Single Component Editing in Altium Designer

A component is defined/edited using the Component Editor, which can operate in two modes – Single Component Editing and Batch Component Editing. The former provides a streamlined interface when defining/editing a single component. This is the default mode when creating a new component or editing a single revision of an existing component. The latter provides the interface for defining/editing multiple components but can be used to define/edit a single component, should you wish.

This document looks at working with the Component Editor in its Single Component Editing mode.

The Component Editor in this mode is accessed when creating/editing a component through the Components panel, or Explorer panel. It is also directly accessed by using the File » New » Component command from the main menus.
For more information on working with the Component Editor in its Batch Component Editing mode, see Batch Component Editing.

Facilitating the Functionality

This Single Component Editing functionality is delivered through a purpose-made extension for the Component Editor – the Single Component Editor extension.

The Single Component Editor extension.
The Single Component Editor extension.

This feature is only made available if the Single Component Editor extension is installed as part of your Altium Designer installation. This extension is installed by default when installing the software, but in case of inadvertent uninstall, can be found back on the Purchased tab of the Extensions & Updates page (click on the current user control (e.g. ) at the top-right of the design space and choose Extensions and Updates from the menu).

Interface Overview

In its Single Component Editing mode, the Component Editor interface is essentially divided into four main regions, illustrated in the following image and summarized thereafter.

The Component Editor, when operating in its Single Component Editing mode, can be divided into four key regions.
The Component Editor, when operating in its Single Component Editing mode, can be divided into four key regions.

  1. Component – where you define key properties of the component, including its Name, Description, unique Id, resident Folder, Type, and reference to any Component Template as required.
  2. Models – where you add links to saved (or created on-the-fly) domain models, for use by the component.
  3. Parameters – where you craft a set of parametric data that will be applied to the component. This can include parameters from a referenced Component Template, as well as additional user-defined parameters. Links to website URLs can also be added here, as well as datasheets.
  4. Part Choices – where you can search for and add Part Choices for the component; the real world manufacturer parts that you want to be used for the design component when the board is manufactured and assembled.

Component

This region provides controls for defining the following component attributes:

  • Name – reflects the humanly-readable name given to the component. This system parameter is available and indexed when searching within the Workspace and will provide a good means to locate specific components beyond having to remember their Item ID!

    As you start typing the name, a pop-up listing of available manufacturer parts – from the Workspace's Local Part Catalog – will appear. You can select an entry to quickly define your component, with the data chosen (parameters, models, datasheets). This creation from manufacturer part search facility is also available by pressing the button at the far right side of the field. For more information, see Creating the Component from a Manufacturer Part Search.

    The field will populate with any default value for the Name system parameter that has been defined in a referenced Component Template. Also, if the component is being created from a manufacturer part search, and the Name parameter is enabled in the Use Component Data dialog, the Name field will be populated with the name from that chosen part.
  • Description – reflects the description added to the component. This system parameter is available and indexed when searching within the Workspace.

    The field will populate with any default value for the Description system parameter that has been defined in a referenced Component Template. Also, if the component is being created from a manufacturer part search, and the Description parameter is enabled in the Use Component Data dialog, the Description field will be populated with the description from that chosen part.

In addition, and by clicking the Advanced Settings control, you get access to the following:

  • Id – this field is used to determine the ID used for the saved component in the Workspace. For a new component created through the File » New » Component command or the Components panel, this field is populated in accordance with the component template defined for the component type chosen in the Create new component dialog. Where a template does not exist, or where the <Undefined> entry is chosen in the dialog, a default naming scheme is used; CMP-{00000}. For a new component created through the Explorer panel, this field is populated in accordance with the default naming scheme specified for that component's parent folder. If the parent folder has a component template attached, then defined Component Naming will be brought in from that template. The software will automatically assign the next available unique ID, based on that scheme, having scanned the entire Workspace and identifiers of existing content.

    Alternatively, you can override the auto-assigned ID for the component by entering the ID required directly in the Id field. You always have full control and final say over how the content is identified.

    This field will be read-only if the component has already been saved to the Workspace.
  • Folder – use this field to save the component to a specific folder in the target Workspace. For a new component created through the File » New » Component command or the Components panel, this field is populated in accordance with the component template defined for the component type chosen in the Create new component dialog. Where a template does not exist, or where the <Undefined> entry is chosen in the dialog, this field is blank. For a new component created through the Explorer panel, this field is populated with that component's parent folder. You have full control over where in the target Workspace a component will be stored. To manually specify a target folder, click the button to access the Choose Folder dialog. Browse to, and choose an existing folder, or create a new one on-the-fly.

    Taking the time to carefully determine the folder path for your component ensures it is saved into the correct destination folder from the outset. However, content can be easily moved to any folder in the Workspace structure once saved, if need be.
    This field will be read-only if the component has already been saved to the Workspace.
  • Template – this field provides the ability to reference a defined Component Template. Click on the field to access a listing of all Component Templates currently available in the connected Workspace. Click on an entry to create a link to the indicated (latest) revision of that Component Template. Template information will be brought into the Component Editor (Name, Description, Id naming format, Folder, Type, Models, and Parameters). For more information, see Referencing a Component Template.
  • Type – this field supports the ability to define the type of component and is a key attribute used to facilitate targeted searching of components. When browsing your own components using the Components panel, the Categories grouping for components is derived from the component type defined for each component. Click on the field to access a listing of currently defined component types from which to choose. The types are defined at the preferences level. Click the button at the right of the field to access the Data Management – Component Types page of the Preferences dialog, from where you can craft this listing to better suit your needs – either by adding new types and sub-types, or editing and removing existing types.

    It is also possible to change the component type for one or more components after saving to a completely different type, on-the-fly. In the Components panel or Explorer panel, select the component(s) that you want to change, then right-click and choose the Operations » Change Component Type command from the context menu. The Choose component type dialog will appear from which you can select the new component type.
    The field will populate with any default value for the ComponentType parameter that has been defined in a referenced Component Template, or with the component type selected through the Create new component dialog, which appears when you attempt to create a new component using the File » New » Component command.

Models

This region of the editor is used to add links to saved (or created on-the-fly) domain models, for use by the component.

  • At the most basic level, a component used in board design requires representation in the schematic and PCB editing domains. It therefore needs schematic symbol and PCB footprint models.
  • A harness wiring model can be added to the component only when no other models are added to this component. And vice-versa, other type models cannot be added when a harness wiring model is added to the component.

The Models region, providing the controls to define the models required to represent the component in the Schematic, PCB, and Simulation domains.
The Models region, providing the controls to define the models required to represent the component in the Schematic, PCB, and Simulation domains.

Use the following collapsible sections to learn more about working with models.

Parameters

This region of the editor is used to add parametric data to the component. Three types of parameter can be manually added here:

  •  Parameter – a standard, user-defined parameter.
  •  Link – a URL link to the page of a website, for example a manufacturer's website, or an online datasheet.
  •  Datasheet – providing a link to a datasheet (in any format) that has been uploaded to the Workspace and is referenced by the component.

The Parameters region, providing the controls for adding parametric data to the component.
The Parameters region, providing the controls for adding parametric data to the component.

Any number of these parameter types may be added as required. To do so, click the drop-down part of the button at the bottom of the region, then choose the relevant entry from the menu. A new parameter will be added to the list as follows:

  • Parameter – will be added below the currently selected entry in the list. The name will be in the default format Parameter n, click on the Name field to change this as required. Click on the Value field and type the value as required.
  • Link – will be added at the bottom of the list. Click on the Name field and enter the required name. This will be presented on the right-click References sub-menu, when accessed for a placed instance of the component on a schematic sheet. Type (or paste) the URL for the target page into the Value field. This will become a hyperlink, with which to access the target.
  • Datasheet – a standard Windows Open dialog will appear, with which to browse to, and select, the required datasheet. Multiple datasheets can be added simultaneously through this dialog. Each datasheet will be added at the bottom of the list. The Name will initially be that of the file itself, and is presented in the Explorer panel, and also in the References sub-menu for a component, after it is placed on a schematic sheet. Change this to a more suitable caption as required. The Value will be the file, in terms of its name, format, and size on disk. This will be a hyperlink, with which to quickly access the datasheet.
Clicking the button directly (not accessing its drop-down menu) will add a standard Parameter. To remove a parameter, select it in the list (multiple parameters can be selected for removal) and click the button.
The Parameters region can also be populated with parametric data from a part found by conducting a Manufacturer Part Search. For more details, see Creating the Component from a Manufacturer Part Search.

Attaching Datasheets through Drag and Drop

In addition to the manual attachment through the Open dialog mentioned in the previous section, you can also attach one or more datasheets to the component in the following ways:

  • By dragging and dropping from Windows File Explorer to anywhere within the Parameters region.

    Example demonstrating attachment of datasheets from a local drive, and then editing the local caption for the main datasheet.
    Example demonstrating attachment of datasheets from a local drive, and then editing the local caption for the main datasheet.

  • By dragging and dropping a datasheet link from a web page in an external web browser, to anywhere within the Parameters region.

    Example demonstrating attachment of a datasheet from a web page.
    Example demonstrating attachment of a datasheet from a web page.

Template Parameters

In addition, if the component references a Component Template, then any parameters defined in that template will be brought in, and added to the Parameters region.

Example parameters from a referenced Component Template.
Example parameters from a referenced Component Template.

Things to note:

  • A standard template parameter (not marked as Read-only or Required) is distinguished in the Parameters region by use of the icon.
  • A template parameter marked as Read-only is distinguished in the Parameters region by use of the icon.
  • A template parameter marked as Required is distinguished in the Parameters region by use of the icon.
  • A dictionary-defined template parameter is distinguished in the Parameters region by use of the icon.
  • An existing user-defined parameter that has the same name as a parameter in the linked Component Template, will be replaced with the template version. Any existing value for that parameter will be kept (and not overwritten with the value in the template).
  • The value fields for template-based parameters that have been marked as read-only, will be non-editable. For all other template-based parameters, that have not been marked as read-only, you are free to change the values as required.
  • If a template-based parameter has been marked as Required, but has not been given a value in the template, its value field will contain the icon, alerting you to the fact that a value is required for this parameter. You will not be able to save a component to the Workspace until values are defined for all required parameters.
  • If a parameter in the template has a description defined for it, then the Description column will be presented in the Parameters region of the Component Editor accordingly.

Template Parameters cannot be removed.

Support for Unit-aware Component Parameter Data Types

The Component Editor supports unit-aware component parameter data types that are defined within a referenced Component Template. You can enter a parameter's value directly into the applicable field using a range of formats - such as 2.2k, 2k2, 4M, 2.5GHz – with the Workspace engineered with the requisite smarts to recognize the numerical value behind those entries.

This feature of a component template facilitates targeted searching through the Workspace's Search facility – a facility that not only allows you to search by component type, but allows you to search smarter, with range searches. Using the power of unit-aware component parameters, you can quickly define a search, for example, to find all capacitors with a capacitance between 47uF and 220uF.

Unit-aware parameters are also used for smart filtering when searching through your own components using the Components panel.
Unit-aware data types for component parameters can only be defined through a component template.

Component parameters from a referenced component template that have unit-aware data types.
Component parameters from a referenced component template that have unit-aware data types.

When entering a value for a component parameter that uses a unit-aware data type, the following are things to consider:

  • You can enter the value in a range of different formats:
    • Numerical value only (e.g. 10). Note that if the data type has a unit, this will be applied automatically. Those types with units, have the unit in brackets after their name.
    • Numerical value in scientific notation (e.g. 1e10, 1E6).
    • Numerical value and units (e.g. 10F).
    • Numerical value with prefix (e.g. 10k). The appropriate unit will automatically be added (where applicable).
    • Numerical value with prefix and units (e.g. 10kF).
    • Numerical value with prefix in typical engineering format (e.g. for a resistance: 2k2, 2K2, 10r2, 10R2). The value will automatically be normalized accordingly (e.g. 2K2 will become 2.2k).
  • You can enter prefix and/or units with or without a space after the numerical value (e.g., 10uF, or 10 uF). The space will be automatically stripped.
Note that engineering abbreviations are case insensitive, so entering 2k2 is the same as entering 2K2, and entering 100R is the same as entering 100r. The only exception is M (Mega) and m (milli).

Support for Dictionary-defined Component Parameter Data Types

The Component Editor supports dictionary-defined component parameter data types that are configured within a referenced Component Template. You can select a parameter's value from the choices defined in the dictionary by clicking in the Value column and using the drop-down. You can click in the Value column and start typing a value – the drop-down will open, and the closest value will be highlighted in the list.

Dictionary-defined data types for component parameters can only be configured through a component template.

Component parameters from a referenced component template that have unit-aware data types.
Component parameters from a referenced component template that have unit-aware data types.

If you are an administrator of the Workspace, click the  icon at the right of the Value field to open the Settings – Vault – Dictionaries page of the Workspace's browser interface where you can manage the dictionaries. 

Values of dictionary-defined parameters are validated upon saving the component to the Workspace. If the value becomes inconsistent with the dictionary (e.g., the value has been removed from the Workspace and then the component using that value was opened for editing), the value field will contain the icon, alerting you to the fact that a value is inapplicable. You will not be able to save a component to the Workspace until values are consistent with dictionaries.

Item Level Parameters

Altium Designer, in conjunction with a connected Workspace, supports the concept of Item level parameters. These are parameters that are added to the parent Component Item, and available to all its released revisions, without having to re-release the Item into a new revision to pick up those parameters. As such, they are often referred to as Dynamic Parameters. This feature allows for component updates without having to create new component revisions, which in turn would affect related designs in which those components are used. An example might be a cost parameter change – applied dynamically on-the-fly as it were.

This functionality is available when instigated through a connected enterprise system instance (or through use of the CSV uploader when connected to an Enterprise Server Workspace). When defining parametric attributes through the relevant configuration file, you can determine whether a parameter should be pushed to the item, or the revision, with the latter being the default. For more information, see Component Synchronization with Enterprise Systems (Altium 365 Workspace), or PLM Integration (Altium 365 Workspace, Enterprise Server Workspace).

Item-level, or dynamic parameters can be viewed when editing a Component Item revision. Note that they are only visible when using the Component Editor in its Single Component Editing mode.

Example Item level parameter that has been added to a Component Item, and available to its revisions.
Example Item level parameter that has been added to a Component Item, and available to its revisions.

Note that such parameters have a different icon – – to distinguish them in the Parameters region of the Editor. Hovering over the icon will display the text Dynamic.

Part Choices

This region of the editor is used to specify one or more Part Choices for the component – the 'allowed' manufacturer parts that can be used to implement the component on the assembled board. The actual supply chain intelligence – comprising Manufacturer (and part number), Supplier (and part number), Description, Pricing and Availability – is sourced from the Workspace's local Part Catalog and the relevant Part Source.

Each Workspace has its own dedicated Part Catalog. This is a local part catalog database, dedicated to the management and tracking of manufacturer parts and their associated supplier parts. The local Part Catalog stores items representative of actual Manufacturer Parts, along with one or more items representative of Supplier Parts – the incarnations of those Manufacturer Parts, as sold by the Suppliers/Vendors. Each Supplier Part is a reference to an item in a parts database – either the aggregate parts database of the Altium Parts Provider (which itself interfaces to, and gathers the parts from, enabled Suppliers) or, for a Concord Pro Workspace, a linked local parts database (ODBC-based). Enable required Suppliers and determine Location/Currency ranges for the Altium Parts Provider within the Part Providers area of the Workspace's browser interface. While you remain connected to your Workspace from Altium Designer, the Altium Parts Options region – on the Data Management – Parts Providers page of the Preferences dialog – becomes read-only and adopts those settings defined for the Workspace. For more information on managing the Altium Parts Provider part source for your Workspace, see Part Source Configuration (Altium 365 Workspace, Enterprise Server Workspace).

Example Part Choices list for a component being defined, containing a single manufacturer part.
Example Part Choices list for a component being defined, containing a single manufacturer part.

A manufacturer part can be added to the Part Choices list for the component in two ways:

To manually add a part choice, click the button at the bottom of the region. The Add Part Choices dialog will appear, which is used in the same was as the Manufacturer Part Search panel (refer to this page for detail on the full UI elements). Search for the required manufacturer part, select a part, then click the OK button. Click the SPNs entry for a manufacturer part – Supplier Part Numbers – to see the available suppliers of that part, and assess whether you are making the right part choice, based on availability, pricing, etc.

Use the subsequent Use Component Data dialog to decide how you want to use the result, should you wish to replace any or all existing data or, to just have the part added as a part choice, click Cancel.
Search results in the dialog are by Manufacturer Part, with the associated SPN entries reflective of the enabled vendors supplying that part. When you select a part, it is the manufacturer part that is added to the Part Choices list. And by using the manufacturer part, and not a specific vendor/supplier, you get a single Part Choice that will bring with it all solutions based on the suppliers vending that part (and who are available for use through your Workspace).

Making a manual part choice – use the Add Part Choices dialog to search for the required manufacturer part, select its entry and click OK.
Making a manual part choice – use the Add Part Choices dialog to search for the required manufacturer part, select its entry and click OK.

To remove a part choice, select it in the list, then click the button.

Refer to the Adding Supply Chain Information to a Component page to learn more about information provided by a part choice.

Creating the Component from a Manufacturer Part Search

Providing a boost to creation of a component, Altium Designer supports the ability to search for a real-world manufacturer part, courtesy of Manufacturer Part Search functionality, and then add that part (or a portion of its data) into the Component Editor. In this way, you can quickly define a new component for addition to your Workspace, without having to craft that component from scratch. There is no having to 'reinvent the wheel' as it were, since all data for that part – its name, description, parameters, datasheets, part choices and any defined models – can be brought in.

The feature itself can be accessed in a number of ways – click on a collapsible section to explore further.

In each case, the Use Component Data dialog will open providing controls for selecting data you would like to apply to the component being currently created/edited: name, description, parameters, models, and datasheets. If the component has no data yet defined, all data available for that part will be enabled by default in this dialog for loaded into the component. If the component is partially defined with its Name, Description and/or Symbol, appropriate options will be disabled by default in the dialog – providing you controls for replacing them with data from the selected part though.

 
 
 
 
 
If you use the SiliconExpert integration functionality, you can also pull SiliconExpert data for the part and select SiliconExpert parameters to be included in the component. Refer to the Pulling Part Data from SiliconExpert page to learn more.
 
 
 
 
 

Use the Use Component Data dialog to select data to be added to the component from the chosen part.
Use the Use Component Data dialog to select data to be added to the component from the chosen part.

Resolving Mismatches between Parameters and Template

Detecting any mismatches between the naming of parameters between the component being saved to the Workspace and a template in your Workspace, you can fix such occurrences on the fly during saving, and save those changes to your global preferences. In the Use Component Data dialog, disable the Show only matching with template option to show all component parameters. For a parameter with a detected mismatch, use the Fix control to open the Parameter Mapping Configuration dialog and apply the changes as required.

 
 
 
 
 

Use the Parameter Mapping Configuration dialog to resolve mismatches between component parameters and the component template.
Use the Parameter Mapping Configuration dialog to resolve mismatches between component parameters and the component template.

Running a Component Rule Check

Before saving a Workspace Library component defined/edited in the Component Editor to the connected Workspace and making the component be available for use in designs, it is essential to make sure that this component meets the requirements in accordance with the configured settings. The Component Editor runs a validation – a Component Rule Check – when you attempt to save a component back to the Workspace or run this feature manually.

To learn more about component validation, see the Verifying a Component page.
注記

利用できる機能は、Altium Designer ソフトウェア サブスクリプション のレベルによって異なります。

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