Creating Project Libraries from the Schematic

February 8, 2017 Ivan Duprey

create-and-share-project-libraries

 
When you are using an outside manufacturer, or sharing a design with another party that does not have access to your internal installed libraries, creating a project library makes the data easy to share. No matter how you created your library — from already installed libraries, Altium Vault® libraries, or even manually using a supplier search, you can localize the parts for easier creation. This allows for more portability of your design for external sharing.

There are methods to do this in Altium Designer by editing each component properties or using the Find Similar Objects command and utilizing the Schematic Inspector, but they are not practical methods for large multi-sheet schematics. Alternatively, you can use the Parameter Manager to quickly create schematic libraries, consolidating your components into a single, global project library.

Eliminate the Need for External Library Resources

Let’s go over how to create a project library from the schematic using the Parameter Manager in Altium Designer. We’ll begin with a project that does not have a project library and all of the components have originated from installed libraries.

 

project-without-schematic-libraries
A Project Without a Schematic Library

 

There is only one sheet in the example design. For a larger scale schematic, be aware that all sheets in the design must be open to use this method. We must now create a project library using all of the components in the design. You can create a schematic library out of the components that have been already placed on schematic documents in a project using the Design » Create Schematic Library command, which is available in the Schematic Editor.

 

make schematic library menu command
Make a Schematic Library Menu Command

 

A new schematic library will open in the Schematic Library Editor when it is created. All the components in the open schematic files are copied to the new schematic library, named Project_name.SCHLIB, stored in the same folder as the project file (Project_name.PRJPCB). The filename will appear in the Projects panel in the Libraries\Schematic Library Documents folder. An information dialog box will open. Click OK to confirm.

Save or rename the new schematic library using File » Save As and close it. The components on the schematic retain their library links associated with the libraries from which they originated. You can verify this by double clicking on any component on the schematic to open the Properties for Schematic Component in Sheet dialog and checking the Link to Library Component as shown below.

 

properties-for-schematic-components-in-sheet-dialog
Properties for Schematic Component in Sheet Dialog

 

Parameters can be added and edited individually or using the Parameter Table Editor to add and edit them across the entire design, or across a whole library. When you open the dialog, it gathers all parameter data for the entire design and presents it in a table-like grid. The Parameter Table Editor is launched by selecting Tools » Parameter Manager.

 

opening-parameter-manager
Opening the Parameter Manager.

 

After selecting Parameter Manager from the menu, the Parameter Editor Options dialog appears first. In this dialog, you determine which type of parameters you want to be loaded into the Parameter Table Editor dialog.

Simplify the Management of Libraries within a Single Project

The Parameter Table Editor dialog allows the designer to edit and update parameters across the entire project. The flexibility of the functions available within the parameter manager also allows it to be used as a tool to manipulate system level parameters such as Library Links that can simplify the management of libraries within a project.

Want to learn more about creating and sharing project libraries from the schematic using the Parameter Manager in Altium Designer? Download the free white paper Quickly Create Project Libraries from the Schematic today.

 

About the Author

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