Altium Designer Documentation

Managing Pad & Via Templates using the PCB Panel in Altium Designer

Modified by Susan Riege on Feb 15, 2019
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Parent Page: PCB Panels

The Pad & Via Templates mode of the PCB panel


The PCB panel allows you to browse the current PCB design using a range of filter modes to determine which object types or design elements are listed, highlighted or selected. The panel also has editing modes for specific object types or design elements that provide dedicated controls for editing procedures. Note that you can access the properties for any element listed in the panel.

The Pad & Via Templates mode of the PCB panel provides advanced control of the Pad and Via templates used in the current PCB document. This mode of the panel is divided into three sections:

  • Libraries
  • Templates
  • Pads/Vias

Panel Access

When the PCB Editor is active, click Panels at the bottom-right of the workspace then select PCB from the context menu. You also can access the panel by clicking View » Panels » PCB from the main menus.

Panels can be configured to be floating in the editor space or docked to sides of the screen. If the PCB panel is currently in a group of panels, use the PCB tab located at the bottom of the panels to bring it to the front.

Once the PCB panel has been opened, select the Pad & Via Templates option from the drop-down menu at the top of the PCB panel to enter Pad & Via Templates mode.

Using the Pad & Via Templates Editor


This list shows the Pad & Via template instances in the design as a collection of virtual and physical libraries. These filter the templates included in the lower panel section list and are arranged as:

  • All – show all Pad and Via templates including those used from Pad & Via Libraries.
  • Pads – show all Pads both local and library based.
  • Vias – show all Vias both local and library based.
  • Local – show all Pads and Via templates applied to the board, but not those added from Pad Via Libraries.
  • Pad & Via Libraries – only show Pad and Vias templates that have been applied from the selected Pad Via Library.


This region provides a list of all Pad/Via templates that are used in the current PCB design. Its columns include the template source Library (local or Pad Via Library name) and the number of Pad/Via instances for each template (Count).

When the panel's Libraries section has been set to a particular Pad Via Library, the Template section may show entries that have a Count of zero instances. This indicates that the template is not currently used by any Pads/Via in the board layout, but it is used in the design project – for example, it may be used as a default Pad/Via setting, or to define the constraint for a design rule such as Routing Via Style.

Any number of the listed templates can be saved to a separate Pad Via Library. To do so, select multiple templates using standard Shift+click and Ctrl+click techniques and click the Save as Library button. The Library will be automatically added to the project and be can be saved as the desired *.PvLib file name using File » Save As from the Projects panel.

The Templates section also allows a Pad Via Library-based template to be placed in the PCB design using the Place button. Select the desired Pad Via Library in the top Libraries section of the panel to enable this capability.


The Pad/Via list section of the panel is populated with the individual Pad/Via instances of the template selected in the above Templates section.

As each Pad/Via instance is selected, the object is graphically highlighted in the editor workspace, as defined by the panel’s standard highlight, zoom and selection options – located in the very top portion of the PCB panel.

Each listed instance in the Pads/Via panel section is accompanied by a Changed indicator box that becomes checked when a linked Library source template differs from that used in the local Pad or Via, i.e. when the source Pad Via Library has been updated. The Changed indicator will also become checked if the local Pad/Via has its padstack type changed, for example, a Pad instance is locally changed from Multilayer to Single layer.

In all cases, the local version of the Pad or Via can be updated (or reverted) to the current template in the source Pad Via Library using the PCB Pad Via Templates panel Update button.

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