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Altium Designer, in conjunction with Altium Vault (3.0 or later) caters for the ability to store component datasheets within an Altium Vault and, in doing so, link them to target Component Items. This allows you to more fully describe and support a component, in a centralized fashion, while reducing the reliance on external storage mediums (shared network drives for example). Storing datasheets next to the very items that need to reference them also means you no longer need to have a live internet connection, to consult a reference document that can often, and frustratingly, disappear without warning at the whim of the hosting website!
For an existing Component Item in an Altium Vault, one or more datasheets can be attached (uploaded) to that item - essentially creating a link between the component and the datasheet(s) - through the Vaults panel. While browsing the required Component Item, simply switch to its Data Sheet aspect view.
By far the easiest method to attach a datasheet to a component is to simply select it within your Windows File Explorer, then drag and drop it onto the indicated area of the component's Data Sheet aspect view, in the Vaults panel. You can attach any number of datasheets to a component. Once dropped, the file(s) will be uploaded.
Alternatively, you can browse for the datasheets you wish to attach to the component. To do this, right-click within the component's Data Sheet aspect view, and choose the Add File command from the context menu. The standard Windows Open dialog will appear, with which to browse to, and open, the required datasheet(s). After clicking the Open button, the file(s) will be uploaded.
Once uploaded and attached to a component, the datasheet will be presented in the Data Sheet aspect view in terms of its:
After attaching a datasheet to a component, all management for that datasheet is performed from within the Data Sheet aspect view. This includes being able to quickly open the document by clicking on its entry.
In addition, the following commands are available on the right-click context menu:
Facilitating the ability to attach a datasheet to a component is the Datasheet Item. When a datasheet is attached to a component, the actual datasheet file is uploaded into a single revision of this item type, and the Component Item linked to that Datasheet Item.
When a new datasheet file is attached to a component, and that file has not already been uploaded (attached to a different component), the resulting Datasheet Item will be created in a Datasheets sub-folder of the active folder.
One or more datasheets can also be attached to one or more components, while defining component(s) through the Component Library Editor. This, for example, allows you to quickly attach the same required datasheet(s) to all components in a particular family.
Attaching datasheets to a component definition involves a sequence of steps, summarized here and detailed in the sections thereafter:
To be able to attach datasheets to a component definition in the editor, you need to first enable the use of datasheets. This is done from the Required Models/Parameters region of the editor. Simply click on the Add control below at the bottom of the region, and choose Datasheet from the context menu.
Having enabled the use of datasheets, you now need to upload them. Essentially, you upload any number of datasheets for the currently selected component, but can then assign all, or specific sheets, across the various components being defined. Once the Datasheet entity has been added to the Required Models/Parameters region, a Datasheet entry will be presented in the Model Links region. Clicking on this will show the list of datasheets currently assigned (linked) to the selected component, in the preview region.
With a component definition selected in the editor, a datasheet can be uploaded to that component in various ways:
Once uploaded, you can:
When you initially attach (upload) a datasheet, you are doing so for the currently selected component. But the beauty of the system is that all uploaded datasheets are available for linkage to other components being defined in the CmpLib as well. Simply click the control at the right of the Datasheets cell to access a listing of the available datasheets, and use the associated checkboxes to attach/remove a datasheet to/from the component.
Once a vault component is placed onto a schematic document within a design project, you can access any vault-based datasheets that are linked to it, from the right-click References context sub-menu.
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