Altium Designer Documentation

Hyperlink

Modified by Jason Howie on Aug 30, 2017
All Contents

Parent page: Schematic Objects

A placed Hyperlink.

Summary

A hyperlink is a non-electrical drawing primitive. Similar to a text string, it can be placed anywhere on a sheet. Where it differs is in its ability to link to a web page, or to a document on a local or shared drive, through specification of a target URL. This offers a fast, convenient alternative when providing access to datasheets for components used in a design. A hyperlink object can also provide a beneficial link to your own organization's website, within the title blocks of your schematic source documents.

Availability

Hyperlinks are available for placement in both Schematic and Schematic Library Editors by:

  • Choosing Place » Hyperlink from the respective editor's main menus.
  • Clicking the  button on the Utility Tools drop-down () of the Utilities toolbar.

Placement

After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair and you will enter hyperlink placement mode. A hyperlink will appear "floating" on the cursor.

  1. Position the object and click or press Enter to effect placement.
  2. Continue placing further hyperlinks, or right-click or press Esc to exit placement mode.

Additional actions that can be performed during placement are:

  • Press the Tab key to access an associated properties dialog, from where properties for the hyperlink can be changed on-the-fly.
  • Press the Alt key to constrain the direction of movement to the horizontal or vertical axis, depending on the initial direction of movement.
  • Press the Spacebar to rotate the link text anti-clockwise or Shift+Spacebar for clockwise rotation. Rotation is in steps of 90°.
  • Press the X or Y keys to mirror the link text along the X-axis or Y-axis respectively.
A newly placed hyperlink will initially have default link text of Link. Change the text to that required, using one of the editing techniques described later in this document.

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 hyperlink object directly in the workspace and change its location graphically. Hyperlinks can only be adjusted with respect to their size by changing the size of the font used (accessed through the Hyperlink dialog). As such, editing handles are not available when the hyperlink object is selected:

A selected Hyperlink.

  • Click anywhere inside the dashed box and drag to reposition the hyperlink as required. While dragging, the hyperlink can be rotated (Spacebar/Shift+Spacebar) or mirrored (X or Y keys to mirror along the X-axis or Y-axis respectively).
  • The link text for a hyperlink object can be edited in-place by:
    1. Single-clicking the hyperlink 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 hyperlink's properties dialog).
    3. To finish editing in-place text, press the Enter key, or use the mouse to click away from the hyperlink.
This feature is only available provided the Enable In-Place Editing option is enabled, on the Schematic – General page of the Preferences dialog.

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: Hyperlink

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

The Hyperlink dialog.

The Hyperlink 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 hyperlink object to be changed, which will be applied when placing subsequent hyperlinks.

During placement, the dialog can be accessed by pressing the Tab key.

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

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

Via an Inspector Panel

Panel pages: SCH Inspector, SCHLIB Inspector, SCH Filter, SCHLIB Filter

An 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 applicable 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 a List Panel

Panel pages: SCH List, SCHLIB List, SCH Filter, SCHLIB Filter

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 applicable 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.

Once a hyperlink object has been configured as required, it can be used from within the design workspace. To do so, simply hover the cursor over the hyperlink. After a short delay, a pop-up with the URL will appear. Click this to open the URL either within the software, or in an external browser, in accordance with your defined preference.

The target URL will open either as a tabbed document inside Altium Designer, or in an external browser, depending on the state of the option to Open internet links in external Web browser. This option can be found on the System – View page of the Preferences dialog.
The http:// prefix is required in order for the URL to open in an external Web browser.

Following an example hyperlink to its target URL.

The pop-up containing the URL is a feature of the software's Design Insight System. Specifically, it is obtained by enabling the Hyperlink Insight aspect of the system. This is done on the System – Design Insight page of the Preferences dialog. As with other elements of the system, you can configure the launch style for the pop-up – Mouse Hover and/or Alt+Double Click.

Configuring Hyperlink Insight.

The delay for the appearance of the pop-up when using the Mouse Hover launch style can be controlled using the Mouse Hover Delay slider. Bear in mind that this affects the pop-ups for all aspects of the insight system.

Alternatively, a link can be followed by right-clicking over it and accessing the URL from the Hyperlink sub-menu. This would be the way to follow a link if Hyperlink Insight is disabled.

Access the URL for a hyperlink object from the right-click context menu.

Tips

  1. When configuring the hyperlink, you don't need to enter the full URL with http:// prefix. Entering the short-form address for a website will also work, for example www.altium.com, or live.altium.com. However, the http:// prefix is required if you want to open the URL in an external Web browser.
  2. When targeting a local document on your hard drive or a shared drive, simply use the prefix file:/// – for example file:///C:\Datasheets\ExampleDatasheet.pdf.

 

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