Altium NEXUS provides a unified electronic product development environment, catering for all aspects of the electronic development process, including:
Altium NEXUS includes all the editors and software engines needed to perform all aspects of the electronic product development process. All document editing and processing is performed within the Altium NEXUS environment. Altium NEXUS also interfaces seamlessly to supporting tools, such as route software or third-party simulation software. Underlying Altium NEXUS is the X2 Integration Platform, which brings together Altium NEXUS's various editors and software engines and provides a consistent user interface across all the tools and editors. The exact set of features and functionality that is available will depend on the specific license that has been purchased. The Altium NEXUS environment is fully customizable, which allows you to set up the workspace to suit the way you work. A consistent selection and editing paradigm across different editors allows you to easily and smoothly switch between various design tasks within the Altium NEXUS environment.
Altium NEXUS provides various ways for you to locate additional information and help.
Use the navigation tree on the left side of the documentation to read about a particular subject.
Altium NEXUS is unique in its ability to support all aspects of electronic design, from capture to generation of PCB manufacturing output. It does this in a single software application, through the support of the underlying X2 integration platform. The platform supports all of the standard user-interface elements, such as menus and toolbars (also called resources), with each editor plugging in its own specific set of resources and commands. See the below section for descriptions, access, etc., to Altium NEXUS's environment elements.
The following sections describe some of the main elements of the design space highlighted in the image above.
Preferences dialogs are a central location in which you can set up global system settings across different functional areas of the software. These preferences apply across projects and relevant documents. The various dialogs are accessed by clicking at the top right of the design space. Use on the left side of the dialog to open the selections for the required area then choose the desired title to open that specific preference page.
Altium NEXUS provides various license types and each is designed to suit your individual needs. The licensing system enables you to get up and running with Altium NEXUS software in a timely and efficient manner. To access the License Management page, click next to your sign-in credentials at the top right of the design space then select Licenses from the drop-down menu.
Extensions are add-ons to the software that provide extended features and functionality. You have the ability to install, update or remove additional functionality, which includes a new importer or exporter, a tool for schematic symbol generation, and support for mechanical CAD collaboration.
To access the Extensions & Updates page, click next to your sign-in credentials at the top right of the design space then select Extensions and Updates from the drop-down menu.
Updating Altium NEXUS gives you the most recent release of the core platform software and any extensions you have installed.
To access Updates, click next to your sign-in credentials at the top right of the design space then select Extensions and Updates from the drop-down menu. On the Extensions & Updates page, select the Updates tab as shown in the image below.
The Updates page displays any core platform updates that are available and a listing of System Extensions and Software Extensions for which there is an update available.
Panels are essential elements of the Altium NEXUS environment. Whether specific to a particular document editor, or used on a more global, system-wide level, they present information and controls that aid productivity and allow you to design more efficiently. For example, the PCB panel can be used to browse by Components or Nets. When Altium NEXUS is first started, the Projects panel will already be open and pinned/docked on the left side of the design space. To open other panels, click the Panels button at the bottom right of the design space then select the desired panel. Each editor has panels specific to that editor.
Two panels of interest that are widely used when working in virtually every editor in Altium NEXUS are the Properties and Messages panel.
The Interactive Properties panel provides universal editing access to the properties of documents and objects in design editors. The panel dynamically determines its content (or, in other words, changes its mode) based on the document or object that is currently selected and presents specific properties and settings that relate to that document/object. The Properties panel also supports editing the properties of multiple selected objects.
Whether validating a project, running a design rule check for the active PCB document, performing a mixed-signal simulation, or using any of the other message-enabled features of the software, the Messages panel provides an intelligent way of listing any warnings and/or errors that may be present, as well as any status information. The panel supports cross-probing from the selected message in the panel to the object responsible for the message in the associated document.
The Active Bar gives you quick access to frequently used functions that are also found in the main menus. You can hover over an icon to view a pop-up of the icon's description. To use the icon displayed, click on it. For placement icons, the object will appear on the cursor, allowing you to drag the object to the required location. When a white triangle is displayed at the bottom right of an icon, there is a group of other icons available. Click and hold the cursor over that icon to display a list of additional icons available then select the desired command/icon. The most recently used icon is displayed for that group.
The main menus allow access to commands and functions for the active document. The menus appear across the top left of each editor and each editor has its own set of menus.
To use commands, click the title (e.g., Design) then select the desired command from the drop-down menu.
The Quick Access Bar is located at the top left of the design space and is used to quickly perform frequently used functions.
The Status Bar displays summary information, such as the coordinate position of the cursor, command prompts, and layer. You can toggle the display of the Status Bar by choosing View » Status Bar from the main menus.
When resource consumption gets to a level considered to be high, a resource warning indicator appears at the bottom-right of Altium NEXUS. Hover the cursor over the indicator for information about which resource(s) are exceeding associated levels of consumption. Note that the color of the indicator changes to highlight the level of resource consumption.
The following resources are monitored:
The resource monitor triggers and displays a warning indicator when any of the above resources reach the following levels:
The Altium NEXUS Home Page is a standalone web page that can be opened as a tab in Altium NEXUS. The page gives you access to user-focused content, including new features, webinars, videos, blogs, and tutorials. The information on this page is continuously updated and videos are added to help keep you up-to-date on Altium NEXUS's functionality.
The Home Page is opened when the application is started. You can close the Home Page tab by right-clicking on the tab then choosing Close Home Page. To access the Home Page after the tab has been closed, click the icon at the top-right corner of the design space.
All project-related data is stored in documents, which are also referred to as files. Documents, projects and project groups can be opened using the relevant commands available from the main File menu. Alternatively, you can drag and drop a document, project file, or project group file directly into Altium NEXUS to open it. As well as storing links to each document in the project, the project file also stores project-specific options, such as error check settings, compiler settings, and so on.
When you open a document, it becomes the active document in Altium NEXUS's main design window. Multiple documents can be opened simultaneously. Each open document has its own tab at the top of the design window. Documents can occupy the entire design space, or the design space can be shared between multiple open documents via the Split commands in the Window menu. Documents can then be dragged from one split region to another.
Configuring and Customizing Altium NEXUS
Management of Projects in Altium NEXUS