Altium Designer Documentation

Working with a Harness Entry Object on a Schematic Sheet in Altium Designer

Created: July 27, 2015 | Updated: September 26, 2016
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Parent page: Schematic Objects

A placed Harness Entry.


A Harness Entry is an electrical design primitive that is placed within a Harness Connector. A Harness Entry is the connection point through which signals - through wires, buses, and other signal harnesses - are combined to form a higher level Signal Harness. Signal Harnesses enable the logical grouping of different signals for increased flexibility and streamlined design.


Harness Entries are available for placement in the Schematic Editor only, by:

  • Choosing Place » Harness » Harness Entry from the main menus.
  • Clicking the  button on the Wiring toolbar.

Harness entries can also be managed in the following non-graphical ways:

  • Added/edited/removed as part of the Harness Connector definition, on the Harness Entries tab of the Harness Connector dialog.
  • Added/edited/removed as part of the textual harness connector definition, through a harness definition file (*.Harness). Such a defined harness connector can only be placed in the design using the Place » Harness » Predefined Harness Connector command, from the main menus.
Harness Definitions are automatically generated when a Harness Connector is constructed with Harness Entries. When the Harness Connector is modified, the corresponding Harness Definition is updated to reflect the modifications.
The Harness Definition can be protected by manually locking the Harness Definition. This is achieved by typing Locked; before each Signal Harness Definition. This means that the Harness Definition will not be updated when the Harness Connector is modified, any new Harness Entries added to the schematics will not be added to the Harness Definition.
If a Harness Definition is locked and a new Harness Entry is added to the graphical representation, the Conflicting Harness Definition violation will be displayed upon compilation.


After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair and you will enter harness entry placement mode. Placement is made by performing the following sequence of actions:

  1. Move the harness entry attached to the cursor over a placed harness connector on the sheet.
  2. Adjust the position of the harness entry in relation to the edge of the harness connector, opposite the connector's tip, then click or press Enter to anchor the harness entry, and complete placement.
  3. Continue placing further harness entries, or right-click or press Esc to exit placement mode.
The coloring of the harness entry will aid in its correct placement. While outside of a harness connector, the entry will appear greyed-out, and you will be prevented from placing. When over a harness connector, the entry will revert to its true coloring, as defined by its Text Color property, indicating it can validly be placed at that location.

While the harness entry is still floating on the cursor, and while it is within the bounds of a harness connector, press the Tab key to access an associated properties dialog, from where properties for the harness entry can be changed on-the-fly.

While attributes can be modified during placement (Tab to bring up associated properties dialog), bear in mind that these will become the default settings for further placement unless the Permanent option on the Schematic – Default Primitives page of the Preferences dialog is enabled. When this option is enabled, changes made will affect only the object being placed and subsequent objects placed during the same placement session.

Graphical Editing

This method of editing allows you to select a placed harness entry object directly in the workspace and change its location graphically.

A selected Harness Entry.

  • Click and drag to reposition the harness entry vertically along the edge of its parent harness connector as required.
  • Hold Ctrl, then click and drag the harness entry to move it from the current harness connector to another harness connector on the sheet. Once the harness entry has cleared the boundary of the source harness connector, the Ctrl key can be released.
  • Clicking and dragging the harness entry outside of the harness connector boundary will cause the harness connector to automatically resize to accommodate the entry's new location.
  • The name text for a harness entry object can be edited in-place by:
    1. Single-clicking the harness entry to select it.
    2. Single-clicking again (or pressing the Enter key) to enter the in-place editing mode. Sufficient time between each click should be given to ensure the software does not interpret the two single-clicks as one double-click (which would open the harness entry's properties dialog).
    3. To finish editing in-place text, press the Enter key, or use the mouse to click away from the harness entry.
This feature is only available provided the Enable In-Place Editing option is enabled, on the Schematic – General page of the Preferences dialog.
Multiple harness entries can be moved simultaneously. First select all entries to be moved, then click on one entry in the selection, and drag the entire selection.

If attempting to graphically modify an object that has its Locked property enabled, a dialog will appear asking for confirmation to proceed with the edit. If the Protect Locked Objects option is enabled on the Schematic – Graphical Editing page of the Preferences dialog, and the Locked option for that design object is enabled as well, then that object cannot be selected or graphically edited. Double click on the locked object directly and disable the Locked property or disable the Protect Locked Objects option, to graphically edit the object.

Non-Graphical Editing

The following methods of non-graphical editing are available:

Via an Associated Properties Dialog

Dialog page: Harness Entry

This method of editing uses the following dialog to modify the properties of a harness entry object.

The Harness Entry dialog.

The Harness Entry dialog can be accessed prior to entering placement mode, from the Schematic – Default Primitives page of the Preferences dialog. This allows the default properties for the harness entry object to be changed, which will be applied when placing subsequent harness entries.

During placement, the dialog can be accessed by pressing the Tab key (while the harness entry is still floating on the cursor, and while it is within the bounds of a harness connector).

After placement, the dialog can be accessed in one of the following ways:

  • Double-clicking on the placed harness entry object.
  • Placing the cursor over the harness entry object, right-clicking and choosing Properties from the context menu.
  • Using the Edit » Change command and clicking once over the placed harness entry object.

Via the SCH Inspector Panel

Panel pages: SCH Inspector, SCH Filter

The SCH Inspector panel enables the designer to interrogate and edit the properties of one or more design objects in the active document. Used in conjunction with appropriate filtering - by using the SCH Filter panel, or the Find Similar Objects dialog - the panel can be used to make changes to multiple objects of the same kind, from one convenient location.

Via the SCH List Panel

Panel pages: SCH List, SCH Filter

The SCH List panel allows the designer to display design objects from one or more documents in tabular format, enabling quick inspection and modification of object attributes. Used in conjunction with appropriate filtering - by using the SCH Filter panel, or the Find Similar Objects dialog - it enables the display of just those objects falling under the scope of the active filter – allowing the designer to target and edit multiple design objects with greater accuracy and efficiency.


  1. A Harness Entry can be connected directly to a wire, a bus or a signal harness. The Harness Type field in the Harness Entry dialog is used when nesting signal harnesses. The field will auto-populate with the Harness Type of the connected signal harness.
  2. Should you need to negate (include a bar over the top of) a harness entry name, this can be done in two ways:
    1. By including a backslash character after each character in the name (e.g. E\N\A\B\L\E\).
    2. By enabling the Single '\' Negation option on the Schematic- Graphical Editing page of the Preferences dialog, then including one backslash character at the start of the name (e.g. \ENABLE).


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