Parent page: Configuring and Administrating Your Workspace
Component Folder Type Controls
When a folder of the
Components type has no components in it yet, a number of controls will be presented here to assist you in populating the folder with components.
Use these controls to perform an appropriate action:
- Import Library – click to open the standard Windows Open dialog and select a database or file-based library saved on your local or network folder. After opening a library file, the Library Importer in its Simple mode will launch with the selected library loaded.
- Create Component – click to open the Component Editor in its Single Component Editing mode ready to define a new component.
- Create Other Item Type – click to open the Create New Item dialog and create a new item of any type.
Irrespective of if there are components in the folder or not, these actions can also be performed using the options of the menu associated with the Add Component button at the top-right of the panel.
Library Health View
When browsing the content of a connected Altium 365 Workspace, the Explorer panel provides access to the Library Health view from where you can run health checks and inspect component health issues. Select the Library Health entry in the Server Folder region of the panel to access this view in the panel.
The Library Health view accessed from the Explorer panel
The top region of the view provides a summary of the health of your components, since last running a health check. Below are the health check analyses that are supported, gathered into various Issue Themes. Clicking on a health check analysis tile will provide a more detailed description of the check with steps to resolve (where available), as well as a detailed listing of all components failing that health check.
Components type folder supports two viewing modes – the Classic View and the Components View. The latter, which is the default view for this folder type, allows you to browse the parametric data associated with all components in the current folder. What's more, you can set up the view exactly how you like it for different folders of components, and those configurations will remain between sessions.
To toggle between these two viewing modes, browse to a Components folder in the Explorer panel, click the button at the top-right of the components listing, and choose either the View » Classic View, or View » Components View command from the associated menu.
Access the Components View for a Components-type folder, presenting the components in terms of their parametric data. Hover over the image to see the result of switching back to the Classic View.
Take a look at the following sections for more information on working with the Components View.
The order of the columns is customizable. Click on a column's header and drag it horizontally to the required new position. Valid positions are highlighted by vertical positional arrows.
Components can be grouped based on any of the visible column headings. To do this, click and hold on a column header, then drag and drop it onto the text that says
Drag a column header here to group by that column.
An example of customized grouping (by the
Parameters can be sorted by a specific column by clicking on that column's header. Click once to sort in ascending order (based on the content of that column). Click again to sort in descending order.
You can sort by multiple columns. With the parameters already sorted by a specific column, Shift+Click on another column to 'sub-sort' by the content of that column.
Support for Multi-Part Components
When viewing the symbol for a multi-part component, the Preview aspect view tab will present each part – each with its own distinct symbol graphic – as a separate tab. In addition, the Place menu will present a sub-menu of all applicable parts that can be placed for that component.
Browse to the multi-part Component Item of interest, in the Workspace, and ensure the Preview aspect view tab is active. Each distinct part's symbol can be browsed in the symbol viewing region. Click on a tab along the bottom to switch between parts.
Browsing the parts of a multi-part component, at the component level.
Double-click on the entry for the child symbol to browse the constituent parts for the component at the symbol level. Again, ensure the Preview aspect view tab is active.
Browsing the parts of a multi-part component, at the child symbol level.
When placing a revision of a multi-part component onto a schematic sheet, right-clicking on the revision's entry and hovering over the Place command on the menu will present a sub-menu containing all parts for that component. Select the required part to place.
A placement sub-menu offers all parts in a multi-part component.
Controlling Parameter Visibility when Placing Components
When placing components directly from the Explorer panel, control over the visibility of parameters associated with those components – or more specifically, their values – is performed from within the properties dialog for the parent folder.
Right-click on the parent folder and choose the Properties command. The Edit Folder dialog will appear. Enable the Configure Parameters Visibility on Add option on the right-hand side. The parameters, taken from all components in the folder, will appear listed in the region. Use the Visible On Add checkbox associated with each parameter to control its visibility, when a component that has that parameter is placed on a schematic sheet.
Determine, at the folder level, which parameters should be visible when components that use them are placed in a design.
Copying Component Parameter Information to the Clipboard
Parametric information for a revision of a component can be copied to the clipboard for subsequent use elsewhere in the design, or for pasting to an external application (such as Microsoft Excel). When browsing the Preview aspect view tab for a Component Item revision, select the required parameters – in the Parameters region of the view – and either use the Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut or right-click in the region and use the Copy command on the context menu.
Copy a Component Item revision's parametric information to the clipboard, for use elsewhere as required.
Changing a Released Component Type On-the-Fly
It is possible to change the component type for one or more components after release to a completely different type, on-the-fly. In the Explorer panel, select the component revision(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.
An example of changing the component type for selected revisions of Component Items that have already been released – with the wrong type to begin with, to underline the feature!
Searching for Components
The Explorer panel caters for powerful searching functionality. You can either perform generic-level searching, or targeted searching through the use of saved search configurations. The latter allows you to search, with respect to your components, by a particular component type and also use ranged searching – a nice aspect of searching facilitated through unit-aware component parameter data types (supported through a referenced component template). Additionally, you can add a keyboard shortcut to your saved searches that allows you to quickly perform a search from outside of the Explorer panel.
Prerequisites for Search
Related pages: Building & Maintaining Your Components and Libraries, Component Template
To be able to fully appreciate and use all aspects of the Explorer panel's search facility when searching across your components, you need to meet the following requirements:
Accessing the Search Facility
The interface for the search facility – the Search view – is accessed through the Explorer panel by clicking the Search tab at the bottom-left of the panel. The view is comprised of three key elements, as shown in the following image and detailed thereafter.
The Search view – a dedicated user interface within the Explorer panel.
- Generic Search field – facilitating standard-type searching. Enter a search string and press Enter.
- Saved Searches – facilitating targeted searches that can be saved for reuse. These types of searches can target components by their type and also cater for enhanced searches based on the values of unit-aware parameters.
- Search Results.
Creating a Saved Search
To create a new saved search, right-click in the Saved Searches region and choose New from the context menu. The New Search dialog will appear, in which to define the search.
Creating a new saved search.
Use the dialog to configure a component search as follows:
Give the search a meaningful name (e.g.
Resistors) using the Saved Search Name.
- Define an optional keyboard Shortcut for quick access to the search (populate the field by clicking inside it, then performing the required shortcut on the keyboard).
Set the Content Type field to
Component. The drop-down listing includes all supported content types for the Workspace (allowing other searches to be created based on other content types).
Select Component in the Content Type field drop-down for searching by components in the Workspace.
- Use the Parameters region to configure search parameters as required. All parameters detected for the
Component content type will be listed. For each parameter, the following three options can be defined:
- Show Filter – enable to show a corresponding filter field for the parameter, above the Search Results region on the Search tab. It is through such a field that you can fine-tune your searches, based on value criteria stipulated for that parameter.
- Default Visibility – enable to have a column for the parameter presented by default in the Search Results region on the Search tab. Columns for parametric data can be hidden, or made visible at any stage, directly from the view.
- Parameter - the name of the parameter. This could be a system parameter or a user parameter. Remember that in order to use range searches, parameters must be defined through an assigned component template and be unit-aware (of a specific data type).
- Type - the data type for the parameter. For ranged searches, the parameter should be set to a unit-aware data type. This can be done only through a component template that is then assigned to the component library prior to releasing the component definitions.
Default Value – use this field to constrain use of a parameter to a particular value, or range.
Example defined search parameters.
- If you want any user of your Workspace to see and use your saved search, leave the Public option enabled. If you want the search private to only yourself, disable this option.
With the search defined as required, click the Add button. The search will be saved as an entry under
Generic Search in the Saved Searches region of the view.
Applying a Saved Search
A saved search can be applied in the following ways:
- After clicking Add for a newly defined search, or Save after modifications to an existing search, the search will be automatically applied.
- Select the search in the Saved Searches region, then press Enter.
- Use the assigned shortcut to switch to the required saved search, then press Enter.
- Double-click on the entry for the saved search.
Filtering of components will be performed based on the defined search criteria, and the results presented in the corresponding results region. If any parameters have their option to Show Filter enabled, as part of the applied saved search, dedicated fields for those parameters will be available above the results list.
Example results after application of a defined saved search –
Resistors. The search has four parameters that have their Show Filter option enabled, so fields for those parameters are presented as part of the search interface.
For those parameters whose filter fields are shown:
- If the parameter has a default value specified as part of the search, its field will initially be prefilled with that value, and that value will be applied when the search itself is applied.
- A new value (specific or ranged) can be specified for the parameter by direct entry in the field.
Make any adjustments as necessary and press Enter to apply the revised filtering.
Editing a Saved Search
To modify an existing saved search, select it in the Saved Searches region, right-click and choose Edit from the context menu. The Edit: [<SavedSearchName>] dialog will appear, from where to make any changes to the search as required.
Once changes have been made, click the Save button – the search will be applied in accordance with its new settings.
Deleting a Saved Search
To remove an existing saved search, select it in the Saved Searches region, right-click and choose Delete from the context menu. Click Yes in the subsequent confirmation dialog – the search will be removed from the listing of saved searches.