Altium Designer Resource Reference

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This, the Altium Designer Resource Reference space, is home to documentation for Altium Designer's resources. Primarily, this involves documentation for the software's dialogs and commands. So if you're not sure what a particular command does, need to jog your memory on the function of a dialog control, or simply wish to know just where in the software the functionality is hiding, you've come to the right place! In addition, the space encompasses all reference-type material too – just the thing for finding out about soft design core processors and peripherals, or how to use a particular keyword/function of Altium Designer's powerful Query Language.

So take some time to peruse the vast resources landscape, underpinning Altium Designer's features and functionality – either directly through the navigation pane to the left, or through the Altium Documentation site's Search facility. And if you need help as you design, the Resource Reference is simply an F1 click away.

Documentation Available

The Altium Designer Resource Reference has been structured to ultimately accommodate the following documentation:

  • Servers – resource information by server. The documentation for each server is further broken down into resource type (as applicable) and can include:
    • Editors
    • Preferences
    • Objects
    • Panels
    • Processes & Commands
    • Dialogs
    • Wizards

For the PCB server, Design Rules can also be found as part of that server's documentation set.

  • Language References – reference documentation for languages used in and by the software, including the Query Language, as well as programming and scripting languages.
  • Error References – reference documentation for error references, including project compiler violations.
  • Soft Design References – reference documentation for soft design, including:
    • FPGA components (processors, peripherals, instruments, OpenBus, Wishbone and non-Wishbone).
    • Embedded Tools references.
    • C-to-Hardware Compiler reference.
    • Constraint File reference.
    • FPGA IO Standards reference.
    • Core resource usage.
  • Server Process Reference – reference documentation for server processes, including:
    • Client Processes
    • Schematic Processes
    • PCB Processes
    • Integrated Library Processes
    • WorkspaceManager Processes
    • FpgaFlow Processes
    • Server Process Routines
  • Shortcut Keys– convenient listings of shortcuts relating to:
    • Workspace environment.
    • Project.
    • Editors.
    • Panels.

Accessing Resource Documentation Directly from Altium Designer

F1 continues to be your close friend when wanting to learn more about a particular resource in the software. Simply press F1 over one of the following resources to access (where available) the relevant page for that resource in the Resource Reference:

  • Menu entry
  • Toolbar button
  • Dialog
  • Object
  • Panel
  • Specific page in the Preferences dialog
  • Specific rule constraint page in the PCB Rules and Constraints Editor dialog
  • Language keyword
  • Wizard

The applicable page within the Altium Documentation will load in a separate tab in your default external Web Browser, irrespective of the status of the Open internet links in external Web browser option, on the System – View page of the Preferences dialog.

Example documentation for an object-type resource - the Drill Table object.

If a page for a particular resource hasn't yet been documented, the system is structured to try the next page up in the hierarchy. So if a particular dialog in the PCB editor has not got a detailed page for it, F1 over that dialog will call the parent PCB Dialogs page. This is aimed at giving a soft landing for any missing information, until such time that we are able to address such gaps in coverage.

What Happened to What's This Help?

In previous versions of the software, dialog-based help was delivered through WinHelp files, with information accessed by clicking on a question mark, typically located at the top-right of a dialog. Altium Designer 14.0 steered the documentation away from reliance on such out-dated help methodologies and technologies, favoring delivery of all documentation through the single, cohesive Altium Documentation site. In terms of dialog-level help, no longer do you need to click, click, and click again to see help for options in a piece-meal fashion. Now, simply press F1 with the dialog open and get a page of information on that dialog in its entirety – being able to see, at-a-glance, what each option and control does. Presenting information for a dialog on a browser page delivers numerous benefits, above and beyond that of its previous WinHelp-based incarnation, including:

  • Ability to elaborate on the detail of a control, with additional note, information and tip highlight boxes.
  • Ability to keep the information visible while clicking elsewhere in the dialog.
  • Ability to add cross-linking to other pertinent areas within the Altium Documentation site.
  • Ability to maintain the documentation of a dialog in a far more streamlined and expedient manner – making updates without having to compile installable files.

Example Dialog page.

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