Parent page: Getting Familiar with the Altium Design Environment
A new PCB, Multi-board, or Harness design project can be directly or, for a Workspace project, by making an existing local project available in the Workspace or by cloning an existing Workspace project. The sections below describe how a new project can be created and design documents can be added to a project.
A new project can be created from within Altium Designer using the Create Project dialog (File » New » Project).
In the Locations list, select the entry for your Workspace (it will appear with the name defined for it) – you must be actively connected to the Workspace to see this option in the listing. This will be the target server in which to store your new Workspace project.
In the Project Type list, choose the type of project you wish to create, and choose from the applicable templates available as required. The <Empty> entry will create a shell project with no initial source documents.
Enter a Project Name and optionally, a project Description.
The Create Project dialog includes further options:
Check the Version Control option (the default) to impose all VCS capabilities on the project, such as history and advanced sharing capabilities. When unchecked, the project is stored in the Workspace and synchronized with the local copy – a 'mirrored' project in the Simple Sync format.
Versioned Storage) available by default. If an SVN type repository is selected, an additional Repository Folder option is available for specifying or browsing to an alternative target folder within the repository itself.
Projects\<ProjectName>). Click the button to browse to and select a different Workspace folder, if required.
Use the Parameters list area to add or remove custom Name/Value parameter pairs that are associated with the project and saved in the Workspace. Use the button to add a new parameter Name-Value pairing to the list. The Name and Value fields allow a maximum of 255 characters. These Workspace project parameters are saved in the Workspace with the new project and can be edited within the Workspace. By contrast, Project type parameters are saved in the project file (
*.PrjPcb), and can be edited in Altium Designer. Both parameter types may be used as Special Strings in Altium Designer – access from the Properties panel with a placed Text String selected in the design space. Parameters defined for the project can also be viewed on the Parameters tab of the Project Options dialog (Project » Project Options).
With the project defined as required, click the button. The new project structure will be created in the specified local and Workspace folders. The project will be opened in the Projects panel, which will reflect the fully synchronized state that exists between the files in the remote design repository (in the Workspace) and the local (working copy) repository – as indicated by the associated icons. If created with the Version Control option unchecked (available in an Altium 365 Workspace only), the mirrored project will be shown in the Projects panel with an associated icon.
Alternatively, if the new project has not been assigned a template with constituent documents, the project file (
*.PrjPcb) and therefore, the structure of the project only will be created. The project is then opened in the Projects panel, which will show it as being Scheduled for addition, denoted by the associated icon. At this point you can add documents to the project, or simply save the structure to the Workspace in its current shell state. To do so, click the Save to Server control associated with the project entry in the Projects panel – also available from the right-click context menu, and from the main File menu. In the following Save to Server dialog, select/deselect files for inclusion, add an optional Comment, and then confirm the save process with the button. Once the project is added to the server, the Projects panel will reflect the fully synchronized state that exists between the files in the server repository and the local working copy, as indicated by the icons.
To clone a Workspace project from within Altium Designer, right-click on the entry for the project in the Projects panel and choose the Clone command from the context menu. Use the Create Project Copy dialog to determine the Project Name (by default this will be the original project name with the suffix ' - Copy'), Description (which is not pre-populated), the Folder path (within the Workspace), and the Local Storage path (to the working copy).
Once a project is established design documents can be added, edited or removed from the active project. The simplest way to add new design documents to a project is to right-click on the project name in the Projects panel and select Add New to Project from the context menu options. Alternatively, choose the required document type from the Project » Add New to Project sub-menu of the main menus to add a new document to the active project.
Other types of project-relevant documents can also be added to a project, such as text files, PDFs, spreadsheets, etc. To do so, use the Add Existing to Project option (or the Project » Add Existing to Project command from the main menu of the active document's editor) and set the File Type drop-down list in the Choose Document to Add browser dialog to All Files (*.*) so all file types can be accessed.
To remove a document from the project structure, right-click on its name in the Projects panel and select the Remove from Project menu option or choose the Project » Exclude from Project command from the main menus. You will be prompted to choose:
Exclude from Project – to remove the project's link to that document (and not delete the source document file itself). If it is currently open in the design editor window, it will be removed from its parent project but remain open in the panel as a free document. If, however, it is not currently open in the design space, removal will effectively close it.
For local projects, removing a project is a case of deleting files from your hard drive. Open the project folder in Windows Explorer and delete its content.
For Workspace projects (and other Workspace content such as components and released data), flexible functionality is available for removing directly from within Altium Designer, from the Explorer panel. Operating as a 'soft delete', the removal process provides increased options and information as you proceed, including relevant links to source items for review purposes. In the Workspace, deleted content is moved to a dedicated Trash location, where it can be retrieved or completely removed from the Trash page of the Workspace's browser interface.
To soft-delete a Workspace project, navigate to the project folder in the Explorer panel, right-click its entry and select the Delete Folder command from the context menu. Confirm the deletion in the Confirm Delete dialog that appears. If the project contains released data, another confirmation dialog will open, notifying you about the fact that this data will be deleted as well. Click Delete to proceed.