Parent article: System Installation, Licensing & Management
Installation of Altium Designer is both intuitive and fast, courtesy of the Altium Designer Installer. This wizard-based installer streamlines the initial installation process, while letting you choose the initial 'flavor' of the installation, in terms of installed functionality.
This article takes a look at the procedure for installing Altium Designer on a computer.
To access the Altium Designer Installer, you need to first download and run a small (approx. 9MB) executable –
AltiumDesignerSetup<Version>.exe. This executable is downloaded from the Downloads page of the Altium website, and can be saved anywhere on your hard disk.
AltiumDesignerSetup<Version>.exe file. The Altium Designer Installer welcome page will appear.
The installer itself is wizard-based, providing a set of progressive (and intuitive) pages that collectively gather the information to effectively install the version of the software, and its initial feature set, as you require.
Click Next to continue. The following sections provide a summary of the various pages you will encounter.
This page of the Installer presents you with the Altium End-User License Agreement (EULA).
Before you can continue with the installation of the software, you must read through, and accept, the terms of this agreement. The agreement can be viewed in different languages, including English (the default), German, Chinese and Japanese.
Clicking the Advanced button will access an Advanced Settings pop-up window. From here, you are able to specify proxy-settings, if applicable. Click OK to effect any changes and return to the License Agreement page.
With the EULA read, continue with the install by checking the I accept the agreement box and clicking the Next button.
If you already have Altium Designer installed, and are running the installer for a subsequent point release within the same version stream (e.g. installing Altium Designer 15.1.x, and Altium Designer 15.0.x is already installed), an additional page of the Altium Designer Installer wizard will be available - Installation Mode. This page gives you the choice of either updating an existing version instance of Altium Designer, or installing as a separate new version instance. Choose the New installation option to maintain separate version instances of the software on the same computer. Alternatively, choose the Update existing version option, then use the drop-down field to select the specific instance of the software you wish to update.
With your choice of installation mode made, click Next to proceed.
You will now be presented with an Account Log In pop-up window. This simply means logging in to your Altium Account – to which your valid license is associated – using your AltiumLive Credentials. The reason for this is two-fold:
This next page of the Installer allows you to specify which features are installed initially. The
PCB Design option provides the base software and core technologies required to perform PCB design. It is always installed and cannot be deselected. Use the remaining options to tailor the install to suit your needs. This will also have an impact on the initial installation time too!
Simply click to enable the functionality you require. As you select and deselect functionality, text at the bottom of the page dynamically updates to reflect the size of the download involved and how this translates to required disk space, once those downloaded files are installed.
Remember, no matter what decision you take at initial install, you can add or remove features and functionality at any stage after installation. This puts you in the driving seat as it were, to fully customize your installation in-line with your, possibly ever-changing, design needs.
After defining what functionality you'd like, click Next to proceed.
This next page of the Installer allows you to specify the destination folders for the install, in terms of both the Program Files for the software and the Shared Documents that are accessed and used by the software.
These locations become especially important when installing multiple instances of Altium Designer. If one or both of these destinations is not currently an empty folder (i.e. devoid of content) you will be prevented from proceeding with the installation until you specify alternate (and empty) destination(s).
The default destinations (Windows 7 and above) are:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Altium\AD15
To specify alternate locations, simply type the location directly into the applicable field, or click the folder icon at the right of a field and browse for the required destination folder.
Once the install locations are specified, click Next to continue.
The Installer now has all the information it requires to proceed with the installation. If you need to change anything, click the Back button. If you want to cancel out of the install, click Cancel.
To go ahead and proceed with the installation, click Next.
The page will change from Ready to Install to Installing Altium Designer and the installation will proceed, with the required files first being downloaded (from the secure cloud-based Altium Vault). Progress of this download is displayed within the Installer itself.
Once the download of files is complete, they will be installed, again with progress displayed in the Installer.
When the installation itself completes, you have reached the end of the Installer wizard.
An option is provided to launch Altium Designer when you exit the Installer, enabled by default. Simply click Finish to exit the wizard.
That's it. You have installed Altium Designer on your computer, and initially tailored its functionality to suit your design needs. Now it's time to do what you do best and go create that next innovative (and hopefully lucrative) product!
After installing and launching your new version of Altium Designer, the Import Settings dialog will appear, from where you are given the opportunity to import preferences from the most recent previous installation at startup.
Not only will the preferences be imported, but the user settings will be copied across too - ensuring the new version opens with the same look and feel created in the previous version, even down to the last opened workspace and panel positioning!
If the option to import preferences on initial startup is not taken, don't worry – preferences can be quickly imported, at any time, from within the Preferences dialog. Simply click the button, at the bottom of the dialog. The associated menu will list all previous versions/releases currently installed on the computer, and that can be imported from.
For information on how to manage your instance of Altium Designer after initial installation, use the following links: