Altium Designer Documentation

Sharing Design Snapshots

Modified by Jason Howie on Jan 22, 2021
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Parent page: Global Sharing

As part of its support for Global Sharing, the Altium 365 platform provides the ability to upload and store 'snapshots' of your designs for viewing and sharing on a permanent basis. This can be useful for an on-the-fly design review, sharing a particular design milestone, or even to stimulate contextual discussion. Invited stakeholders can view a snapshot of a design project from any web browser, anywhere in the world. And this functionality is delivered through the platform, but outside of an Altium 365 Workspace - so all that's needed is registration with AltiumLive to gain access.

To register with AltiumLive - and hence gain access to the Altium 365 Platform Interface - use the direct URL: https://365.altium.com, then click the Register control at the bottom.
You can also view and share your electronic designs and CAM manufacturing data through your Web Browser using the free web-based Altium 365 Viewer. The key difference is that viewing of a design using Altium 365 Viewer (on the altium.com/viewer web page) is time-limited - available for the duration of your browser session or available to anyone with a shared link for a period of 48 hours. No downloads, no installations and no registration required. You can even embed Altium 365 Viewer on your own website - taking the viewing experience literally to your own domain!

Uploading Your Designs

A static design snapshot is created by uploading a design to the Altium 365 platform. This is performed from the Uploads page.

The Uploads page presents only design snapshots that you have personally uploaded. To access design snapshots that have been shared with you by others, go to the Shared with Me page of the interface.
You can also share a snapshot of your design directly from within Altium Designer (requires Altium Designer 20.1 or later) with one or more specific people - by email invitation. The project itself is packaged into a Zip archive using Altium Designer's Project Packager, then uploaded to the Altium 365 platform. Recipients will have access to view the design snapshot through the Shared with Me page of the Altium 365 Platform Interface. The person who originally shared the design snapshot - uploading it permanently to the Altium 365 platform - will be able to access that snapshot from the Uploads page of the interface.

You can upload a design by:

  • Dragging and dropping your CAD design (in a Zip archive), or an individual design file, to the indicated area on the page.
  • Clicking the choose from your computer text (in the upload area on the page) and using the Open dialog that appears to browse for the CAD design (in a Zip archive), or an individual design file.
  • Clicking the  button, choosing the type of design you want to upload, then using the subsequent Open dialog that appears to browse for the CAD design (in a Zip archive), or an individual design file.

Example design snapshots. In the top part of the image, a user who performed the uploading sees those snapshots on their Uploads page. In the bottom part of the image, a user sees snapshots that have been shared with them on their Shared with Me page.

Supported CAD Formats

In terms of design files, the following CAD design tools are supported, along with the file formats that can be uploaded to the Altium 365 platform:

  • Altium Designer - Schematic (*.SchDoc, *.Sch) and PCB (*.PcbDoc, *.Pcb) documents.
  • CircuitStudio - Schematic (*.SchDoc) and PCB (*.CSPcbDoc) documents.
  • Autodesk® EAGLE™ - Schematic design archive (*.sch) and PCB design archive (*.brd) documents.
You can upload EAGLE design files saved with EAGLE version 6.4.0 or later. These are XML-format in nature; EAGLE binary-format design files cannot be uploaded directly. For these older, binary version design files, it is advised to save them in this later (XML) format through your EAGLE software before attempting to upload to the Altium 365 platform.

What Do I Upload?

In terms of CAD designs, you can upload a full design (in a Zip archive) or an individual design file (schematic or PCB document). When uploading a Zip file, the following considerations apply:

  • For Altium Designer and CircuitStudio based designs, the Zip archive must contain a single PCB design project only.
  • For EAGLE based designs, the Zip archive must contain a single PCB design only (so .sch and .brd files for a single design only).
  • All unsupported file formats in the uploaded Zip archive will be ignored. This means you can literally just Zip your full project folder and upload it.
For Altium Designer and CircuitStudio based designs, the project file is used to obtain the ordering of schematic source documents. If the project file is not included in the Zip archive, a default is created and the schematic documents are added without any rules.
For a PCB design project in Altium Designer, quickly obtain a Zip archive of the project by using the Project Packager.
Maximum upload size is 1GB.

With Zip archive or individual file chosen (or dropped), the main viewing area will reflect that upload is in progress. The processing time will depend on the size of the data being uploaded. The following image shows an example upload of a snapshot of the Bluetooth_Sentinel design. The upload is processed, a tile added to the page, and then the preview processed for display (of the board in 3D).

An example design upload being processed.

If the upload fails - typically because a single file is uploaded that is in a non-supported format - the main viewing area will reflect this also with the alert:

Viewing a Design Snapshot

Access to view an uploaded design snapshot in the Altium 365 Platform Interface's integrated Viewer - which opens in a separate browser tab - can be made in the following ways:

  • The person with whom you shared the uploaded design snapshot will receive an email invite to access that snapshot through Altium 365. Once they click the  button in the email they will be taken to the Altium 365 Sign In page (unless already signed in to the platform, or their AltiumLive account). Upon signing in, they will be taken to the Viewer, with the shared design snapshot loaded.
If the person does not have an AltiumLive account, they will need to register for one first - a link is provided on the Altium 365 Sign In page.

Accessing the design snapshot from the email invite received by the user with whom the snapshot was shared.

  • Any design snapshot that you have personally uploaded will be available from the Uploads page of the Altium 365 Platform Interface. To open in the integrated Viewer, select the design snapshot of interest, click the button within its tile, then choose the Open command from the associated menu. Alternatively, double-click directly on the tile (or click on the name of the upload).

Accessing the design snapshot from the Uploads page of the Altium 365 Platform Interface (only when you were the one to have uploaded it).

  • Any design snapshot that has been shared with you, will be available from the Shared with Me page of the Altium 365 Platform Interface. A design snapshot is denoted by the  icon within its tile. To open in the integrated Viewer, select the design snapshot of interest, click the  button within its tile, then choose the Open command from the associated menu. Alternatively, double-click directly on the tile (or click on the name of the upload).

Accessing the design snapshot from the Shared with Me page of the Altium 365 Platform Interface.

Viewer Features

Related page: Web Viewer

The integrated Viewer used to present the data contained in a shared design snapshot uses the Web Viewer interface. This interface offers a range of capabilities that allow detailed access to the design's data and layout. You'll be able to search, select, cross-probe, and inspect components and nets throughout the design and across the various sub-views as applicable. And when viewing the board in 2D, you can even take measurements. Other features, such as the Comments system, allow you to communicate with others with whom the snapshot has been shared.

Full functionality is, of course, best enjoyed by having a full design uploaded.

The features available through the interface are exactly the same as those available to a Workspace team member, when accessing the Design view of the Projects Management page for the project. For information on the entire interface and all its supported features, see Web Viewer Features. For detailed information specifically on using comments, see Comments.
Comments made within the Viewer are not shared with Altium Designer. They are only seen by stakeholders with whom the design snapshot has been shared, and whom are using the Viewer to inspect that design.

The integrated Viewer provides an immersive and interactive experience for reviewing the source schematic and PCB documents in your shared design snapshot. Shown here is a schematic - hover over the image to see the PCB.

The top-left corner of the interface reflects the name of the design snapshot being viewed. Clicking on the Shared with Me entry above this will take you back to the Share with Me page of the Altium 365 Platform Interface.

Sharing a Design Snapshot with Others

From any document view within the integrated Viewer click the  button to access a window with which to share the design snapshot with others, by email invite.

The design snapshot currently being viewed can be shared with others as required.

A design snapshot can also be shared from within the Shared with Me page (or Uploads page if you originally uploaded it) of the Altium 365 Platform Interface. Selecting a design snapshot tile will present various controls and commands. Click the  control and choose the Share command, or click the  button (at the top-right of the page), to access the Sharing window.

Downloading a Design Snapshot

From any document view within the integrated Viewer click the  button to download a single Zip archive containing the source design documents from which the snapshot was created.

A design snapshot can also be downloaded from within the Shared with Me page (or Uploads page if you originally uploaded it) of the Altium 365 Platform Interface. Selecting a design snapshot tile will present various controls and commands. Click the  control and choose the Download command, or click the  button (at the top-right of the page), to download the snapshot as a Zip archive.

Deleting a Design Snapshot

You can delete any design snapshot that:

  • You have personally uploaded to the Altium 365 Platform Interface, and is currently presented on the Uploads page of the interface.
  • Has been shared with you, and is currently presented on the Shared with Me page of the Altium 365 Platform Interface.

To do so, select the design snapshot tile, click the  control, and then choose the Delete command. What happens depends on where the snapshot is being deleted from:

  • Uploads page - a warning window will appear alerting you to the fact that the item will be permanently deleted from the Altium 365 platform. Click the  button to effect the deletion. Since the snapshot will be removed from the platform completely, it will also be removed from the Shared with Me page of all people with whom it was shared.

Any design snapshot that you have personally uploaded can be deleted. This affects access for everyone - since the snapshot is removed permanently from the Altium 365 platform, all other collaborators will lose their access to it.

  • Shared with Me page - a warning window will appear alerting you to the fact that you will lose access to the item, but other collaborators will continue to have access to it. Click the  button to effect the deletion.

Any design snapshot that has been shared with you can be deleted. This affects your access to it only - other collaborators retain their access to it.

 

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