The Altium Web Review feature provides universal access to PCB project documents through a standard web browser. Much more than just a web-based viewer, the Web Review's advanced browser technology allows users to navigate through the project structure, interact with design documents, extract information about elements in the design and highlight areas or objects for commenting notes.
When viewing documents the visual quality of schematics and PCBs are not compromised by its web format, which also provides full pan and zoom capabilities, and in the case of PCB documents, a high-quality interactive 3D view of the board.
As an independent browser based view platform, the Web Review feature offers interactive read-only access to design documents without the need to open the project in the design editing environment. Others that are working on the design, such as the engineer who 'owns' it, will not be affected by actions in the Web Review space – except for any related comment notifications.
The Web Review feature can be accessed from both the NEXUS design space (client) and from the NEXUS Server's own browser interface. Any user that has access rights (suitable sharing permissions) to open a project may select it for viewing in the Web Review interface, whether it's opened from the design or server side. This allows users without access to the NEXUS design client, such as a team manager or a librarian for example, to interact in detail with project documents and also view a range of important data – all that's required is a NEXUS Server user account and appropriate privileges.
In the Atium NEXUS design-side client the Web Review feature is available via the Explorer panel when a Project is selected from the Folder tree. The availability of a project to users and teams is determined by its Sharing Permissions.
In the Altium NEXUS Server's browser interface the Web Review feature is available via the Project Management page when a project has been selected from the list, or opened with its associated icon. Click the button to open the Web Review for that project.
The Web Review interface, regardless of how it has been accessed, offers a range of integrated capabilities that allow detailed access to the design's data and layout. Other features such as the Comments system communicate directly, and in real-time, with the NEXUS design client.
The Web Review's Navigator panel on the left allows the selection of project design document for display and analysis. Click its associated icon to collapse/expand the Navigator panel.
The rendered document display itself can provide interactive navigation through lower levels in the project structure hierarchy. Double clicking on a schematic Sheet Symbol object for example will load the target schematic document. Hover the mouse over any object to see a pop-up information summary or hints for optional actions.
To navigate within the design document display, hold the right mouse button and drag to pan, use the mouse wheel to zoom and select the icon in the top border to fit the document within the window. When viewing a PCB in 3D mode, toggled to using the icon in the top border, hold the left mouse button and drag to alter the view angle.
Along with pop-summary information associated with a selected design object, Web Review also provides a more comprehensive data listing in its Properties panel, opened (if not already) from the icon in the right-hand border area.
When viewing a PCB document the panel will show the properties of selected board layout objects such as pads, fills and nets. Where PCB objects typical overlay each other, such as when they occupy the same 2D space on different layers, clicking on the layout will open an annotated drop down list so the desired object may be selected.
Web Review includes an advanced search capability that can be used to find any object in the design, including objects with a specific parameter.
Select the icon in the left border to change the panel into Search mode. Click in the search field to see the list of object types that are included in a search, or select an item type from the list to include it as a prefix in the search string – and therefore constrain the search results to that object type. Click an entry in the results list to zoom to the selected object.
Use the panel's and icons to switch the search scope between the currently open document and all project documents. A selected results entry will open its target document automatically.
When clicking through a large number of search results of varying object types (indicated by their matching icons), the search system will automatically open the related document and then select and zoom to that object regardless of its type. Selecting a property type match in the search returns, indicated by the icon, will cause the object associated with that property to be opened – as indicated in the Properties panel listing. Conversely, performing a search such as
property:resistor array will return all chip resistor array components where they are identified by a property Value that contains that string.
Web Review Comments correspond to, and interact with, the Comments system in the Altium NEXUS design client. A Comment is a user-added note that is assigned to a specific area, object or point in schematic documents, and may be replied to by other users or assigned to a specific user.
Comments promote collaboration between users without altering the project itself or its constituent documents because comments are stored by the NEXUS Server independently of the design project. In the Web Review interface Comments are accessed through the Active Comments pane, opened by the icon located in the right border.
A comment markup, which defines where or what the comment note applies to, is added by selecting one of the available types from their respective icons located in the top border:
When a markup has been placed a blank text window will open in the Active Comments pane, ready for your comment note. When complete, click the button and choose to submit the comment (Post) or assign it to another user (Assign), where you choose from a list of registered server users. An assigned comment will generate a matching Task for the user it is assigned to. Comments can be edited or deleted by the user that added the comment.
To specify the comments that will be shown in the Active Comments pane and in the schematic, click the pane's icon to open the comments Settings menu. The menu's Context setting filters comments to those that apply to the current document or the whole project, the Comments setting restricts comments to those that are currently active or have been Resolved (closed) and the Visibility in canvas option set if comments are displayed in the schematic area.
Comments applied in the Web Review space become available in the NEXUS design client, and visa-versa, and all changes to comments are reflected in both spaces. Any comments that have been assigned to the signed-in user will be presented in the software's Tasklist panel as an active response Task.
► See the Comments panel for detailed information on placing and working with comments.
Valid students can get their very own 6-month Altium Designer Student License for FREE! Just fill out the form below to request your Student License today.