Setting the Schematic Options

The first thing to do before you start drawing your circuit is to set up the appropriate document options. Complete the following steps.

1. From the menus, choose Design » Document Options and the Document Options dialog will open.
For this tutorial, the only change we need to make here is to set the sheet size to standard A4 format.
In the Sheet Options tab, find the Standard Styles field.
Click the arrow next to the entry to see a list of sheet styles.

2. Select the A4 style and click OK to close the dialog and update the sheet size.

3. To make the document fill the viewing area again, select View » Fit Document.
In Altium Designer, you can activate any menu by pressing the menu hotkey (the underlined letter in the
menu name). Any subsequent menu items will also have hot keys that you can use to activate the item.
For example, the shortcut for selecting the View » Fit Document menu item is to press the V key followed by the D key. Many submenus, such as the Edit » DeSelect menu, can be called directly.
To activate the Edit » DeSelect » All on Current
Document menu item, you need only press the X key (to call up the DeSelect menu directly) followed by the S key.

Next we will set the general schematic preferences.
1. Select Tools » Schematic Preferences [shortcut: T, P] to open the schematic Preferences dialog.
This dialog allows you to set global preferences that will apply to all schematic sheets you work on.

2. Click on Schematic – Default Primitives in the selection tree (left side of the dialog) to make it the
active page and enable the Permanent option. Click OK to close the dialog.

3. Before you start capturing your schematic, save this schematic sheet, so select File » Save [shortcut:F, S].



Creating a New Schematic Sheet

Create a new schematic sheet by completing the following steps:

1. Select File » New » Schematic, or click on Schematic Sheet in the New section of the Files panel. A blank schematic
sheet named Sheet1.SchDoc displays in the design window and the schematic document is automatically added (linked)
to the project. The schematic sheet is now listed under Source Documents beneath the project name in the Projects tab.

2. Rename the new schematic file (with a .SchDoc extension) by selecting File » Save As. Navigate to a location where you would like to store the schematic on your hard disk, type the name Multivibrator.
SchDoc in the File Name field and click on Save.

When the blank schematic sheet opens you will notice that the workspace changes.
The main toolbar includes a range of new buttons, new toolbars are visible, the menu bar includes new items and the Sheet panel is displayed.
You are now in the Schematic Editor.

You can customize many aspects of the workspace. For example, you can reposition the panels and toolbars or customize the menu and toolbar commands.
Now we can add our blank schematic to the project before proceeding with the design capture.

Adding Schematic Sheets to a Project

If the schematic sheets you want to add to a project file have been opened as Free Documents, right-click on the project name in the Projects panel and select Add Existing to Project.
Select the free documents name(s) and click Open. Alternatively, you could drag-and-drop the free document into the project documents list in the Projects panel.
The schematic sheet is now listed under Source Documents beneath the project name in the Projects tab
and is linked to the project file.


Getting Started with PCB Design


This introductory tutorial is designed to give you an overview of how to create a
schematic, update the design information to a PCB document, route the PCB and
generate manufacturing output files. It also investigates the concept of projects and
integrated libraries and provides a summary of the 3D PCB environment.

Creating a New PCB Project

A project in Altium Designer consists of links to all documents and setups related to a design. A project file, eg. xxx.PrjPCB, is an ASCII text file that lists which documents are in the project and related output setups, eg.
for printing and CAM. Documents
that are not associated with a project are called ‘free documents’. Links to schematic sheets and a target output, eg. PCB,FPGA, embedded (VHDL) or library package, are added to a project.
Once the project is compiled, design verification, synchronization and comparison can take place.
Any changes to the original schematics or PCB, for example, are updated in the project when compiled.

The process of creating a new project is the same for all project types. We will use the PCB project as an example. We will
create the project file first and then create the blank schematic sheet to add the new empty project. Later in this tutorial we will
create a blank PCB and add it to the project as well.
To start the tutorial, create a new PCB project:
1. Select File » New » Project » PCB Project from the menus, or click on Blank
Project (PCB) in the New section of the Files panel. If this panel is not displayed,
select Files from the System button at the bottom right of the main design window.
Alternatively, you could select Printed Circuit Board Design in the Pick a Task
section of the Altium Designer Home Page (View » Home) and then click on New
Blank PCB Project.

2. The Projects panel displays. The new project file, PCB_Project1.PrjPCB, is
listed here with no documents added.

3. Rename the new project file (with a .PrjPCB extension) by selecting File » Save Project As. Navigate to a location where you would like to store the project on your hard disk, type the name Multivibrator.
PrjPCB in the File Name field and click on Save.

Next we will create a schematic to add to the empty project file. This schematic will be for an astable multivibrator circuit.