Creating a Project Template in Altium Designer

Project templates can include the common document and file types that make up a project, as well as additional reference documentation and configuration files. Project options configured in a project template will also be applied when creating design projects using this template. The advantage of using project templates is that a template can contain, if required, a full set of common project files (including Output Jobs) and ratified project/document options, design rules, parameters, units settings, document title blocks, grid settings, project release options, and much more.

Project templates can be created for PCB, Multi-board and Harness project types.

Some project templates are provided by default in the connected Workspace (if you opted to include Sample Data upon the activation/installation of your Workspace), within the Managed Content\Templates\Project Templates Workspace folder.

Creating a Workspace Project Template

To create a new project template in your connected Workspace:

  1. Open the Templates tab of the Data Management – Templates page of the Preferences dialog.
  2. Select the Project command from the menu of the Add button or the context menu of the template grid.

  3. After selecting the command, click OK in the Close Preferences dialog that opens to close the Preferences dialog and open the temporary editable project in the Projects panel. A planned revision of the new project template will be created automatically in a Workspace folder of the Project Templates type.
  4. Define project content and options as required, as befitting its use as a template from which future design projects will be fashioned. Note that you can use a special [ProjectName] syntax in the template document names to use the Automated Document Naming feature.

    Documents that have been saved during the template editing process are located in temporary local storage and are correctly included in the saved template revision.
  5. Use the Save to Server control to the right of the project's entry in the Projects panel to save the project to the Workspace. The Edit Revision dialog will appear, in which you can define Name and Description and add release notes as required. The project structure will close after saving. The project and all associated source files will be stored in the revision of the Workspace project template.

The saved data stored in the Workspace consists of the project file itself and all associated source files. To see the template files, you can switch to the Preview aspect view tab when the template is selected in the Explorer panel.

Browse the saved revision of the project template in the Explorer panel. Switch to the Preview aspect view tab to see the template files.
Browse the saved revision of the project template in the Explorer panel. Switch to the Preview aspect view tab to see the template files.

To open a file that is stored in a project template, click on that file on the Preview aspect view tab for the revision. The file will be opened within Altium Designer.

Automated Document Naming

A valuable feature that becomes available when Altium Designer applies a Project Template to a new design is the automated naming of the template’s constituent documents. This capability is enabled by including a special [ProjectName] syntax in the template document names, which will be replaced by the nominated project Name when the template is used for a new project.

So, for example, if a schematic document in a project template is named [ProjectName].SchDoc, and that template is then used for a new Altium Designer project called Flux_Triangulator, then the schematic file created in the project will be named Flux_Triangulator.SchDoc. Note that the naming string can coexist with other characters, so a template document such as [ProjectName]_Top-Level-Structure.SchDoc will become a project document named Flux_Triangulator_Top-Level-Structure.SchDoc in a newly created project that has been named Flux_Triangulator.

Example project readied as a template, and using the [ProjectName] syntax to facilitate automated document naming when that template is reused.
Example project readied as a template, and using the [ProjectName] syntax to facilitate automated document naming when that template is reused.

Saving an Existing Project as a Workspace Project Template

You also have the ability to save an existing design project directly to the Workspace, to be used as a template. The process is as follows:

  1. Open the existing design project within Altium Designer, ensuring that the project is active in the Projects panel.
  2. Make changes as required to ready the project for use as a template. It can be a good idea to create a dedicated project, with its content and configuration specifically arranged for use as a project template, but this is not essential. You can take an existing fully defined project and run with that, editing it at a later date to fine-tune the template configuration and content.

    When preparing the project for saving to the Workspace as a project template, it is worth noting that all major files in that project will become source files in the project template. This includes all design documents and the objects or content they contain, and other files held in the project’s host folder – including any common files that are unused. As such, it is worthwhile taking the time to review and fine-tune the source project, so that the final project template will only contain the files, content and settings required for the desired template.
  3. Choose the File » Save Project As Template to Server command from the main menus. A confirmation dialog will appear, letting you know where in the connected Workspace's folder structure, and with what name (that of the original project), the project template will be saved.
  4. After clicking OK, the project will be saved to the connected Workspace. An information dialog will inform you of the successful save.

Example of saving an existing project to the Workspace to which you are actively connected, as a project template.
Example of saving an existing project to the Workspace to which you are actively connected, as a project template.

If the required project to be saved to the Workspace resides in the Local Template folder (defined at the bottom of the Data Management – Templates page of the Preferences dialog) and is listed under the Local entry of the template grid, it can be migrated to a new Workspace project template by right-clicking on it and selecting the Migrate to Server command. Click the OK button in the Template migration dialog to proceed with the migration process – as stated in this dialog, the original project file will be added to a Zip archive in the local template folder (and hence it will not be visible under the Local template list).

Using a Workspace Project Template 

A project template saved to the Workspace can be used in the creation of future design projects. When you are connected to your Workspace, available templates will be presented when creating a new project through the Create Project dialog (File » New » Project). In the example shown below, a new PCB project is being created, using one of the available Workspace project templates – PCB_TMPL_SIMPLE. Notice that some of the resulting new project's document names use the supplied project Name, courtesy of the template documents having been named using the [ProjectName] syntax discussed above.

Choose from the latest revisions of project templates, shared with you, when creating a new project.
Choose from the latest revisions of project templates, shared with you, when creating a new project.

If you do not connect to your Workspace, you can still work with Altium Designer (under your valid Altium Designer license), but you will not be able to access that Workspace or any other services it provides. You will, therefore, not be able to use any Workspace project templates. You will only be able to use file-based templates defined locally and available from the templates folder specified on the Data Management – Templates page of the Preferences dialog (if the Template visibility option is set to Server & Local on this page).
A Workspace project template can also be used as a configuration data item in one or more defined Environment Configurations. An environment configuration is used to constrain a designer's working environment to only use company-ratified design elements. Environment configurations are defined and stored within the Team Configuration Center – a service provided through the Workspace. Once you have connected to the Workspace, and chosen (if applicable) from the selection of environment configurations available to you, Altium Designer will be configured, with respect to use of project templates. If the chosen environment configuration has one or more defined project templates, then only those defined templates can be used. If the chosen environment configuration applicable to you does not have any project templates specified/added, or is set to Do Not Control, then these will remain manually definable. In other words, you are free to use local templates. For more information, see Environment Configuration Management (Altium 365 Workspace, Enterprise Server Workspace).
Saved revisions of project templates can also be reused directly through the Workspace's browser interface. When adding a new project – from the Projects page of the interface – the templates available to you will be listed in the subsequent window. All project templates available to you will be listed, and across all supported project types. The newly created project structure, which can be subsequently edited in Altium Designer, is based on the selected project template. For more information, see Creating a New Project (Altium 365 Workspace, Enterprise Server Workspace).

Editing a Workspace Project Template

At any stage, you can come back to a project template in the Workspace and edit it. From the Templates tab of the Data Management – Templates page of the Preferences dialog, right-click on the template entry and choose the Edit command from the context menu. The latest revision of the project template will be opened in the Projects panel as a temporary editable project, ready for editing. Make changes as required, then save the project into the next revision of the project template.

To access project release options for the project template being edited, right-click the project entry in the Projects panel and select the Project Release Options command. In the Project Release Options dialog that opens, you can configure the relevant options, including Item Naming schemes.

Learn more about Design Project Release.

Creating a Local Project Template

A local project template can also be created. To do this:

  1. Create a new project through the Create Project dialog (File » New » Project).
  2. Define project content and options as required, as befitting its use as a template from which future design projects will be fashioned. Note that you can use a special [ProjectName] syntax in the template document names to use the Automated Document Naming feature.
  3. Copy the content of the project folder on your hard drive to the local templates folder defined in the Local Template folder field at the bottom of the Data Management – Templates page of the Preferences dialog.

    You can quickly browse to the project folder from the Project panel by right-clicking the project entry in the panel and selecting the Explore command from the context menu.

Local project templates will be listed on the Templates tab of the Data Management – Templates page of the Preferences dialog, in the Local region of the grid. A local project template can be selected for use when creating a new project through the Create Project dialog.

To use local templates, make sure that the Template visibility option is set to Server & Local on the Data Management – Templates page of the Preferences dialog. 

Local project templates are listed on the Data Management – Templates page of the Preferences dialog. Set the Template visibility option to Server & Local to use local templates.
Local project templates are listed on the Data Management – Templates page of the Preferences dialog. Set the Template visibility option to Server & Local to use local templates.

Select a local project template when creating a design project.
Select a local project template when creating a design project.

Примечание

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