Shortcut Keys

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Access to Shortcuts

Perhaps the single thing you can do to become more productive in any software environment is to learn the shortcut keys. Keystrokes are more efficient than carefully positioning a mouse over a button or drilling through menus, and once learned become second nature.

In a multi-editor environment like Altium Designer it can be hard to remember the shortcuts, particularly those special-purpose ones that are available when you are running a command.

To help with this Altium Designer provides a shortcut menu that can be used from within all interactive Schematic and PCB commands. When a command is running, for example Place Wire, use the Shift+F1 keyboard shortcut (or press the ~ (tilde) key) and a menu will appear, listing all of the valid shortcuts for that stage of the interactive command.

Fast Short Cuts Access

Use the menu to refresh your memory about the shortcuts available, or use it in the traditional menu sense, to select the required option with the mouse.

For a less transient approach Altium Designer offers the context-sensitive Shortcuts panel, which can be docked as a Workspace panel or configured to be floating in the editor space. By keeping the Shortcuts panel visible, you can quickly peruse the shortcuts available to you, depending on what you are working on. For example, having a schematic document open will show the various Schematic Editor shortcuts.

 The Shortcuts panel - enhanced productivity at your fingertips.

Editing Shortcut Keys

The fastest way to add or edit the shortcut keys assigned to a command is to display the command in the menus, then hold Ctrl and Left Mouse Click on the command. This will open the Edit Command dialog, where you can add or edit the current Primary Shortcut, as shown in Figure 3.

To add or edit a shortcut, hold Ctrl as you click on the menu entry, this will open the Edit Command dialog.

To define the Shortcut, click in the Primary Shortcut field, then press the key combination you wish to use on your keyboard. Alternatively, use the dropdown list and scroll to the required key(s). If that shortcut key combination is currently in use, the command using it will be displayed below in the Currently in use by field, if you continue with the new assignment it will be removed from that other command.

An alternative approach to customizing shortcuts or commands is to open the Customizing dialog. You can open the dialog by Double-clicking in a command-free region of the main menu bar, or by selecting DXP»Customize from the menus.

To locate the command that you wish to add a shortcut to, select the [All] option in the Categories list in the dialog, then use the filter field to quickly find it, as shown in Figure 4. Double click on the required command in the list to open the Edit Command dialog and edit the shortcut key.

The Customize dialog gives access to all commands and their shortcuts, use the Filter to quickly locate a command.

Lists of Shortcut Keys

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