Global Editing in Altium Designer

Where can global editing be used?

Would you like to perform modifications to multiple objects in your schematic, PCB or library files? You can perform global editing efficiently in Altium Designer through various selection and editing methods. Complex non-standard footprints can also be created in a short time through usage of PCB List and Smart Insert features. In PCB design, there are times when you would like to perform modifications to multiple objects in your schematic, PCB or library files. For example, you might want a subset of resistors to be moved from bottom to top layer, or all net labels on a sheet to have a particular text formatting. This is what we generally call as Global Editing. Global Editing can be performed in Altium Designer using various panels such as:
  • Find Similar Object
  • PCB, SCH List, Inspector, Filter
  • In library files: PCBLIB, SCHLIB List, Inspector, Filter
You can make use of this feature to create complex, non-standard PCB footprints. For example, we have this complex footprint package (Gemalto ELS31) here which we would like to add into our library. Gemalto ELS31 The placement of its pads are in non-standardized co-ordinates, as seen on this EXCEL spreadsheet here, which has been derived based on the recommended land pattern information in the manufacturer's datasheet. ELS31_PadPlacement Due to the complexity of the placements, in order to place the pads one-by-one without a proper procedure, it would be quite a daunting task. To do this in a more efficient manner, you can make use of the Global Editing features in Altium Designer. Simply place a test pad and configure its proper shape and layer. Then, copy all the cells from the spreadsheet which contains the information regarding the pads’ co-ordinates and shape information. You can then invoke the PCB List panel where you can then perform a smart insert to insert all the copied cells onto this list of pads in PCB List. This smart insert then allows you to map between the columns copied and the columns to be created in PCB List. Once mapping the correct columns together, the columns will then be propagated to attributes of the pads. Smart_Grid_Insert_2 You can then delete the first pad which you have placed to initiate the insert process. ELS31_Completed The footprint will then have the proper pads shape, layer and co-ordinates.

To learn more about global editing in other design practices in Altium Designer, click on the image below to watch the video.

[embed]https://youtu.be/HCpjHoGHH0w[/embed]   Regards, Eu Jin Ooi, Masters of Engineering Altium Certified Trainer CAD MicroSolutions Inc. 65 International Boulevard, Toronto ON, M9W 6L9 Canada eooi@cadmicro.com | T: (416) 213-0533 ext 203

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