Searching in a Vault

Frozen Content
This page relates to searching in Altium Vault 2.5 and earlier. Altium Vault 2.6 brings powerful new component searching with its Advanced Search capability. Delivered through a dedicated view within the Vaults panel, you can either perform generic-level searching or targeted searching through the use of saved search configurations. For more detail see Advanced Components Search.

Over time your Vault will grow to contain a large amount of data, which could include many thousands of components, managed sheets and completed designs. There are 2 approaches to finding an Item in a Vault, either by browsing through the folder structure to locate the Item, or by searching.

The Vaults panel includes a powerful search facility, with functionality including Grouping, Column-based filtering, and a powerful Search Filter pane.

Performing a Search

To perform a search in a Vault, enter the search string in the Search field at the upper right of the panel, and press Enter, or click the Search button ().

Enter the search string in the Search field and press Enter, or click the Search button.

If multiple words are entered into the Search field a logical AND is applied to them, meaning the results must contain FirstWord AND SecondWord.

Controlling the Display of Columns

When a search is performed, the search result displays all of the parameters in all of the found Items, which can result in a large number of columns being displayed. To enable or disable the display of a specific column, click the Column Control Button  and disable any columns you do not want to be visible, as shown in the image below.

 Hide or show the columns in the search results.

Grouping Results

The search results can be grouped based on any of the visible column headings. To do this, click and hold on a column header, then drag and drop it onto the text that says Drag a column header here to group by that column.

For example, the images below show the results being grouped by Lifecycle State. The result of this is the search results are separated into as many groups as there are different values in the grouping column - in this case 3 groups are created, For Production, New From Design and Released. Note a hierarchy of groups can be created, by nesting the column headers.

Grouping the search results based on the values in a column, here grouping by State results in 3 groups.

Column-based Filtering

Like an Excel spreadsheet, the results can be further filtered by the contents of each column. To do this, hover the cursor over a column header to display the small funnel (filter) icon, then click the icon, as shown in the image below.

A menu will appear containing a checkbox for each value present in that column, enable the required checkbox(es) to reduce the search result list to only include Items with that value.  

 Like an Excel spreadsheet, the search results can be filtered by controlling which values from a column are to be displayed as a result.

When a column filter is applied, the filter icon is displayed in blue, indicating that there is filtering applied based on this column. Multiple checkboxes in multiple columns can be used to define a column-based filter.

Custom Column Filters

Using column filters actually creates a custom filter, which is then displayed down the bottom of the search results, as can be seen in the image below. This example shows a filter based on State = Released AND Comment = OSRM-R976-2.

 The current column filter is displayed at the bottom of the search results, click Customize to modify it.

To modify the current custom filter, click the Customize button to open the Filter Builder dialog, as shown in the image below. Both the operator and the tested value can be edited in the Filter Builder, allowing sophisticated and complex filters to be created.

The search result has been further filtered based on the fields Tolerance and State. Both the operator and the tested value can be edited in the Filter Builder.

Filter Operators

Click on an operator in the Filter Builder dialog to select a different operator.

Select the required operator from the available operators.

Saving a Filter

Commonly used filters can be saved and re-used. This is done in the Filter Builder dialog, click the Save As button to save the current filter as an .flt file. Click the Open button to reload a previously saved filter.

Recent Filter History

Within a search session the history of just used filters is available. Click the recent filter history list button to display the history. The history list cleared when a new search is performed.

Recall any recent filter from the recent filter history list.

Applying Search Filters

The Vaults panel also includes a Search Filter pane which can be opened once the search results are displayed. Click the  button to open the pane, as shown in the image below.

 Display the Search Filter pane to quickly filter down the search results.

The Search Filter pane gives an easy way to quickly filter down the search results, simply enable the required checkboxes in the relevant folders and click the Apply button.

The Search Filter pane displays 3 default folders, with the following function:

  • Folder - this lists the names of all folders that are in the search results, providing an easy way of focusing the search in a specific branch or folder of the Vault.
  • LifeCycle - the possible LifeCycle states of the found Items
  • ContentType - the content type of the found Items, for example Sch Symbol, PCB Component, or Unified Component.

The Search Filter pane also includes a folder for each Parameter detected in the found Items. It does not include the Comment or Description fields as these are used for searching, and are also typically unique for every Item so could not be used for further filtering.

It is important to appreciate that certain combinations of filters can give no results, for example enabling Released and Components when the Vault contains released symbols but no released components. This can be avoided by clicking Apply after enabling each checkbox.


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