to an on-site Workspace.

    • Automatically connect Altium Content Vault – enable to automatically connect to the Altium Content Vault.
    • Clear Cache – select to delete any locally cached component data that has been retrieved from a Workspace by the Components panel.

Project Release

  • Folder for temporary files storage during release generation

    • Automatically (in system %temp% folder) – select to automatically generate a folder for file storage during release.
    • Manually – select to manually generate a folder for file storage during release. When enabled, use the browse icon to search for and select the desired folder.
    • Delete contents after exiting release mode – enable to delete the contents of the folder after completing release.
    • Prepend revision HRID to file names – add revision prefixes to file names.

The Data Management – Publishing Destinations page of the Preferences dialog provides controls to set up publishing destinations or storage spaces where data can be published. Publishing Destinations offer you the ability to publish release data for a revision of a PCB Fabrication Data Item, PCB Assembly Data Item, or PCB Project Design Item, directly from a Workspace, or Output Job, to storage space – such as Box.com, Amazon S3, an FTP server, or a simple folder location on a shared network.

The Data Management – Publishing Destinations page enables you to host generated release data securely, while providing access to it on a global scale. For more information, see Working with Publishing Destinations.

Options/Controls

  • Publishing Destinations – lists the name, type, and status of any existing Publishing Destinations. Double-click on an entry to open the Edit Connection dialog for that publishing destination.
  • Add Destination – click to select one of the following options:

  • Edit Connection – select a publishing destination from the table then click this button to edit information for that entry in the Edit Connection dialog.
  • Remove – select an entry from the publishing destination table then click this button to remove that entry. Only one entry can be removed at a time.
The Publishing option on the System – Network Activity page of the Preferences dialog allows you to disable access to specified Box.com, Amazon S3 and FTP server Publishing Destinations when working offline.

The Data Management – Backup page of the Preferences dialog provides controls to set up data backup location and frequency.

Options/Controls

Auto Save 

  • Auto save every - check this option to enable the auto save function. Use the associated Minutes control to set the desired backup interval.
  • Number of versions to keep - enter or scroll to the maximum number of versions you want to keep. You will only be able to access previous versions up to the number entered. Other versions are overwritten.
  • Path - this displays the path location where the files will be saved. Click  to open a dialog in which you can search for the desired location to save the files.
For a default installation, the Path for the Auto Save feature will be: \Users\<ProfileName>\AppData\Roaming\Altium\Altium Designer <GUID>\Recovery.

The Data Management – File Locking page of the Preferences dialog includes controls related to file locking.

Note that file locking managed by these settings is applicable only to the same local files opened in different instances of Altium Designer. For Workspace projects (hosted by an Altium 365 Workspace (with the Pro Subscription Plan) or Concord Pro Workspace), the Conflict Prevention feature is available to control concurrent document access and editing in real-time. Refer to Collaborators Visualization & Conflict Prevention to learn more.

Options/Controls

Options

  • Enable File Locking – check this option to enable local file locking. When enabled, the current Altium Designer instance will try to acquire ownership of files while they are open. In the Projects panel, this state is indicated by a lock icon () associated with each open file.
    If any of these files are simultaneously opened by another instance of Altium Designer, they will be associated with a red lock icon in the Projects panel () and any changes cannot be saved – the file is currently 'owned' by the first instance of Altium Designer.
    • Enable File Locking in Project Output Directory – check this option to enable file locking in the Project Output Directory, which is the default location for files generated by the project (such when releasing a project locally). The default output directory path for the current project is as specified in the Project Options dialog under the Options tab (Output Path).

      If the Enable File Locking in Project Output Directory option is checked, all files in the Project Output Directory and their sub-directories will be locked.

Warning Level

You will receive a warning when opening or saving files that are owned by another instance of Altium Designer. Use the following options to select the type of warning message you want to receive in each case. Select Warning in Dialog box to receive a warning dialog; select Warning in Message Panel to receive the warning message in the Messages panel.

  • Warning level for locked files during Open – use the drop-down menu to set the type of warning message you want to receive upon opening a locked file.
  • Warning level for locked files during Save – use the drop-down menu to set the type of warning message you want to receive upon saving a locked file.

The Data Management – Local History page of the Preferences dialog allows you to set up local history related features.

Options/Controls

Local History

  • Number of days to keep documents in history - use the up/down arrows to change the number of days to keep the documents in the history repository. Once the number of days have been exceeded, those documents that are older than the defined number of days are erased from the repository.
  • Add autosaved documents to history - enable this option to add the auto-saved documents to the local history repository. However, their life span is limited by the number of days the documents are allowed to remain in the local history repository.

Repository

  • Use global repository - enable this option if you want to have all local histories of documents in different projects in Altium Designer stored in one global repository. You can define the path to the global history repository.
  • Global repository - edit the path to the global repository or click the Browse Folder button on the far right of the path field to open a dialog and choose the folder in which you want the global repository to be stored.
For a default installation, the path for the global repository will be: \Users<ProfileName>\AppData\Roaming\Altium\Altium Designer <GUID>\Repository.

 

The Data Management – Templates page of the Preferences dialog allows you to specify the default templates used for new projects and documents and allows you to specify the path for the document template directory.

Templates Tab

This tab lists the local file-based/Workspace-based templates and the associated Name, Revision ID, Description, Revision State (see note below), Note, and Default. Workspace-based templates and local file-based templates are listed under the <Workspace> and Local regions, respectively, in the grid.

When connected to an Altium 365 Workspace, note that configuration and use of lifecycle definitions is not supported with the Standard Subscription Plan. As such, the Revision State column will not be available with that level of access to Altium 365.

Options/Controls

  • – use the drop-down menu to choose a new template type to be added or loaded. Templates are created and edited in their corresponding document type editor.

  • – use to open the selected template in the corresponding document type editor.

  • – use to delete the selected template. Templates can be removed in batches using multi-selection. You will be prompted to confirm the deletion before it is finalized.

Right-click Menu

The following options are available when an entry is right-clicked.

  • Edit – use to open a template in its associated editor. Once editing is complete, you can send the template back to the Workspace by using the Save to Server command. After launching the command, the Create or Edit Revision (When Releasing) dialog will open. The dialog allows you to add release notes and modify the name and description for the next revision of the item that is being released to the Workspace. If desired, revisions of parent items related to (referencing) the current revision of the item being released can also be updated. Once editing is complete and the template has been sent back to the Workspace, it will appear on the Templates tab.
  • Migrate to Server (this option is only available for local file-based templates) – use to migrate the local file-based template to the connected Workspace. Once the migration is complete, the template will be available as a Workspace-based template of the same name, while the existing local template will be archived as a zip file in its source folder (shown in the Local Templates folder field).
  • Upload – use to upload a constituent object into a template, such as a schematic document into a Schematic Template Item or an OutJob file into an OutputJob Template Item from your computer.
  • Set as Default – use to set the selected entry as your default. Once set, the chosen template will reflect My Default in the Default column.

    Only schematic documents, Draftsman documents, and PCB footprints can be set as default templates.
    Only one default can be chosen at a time. If you'd like to change your default, another template must be chosen and set as default.
  • Operations – use to access a sub-menu of commands including:
    • Clone – use to automatically open a copy of the currently selected template in its associated editor. This copy may be altered and sent back to the Workspace by using the Save to Server command. After launching the command, the Create or Edit Revision (When Releasing) dialog will open. The dialog allows you to add release notes and modify the name and description for the next revision of the template that is being released to the Workspace. If desired, revisions of parent items related to (referencing) the current revision of the template being released can also be updated. Once editing is complete and the template has been sent back to the Workspace, it will appear on the Templates tab.
    • Change state – use to open the Batch State Change dialog to change the state of the currently selected template.
    • Download – use to download the currently selected template and save it to another location using the Choose destination folder dialog.

      The Download option is only available for Workspace-based templates.
  • Add – select the template you want to add. A new template will be reflected by exhibiting a Planned revision state and appear grayed-out in the list.
  • Delete – use to delete the selected template. Depending on whether you are deleting a Workspace-based or local file-based template, this command will vary:
    • When deleting a Workspace-based template, you will be asked to confirm the deletion. Once deleted, the template will be moved to the Trash area of your Workspace.
    • When deleting a local file-based template, you will be asked to confirm the deletion. Once deleted, the template will be removed from your Windows system.
  • History – use to access a detailed view for the currently selected template, opened as a new tabbed view within the software. The Item View provides a highly detailed view of the Revision and Lifecycle history of a specific template, as well as all of the elements that make up that template. The view also includes a Timeline. Use the Timeline to examine the exact time and date of any change made to the Revision level or Lifecycle State of that template and who made the change.
  • Properties – use to access the View Item dialog in which you can view the properties for the currently selected template. If no revisions for that template have yet been released, the properties can be modified.

Defaults Tab

Use this tab to manage, edit, or remove any of the default templates that have been specified. This tab allows you to contain your desired templates in one location. Workspace-based and local file-based templates are separated within the Document Type column. The Template Location column shows the location of the file and Workspace location of each default template.

For a default installation, the Template Location is \Users\Public\Documents\Altium\<PlatformAndversion>\Templates\.

Options/Controls

  • Replace – select and entry then hover over it to reveal the Replace link. Click the link to open a trimmed-down version of the Explorer panel in which you can choose a new template from the list to replace the currently selected template.
  • – use the drop-down menu to choose a new default template type to be added or loaded. The following templates can be added:
    • From Server – select from the list of Workspace-based templates type you would like to add as your default. A trimmed-down version of the Explorer panel will open in which you can navigate to add the template of your choice. Once added, it will appear on the Defaults tab and replace the previous default template. The new template will also appear on the Templates tab. The Workspace-based template will appear under the <Workspace> region of both the Templates and Defaults tabs.
    • From File – select from the list of local file-based template types you would like to add as your default. A Windows dialog will open in which you can navigate to add the template of your choice. Once added, it will appear in the Defaults tab and replace the previous default template. The new template will also appear on the Templates tab. The local file-based template will appear under the Local region of both the Templates and Defaults tabs.
    Only one default can be chosen at a time. If you'd like to change your default, another template must be chosen and set as default.
    This option is also available from the right-click menu.
  • – use the icon to revoke the selected template as a default. This template will still appear on the Templates tab.

    This option is also available from the right-click menu.

Additional Controls

The following controls are available on both the Templates and Defaults tabs.

  • Templates visibility – use the drop-down menu to specify whether to display both Workspace-based and local file-based templates or only Workspace-based templates on the Templates and Defaults tabs.
  • – click to refresh either the Templates or Defaults tab to reflect changes.
  • Local Templates folder – this field is used to find and set the path to the directory that contains your document templates. To change the location, you must be logged out of the Workspace. To set a new path to the directory, click .

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 Designer 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.

Options/Controls

File-based Libraries

This region displays the file libraries that are available to your design projects in Altium Designer. 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).

The Data Management – Device Sheets page of the Preferences dialog allows you to manage the device sheet related features.

Device Sheets are building blocks developed with the intent of being re-used in different designs. They usually contain predefined circuits that are useful in multiple projects, for example a power supply. A Device Sheet is created and stored as a normal schematic document, in a declared Device Sheet Folder. Rather than being added as a document, they are placed and referenced in a project in a similar way as a component. When the project is compiled, Device Sheets are included in the project hierarchy and can be distinguished from standard schematic documents by a different document icon in the Projects Panel.

By default, Device Sheets are usually configured to be read-only. This gives all designers in the team confidence that they are complete and ready-for-use, and also insures that no one in the design team can inadvertantly modify them. Because they are configured to be read-only, the component designators cannot be changed, nor can the schematic sheet number. The fundamental difference between a device sheet and a regular schematic sheet is that the software has additional features to handle component annotation and the schematic sheet numbering when the project includes Device Sheets.

For more information, see Device Sheets.

Options/Controls

Device Sheet Folders

  • Device Sheet Folder List - lists all the added device sheet folder locations.
    • Include Sub-folders - check this option so all sheets in sub-folders also can be used as a device sheet.
  • Move Up - click to move the selected entry up in the list of device sheet folders.
  • Move Down - click to move the selected entry down in the list of device sheet folders.
  • Add - click to search for and select a folder containing device sheet files to add.
  • Remove - click to remove a selected device sheet folder from the list.

Options

  • Make Device Sheets In Projects Read-Only - disable this option to edit the objects on the device sheet that is associated by the device sheet symbol on a parent sheet. By default, this option is enabled meaning you cannot edit device sheets.
  • Display "Read Only" Watermark - enable this option so the device sheets will have 'Read Only' as the watermark for the background and to denote that device sheets are not editable.
If the Display "Read Only" Watermark option is enabled, you will be able to see quickly if the device sheet is read-only or editable. This option is accessible only when Make Device Sheets In Projects Read-Only is enabled.
  • Display Device Sheets Watermark - enable this option so the device sheets will have the recycle symbol as the watermark for the background.

The Data Management – SVN Libraries page of the Preferences dialog provides controls relating to the use of SVN Database Libraries.

Options/Controls

Repository Working Copy for Library Editing

  • Working Folder - the working SVN libraries containing component symbols and models are stored in a specified working directory of your choice. You can work with the files in your local working folder and when you need the latest copies, you can check out the refreshed files from the repository into your working folder. When you make changes to these files, they can be saved in this folder and then committed (pass changes) to the repository. Edit the field to change the working folder or press the browse button at the end of this field if you want to change the default working folder directory.
For a default installation, the Working Folder will be: \Users\<ProfileName>\Documents\My Designs\SVNDBlib Working Folder.

Repository Cache for Designer

  • Do not check files more often than xx minutes - if the elapsed time between the last update and the action is greater than the time threshold, the repository update WILL be performed. Use this field to change the time interval as required.      
  • Cache Folder - repository files are cached in a temporary folder on the Designer's computer. Cached files are updated either at the Designer's request, or each  time an action requiring the Repository latest copy is performed. 
For a default installation, the Cache Folder will be: \Users\<ProfileName>\AppData\Local\Altium\SVNDBlib Cache.

The Data Management – Parts Providers page of the Preferences dialog provides controls to configure parts providers including currency, suppliers, and supplier links.

Options/Controls

Altium Parts Options

When connected to a Workspace, this region is read-only and adopts those settings defined for the Workspace on the Admin – Part Providers page of its browser interface. For more information on configuring Part Providers for a Workspace, see Part Source Configuration (Altium 365 Workspace), or Part Source Configuration (Concord Pro Workspace).
  • Location – check the Enabled box(es) of the locations for which you want to search for your parts.
  • Currency – check the Enabled box(es) of your preferred currency for your parts.
  • Supplier – check the Enabled option for each desired Supplier to be able to search that Supplier's database from within Altium Designer and link Altium Designer components to matching supplier items. You can choose to enable any combination of these Suppliers, for use with the Live Links to Supplier Data feature. By including more Suppliers for use with the feature, you are able to compare and shop for the best deals on the components required by your design. A Supplier with a in the Verified column denotes that Altium receives data directly from that supplier. Use the scroll controls to the right of the field to scroll through the list of suppliers.

Suggested Keywords

To make searching for parts in Suppliers' databases more efficient, the software fills a suggested keyword into the Keywords field at the top of the Add Supplier Links dialog based on the parameters from the source Altium Designer design component. The following fields/parameters are used by default: Comment, Description, and Name. Parameter Name is listed in order of Priority.

  • Add – click to create additional parameters.
  • Edit – click to edit a Parameter Name. Alternatively, you can double-click on the Parameter Name itself to enable editing.
  • Remove – click to remove a selected parameter(s).
  • Move Up – move a selected parameter up in the priority order.
  • Move Down – move a selected parameter down in the priority order.
By default, the Comment will be used as the search criteria first. If the source component has no comment, then the next attempt uses its Description. If this is also blank, the component's Name will be used.
Further refine the initial Keywords entry, as required, in the Add Supplier Links dialog to better target the desired Supplier Item(s).

Parameter Import Options

Add any parameter name(s) that you would like renamed on import or made visible by enabling the Visible option. Parameters imported along with supplier links or for new components also can be excluded (enable Exclude) or suffixed (enable Suffix). To edit a Supplier Parameter Name or an Imported Parameter Name, click in the text box. Note that any parameter names displayed in gray are not editable.

  • Add – click to add a parameter.
  • Remove – click to remove the selected parameter.
For more information on Parameter Import Options, see Linking to Supply Chain Data for Database and File-based Component Libraries.

The Data Management – Component Types page of the Preferences dialog provides controls to manage Component Types of the currently active connected Workspace.

You must be connected to a Workspace in order to access the information on this page of the Preferences dialog.

Learn more about Accessing Your Workspace

If you do not have permission from your company to add, delete, or edit component types, you may still view the contents of this page, but will not have any rights to change its contents.

Learn more about Setting Global Operation Permissions for a Workspace

Options/Controls

Columns

  • Name – the name of the available Component Type parameter.
  • Template – lists the name(s) of each Component Type template, which will mirror the Component Type itself, or appear as a list of all the Component Types that have been merged if a merge has taken place.

    When connected to an Altium 365 Workspace, note that Component Templates are not supported with the Standard Subscription Plan. As such, this functionality will not be available with this level of access to Altium 365, and the Template column will not be shown.
  • Folder – lists the name in which the Component Type location resides. The Folder name entry will be replaced with an asterisk (*) if Component Types have been merged.

Options

  • Search Filter – enter text in the textbox by which to filter the Name list.
  • Templates – click to open the Edit template dialog to update and group existing components for changed templates.

    When connected to an Altium 365 Workspace, note that Component Templates are not supported with the Standard Subscription Plan. As such, this functionality will not be available with this level of access to Altium 365, and the Templates button will not be shown.
  • Add – click to add a new Component Type in the list, which will be added with the default name New Type. Enter the new type name in the highlighted text box. The named type is automatically repositioned in the alphabetically ordered list. Use the drop-down to access these additional options:

    • Add Type – click to manually add a new Component Type entry.
    • Add Subtype – click to manually add a new Component Subtype, which will reside in the drop-down under a Component Type entry.
  • Remove – click to remove the selected Component Type. A confirmation dialog opens asking to confirm the deletion. Click Yes to confirm, No to cancel the deletion.
  • Drag and drop a Component Type entry to a new location to change its position in the hierarchy. An entry becomes a subtype of another when dropped onto it. Close and reopen the dialog to restore the alphabetical listing order if it has been disrupted.

Right-Click Menu

  • Rename – click to rename the Component Type or Subtype.
  • Move

    • Indent – click to indent the selected Component Type entry in the list hierarchy. An Indented entry will become a subtype of the next (lower) entry in the list.
    • Outdent – click to outdent the selected Component Type entry in the list hierarchy.
  • Remove – click to remove the selected Component Type. A confirmation dialog opens asking to confirm the deletion. Click Yes to confirm, No to cancel the deletion.
  • Merge – use to open the Merging dialog, where you may merge component types. When component types have been successfully merged, the folder column of those merged component types will be replaced with an asterisk (*).

The Data Management – Component Rule Checks page of the Preferences dialog provides a range of violation types to check for issues with a component and its defined models when committing/releasing the component to your connected Workspace.

Options/Controls

Component Rule Checks

  • Violation Type Description – displays all violation types in three categories: Violations Associated with ComponentsViolations Associated with Footprints, and Violations Associated with Symbols.
  • Report Mode – displays the current report mode for the associated violation. Click the current mode to access a drop-down from where you can select the desired mode: No Report, Warning, Error, Fatal Error. Any of the user-defined checks at a level of Error or above that fail would prevent the release of a component to the connected Workspace.

Schematic Preferences

As its name suggests, the Schematic – General page of the Preferences dialog provides numerous general controls related to editing schematic-based documents directly in the design space.

Options/Controls

Units

  • Select Mils or Millimeters, whichever is desired.

Options

  • Break Wires At Autojunctions – enable this option to break wires at autojunctions (autojunctions are automatically inserted when two wires/buses/signal harnesses are connected in a T-type fashion or when a wire/bus/signal harness connects orthogonally to a pin or power port/bus power port).
  • Optimize Wires & Buses – enable this option to prevent extra wires, poly-lines, and buses from overlapping on top of each other. Overlapping wires, poly-lines, or buses are removed automatically.

    You need to enable this option to have the ability to automatically cut a wire and terminate onto any two pins of this component when this component is dropped onto this wire.
  • Components Cut Wires – enable this option to drop a component onto a schematic wire. The wire is then cut into two segments and the segments are terminated onto any two hot pins of the component automatically. You will need to enable the Optimize Wires & Buses option first.
  • Enable In-Place Editing – if this option is enabled, the focused text field may be directly edited within the Schematic Editor rather than in a dialog box. After focusing on the field you want to modify, click it again or press the F2 shortcut key to open the field for editing. If this option is not enabled, you cannot edit the text directly and you have to edit it from the Parameter Properties dialog. You can only graphically move this text field.
  • Convert Cross-Junctions – enabling this option denotes that when the addition of a wire would create a four-way junction, it is instead converted into two adjacent three-way junctions. Disabling this option denotes that when a four way junction is created, the two wires crossing at the intersection are not joined electrically and if the Display Cross Overs option is enabled, a cross-over is shown on this intersection.
  • Display Cross-Overs – when this option is enabled, the wiring cross-overs will be displayed with small bridges on the currently focused schematic sheet.
  • Pin Direction – enable this option to display the direction of pins of components on a schematic document. The pin direction is indicated by the orientation of a triangle symbol.
  • Sheet Entry Direction – enable this option to display the direction of sheet entries on a schematic document.
  • Port Direction – enable this option to allow port styles to be determined by the I/O type attribute of corresponding ports.
    • Unconnected Left To Right – enable this option and those unconnected ports on a schematic document are displayed in a left to right direction (as a right style).
  • Drag Orthogonal – if this option is enabled, when you drag components, any wiring that is dragged with the component is kept orthogonal (i.e., corners at 90 degrees). If this option is disabled, wiring dragged with a component will be repositioned obliquely. Click the check box to toggle its status.
    • Drag Step – select the desired size from the drop-down. Options include: Smallest, Small, Medium, and Large.

Include with Clipboard

  • No ERC Markers – enable this option to include No ERC Markers in the clipboard/
  • Parameter Sets – enable this option to include Parameter Sets in the clipboard.
  • Notes – enable this option to include Notes in the clipboard.

Alpha Numeric Suffix

Each part in a multi-part schematic component is uniquely identified by an alphabetic or numeric suffix. Use this drop-down to choose how the suffix is presented:

  • Alpha – choose this option to use an alphabetic suffix with no separator (e.g., R12A, R12B, R12C). The setting will be applied to all currently open sheets.
  • Numeric, separated by a dot '.' – choose this option to use a numeric suffix with a dot separator (e.g., R12.1, R12.2, R12.3). The setting will be applied to all currently open sheets.
  • Numeric, separated by a colon ':' – choose this option to use a numeric suffix with a colon separator (e.g., R12:1, R12:2, R12:3). The setting will be applied to all currently open sheets.

Pin Margin

  • Name – normally, component pin names are displayed inside the body of the component adjacent to the corresponding pin. This option controls the placement of component pin names. It specifies the distance (in hundredths of an inch) from the component outline to the start of the pin name text.
  • Number – normally, component pin numbers are displayed outside the body of the component directly above the corresponding pin line. This option controls the placement of the pin numbers. It specifies the distance (in hundredths of an inch) from the component outline to the start of the pin number text.

Auto-Increment During Placement

  • Primary – enter a value to auto-increment on pin designators of a component when you are placing pins for a component. This is used for building components in the Library editor. Normally you would use a positive increment value for pin designators and negative increment value for pin names. For example: 1, 2, 3 for pin designators and D8, D7, D6 for pin names results in Primary = 1 and Secondary = -1. Set the Name to D8 and Designator to 1 in the Pin Properties panel page in pin mode before you place the first pin.
  • Secondary – enter a value to auto-increment on pin names of a component when you are placing pins for a component. This can be used for building components in the Library editor. Normally you would use a positive increment value for pin designators and negative increment value for pin names. For example: 1, 2, 3 for pin designators and D8, D7, D6 for pin names results in Primary = 1 and Secondary = -1. Set the Name to D8 and Designator to 1 in the Pin Properties panel page in pin mode before you place the first pin.

Port Cross References

  • Sheet Style – choose one of the following sheet styles for the cross referencing of ports on a schematic sheet or schematic sheets within a project.
    • None – no sheet style is added in the cross reference string of all ports.
    • Name – names of the sheets that the ports are linked to are added in the cross reference strings.
    • Number – the sheet numbers of the sheets that the ports are linked to are added in the cross reference strings.
  • Location Style – choose one of the following location styles for the cross referencing of ports on a schematic sheet or schematic sheets within a project.
    • None – no location style is added in the cross reference string of all ports.
    • Zone – the reference zone numbering (the sheet borders have the zones) is added in the cross reference strings of all ports that are associated to the parent objects such as the location of sheet symbols.
    • Location X,Y – the locations of the ports are published in brackets in the cross reference strings for all ports that are associated to the parent objects such as the location of sheet symbols.

Default Blank Sheet Template or Size

  • Template – use the drop-down to set the default user template that will be used to create new schematic sheets. If No Default Template File is selected, a default blank schematic is created when you open a new schematic sheet. Use the Data Management – Templates page of the Preferences dialog to set the path to the templates directory.
  • Sheet Size – use the drop-down to select the default blank sheet size that will be created every time you need to create a new schematic document. Sheet size can also be specified at the local document level using the Standard Page Options settings of the Properties panel in Document Options mode.
  • Drawing Area – reflects the dimensions of the sheet size chosen in the Sheet Size field. This field is uneditable.

File Format Change Report

  • Disable opening the report from older version – enable to NOT create a report when an older Altium Designer schematic file format document is opened. The report informs you that the document was created in an older version of the software and provides some information on features of the opened document that may be lost or have changed. This option is disabled by default.
  • Disable opening the report from newer version – enable to NOT create a report when a newer schematic file format is loaded in Altium Designer. The report informs you that the document was created in a newer version of the software and provides some information on features of the opened document that may be lost or have changed. This option is disabled by default.

As its name suggests, this page of the Preferences dialog provides numerous controls related to the editing of schematic-based documents directly in the design space.

Options/Controls

Options

  • Clipboard Reference – if this option is enabled, when you copy or cut a selection within the design space, you will be asked to select a reference point. This is useful when copying a section of circuitry that is to be pasted back into a schematic sheet. This reference point will be the point where the section of circuitry will be held when pasting. Note that the clipboard reference location is overridden by the nearest electrical hot-spot if the Object's Electrical Hot Spot option is enabled.
  • Add Template to Clipboard – enable this option to also copy the current sheet template to the clipboard when you copy or cut from the current schematic sheet.
  • Display Name of Special String – enable this option to display the names of the special string used by Text String objects as faint superscripts on the schematic sheet.
  • Display Names of Special Strings that have No Value Defined – enable this option to display the names of special strings when they have no defined value. Disable this option to essentially hide these names, which can be of great benefit when several special strings with long names start to overlap.
  • Center of Object – hold the object being moved or dragged by its reference point (for objects that have one, such as library components or ports), or its center (for objects that do not have a reference point such as a rectangle).
  • Object's Electrical Hot Spot – hold the object being moved or dragged by the nearest electrical hot spot (for example the end of a pin). With this option enabled, the software moves the clipboard reference location of the object that is about to be pasted to its nearest electrical hot-spot.
  • Auto Zoom – if this option is enabled, the schematic sheet is automatically zoomed when jumping to a component. Zoom level remains as it was if this option is disabled.
  • Single '\' Negation – if this option is enabled, a net name can be negated by typing a backslash character before the first letter in the net name. This applies to ports, net labels, sheet entries, power ports, and harness entries.
  • Confirm Selection Memory Clear – the selection memories can be used to store the selection state of a set of objects. To prevent inadvertent overwriting of a selection memory, enable this option.
  • Mark Manual Parameters – parameters displayed with a dot denotes that auto-positioning has been turned off and that parameters are moved or rotated with its parent object (component, for example). To hide the dots, disable this option.
  • Always Drag – if this option is enabled, every time you drag a component (or selection of components) on a schematic document, the electrical wiring stays connected. Press the Spacebar to rotate the component(s). Use Ctrl+Spacebar to toggle the wire start/end mode (corner modes).
  • Shift Click To Select – enable this option if you want to use Shift+Click to select specific primitives in the design space. When this option is enabled, click the associated Primitives button to open the Must Hold Shift to Select dialog to access a list of primitives from which you can determine which are to use this Shift+Click method for selection.
  • Click Clears Selection – enable this option if you want to deselect all design objects by clicking anywhere on the schematic design space. Regardless of the setting, you can deselect a selected design object by clicking on it.
  • Place Sheet Entries automatically – enable this option if you want to have a sheet symbol generate a sheet entry with a matching net name automatically every time a new connection with a valid net name is wired to that sheet symbol. Otherwise, a connection with no net name wired to a sheet symbol will generate a sheet symbol with a system-generated net name.
  • Protect Locked Objects – enable this option if locked objects are not to be moved and are to be ignored if they are part of a selection that is being moved. Disable this option and you will be prompted with a warning dialog if you attempt to move locked objects.
  • Display Strings As Rotated – enable this option to display strings at their rotation angle (including upside down and left-reading). Disable this option to have strings always kept as right-reading, as they are rotated.

    Note that this option is not available if the operating system supports DBCS (e.g., if Japanese or Chinese locale is set for the host OS).
  • Reset Parts Designators On Paste – enable this option to reset component designators when pasting onto a schematic sheet. When components are pasted, their designators will be reset to "?".
  • Sheet Entries and Ports use Harness Color – enable this option if you want Ports and Sheet Entries to change color to match the color of the Signal Harness. If you specify a color for the Signal Harness, the Port or Sheet Entry will change to match. Disable this option if you prefer your Port and Sheet Entries to maintain their default color.
  • Net Color Override – enable this option to view net highlighting. When this option is disabled, the Net Color Override dialog will appear if you attempt to highlight nets.
  • Double Click Runs Interactive Properties – enable this option to either open the Properties panel when editing placed objects using double click, or disable it to open the modal dialog when editing placed objects using double click.

    Right-clicking on a placed object then choosing Properties from the context menu will result in the modal dialog opening if the Double Click Runs Interactive Properties option is disabled. The Properties panel will appear instead if this option is enabled.
  • Show Pin Designators – enable to display the pin designators in the design space.

Auto Pan Options

  • Enable Auto Pan – check to enable auto-panning.
  • Style – auto-panning comes into effect when the cross-hair action cursor is active and you move the cursor to the edge of the view area. If auto-panning is on, the sheet will automatically pan in that direction. Set this field to control cursor movement during auto-panning. The options are Auto Pan Off, Auto Pan Fixed Jump (pans the sheet by a fixed step, which is set in the Step Size field – the cursor remains at the edge of the view area), and Auto Pan ReCenter (pans the sheet by a fixed step, which is set in the Step Size field – the cursor is re-centered in the view area after the pan).
  • Speed – drag this bar to set the auto-panning speed. The further to the left, the slower or finer the auto-panning movement.
  • Step Size – enter a value to set the size of each auto-panning step. The step size determines how fast the document pans when auto-panning is enabled. The smaller the value, the slower or finer the auto-panning movement.
  • Shift Step Size – enter a value to set the size of each step when the Shift key is held during auto-panning. This determines how fast the document pans when auto-panning is enabled and the Shift key is pressed. The smaller the value, the slower or finer the auto-panning movement.

Color Options

  • Selections – this field shows the current color used as the highlight color for selected items. When an object on a schematic sheet is selected, it will be highlighted using this color. Click the field to access the Choose Color dialog in which you can change the color as required.
  • Special Strings with No Value – this field shows the current color used as the highlight color for special strings that have no assigned value. A special string that has no assigned value on a schematic sheet will be highlighted using this color. Click the field to access the Choose Color dialog, from where you can change the color as required.

Cursor

  • Cursor Type – select an option from the dropdown list to set the style of the "crosshair" editing cursor. This cursor is displayed when you are performing any editing action in a schematic document. The following options are available: Large Cursor 90 (cursor takes the form of a horizontal and vertical line extending from the edge of the document area); Small Cursor 90 (cursor takes the form of a small cross made with a horizontal and vertical line); Small Cursor 45 (cursor takes the form of a small cross made with 45 degree lines); Tiny Cursor 45 (cursor takes the form of a tiny cross made with 45 degree lines).

The Schematic – Compiler page of the Preferences dialog provides numerous controls related to schematic compilation and validation.

Options/Controls

Errors & Warnings

Errors & Warnings – the schematic objects that have an error or warning can have a wriggle underlined with specified color on the schematic sheet. You can toggle the display and the color of the wriggle for an object depending on the Level of violation by clicking on one of the fields in the Display column and one of the fields in the Color column.

Auto-Junctions

  • Display On Wires – enable to display the system-generated junctions for wire objects.

    • Size – choose the size of system-generated junctions for wire objects.
    • Color – click to change the visibility or color of system-generated junctions.
    • Drag Color – click to change the color of the hotspots used to provide visual feedback on where new auto-junctions to join intersecting wires will be created while performing a drag operation.
  • Display On Buses – enable to display the system-generated junctions for bus objects.

    • Size – choose the size of system-generated junctions for bus objects.
    • Color – click to change the visibility or color of system-generated junctions.
    • Drag Color – click to change the color of the hotspots used to provide visual feedback on where new auto-junctions to join intersecting buses will be created while performing a drag operation.
  • Display When Dragging – enable to display the hotspots used to provide visual feedback on where new auto-junctions will be created while performing a drag operation.

Compiled Names Expansion

Display the expanded compiled names of the following objects – enable the below listed desired objects:

  • Designators – when a design project is compiled, all the logical sheets are expanded into physical sheets and as a consequence, some nets are also expanded to reflect on the expanded physical sheets. Enable this option to allow component designators on physical sheets to acquire expanded net information when logical sheets are expanded into physical sheets. The drop-down menu controls how the expanded compiled names of designators are displayed after the project is compiled.

    • Display superscript if necessary – when the logical designator name and the compiled designator name differ, then the superscript is displayed.
    • Always display superscript – display superscript text for designators.
    • Never display superscript – never display superscript text for the designators.
  • Net Labels – when a design project is compiled, all the logical sheets are expanded into physical sheets and as a consequence, some nets are also expanded to reflect on the expanded physical sheets. Enable this option to allow net labels on physical sheets to acquire expanded net information when logical sheets are expanded into physical sheets. The drop-down menu controls how the expanded compiled names of net labels are displayed after the project is compiled.

    • Never display superscript – never display superscript text for the net labels.
    • Always display superscript – display superscript text for net labels.
    • Display superscript if necessary – when the logical net label name and the compiled net label name differ, then the superscript is displayed.
  • Ports – when a design project is compiled, all the logical sheets are expanded into physical sheets and as a consequence, some nets are also expanded to reflect on the expanded physical sheets. Enable this option to allow ports on physical sheets to acquire expanded net information when logical sheets are expanded into physical sheets.
  • Sheet Number – when a design project is compiled, all the logical sheets are expanded into physical sheets and as a consequence, some nets are also expanded to reflect on the expanded physical sheets. Enable this option to allow sheet number parameters on physical sheets to acquire expanded net information when logical sheets are expanded into physical sheets. The drop-down menu controls how the expanded compiled names of sheet number parameters are displayed after the project is compiled.

    • Never display superscript – never display superscript text for the sheet numbers.
    • Always display superscript – display superscript text for sheet numbers.
    • Display superscript if necessary – when the logical sheet number and the compiled sheet number differ, then the superscript is displayed.
  • Document Number – when a design project is compiled, all the logical sheets are expanded into physical sheets and as a consequence, some nets are also expanded to reflect on the expanded physical sheets. Enable this option to allow document number parameters on physical sheets to acquire expanded information when logical sheets are expanded into physical sheets. The drop-down menu controls how the expanded compiled names of document number parameters are displayed after the project is compiled.

    • Never display superscript – never display superscript text for the document numbers.
    • Always display superscript – display superscript text for document numbers.
    • Display superscript if necessary – when the logical document number and the compiled document number differ, then the superscript is displayed.

The Schematic – AutoFocus page of the Preferences dialog provides numerous controls related to auto focus operations in the schematic.

Options/Controls

Dim Unconnected Objects

  • On Place - Enable this option to have the ability to dim all the connected objects of a net when you are placing a object on this net.

    You can change presets for the Electrical Grid on the Schematic - Grids page of the Preferences dialog to help you with the ease of placement of electrically aware objects.
  • On Edit Graphically - Enable this option to have the ability to dim all unconnected objects on the schematic sheet when you are re-sizing a connected object. 
  • On Move - Enable this option to have the ability to dim all unconnected objects when you are moving a object connected to a network of connected objects on the schematic sheet. 
  • On Edit In Place - Enable this option to have the ability to dim unconnected objects on the schematic object when you are editing this connected object.
  • All On - Click to turn all the options related to dimming unconnected objects on the schematic ON.
  • All Off - Click to turn all the options related to dimming unconnected objects on the schematic OFF.

Thicken Connected Objects

  • On Place -  Enable this option to have the ability to thicken the surrounding connected objects when you are placing a new object on a network of these connected objects on the schematic sheet.
You can change presets for the Electrical Grid on the Schematic - Grids page of the Preferences dialog to help you with the ease of placement of electrically aware objects.
  • On Edit Graphically - Enable this option to have the ability to thicken all the connected objects of a network on the schematic sheet when you are re-sizing a connected object.
  • On Move - Enable this option to have the ability to thicken the surrounding connected objects when you are moving a object connected to a network of connected objects on the schematic sheet.
  • Delay - The time delay before connected objects are thickened. Move the sliding bar to the right to increase the delay.
  • All On - Click to turn all the options related to thickening of connected objects on the schematic ON.
  • All Off - Click this button to turn all the options related to thickening of connected objects on the schematic OFF.

Zoom Connected Objects

  • On Place - Enable to have the ability to zoom in all the connected objects of a network when you are placing a object on this network.

    You can change presets for the Electrical Grid on the Schematic - Grids page of the Preferences dialog to help you with the ease of placement of electrically aware objects.
  • On Edit Graphically - Enable to have the ability to zoom in all the connected objects of a network on the schematic sheet when you are re-sizing a connected object of this network.
  • On Move - Enable to have the ability to zoom in the surrounding connected objects when you are moving a object connected to a network of these connected objects on the schematic sheet.
  • On Edit In Place - Enable to have the ability to zoom in the connected object that is being edited.
  • Restrict To Non-net Objects Only - Enable to have the ability to zoom in the non-net objects that are being edited.
  • All On - Click to turn all the options related to zooming connected objects on the schematic ON.
  • All Off - Click to turn all the options related to zooming connected objects on the schematic OFF.

The Schematic – Library AutoZoom page of the Preferences dialog provides controls related to auto zoom operations in the schematic.

Options/Controls

Zoom Library Components

Select one of the following options:

  • Do Not Change Zoom Between Components
  • Remember Last Zoom For Each Component 
  • Center Each Component In Editor
    • Zoom Precision - Slide to set the zoom precision. The further right, the higher the precision.

The Schematic – Grids page of the Preferences dialog provides the settings for the grid configuration in the schematic editor.

For more information about schematic grids, click here.

Options/Controls

Grid Options

  • Grid - select an option from the drop-down list to set the style of the visible grid for schematic documents. The following options are available:
    • Dot Grid - the grid is shown as dotted lines.
    • Line Grid - the grid is shown as solid lines.
  • Grid Color - this field shows the current color used to draw the visible grid on schematic sheets. Click the color sample box to open a dialog in which you can change the visible grid color.

Imperial Grid Presets

The table contains lists of imperial values (in mils) for the Snap GridSnap Distance, and Visible Grid for schematic sheets. The values can be modified or the checkboxes can be enabled/disabled to toggle the visibility of each grid.

  • Altium Presets - click this button to select from a sub-menu of grid presets to restore the presets for the Snap GridSnap Distance, and Visible Grid.

Metric Grid Presets

The table contains lists of metric values (in mm) for the Snap GridSnap Distance, and Visible Grid for schematic sheets. The grid values can be modified or the checkboxes can be enabled/disabled to toggle the visibility of each grid.

  • Altium Presets - click this button to select from a sub-menu of grid presets to restore the presets for the Snap GridSnap Distance, and Visible Grid.

The Schematic – Break Wire page of the Preferences dialog provides controls related to the behavior of the cutting tool when using the Break Wire feature. While the tool is labeled Break Wire, it can be used to break wires as well as buses and signal harnesses.

Options/Controls

Cutting Length

Select one of the following options to control the length of wire that gets cut:

  • Snap to Segment - choose this option to have the cutter snap to an entire wire segment.
  • Snap Grid Size Multiple - choose this option to have the cutter sized to a defined multiple of the current snap grid. Enter a value for the multiplier in the field to the right from 2 and 10 (inclusive).
  • Fixed Length - choose this option to create a fixed-length cutter, the length of which is specified by entering a value in the field to the right.
Values are entered in terms of Default units (1 Unit = 10mil).
Regardless of the size of cutter with options other than Snap To Segment, the cutter will shrink to accommodate smaller-sized wire segments in their entirety as it passes over them as though Snap To Segment was selected.

Show Cutter Box 

Select one of the following options to control the display of the cutter box (dotted rectangular box) while in Break Wire mode:

  • Never - never display the cutter box.
  • Always - always display the cutter box, regardless of whether the cursor is over a wire segment or not.
  • On Wire - only display the cutter box when the cursor passes over a wire segment.
If the Show Cutter Box option is set to Never or On Wire, the cutting area will be distinguished in the workspace through use of a central cross marker when the cursor is away from a wire segment.

Show Extremity Markers

Select one of the following options to control the display of extremity markers (at the ends of the cutter box) while in Break Wire mode:

  • Never - never display the extremity markers.
  • Always - always display the extremity markers, regardless of whether the cursor is over a wire segment or not.
  • On Wire - only display the extremity markers when the cursor passes over a wire segment.
If both cutter box and extremity markers are set to Never display, passing the cursor over a wire segment will cause the relevant portion of that segment or its entirety to become highlighted - thus distinguishing the portion of wire that will be cut when clicked.

The Schematic – Defaults page of the Preferences dialog provides controls and information related to primitives in the schematic.

Options/Controls

  • Primitives - use this field to filter the presented listing of primitives. Choose from: All, Drawing ToolsOtherWiring ObjectsLibrary PartsHarness Objects,  and Sheet Symbol Objects.
  • Primitive List - a list of primitives that can be used on a schematic sheet (filtered in accordance with the chosen entry for the Primitives field above). Click on the below listed Primitives to change the available default values as described.
All primitive default values are saved in the Advsch.dft and Advsch.MMsdft files. These files are located in the \Users\<ProfileName>\AppData\Roaming\Altium\Altium Designer <GUID> folder of the installation.

To view and edit the settings and options for each primitive, click on the desired entry in the Primitive List. Information for each primitive can be found at the following links:  

Additional Controls

  • Permanent - If this option is enabled, the default properties of all object types are locked and are not changed if you edit an object's properties during placement. If this option is disabled, any changes you make to a particular object during placement (by pressing the Tab key while the object is floating on the cursor before placement to open the Properties panel) are used to update the default properties for that particular object type.
  • Save as - click to save the current default object properties to a custom properties file (*.dft). You will be asked for a name and directory for the file. When the schemtic editor server is started, the current defaults are read and any changes you make to the defaults are stored in this file when you exit. Use the Load button to load a previously saved set of default properties.
  • Load - click to load a previously saved set of default object properties. You will be asked to navigate to and select a previously saved properties file (*.dft).
  • Reset All - Click to reset the properties of all objects to the system defaults.

PCB Editor Preferences

The PCB Editor – General page of the Preferences dialog provides numerous controls relating to the general settings of the PCB editor within the PCB design space.

Options/Controls

Editing Options

  • Online DRC – enable to have software monitor all PCB design rules interactively as you work and immediately highlight any rule violations. If this option is disabled, design rule violations will not be highlighted as you work. Violations will only be highlighted when you manually run a Design Rule Check.
  • Object Snap Options
    • Snap To Center – enable to have the cursor jump automatically to a defined reference point on the object when you select it and be "held" by that point as you reposition it. When moving a free pad or via, the cursor will snap to the center of the object. When moving a component, the cursor snaps to the reference point of the component. When moving a track segment, the cursor snaps to the vertex point. If this option is disabled, objects will be "held" by the point at which you click on them.

      Because the snap grid acts on the cursor position, enabling this option will ensure that you can easily position objects so that critical points (such as the pads of a component) are aligned on the grid.
    • Smart Component Snap – enable so that when you click to select a component, the crosshair cursor appears on the nearest pad of this associated component with respect to the cursor. Disable this option so that the cross-hair cursor always appears on the pad reference point of this component when it is clicked.

      A pad designated as the reference point usually is the first designator (1) of a component.
    • Snap to Room Hot Spots – enable to have the cursor jump to the room hot spots.
  • Remove Duplicates – enable to check for and remove duplicate primitives when the system is preparing data for output. Enable this option when outputting to a vector device, such as a pen plotter or a vector photo-plotter.
  • Confirm Global Edit – enable to have a confirmation dialog open before committing a global editing action, including stating the number of objects that will be affected by the action. Using the confirmation dialog, you can cancel the global edit if necessary. If this option is disabled, global editing changes will be made as soon as you click the OK button in a global editing dialog.
  • Protect Locked Objects – enable to ignore any selected locked objects if they are part of a selection that is being moved.
  • Protect Locked Primitives In Component - enable to prevent modification of component primitives.
  • Confirm Selection Memory Clear – enable this option and a confirmation dialog will pop up confirming that you want to clear the selection memory.
  • Click Clears Selection – enable this option to clear the current selection by clicking the left button of the mouse.
  • Shift Click To Select – enable to force using the Shift key to select specific primitives as specified by the Primitives list. Click the Primitives button to access the list. Disable this option to select a primitive normally.
  • Smart Track Ends – smart track ends will recalculate the nets so that they come from the track end rather than the shortest distance.
  • Display popup selection dialog – enable to use the Popup Selection dialog in the PCB editor when selecting co-located objects. The Popup Selection dialog helps you more easily select an object located in a 'stack' of overlapping objects (typically across different layers).

    This feature is only useful on boards with low primitive counts and low density. On high-density boards, it may actually slow down the software.
  • Double Click Runs Interactive Properties – enable this option to either open the Properties panel when editing placed objects using double click, or disable it to open the modal dialog when editing placed objects using double click.

    Right-clicking on a placed object then choosing Properties from the context menu will result in the modal dialog opening if the Double Click Runs Interactive Properties option is disabled. The Properties panel will appear instead if this option is enabled.

Other

  • Rotation Step – shows the amount of rotation, in degrees, applied to objects floating on the cursor when the Spacebar is pressed. Edit this field to change the angle (default is 90°). The minimum angular resolution is 0.001°. Pressing the Spacebar when an object is floating on the cursor rotates the object by the set number of degrees in a counterclockwise direction. Hold the Shift key while pressing the Spacebar to rotate in a clockwise direction.
  • Cursor Type – define the shape of the "action" cursor here. This cursor is displayed whenever you perform any editing action (such as placing or moving an object). Click to view and select a cursor type from the list. Available cursors are:
    • Small 90 – small cross-hair cursor angled at 90° (e.g., "+"). This is the default.
    • Large 90 – cursor consists of intersecting horizontal and vertical lines spanning the width of the screen.
    • Small 45 – same as Small 90 except that the cross-hair lines are at 45° (e.g., "X").
  • Cursor Color – click to access Choose Color dialog from where you can select a color of the crosshair cursor to be used.
  • Comp Drag - shows how connected tracks are handled when you drag a component. To drag a component, select Edit » Move » Drag from the main menus and then click on the component you wish to drag. Click to view and select an option from the list. Available options are:
    • None – when you drag a component, only the component moves. Any attached tracks will be disconnected and left in place.
    • Connected Tracks – when you drag a component, any connected tracks will remain attached to the component.
  • 3D Scene Rotation – shows the amount of rotation, in degrees, applied to 3D view controls. The 3D Scene Rotation angle is set to 30° by default. Click to edit.
  • 3D Panning Rotation – shows the amount of the panning, in millimeters, applied to 3D panning controls. The 3D Panning distance step is set to 500mils (12.7mm) by default. Click to edit.
  • Layer Sorting – use the drop-down menu to select if component layer pairs and mechanical layers should be sorted in the View Configuration panel By Name (default) or By Number (Legacy).

Metric Display Precision

  • Digits – shows the number of significant digits to the right of the decimal point to display when showing metric values. The last digit will be rounded as required, however, calculations within the system are always performed at the base system resolution. For example, if the initial value was calculated as "5.254667", the display would show:
    • "5.255" @ 3 digit precision
    • "5.2547" @ 4 digit precision
    • "5.25467" @ 5 digit precision

Autopan Options

  • Enable Auto Pan – check to enable auto-panning so that when you are performing any editing action and the cross-hair cursor is active, moving the cursor past any edge of the document view window will cause the document to pan in the relevant direction.
  • Style – use the drop-down to select the style of document autopanning. The following options are available:
    • Re-Center – re-centers the display around the location where the cursor touched the edge of the main design window. It also holds the cursor position relative to its location on the board, bringing it back to the center of the display.
    • Fixed Size Jump – pans across in steps defined by the Step Size value. Hold the Shift key to pan in steps defined by the Shift Step value.
    • Shift Accelerate – pans across in steps defined by the Step Size value. Hold the Shift key to accelerate the panning up to the maximum step size, defined by the Shift Step value.
    • Shift Decelerate – pans across in steps defined by the Shift Step value. Hold the Shift key to decelerate the panning down to the minimum step size, defined by the Step Size value.
    • Ballistic – the panning will increase from the Step Size value to the Shift Step value dependent on how far past the edge of the viewing window you move the cursor. Hold the Shift key to pan in steps defined by the Shift Step value.
    • Adaptive – the panning will move at a constant speed when the cursor reaches the edge of the PCB window. When there are no design objects in the region where the panning is taking place, the cursor speed then slows down.
  • Speed – shows the current autopanning speed. Edit this field to change the speed. The measurement is set according to the Pixels/Sec or Mils/Sec options.
  • Pixels/Sec – select this option to set autopanning speed in pixels per second. The number of pixels per second is set in the Speed field.
  • Mils/Sec – select this option to set autopanning in mils per second. The number of mils per second is set in the Speed field.

Space Navigator Options

  • Disable Roll – check this option to disable the Space Navigator function.

Polygon Rebuild

  • Repour Polygons After Modification – enable to automatically repour polygons that have been modified.
  • Repour all dependent polygons after editing – enable to automatically repour any dependent polygons.

File Format Change Report

  • Disable opening the report from older versions – enable to NOT create a report when an older Altium Designer PCB file format document is opened. The report informs you that the document was created in an older version of the software and provides some information on features of the opened document that may be lost or have changed. This option is disabled by default.
  • Disable opening the report from newer versions – enable to NOT create a report when a newer PCB file format is loaded in Altium Designer. The report informs you that the document was created in a newer version of the software and provides some information on features of the opened document that may be lost or have changed. This option is disabled by default.

Paste from other applications

  • Preferred Format – use this field to choose from the following options when pasting from external applications:
    • Metafile – processes Windows enhanced metafile data, however, if there is no enhanced metafile content, any Unicode text data will be processed.
    • Text – processes Unicode text data and discards any enhanced metafile data, however, if there is no Unicode text content, any enhanced metafile data will be processed.

Collaboration

Choose one of the following methods for collaboration:

  • Shared file – select a server path through which engineers can collaborate.
    • Server Path – click the 'folder' icon on the right to select the server path for collaboration.
  • Altium Vault – select this option to allow collaboration through a Workspace.
    When connected to an Altium 365 Workspace, note that collaboration through the Workspace is not supported with the Standard Subscription Plan. As such, the Altium Vault option will not be available with this level of access to Altium 365.

Move Rooms Options

  • Ask when moving rooms containing No Net/Locked Objects – check this option and a confirmation dialog will pop up when you try to move rooms without Net/Locked Objects.

The PCB Editor – Display page of the Preferences dialog provides controls relating to the functionality of the display feature within the PCB design space.

Options/Controls

Display Options

  • Antialiasing – check to enable anti-aliasing in 3D; uncheck to disable.
  • Use Animation – use to toggle animation on/off while zooming, flipping the board, and switching layers.

Highlighting Options

  • Highlight In Full – enable to have selected objects completely highlighted in the current selection color. If this option is disabled, selected objects are only outlined in the current selection color.
  • Use Transparent Mode When Masking – enable to turn transparency on when objects are masked (i.e., you can see through them to objects on layers underneath the mask).
  • Show All Primitives In Highlighted Nets – enable to display all primitives on hidden layers (when in single layer mode) and those primitives on the current layer for the highlighted nets. Disable this option and only all primitives of the current layer (when in single layer mode) appear or all primitives on all layers (when in multi-layer mode) appear for the highlighted nets.
  • Apply Mask During Interactive Editing – enable to mask non-selected objects during interactive editing. Masking makes it easier to focus on the objects being edited as non-selected objected objects are 'faded'.
  • Apply Highlight During Interactive Editing – enable if you want to have objects highlighted (which uses the system Highlight color in the View Configuration panel) when you are in interactive editing mode.

Layer Drawing Order

This region allows you to set the order in which layers are redrawn on the screen. The order that the layers appear in the list is the order in which they will be redrawn. The layer at the top of the list is the layer that will appear on top of all other layers on the screen. Select a layer in the list to alter its position using the Promote and Demote buttons as follows:

  • Promote – click to move the selected layer up one position.
  • Demote – click to move the selected layer down one position.
  • Default – click to set the Layer Drawing Order to the system defaults.

The PCB Editor – Board Insight Display page of the Preferences dialog provides numerous controls relating to the functionality of the Board Insight feature within the PCB design space.

Options/Controls

Pad and Via Display Options

  • Use Smart Display Color – enable to have the software automatically control the font characteristics for the display of pad and via details. Disable this option to manually set the font characteristics.
  • Font Color – click to access a standard Choose Color dialog from where you can select the font color for pad/via details. This field is not available when the option to Use Smart Display Color is enabled.
  • Transparent Background – enable to display pad/via details without any visible background. Disable this option to apply a specific color using the Background Color field. This option is not available when the Use Smart Display Color option is enabled.
  • Background Color – click to access a standard Choose Color dialog from where you can select a background color to be used for pad/via details. This field is not available when the Use Smart Display Color option is enabled or if the option is disabled but the Transparent Background option is enabled.
  • Min / Max Font Size – shows the minimum and maximum font sizes to be used to display pad and via details regardless of the zoom level. Edit these fields to change the minimum and maximum font sizes.
  • Font Name – shows the current TrueType font to be used to display pad and via details. Click to view and select a font from the list.
  • Font Style – shows the current TrueType font style to be used to display pad and via details. Click to view and select an option from the list (Bold, Bold Italic, Italic, or Regular).
  • Minimum Object Size – shows the current minimum size (in screen pixels) of objects that will show pad and via details. This is regardless of zoom level so that at low levels of zoom, you can still maintain visibility of pad and via details. Enter the desired size or use the up and down arrows.

Available Single Layer Modes

  • Hide Other Layers - in single layer modes, only the selected layers will be shown; other layers will be hidden.
  • Gray Scale Other Layers - in single layer modes, the selected layers will be highlighted; all primitives on other layers are displayed in gray scale.
  • Monochrome Other Layers - in single layer modes, the selected layers will be highlighted; all primitives on other layers are displayed in the same shade of gray.

Live Highlighting

  • Enabled – enable to have nets highlighted when you hover the cursor over them. Disabling this option will prevent any live net highlighting.
    • Live Highlighting only when Shift Key Down – enable this option to apply live net highlighting only when the Shift key is being pressed.
    • Outline Color – click to access a standard Choose Color dialog from where you can select an outline color to be used.

Show Locked Texture on Objects

The locked texture is a visible cue so that you can easily tell locked objects apart from non-locked objects. The locked object texture is shown as a 'key'. Enable one of the following options:

  • Never – enable this option to never show the locked texture for locked objects. 
  • Always – enable this option to always show the locked texture for locked objects.
  • Only When Live Highlighting – enable this option to only show the locked texture for a locked object when that object is being highlighted using the live highlighting feature.

As its name suggests, the PCB Editor – Board Insight Modes page of the Preferences dialog provides numerous controls relating to the functionality of the Board Insight within the PCB design space.

Options/Controls

Display

  • Display Heads Up Information - enable this option to turn on the Heads Up Display. The information that is displayed is typically located in the status bar such as grid coordinates, layer, dimensions, and actions. Instead of looking in the status bar, you can now raise your head up and see this information in the workspace.
For more information regarding configuration, see Heads Up Display.
  • Use Background Color - enable this option so that the Heads Up information is displayed with its background transparent. 
  • Insert Key Resets Heads Up Delta Origin - enable this option to reset the Delta Origin to 0, 0 at the current cursor position when the Insert key is pressed. The distance horizontally and vertically that the cursor is moved from the Delta Origin can be displayed in the Heads Up display (Shift+D).
  • Mouse Click Resets Heads Up Delta Origin - enable this option so that a mouse click resets the Delta Origin to 0, 0 at the current cursor position. The distance horizontally and vertically that the cursor is moved from the Delta Origin can be displayed in the Heads Up display (Shift+D).
  • Hover Mode Delay - use this to control how long you want to have the cursor over an item before the hover display information appears. Click on the up or down arrow buttons (increments by 100ms) or use the slide control to increase or decrease the time delay.
  • Heads Up Opacity - click on the up or down arrow buttons (increments by 1%) or move the slide control to increase or decrease the level of opacity of the Heads Up display mode, making it less or more visible. The preview panes at the bottom of the dialog show you how the display will appear.
  • Hover Opacity - click on the up or down arrow buttons (increments by 1%) or move the slide control to increase or decrease the level of opacity of the hover display mode, making it less or more visible. The preview panes at the bottom of the dialog show you how the display will appear.

Insight Modes

  • Grid - this grid lists the available options for which information the Heads Up display modes will show. Enable the checkboxes for the information types you would like displayed in the Heads Up and Hover columns. The Panel column options refer to information that will be displayed in the Properties panel. The Popup column options refer to information that will be displayed when using the object (Shift+X) and violation (Shift+V) pop-up windows. The Font column options control the display text in the Heads Up display modes.
  • Heads Up Preview - shows the preview of the Heads Up information.
  • Hover Preview - displays a preview of the board information under the cursor when the cursor has been stationary for a set period of time.

The PCB Editor – Board Insight Color Overrides page of the Preferences dialog provides controls relating to the functionality of the Board Insight Color Overrides feature within the PCB design space.

Options/Controls

Base Pattern 

Click to select the base pattern for the board insight color override. Patterns available are None (Layer Color), Solid (Override Color), Star, Checker Board, Circle, and Stripe

Zoom Out Behaviour 

Use these options to determine how the nets are displayed when you zoom out:

  • Base Pattern Scales - select to scale the base pattern as you zoom out.
  • Layer Color Dominates - select to have the assigned layer color become more dominant the further you zoom out until the color is not noticeable.
  • Override Color Dominates - select to have the assigned net override color become more dominant the further you zoom out until the color is not noticeable. 

To learn more about using the Color Override feature, refer to the Net Color Override section of Routing the PCB page.

You can also apply color to the nets in the schematic, refer to the Configuring the Color of Nets topic in the Creating Circuit Connectivity in Your Schematics page to learn more.

The PCB Editor - DRC Violations Display page of the Preferences dialog provides a range of controls that determine the visual functionality of the DRC Violations Display feature within the PCB design space.

Options/Controls

Violation Overlay Style 

Select the visual overlay style to specify how violations appear in the PCB design space. Choose from the following options:

  • None (Layer Color) - the DRC override color is ignored, leaving the default layer color visible only.
  • Solid (Override Color) - the DRC override color is used, totally overriding the default layer color.
  • Style A - the DRC override color is used in the display of an exclamation-type pattern, leaving the default layer color also visible.
  • Style B - the DRC override color is used in the display of a cross-type pattern, leaving the default layer color also visible.
The override color (the color associated with the display of a violation overlay) is as defined for the DRC Error Markers under System Colors on the View Configuration panel.

Overlay Zoom Out Behavior

Use these options to determine how the overlays are displayed when you zoom out:

  • Base Pattern Scales - select to scale the base pattern as you zoom out.
  • Layer Color Dominates - select to have the assigned layer color become more dominant the further you zoom out until the color is not noticeable.
  • Override Color Dominates - select to have the assigned net override color become more dominant the further you zoom out until the color is not noticeable.

Choose DRC Violations Display Style

This region presents a grid allowing you to choose the display style used on a per-rule basis.

  • Enabling the Violation Details field for a rule type will use the associated custom violation graphics to display the DRC violations of that rule.
  • Enabling the Violation Overlay field will display the violations using the specified overlay style.

Right-click anywhere in the region to access a context menu, with commands to quickly enable or disable use of a violation display type for all rule types. You can also quickly enable the display of violations – detailed graphics or overlay styles – for only those rules currently being used in the design.

By default, the Violation Details display option is enabled for all rule types and the Violation Overlay display option is enabled only for Clearance, Width, and Component Clearance rules.
Using the two display types together can prove useful in terms of providing a 'coarse' and 'fine' indication of violations. When zoomed out, the violation overlay can flag where a violation exists, then zoom in to view the detail delivered by the associated custom violation graphic.

The PCB Editor – Interactive Routing page of the Preferences dialog provides numerous controls relating to the functionality of the Interactive Routing feature within the PCB design space.

Options/Controls

Routing Conflict Resolution 

  • Ignore Obstacles - Select to have the interactive router to allow the track to pass through obstacles while routing. 
  • Push Obstacles - Select to have the Interactive Router move existing tracks out of the way while routing. This mode can also push vias to make way for the new routing. If the system cannot push an obstacle without causing a violation, an indicator appears to show the route is blocked.
  • Walkaround Obstacles - Select to have the Interactive Router route around existing tracks, pads, and vias while routing. If the system cannot walk around an obstacle without causing a violation, an indicator appears to show the route is blocked.
  • Stop At First Obstacle - Select to have the Interactive Router stop routing when it encounters the first obstacle in its path.
  • Hug And Push Obstacles - Select to have the Interactive Router hug existing tracks, pads, and vias as closely as possible while routing and, where necessary, push obstacles to continue the route. If the system cannot hug or push an obstacle without causing a violation, an indicator appears to show the route is blocked.
  • AutoRoute On Current Layer - Select to enable auto-routing on the current layer. This mode applies autorouter intelligence to the interactive router, automatically selecting between pushing and walking around, to give the shortest overall route length.
  • AutoRoute On Multiple Layers - Select to enable auto-routing on multiple layers. This mode also applies autorouter intelligence to the interactive router, automatically selecting between pushing, walking around or switching layers, to give the shortest overall route length.
  • Current Mode - This field displays the current Routing Conflict Resolution mode chosen when using the Interactive Router. Use the associated drop-down to change the mode as required.
The Conflict Resolution Mode applies to interactive routing and dragging. Shift+R can be used to cycle the mode during the current routing or dragging action, with the last used mode being applied the next time you route or drag. 

Interactive Routing Options

  • Automatically Terminate Routing - When enabled, when you complete a route to the target pad, the routing tool does not continue in routing mode from the target pad but instead resets, ready for you to click on the next source pad from which to route. If this option is disabled, after you route to the target pad, the tool will remain in routing mode, using the previous target pad as the source for the next route.
  • Automatically Remove Loops - Enable to automatically remove any redundant loops that are created during manual routing. This allows you to re-route a connection without having to manually remove redundant tracks. However, there are times when you need to route nets (such as power nets) and you need loops. In this case, you can toggle the Remove Loops option for a selected net by editing its net property from the Edit Net dialog via the PCB panel. The Remove Loops local setting for the specified net overrides this global setting for the same net.
    • Remove Loops with Vias - Enable to automatically remove loops with vias. Disable this option for vias to remain during loop removal. 
    • Remove Net Antennas - Enable to automatically remove any track or arc end that is not connected to any other primitive and therefore forms an antenna.
  • Allow Via Pushing - Check this option to allow pushing vias when you are in Push Obstacles or HugNPush Obstacles mode (selected above in Current Mode).
  • Display Clearance Boundaries - With this option enabled, as you interactively route, the no-go clearance area defined by the existing objects and the applicable clearance rule is displayed as shaded polygons giving you an indication of just how much space you have available for routing.
    • Reduce Clearance Display Area - By default, all clearance boundaries are displayed, however, you can opt to reduce the clearance display area by enabling this option to only view boundaries that fall within a localized viewing circle.
The display of clearance boundaries is available in all routing modes except Ignore Obstacles.

General

To help produce routing with the minimum number of corners, the PCB Editor includes a Glossing tool. Glossing is a sophisticated set of algorithms developed specifically to produce cleaner routing and pad entries, that respect the intent of the applicable design rules. Glossing attempts to reduce the path length and also improve the shape of corners and reduce their number, generally resulting in neater routing created from fewer segments.

  • Gloss Effort (Routed) - has three settings; Off, Weak, and Strong. Use the Ctrl+Shift+G shortcut to cycle through the settings during routing.
    • Off - In this mode, glossing is essentially disabled. Note, however, that cleanup is still run after routing/dragging occurs to eliminate, for example, overlapping track segments. This mode is typically useful at the end stage of board layout when the ultimate level of fine-tuning is required (for example, when manually dragging tracks, cleaning pad entries, etc.).
    • Weak - In this mode, a low level of glossing is applied with the Interactive Router considering only those tracks directly connected to or in the area of the tracks that you are currently routing (or tracks/vias being dragged). This mode of glossing is typically useful for fine-tuning track layout or when dealing with critical traces.
    • Strong - In this mode, a high level of glossing is applied with the Interactive Router looking for shortest paths, smoothing out tracks, etc. This mode of glossing is typically useful in the early stages of the layout process when the aim is to get a large portion of the board routed quickly.

Push and shove interactive routing allows you to push existing routes to make room for a new route. This can sometimes be at the expense of the existing routes; while their new locations might satisfy the design rules, the quality of their placement might be compromised. To help manage this, the interactive routing's glossing tool supports neighbor routes; that is, glossing all existing routes that have been impacted by the push and shove process.

  • Gloss Effort (Neighbor) - has three settings; Off, Weak, and Strong. Use the Ctrl+Shift+G shortcut to cycle through the settings during routing.
  • Hugging Style - use the drop-down to choose between the 45 degree, mixed, or rounded hugging styles. This option controls how corner shapes are to be managed during interactive sliding and will affect both the tracks being slid and the tracks being pushed.
  • Minimum Arc ratio - enter the desired minimum arc ratio. The Minimum Arc Ratio may be applied during any angle interactive routing and also during interactive sliding with Mixed Hugging style. The ratio is used to determine the minimum radius arc allowed when the arc radius falls below this minimum the arc is replaced by track segments, where Min Arc Radius = Min Arc Ratio x Arc Width.
This setting is not applied during any arc in corner routing or interactive sliding with Rounded Hugging style as these modes do not use segmented arcs. Additionally, you can set the Minimum Arc Ratio to 0 (zero) to always use arcs.
  • Miter Ratio - enter the desired miter ratio, which may be used to control the minimum corner tightness. The Miter Ratio multiplied by the current track width equals the separation between walls of the tightest U-shape that can be routed for that ratio. You may enter a positive value equal to or greater than zero (the x multiplier is added automatically).
  • Pad Entry Stability - enter the desired level of protection for centered pad entries. The higher the number, the greater protection; '0' gives no protection. 

Dragging

  • Preserve Angle When Dragging - Enable this option to preserve the angle when dragging. When enabled, select one of the following options:
    • Ignore Obstacles - Obstacles will be ignored to preserve angle during dragging.
    • Avoid Obstacles (Snap Grid) - Based on the snap grid, the software will try to avoid obstacles while preserving angles.
    • Avoid Obstacles - Software will try to avoid obstacles during dragging.
  • Vertex Actions - choose the desired vertex action to use, which will be seen when clicking and dragging on a vertex. There are specific options that are applied when you click and drag on a vertex rather than a track or arc (the vertex is the corner location where two segments meet). Use the Spacebar shortcut to cycle through the available modes during sliding. The drop-down options include the following:
    • Deform - break or lengthen the track segments attached to the moving vertex so that the vertex follows the cursor movement.
    • Scale - hold the corner shape and resize and move the incoming track segments, keeping the vertex attached to the cursor.
    • Smooth - reshape the corner smoothly, inserting arcs to create a curved corner when dragging inward (in Mixed or Rounded Hugging Style), at every vertex impacted by the sliding process. Also, add arcs when dragging outward in Rounded Hugging Style.
  • Unselected via/track - Set the default behavior of dragging an unselected via or track to be either a Move or Drag action.
  • Selected via/track - Set the default behavior of dragging a selected via or track to be either a Move or Drag action.
  • Component pushing - This field displays the current Component Conflict Resolution mode when moving components within the design space. The following modes are supported:
    • Ignore - default behavior, where the component can be moved regardless of creating a violation with neighboring component(s). In this mode, the same component clearance checking routines seen in previous versions of Altium Designer are used. These routines use the 3D body (if there is one) or the copper and silk primitives to identify an object's clearance.
    • Push - the component will push other components away to provide compliance with clearances between components. Components in unions can be pushed and the location of components in the union may change but the union will not break. Locked components cannot be pushed. In this mode, components are identified by their selection boundary, which is the smallest possible rectangle that encloses all of the primitives in the component.
    • Avoid - the component will be forced to avoid violating clearance rules between other components. In this mode, components are identified by their selection boundary, which is the smallest possible rectangle that encloses all of the primitives in the component.
Press the R shortcut key as you move a component to cycle through the Component pushing modes.
  • Component re-route - check the box to toggle the post-drop connectivity restoration. After the set of objects being moved has been released, the software will attempt to re-route the component(s) to reconnect any broken nets. Use the Shift+R shortcut to inhibit the re-route behavior (disabling the option).
  • Move component with relevant routing - enable this option to start the move component action with the relevant routing (Components +Via Fanouts +Escapes +Interconnects). Use the Shift+Tab shortcut to cycle the selection set. Disable the option to start the move component action with components only selected. Because the set of relevant routing objects is detected prior to the move commencing, it is not possible to use Shift+Tab to cycle through the selection set when the option is disabled.
  • up to - when the Move component with relevant routing option is enabled, specify the number of pins. The default value is 2. If a component has more pins than specified in this field, the Move component with relevant routing option will not "work" and relevant routing will not be moved with the component. 

Interactive Routing Width Sources

  • Pickup Track Width From Existing Routes - Enable to use the existing track width when routing from a placed track (i.e. even if the current routing width is different to the existing track, the existing track width will be adopted when you continue the route from it).
  • Track Width Mode - Choose a track width mode for interactive routing. The available modes are:
    • User Choice - With this mode enabled, the width is determined from the width selected in the Choose Width dialog, which is accessed by pressing Shift + W while routing.
    • Rule Minimum- With this mode enabled, the design rule minimum width defined for the current net will be used.
    • Rule Preferred - With this mode enabled, the design rule preferred width defined for the current net will be used.
    • Rule Maximum - With this mode enabled, the design rule maximum width defined for the current net will be used.
  • Via Size Mode - Choose one of the via size modes for interactive routing. The available modes are:
    • User Choice - With this mode enabled, the via size is determined from the size selected in the Choose Via Sizes dialog, which is accessed by pressing Shift + V while routing.
    • Rule Minimum - This mode uses the minimum via size rule.
    • Rule Preferred - This mode uses the preferred via size rule.
    • Rule Maximum - This mode uses the maximum via size rule.

Favorites

The PCB Editor – Gloss And Retrace page of the Preferences dialog provides numerous controls relating to the functionality of the Gloss Selected and Retrace Selected features within the PCB design space.

Options/Controls

Gloss & Retrace Parameters

  • Hugging Style – controls how corner shapes are to be managed during glossing or retracing.
    • 45 Degree – always use straight orthogonal/diagonal segments to create corners during glossing or retracing (use this mode for traditional orthogonal/diagonal routing behavior).
    • Rounded – use arcs at each vertex involved in the glossing or retracing. Use this mode to use arcs + any angle routes when glossing.
  • Avoid polygons – when this option is enabled, existing polygons will be respected when the Gloss Selected or Retrace Selected command is run. If the option is disabled existing polygons will be ignored (routed across), affected polygons can then be repoured.
  • Avoid rooms – when this option is enabled, existing rooms will be respected when the Gloss Selected or Retrace Selected command is run. If a room scoped by specific routing width requirements is defined in the design and the routing to be glossed/retraced does not cross the room, the resulting routing will not cross this room either when the option is enabled. If the option is disabled, existing rooms will be routed across, and the width to be used within such rooms will be that is defined in constraints of the room-based rule.
  • Pad Entry Stability – enter the desired level of protection for centered pad entries. The higher the number, the greater protection; '0' gives no protection; '10' gives maximum protection.
  • Miter Ratio – controls the minimum corner tightness. The Miter Ratio multiplied by the current track width equals the separation between walls of the tightest U-shape that can be routed for that ratio. Enter a positive value equal to or greater than zero.

Gloss Parameters

  • Effort – select the desired gloss level from the following choices:
    • Weak – in this mode, a low level of glossing is applied. This mode of glossing is typically useful for fine-tuning track layout or when dealing with critical traces.
    • Strong – in this mode, a high level of glossing is applied, with a strong emphasis on the shortest path. This mode of glossing is typically useful in the early stages of the layout process when the aim is to get a good amount of the board routed quickly.

Retrace Parameters

  • Set Width – use the drop-down to select one of the rule-based width options (Min / Max / Preferred) of an applicable Width or Differential Pairs Routing design rule when the Retrace Selected command is run, or select the Current width of tracks to be retraced. Alternatively, enter a desired custom width value directly in the field.
  • Set Diff Pair Gap – use the drop-down to select one of the rule-based gap options (Min / Max / Preferred) of an applicable Differential Pairs Routing design rule when the Retrace Selected command is run, or select the Current gap between differential pair tracks to be retraced. Alternatively, enter a desired custom gap value directly in the field.

The PCB Editor – True Type Fonts page of the Preferences dialog provides numerous controls relating to the functionality of the True Type Fonts feature within the PCB design space.

Options/Controls

Truetype Fonts Save / Load Options 

  • Embed TrueType fonts inside PCB documents - TrueType fonts are the fonts installed on your computer. Enable this setting to save the TrueType fonts you have used in your PCB file. This will allow other machines that do not have a specific font to view the design as you have intended.
  • Substitution font - the substitution font will replace any TrueType fonts contained in files you open but that are not present on your system. Use the drop-down to select the desired font.

The PCB Editor – Defaults page of the Preferences dialog provides numerous controls relating to the default settings within the PCB design space.

Options/Controls

  • Primitives - use this field to filter the presented listing of primitives. 
  • Primitive List - a list of primitives that can be used in the PCB editor (filtered in accordance with the chosen entry for the Primitives field above). Click on the listed Primitives to change the available default values as described.
All primitive default values are saved in the ADVPCB.DFT file. This file is located in the \Users\<ProfileName>\AppData\Roaming\Altium\Altium Designer <GUID> folder of the installation.​
To view and edit the settings and options for each primitive, click on the desired entry in the Primitive List. Information for each primitive can be found at the following links: 

Additional Controls

  • Save as - click to save the current default object properties to a custom properties file (*.dft). You will be asked for a name and directory for the file. When the PCB editor server is started, the current defaults are read and any changes you make to the defaults are stored in this file when you exit. Use the Load button to load a previously saved set of default properties.
  • Load - click to load a previously saved set of default object properties. You will be asked to navigate to and select a previously saved properties file (*.dft).
  • Reset All - Click to reset the properties of all objects to the system defaults.
  • Permanent - If this option is enabled, the default properties of all object types are locked and are not changed if you edit an object's properties during placement. If this option is disabled, any changes you make to a particular object during placement (by pressing the Tab key while the object is floating on the cursor before placement to open the Properties panel) are used to update the default properties for that particular object type.

The PCB Editor – Reports page of the Preferences dialog provides numerous controls relating to the functionality of the Reports feature within the PCB design space.

Options/Controls

Reports

The PCB reports displayed in this list can be created as text, HTML, or XML files. Enable the Show option to show (open) the report after it has been created. Enable the Generate option to generate the report. The XSL template is displayed in the XML Transformation Filename column. This path can be modified if desired. 

Supported reports are:

  • Design Rule Check
  • Net Status
  • Board Information
  • BGA Escape Route
  • Move Component(s) Origin to Grid
  • Embedded Boards Stackup Compatibility

The PCB Editor – Layer Colors page of the Preferences dialog provides controls to change the colors used for all supported board layers and system objects associated with viewing a board in 2D. Quickly change the color of a chosen layer or all layers on the fly. Alternatively, define a color profile to determine the colors assigned to each and every layer. Color profiles can be saved and loaded to enable the quick application of favorite/desired color schemes.

The colors defined here are reflected in and can also be defined on the View Configuration panel on the Layers & Colors tab.

Options/Controls

  • Saved Color Profiles - lists the names of the currently saved color profiles. Click on an entry to 'activate' it. This allows you to view the colors configured for the layers in that profile in the Active color profile region of the dialog and make any changes as required.
Note that clicking OK will use the selected color profile, but if you have made any changes to layer colors for that profile and want to use them beyond the current editing session, you must save those changes using the Save color profile or Save As color profile links in the Actions region.
2D color settings are system-based. All PCB documents will use the active 2D color profile.
  • Location of saved profile - shows the file path of a saved 2D color profile. Hover the cursor over an entry in the Saved Color Profiles list to see the path here.
  • Explore Folder - click to open the folder in which the saved color profiles are located.
  • Actions – this region presents various commands for working with color profiles at the file level (*.PCBSysColors):
    • Save color profile – click to save any changes made to layer colors for the currently selected color profile.
    • Save As color profile – click to access the Save Color Profile As dialog from where you can save the currently selected color profile as a distinct, new profile with a different name. The newly saved color profile will be added to the list of saved color profiles.
    • Load color profile – click to access the Load Color Profile File dialog from where you can browse to and open a color profile file (*.PCBSysColors). The chosen color profile will be added to the list of saved color profiles.
    • Rename color profile – click to access the Rename Color Profile dialog from where you can specify a new name for the profile as required.
    • Remove color profile – click to remove the selected color profile. A confirmation dialog will appear. Click No to simply remove the profile from the saved color profiles list. Click Yes if you want to also remove the color profile file from the hard disk.
The default color profiles are system profiles and, as such, cannot be removed. Only user-defined color profiles can be removed.
If you make any changes to your 2D color settings and want to keep them, save the color profile before closing the dialog.
  • Active color profile - this region provides controls to configure the layer colors for the active color profile, i.e., the profile currently selected in the Saved Color Profiles list.
  • Layers - lists all supported board layers as well as system layers. For each layer in the list, its currently assigned color is displayed in the color swatch to the right. To change the color for a layer, simply select it in the list, then use the controls to the right to choose a new color.
The list of layers reflects those presented in the View Configuration panel on the Layer & Colors tab.
  • Selection region - the region to the right of the layers list offers the same controls as those found in the standard Choose Color dialog. Three tabs are available, essentially giving you simple and advanced modes for choosing the required layer color:
    • Basic - this tab provides a flat listing of colors.
    • Standard - this tab provides a hexagonal color selector filled with popular colors, as well as controls for quickly choosing black, white, or various shades of gray.
    • Custom - this tab provides advanced controls for getting the exact shade of color required. Use the main color area to drag the cross-hair to the 'ball park' color required, then use the vertical slider bar to the right to fine-tune the shade. Use the Color model drop-down field to choose between two color models, either RGB (Red, Green, Blue) or HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminance). The fields below update as you change the color controls above. Alternatively, enter the values for Red, Green, and Blue directly.
  • Previous - shows the previous color used for the selected layer.
The previous color will only remain displayed while the layer is still selected. If you click to another layer and back again, it will simply reflect the current layer color.
  • Current - shows the new color chosen for the layer. This color will be applied during the current editing session with the software (if simply clicking OK), and/or will be committed to the color profile, if that profile is saved.
  • Custom Colors - this area allows you to store up to 16 custom colors, which is useful if you have finally reached a required color through the color selecting controls and want to effectively 'save' that color for reuse. Clicking on any of the custom color swatches will quickly assign its color as the current layer color.
    • Add to Custom Colors - use this button to add the currently chosen color to the custom color palette.
Ensure the correct swatch to receive the color is selected on the custom color palette to prevent overwriting an existing custom color that you wish to keep.
  • Use different profile colors for all opened PCB files - enable this option to display layer colors according to the assigned profile for all opened PCB documents. This option is disabled by default.

The PCB Editor – Models page of the Preferences dialog provides numerous controls relating to Models within the PCB design space.

Options/Controls

Model Search Path

  • Models region - Lists all folders that will be defaulted to when linking 3D STEP model files via the Properties panel in 3D Body mode. You might consider these folders "watched" since the software monitors changes to STEP files (*.stp, *.step) in them.
  • Models path - Click the browse icon on the right to open a dialog in which you can browse for a folder in which to search for 3D STEP model files. Once the folder is found, add it to the Models region using the Add button. Whenever you link or embed a STEP model to a component footprint or PCB document, the folders listed in the Models region list are defaulted to. The idea of using common or central depositories for STEP model files can be beneficial, particularly in multi-user environments.
  • Add - Click to add the folder currently displayed in the browse bar to the Models region list.
  • Delete - Click to remove the currently selected folder from the Models region list.

Temporary Mesh Data

  • Directory - Click the browse folder icon to open a dialog to browse for a folder in which the software will store 3D model mesh data. Mesh data is calculated for display purposes when a 3D model is first used or created. This data is saved, to be used whenever that model is required again. Storing mesh data in this way can improve system performance when working in the 3D workspace.
  • Time To Keep Unused Mesh Data - Click to view and select a maximum period of time (in days) for the system to store 3D model mesh data since its last use before deleting it. Mesh data is calculated for display purposes when a 3D model is first used or created. This data is saved, to be used whenever that model is required again. Storing mesh data in this way can improve system performance when working in the 3D workspace. Available options are:
    • 1 day
    • 2 days
    • 7 days
    • 30 days
  • Clean Directory - Click to immediately empty the folder used to store temporary 3D model mesh data.

Text Editors Preferences

The Text Editors – General page of the Preferences dialog provides configuration controls related to the editing behavior of the Text Editor.

Options/Controls

Editing

  • Insert Mode - check to insert text at the cursor without overwriting existing text. If this option is disabled, text entered at the cursor is overwritten.
The keyboard Insert key can be used to toggle Insert Mode in the Text Editor without changing this default setting. The mode is indicated by the Overwrite or Insert message on the status bar.
  • Overwrite cursor as block - check to overwrite the cursor as a block.
  • Cursor through tabs - check to allow the arrow keys to move the cursor to the logical spaces within each tab character.
  • Cursor beyond EOL - check to allow the cursor to be positioned beyond the end-of-line (EOL) character on the text document.
  • Cursor beyond EOF - check to allow the cursor to be positioned beyond the end-of-file (EOF) character on the text document.
  • Persistent blocks - check to keep marked blocks on the text document marked even when the cursor is moved using the arrow keys. When a new block is selected, the previous block is removed.
  • Overwrite blocks - check to allow a marked block of text to be replaced with whatever is typed next. If the Persistent blocks option is also selected, text entered is appended following the currently selected block.
  • Disable dragging - check to inhibit the ability to drag selected blocks of text across the text document. By default, this option is disabled.
  • Group undo - check to undo the last editing command, as well as any subsequent editing commands of the same type.
  • Remember undo/redo after save - check to make Undo data remain after a text file is saved allowing all changes to be reverted. This option is enabled by default. Disable this option and all the Undo data is lost after saving a text file.
  • Smart 'Home' key - check to make the Home key (when used for the first time) cause the cursor to jump to the first non-space character in the current line. With the next Home key press, the cursor will jump to the beginning of the line, and so on. This Home key behavior matches that of the Microsoft™ Visual Studio™ product. Disable this option and the Home key will always cause the cursor to jump to the beginning of the current line.

Find

  • Find text at cursor - check to cause the current text at the cursor to be placed into the Text to find: field in the Find Text dialog box. If this option is disabled, the search text must be manually entered.
  • Find selected text on Find Next - enable this option to quickly find subsequent occurrences of the currently selected text, instead of the text that was used in the original find text action.
  • Select found text -  check to copy the found text to the clipboard when the copy command is used.

Import

  • Import from - click to import Text Editor Preference settings then choose from Tasking or Visual Studio.

Tabs & Indent

  • Use tab character -  when enabled, a literal tab character is inserted for each tab. When disabled, space characters are inserted instead. Enable the Use special symbols option on the Text Editors - Display Preferences page to see tab characters in the text document.
  • Optimal fill - check to make a line auto-indent with the minimum number of characters possible, using tabs and spaces as necessary. Enable the Use special symbols option on the  Text Editors - Display Preferences page to see the tab symbols on the document.
  • Smart tab - check to have a new line tab to match the position of the first non-whitespace character on the preceding line.
  • Auto indent mode - check to create a new line when Enter is pressed. The cursor will indent the same as the position of the first non-whitespace character on the preceding line.
  • Smart indent mode - check to enable programming-aware tab behavior; currently used only when editing C files. For example, when this option is enabled and a closing curly bracket is typed, the editor will indent this character so that it is aligned to the matching opening curly bracket. Disable this option and the tab behaves normally.
  • Backspace unindents - check to have the backspace key remove an indent in one keypress. 
    • Tab Stops -  use to define the editor tab stops in number of characters represented by a tab.
    • Block Indent - use to specify the standing number of spaces to indent text, and the Indent/Outdent space used for a marked block of text. The Indent and Outdent block key commands are Ctrl+Shift+I and Ctrl+Shift+U, respectively.

Key Mapping

Select one of the following Key Mapping assignments for editing a text document:

  • Default map the editor keys to match CUA mappings.
  • Borland Classic - map keys to match the Borland Classic editor keys.
  • Brief - map keys to match the Brief keystrokes.
  • Epsilon - map keys to match the Epsilon keys.
  • Visual Studio - map keys to match the Visual Studio editor.

Advanced

  • Double click line - click to highlight a line when a character in the line is double-clicked. If this option is disabled, only the selected word is highlighted.
  • Unix EOL style - click so that when a text file is saved, each line will be separated using a single LF character (Unix style) instead of a CR/LF pair.
  • Compress undo motion - enable so that changing the caret position does not go into the undo list. Normally, if text is modified and the PageUp key pressed, Undo would have to be used twice to restore the text to the original state. With the Compress Undo Motion enabled, that can be done with a single Undo.
  • Advanced block editing -  click to have all the selected blocks simultaneously overwritten when typing.

The Text Editors – Display page of the Preferences dialog provides controls and information related to text display.

Options/Controls

Font

  • Editor Front: Change - click to access the standard Windows Font dialog in which you can configure the font used for text documents. The field to the right reflects the current font for the Text Editor.

Visual

  • Visible right margin - check to display a right-hand margin on the text document. You can adjust the margin width by entering a new value in the Margin width field. The right margin is used for visual formatting and for word wrapping.
  • Show line numbers - check to display line numbers on the text document. Use the following sub-options to configure how the numbering is displayed:
    • Line numbers on gutter - check to have the line numbers appear on the gutter. If this option is disabled, the line numbers are displayed on a column next to the gutter within the document itself.
    • Show all numbers - check to display all line numbers. With this option disabled, the line number for every tenth line will be displayed, with tick marks for all other lines (major tick lines for every fifth line).
  • Use special symbols - check to display special symbols, such as those for a carriage return or end of line.
  • Word wrap - check to have text wrap in accordance with one of the following options:
    • Wrap at margin - select to have lines of text wrap around at a right-hand margin line. Ensure that the Visible right margin option is enabled and define the width of the margin using the Margin width field.
    • Wrap at window - select to have lines of text wrap around at the right-hand edge of the text document visible workspace.
  • Indicate modified lines - check to have lines of text that are modified or added automatically highlighted with color markers on the gutter. Unsaved changes are indicated with red markers while saved changes are indicated with green markers - this allows you to quickly identify which text is committed.

Syntax Highlighting

  • Use syntax highlighting - check to enable syntax highlighting. To set highlighting options, use the Text Editors - Colors page.
  • Highlight brackets - check to highlight the brackets in the text, which is useful to identify opening and closing brackets in text.
  • Automatic delimiter highlighting - check to control whether matching pairs of delimiter characters are highlighted. For example, when this option is enabled and you close a bracket, the text editor will highlight.
  • Underline typing errors - check to underline any typing errors.

Code Outlining

  • Use Code Outlining - check to view a small box that appears for each procedure/function/sub-routine on a text document. Each routine can be collapsed to one line or expanded by clicking on the small box. Use the Show Collapse Lines and Buttons on Gutter options to have more control over the Code Outlining feature.

The Text Editors - Colors page of the Preferences dialog provides controls and information related to text colors. 

The right-hand region of the dialog changes according to the settings you choose in the left-hand region. Additionally, when you click an element in the Example region, the left-hand region automatically shows the selected element's settings. These features enable you to readily see the effect of your color settings.

Options/Controls

Editor Colors Settings

  • Color SpeedSetting - use the drop-down list to select the desired color setting. Choices include:
    • Custom
​If Custom is selected, color settings can be set manually using the controls located in the lower region of the dialog.
  • Default
  • Element - this is a list of all elements that exist in the text. Each element has a default setting that is available in the lower region of the dialog.
If default setting is checked, the default color is shown in the associated drop-down as well as in the Example region.
  • Foreground Color 
    • ​Use default color - check this box to use the default foreground color. Use the drop-down list to select a system defined foreground color for the selected element. 
  • Background Color
    • ​Use default color - check this box to use the default background color. Use the drop-down list to select a system defined background color for the selected element.  
  • Text attributes - check desired boxes to define attributes for the text. Choices include:
    • Bold
    • Italic
    • Underline

​Additional Controls

  • Load Colors - click to open the Load Color Scheme dialog in which you can load color settings (*.clr files) from external sources.
  • Save Colors - click to open the Save Color Scheme As dialog in which you can save the color settings as a *.clr file.
  • Configure Language - click to open the Language Setup dialog from where you can manage a list of languages that can be associated to documents opened in the Text Editor. 
  • Edit Current Language Syntax - click to open the Syntax Editor dialog from which you can edit the syntax of the current language.

Scripting System Preferences

The Scripting System - Global Projects page of the Preferences dialog lists script projects that are available (installed). Script projects can be installed, removed or reordered.

Options/Controls

  • Installed Projects - this region displays the script projects that are available (installed).

  • Move Up - click to move the selected project up on the list.

  • Move Down - click to move the selected project down on the list.

  • Install - click to access a drop-down to install a script project. The drop-down includes the following choices:

    • Install from file - select to browse to and select the required project. 

    • Install from server - select to open the Choose Item dialog in which you can browse to and select the desired project.

  • Remove - click to delete the selected script.

The Scripting System - Form Designer page of the Preferences dialog provides the grid and component designator options for a scripting form document.

Options/Controls

Grid Options

  • Display Grid - enable to show the grid in scripting form documents.

  • Snap To Grid - enable to snap to the grid as defined in the Grid Size fields.

    • Grid Size - use the arrows or enter the desired grid for X and Y.

Options

  • Show Component Captions - enable to display the component captions.
  • Show Designer Hints - enable to display hints for script documents.

CAM Editor Preferences

The CAM Editor – General page of the Preferences dialog includes controls relating to the general settings of the CAM Editor within the CAM design space.

Options/Controls

Load

  • Default PCB Width - use this field to determine the width placement of the origin and how much the initial area will be positive when a new session is started. The extent of a working area is 65" x 65", so any initial positive area between zero and the full extent will be accepted.
  • Default PCB Height - use this field to determine the height placement of the origin and how much the initial area will be positive when a new session is started. The extent of a working area is 65" x 65", so any initial positive area between zero and the full extent will be accepted.
  • Center image in database - enable this option to ensure that the extents of the loaded entire image are calculated and centered within the CAM document.

Edit/Info/Aperture

  • Auto Repeat Functions - enabling this option ensures that repeat editing and drawing functions occur until you either press Esc or choose Cancel from the right-click menu. This option can be useful when you require a series of similar draws or edits and wish to avoid restarting each function manually.
  • Display Aperture List in MILS (English Units) - enable this option to display inches in MIL (1 = 0.001") units for all aperture sizes (including DRC, and other features that request sizes to be inputted).
  • Object Snap within pickbox (Fuzzy Mode) - enabling this option allows you to snap to any existing endpoints within the pickbox.

Log file generation preferences

  • Default log files location - define the default log files location to store generated log files. Click on the button to set the path. Ensure the Enable log file generation option is enabled if you wish to store generated log files.
  • Enable log file creation (information, warnings, errors) - enable this option to store generated log files.
  • Open log file after process ends - use the drop-down to ensure that log files always open when errors or warnings are found.

Polygon Options

  • Select Polygons when Highlights Nets - if you've extracted nets from Gerber data, you may enable this option to select target polygons when related nets are highlighted. For more information on extracting nets, visit the Extract command page.

The CAM Editor – View / Language page of the Preferences dialog includes controls to choose translucent viewing, how to display the current layer and layer sorting, the language to be used for drawing text, and customize layer colors when in the CAM Editor.

Options/Controls

View

  • Translucent Viewing Default - enable this option to start the CAM document editing session with the translucent viewing enabled.
  • Draw Current Layer Last - enable this option so the current layer is displayed on top of all other layers.
  • Arc(s) slicing resolution (Degrees) - this field controls the displayed arc resolution for circular interpolation (true arcs). Arcs will always retain their true arc information but will be displayed as straight line segments to boost display speed. At any time, you can query on an arc to check the arc information is still preserved.
  • Sort Layers Tree (Alphabetically) - use to choose how the layers are sorted alphabetically. 

Language For Drawing Text

Use the drop-down to choose the language when drawing the text on the CAM document.

Colors

  • Colors - click to select the color to customize the CAM Editor's layers.

The CAM Editor – DRC page of the Preferences dialog allows you to set the minimum clearance distance between a thermal and another flash on a plane layer within the CAM design space.

Options/Controls

Starved Thermals Clearance

  • Clearance Value - use this field to set the minimum allowable distance between a thermal and another flash on a plane layer. This distance is specified as a percentage value from the thermal outer dimension.

The CAM Editor – Import / Export page of the Preferences dialog includes options to configure your imports and exports within the CAM design space.

Options/Controls

Gerber Import (Default)

  • RS-274 - clicking this button cycles through the available Gerber formats: RS274, RS274X, or Fire9000.
  • Import Settings - click to open the Gerber Import Settings dialog, which you can use to determine measure units (English or Metric), Digits formats, and Zero Suppression types, among other options.
  • Advanced Options - click open the Import Gerber Options dialog to set up options such as using 360 Degree Arcs as default and define the End of Gerber Block settings.

Gerber Export (Default)

  • RS-274 - clicking this button cycles through the available Gerber formats: RS274, RS274X, or Fire9000.
  • Export Settings - click to open the Gerber Export Settings dialog, which you can use to determine measure units (English or Metric), Digits formats, and Zero Suppression types, among other options.
  • Advanced Options - click to open the Export Gerber(s) dialog, where you may determine the separation of composite layers into individual files, set up Fire9000 resolution, and convert polygons to vector fill, among other options.
  • Suppress comments (remove G04 commands) - enable if you want to suppress G04 commands as comments when Gerber data is being exported from a CAM Editor document.

Export 2 PCB - Options

  • Create Fills (only if rectangular) - choose this option and fills are created for rectangular polygons when exporting CAM Editor designs.
  • Created Hatched Polygons - enable this option to ensure copper pours consisting of tracks and arcs are created when exporting CAM Editor designs. Click the Hatched Polygon Options button to set up polygon settings.
  • Create Solid Polygons - enable this option to ensure polygons (copper pours) are created when exporting CAM Editor designs. Click on the Solid Polygon Options button for additional settings.
  • Hatched Polygon Options - click to set up the hatched polygon such as the grid size, track width, minimum primitive length, and removing dead copper when importing or exporting designs that contain polygons.
  • Solid Polygon Options - click to define the attributes for the solid polygon such as copper islands, narrow copper necks, and how to pour polygons over the same net.
  • Create PCB DRC Rules from CAM DRC Checks - enable to use the DRC rules for PCB from the CAM DRC checks.
  • Select the imported layer that will be used to create the PCB BoardOutline (from the biggest closed primitive) - use the drop-down to select the desired layer.

Options

  • Optimize Exported Gerber, Drill, Rout file size - enable this option to optimize the size of the exported file of Gerber, Drill, or Route data.

Import - handling of identical layer types

  • Use existing layer - choose to use the same existing layer type when Gerber, NC Drill, or IPC-356-D files are being imported with identical layer types.
  • Create new layer - choose this option to create a new layer type when Gerber, NC Drill, or IPC-356-D files are being imported with identical layer types.

The CAM Editor – Miscellaneous page of the Preferences dialog includes options relating to the miscellaneous settings of the CAM Editor, such as setting file extension names that need to be imported, quick load settings, and custom aperture accuracy.

Options/Controls

File Extensions

  • Gerber - enter the file extension(s) separated by a semicolon in this field for which Gerber files are to be imported.
  • Aperture - enter the file extension(s) separated by a semicolon in this field for which aperture files are to be imported.
  • NC Data - enter the file extension(s) separated by a semicolon in this field for which NC Data (numerical control) drill files are to be imported.
  • Netlist - enter the file extension(s) separated by a semicolon in this field for which Netlist files are to be imported.

Quick Load

  • Max. Size (Inches) - edit this field to determine the maximum size of the imported Gerber extents in inches.
  • Load Gerber - enable this option to load Gerber files when you are using the Quick Load importer. You may also load other formats as well by enabling the other options.
  • Load NC Data - enable this option to load the NC files when you are using the Quick Load importer. You may also load other formats as well by enabling the other options.
  • Load Netlist - enable this option to load the netlist files when you are using the Quick Load importer. You may also load other formats as well by enabling the other options.

Custom Aperture(s) Accuracy

  • 1 Digit (e.g. NNN.N) - choose this option if you wish to have one-digit accuracy (in the NNN.N format) for the custom apertures.
  • 2 Digits (e.g. NNN.NN) - choose this option if you wish to have two-digit accuracy (in the NNN.NN format) for the custom apertures.

The CAM Editor – Drawing Modes page of the Preferences dialog provides controls relating to your preferred object snap method, the display of the grid, and the ability to draw, edit, or and measure in specific modes.

Options/Controls

Grid

  • On/Off - enable this option to display the grid. The cursor will not snap to the displayed grid unless the Object Snap setting has been set to the grid.
  • Size: X:Y (mil) - enter a X:Y sizes value in this field. The X, Y sizes display the grid. You may use independent X and Y values (i.e. X=100.0, Y=50.0).

Object Snap

  • Object Snap - enable this option to ensure that placed objects pull the cursor into position based on cursor proximity to the selected object snap point.

Modes

  • Ortho - enable this option to activate Ortho Mode. In this mode, you can draw, edit, or measure at 90-degree increments on the CAM document.
  • Blips - enable this option to enter Blips mode. This mode is used as a tool to help you see the location that is selected by the mouse. A reference '+' symbol will appear for each Left-Click. These reference symbols are temporary and will disappear when the CAM document is refreshed.  

Units

  • English - enable this option to use imperial measure units in inches (in).
  • Metric - enable this option to use metric units in millimeters (mm).

Arc Direction

  • Clockwise - enable this option to define the direction of arcs clockwise. Regardless of the direction setting, the direction of arcs can be changed individually as they are drawn.
  • C - Clockwise - enable this option to define the direction of arcs counterclockwise. Regardless of the direction setting, the direction of arcs can be changed individually as they are drawn.

The CAM Editor – Drawing Modes page of the Preferences dialog provides controls for controlling your film box name, display, and dimensions.

Options/Controls

Box Name

  • Box Name - use this drop-down to select one of the following values from the box name. This field must contain a valid name (e.g. "box1").

Box Size (Inch)

  • X - enter the desired X-axis box size in inches.
  • Y - enter the desired Y-axis box size in inches.

Lower Left Corner (Inch)

  • X - enter the desired X-axis lower-left corner size in inches.
  • Y - enter the desired Y-axis lower-left corner size in inches.

Display

Display Box At Start Up - enable this option if you want the film box to appear when the CAM Editor starts up.

The CAM Editor – Draw Dimension page of the Preferences dialog includes options relating to the display, accuracy, and scale of dimension objects.

Options/Controls

Settings

  • Height - enter a value for the height of the dimension text.
  • Accuracy (Decimal) - use this drop-down to choose the accuracy in the number of digits for the dimension objects. You can choose between 0 to 6 digits.
  • X Scale - enter an X scaling value for the dimension text.
  • Offset Text from Dimline - enter a value in inches from the dimension line to the dimension text.
  • Style - click this button to choose one of the autocad text and shape files with an SHX extension as a font style for the dimension objects.

Simulation Preferences

The Simulation – General page of the Preferences dialog is used to define the default model path for circuit simulation models and to select the default simulator. To find the simulation models, the software will search the current project's folder first, then search the desired location for referenced simulation models. 

Options/Controls

Directories

  • Model Path – click the folder icon to open a dialog to search for and select the target folder that contains the simulation models.

Simulators

  • Default Simulator – use the drop-down to select the desired default simulator.

Miscellaneous

  • Always Generate Model Symbol for Manufacturer Part Search Panel Using Simulation Model Description – when this option is enabled, schematic symbols being placed from the Manufacturing Part Search panel to a schematic sheet will always be generated based on the simulation model description of the selected component.

The Simulation - Mixed Sim page of the Preferences dialog is used to configure options for the location of SimCode models and the display of detailed information about the simulation process.

For more information about simulations, see Mixed-signal Circuit Simulation.
The Mixed Simulation extension must be downloaded in order to access this page. The extension can be found on the Extensions & Updates page (accessed by using the  drop-down at the top-right of the design space then choosing Extensions and Updates) under System Extensions.

Options/Controls

Directories

  • SIMCODE Output - use the browse folder icon to search for and specify the folder to where you want the compiled SimCode models to be written.
This option is accessible only if the Create compiled SIMCODE output file option is enabled.

Options

  • Always load error files - enable to always load the error file when there are errors during simulation.
  • Create compiled SIMCODE output file - enable to generate the compiled SimCode model file after simulation. The model is written to the folder defined in the SIMCODE Output field.
  • Show hints - enable to show hints in the Messages panel during simulation.
  • Show warnings - enable to show warnings in the Messages panel during simulation.
  • Show locations of models found - enable to show in the Messages panel where the models were found during simulation.
  • Default SimView Setup - use the drop-down to select the default setup configuration. Choices are:
    • Keep last setup
    • Show active signals
    • Show active probes
    • Show active signals / probes

The Simulation - SIMetrix Interface page of the Preferences dialog allows you to decide how you would like to display the graph results.

The SIMetrix/SIMPLIS Interface System Extension must be downloaded in order to access this page. The extension can be found on the Extensions & Updates page, which is accessed by using the  drop-down at the top-right of the design workspace then choosing Extensions and Updates.

Options/Controls

SIMetrix/SIMPLIS Location

  • SIMetrix/SIMPLIS installation location - use the browse folder icon to search for and choose the directory in which you installed SIMetrix/SIMPLIS. You can use the Auto Detect button to automatically find the directory.

Options

  • Clear existing graph sheets and group data before running a new simulation - enable to clear all existing graph sheets and group data before running a new simulation.
  • Display graph sheets in SIMetrix instead of Altium Designer - enable to view the results of your simulations in SIMetrix rather than in the software.
  • Always load error files - enable to always load any error files.
  • Show hints - enable to show hints.
  • Show warnings - enable to show warnings.
  • Show locations of models found - enable to show the locations of found models.
  • Default SimView Setup - use the drop-down to select the default setup configuration. Choices are:
    • Keep last setup
    • Show active signals
    • Show active probes
    • Show active signals / probes

Draftsman Preferences

The Draftsman – Defaults page of the Preferences dialog allows the default values and settings to be configured for drawing and objects placed in a Draftsman document. These default settings can be overridden in the Draftsman Properties panel once an object or view has been placed in a document.

Options/Controls

  • Primitives - use this field to filter the presented listing of primitives. Choose from: All, Board Views, DimensionsDrawing ToolsTableSpecial Signs, and Other.
  • Primitive List - a list of primitives that can be used in Draftsman (filtered in accordance with the chosen entry for the Primitives field above). Click on the below listed Primitives to change the available default values as described.

All primitive default values are saved in the ADVPCB.DFT file. This file is located in the \Users\<ProfileName>\AppData\Roaming\Altium\Altium Designer <GUID> folder of the installation.

To view and edit the settings and options for each primitive, click on the desired entry in the Primitive List. Information for each primitive can be found at the following links: 

Multi-board Schematic Preferences

The Multi-board Schematic – Defaults page of the Preferences dialog provides numerous controls relating to the default settings within the multi-board schematic design space.

Options/Controls

  • Primitives - use this field to filter the presented listing of primitives. Choose from: AllGeometryConnection, and Module.
  • Primitive List - a list of primitives that can be used in the multi-board schematic editor (filtered in accordance with the chosen entry for the Primitives field above). Click on the listed Primitives to change the available default values as described.

To view and edit the settings and options for each primitive, click on the desired entry in the Primitive List. Information for each primitive can be found at the following links: 

Multi-board Assembly Preferences

The Multi-board Assembly - General page of the Preferences dialog is used to configure which objects to import from the PCB when buidling a multi-board.

Options/Controls

PCB Import

  • Import Free 3D Bodies - check the box to import free 3D Bodies. 3D Bodies that are part of a component footprint are not affected by this option.
  • Do Not Import Component With Height Less Than - enable to not import components with height less than the mils you enter in the textbox.

The Multi-board Assembly - View Configuration page of the Preferences dialog is used to configure the default system colors and display options of a Multi-board assembly. The same set of options is available in the Multi-board Assembly View Configuration panel, use these to configure the settings in an open multi-board assembly.

Options/Controls

System Colors

  • Toggle the visible / not visible to show/hide the associated object. Click the colored box to open a custom color drop-down to select a color for the associated object. Refer to the View Configuration panel page to learn more about the setting the color.

Display Options

Projection – determine the projection of the view. Choose from:

  • Orthographic - choose this option to see the exact position of objects and text on the Multi-board Assembly without being obscured by surrounding objects.
  • Perspective - choose this option for a more realistic view of the Multi-board Assembly.
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