Altium Designer Documentation

Available File-based Libraries

Created: November 2, 2018 | Updated: August 10, 2019

Available File-based Libraries dialogThe Available File-based Libraries dialog

Summary

The Available File-based Libraries dialog provides controls to add or remove libraries to the project (Project tab), install libraries into this installation of Altium Designer (Installed tab), and specify library search paths (Search Path tab). The Available File-based Libraries dialog provides controls to define the list of currently available libraries for the active project. The Available File-based Libraries consist of Project Libraries, Installed Libraries, and libraries found along specified Search Paths, which are each defined on a separate tab of the dialog. When an action is performed that requires searching for a model, such as transferring the design from a Schematic to PCB layout, the libraries are searched for in the order of the tabs, then within each tab, in accordance to the order that the libraries/models are listed.

File-based Components and models can only be placed into an open design from libraries defined in one of the tabs in this dialog.

Access

The Available File-based Libraries dialog can be accessed from the Components panel by clicking the Search button button in the upper right corner of the Components panel, and choosing the File-based Libraries Preferences from the associated menu.

Options/Controls

Project Tab

The Project tab lists all libraries that have been added to current project. You can also use this tab to add libraries to the project or change the order of the project libraries.

Project tab
The Project tab

Grid

  • Project Libraries - displays the file names of library documents used in the active project, including the file extension.
  • Path - allows you to see where the library is saved by displaying the file path.
  • Type - displays the type of library document listed, e.g., a PCB or schematic library.

Buttons

  • Move Up - click to move the selected project library up in the list. The ordering of the list is important when the list is used for the model-link verification when, for example, compiling the project, synchronizing, or running a simulation. 
  • Move Down - click to move the selected project library down in the list. The ordering of the list is important when the list is used for the model-link verification when, for example, compiling the project, synchronizing, or running a simulation.
  • Add Library - click to open your file browser and select a library file from your local drive that you want to add to the list of project libraries.
  • Remove - click this button to remove the selected project library from this list.

Installed Tab

This tab lists all libraries that are currently available for this installation. You can also install new libraries, remove libraries, and activate or deactivate libraries.

The Installed tabThe Installed tab

Grid

  • Installed Libraries - displays the file names of installed libraries used in the active project, including the file extension.
  • Activated - check or uncheck to designate whether a library is activated or not. Only activated libraries are accessible from the Components panel.
  • Path - displays the path location of the library.
  • Type - displays the type of library.

Lower Region

  • Library Path Relative To: displays the relative path. Use the Browse button to browse and search for the desired path.
  • Move Up - click to move the selected installed library up in this list. The ordering of the list is important when the list is used for the model-link verification when, for example, compiling the project, synchronizing, or running a simulation.
  • Move Down - click to move the selected installed library down in this list. The ordering of the list is important when the list is used for the model-link verification when, for example, compiling the project, synchronizing, or running a simulation.
  • Install - click to open the dialog in which you can select a library file that you want to add to the list from your local drive. 
  • Edit - click to edit the selected installed library.
  • Remove - click to remove the highlighted installed library from this list.
When you select a library and click Remove, you will not be prompted with a confirmation; the library will be immediately removed. Make sure the correct library is selected before you click Remove. You can reinstall a library that has been accidentally removed.

Search Path Tab

This tab allows you to view and manage defined search paths.

Search Path Tab
The Search Path tab

Grid Region

  • Search Path Libraries - displays the file names of installed libraries used in the active project, including the file extension.
  • Path - displays the path of the library.
  • Type - displays to what type of library the search path leads.

Buttons

  • Paths - click to open the Project Options - Search Paths dialog in which you can define and manage search paths. This allows you to make model libraries/files that are neither added to the project nor installed available to the current project. 
  • Refresh - click to refresh or update the search paths and ensure that the search path library list is current.
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