Altium Keyboard Shortcuts

Route With The Pro’s!

This is a selection of some of the most useful shortcuts in Altium. It is in no-way a complete guide but just lists the ones you’d normally care to remember. If you’ve never used Altium before, you’ll soon see why they are needed when you see the menu’s for the first time :-).

You may notice that although some keyboard short-cuts that perform the same function are the same key combo when switching between the schematic and PCB editor, other keyboard shortcuts in each are radiacally different! This is likely due to the fact Altium aquired the PCB editor from another company after they had already started writing the schematic editor, and decided to keep some of the proprietry PCB keyboard shortcuts.

Schematic Designer

Shortcut Description
GENERAL
Ctrl-M Measure (works in PCB designer also)
Alt-(X, S) Choose a script to run (works in any Altium window).
C, C Compile the active project.
D, U Update the PCB with any schematic changes. Careful! In the PCB editor, this is achieved with the shortcut D, I, while using D, U in the PCB editor will cause changes on the PCB to be pushed back to the schematic, not something you usually want to do!
D, O Open the “Document Options” window. This is where you can edit the snap grid, change from imperial to metric units (I never thought I’d say this, but I recommend staying with imperial units in the shcematic editor), change the sheet template, and add schematic parameters.
ROUTING
P, W Start placing wires (similar to P, T in the PCB designer).
COMPONENT PLACEMENT
J, C Jump to component (works in PCB designer also)
J, N Jump to net
D, P Synchronises schematic symbols with ports (to update the sheet with the new ports you’ve added on the schematic). Can only be used when a schematic sheet is selected (the top-level design).
T, A Open the “Annotate” window. You can use T, U instead if you want to perform a “quick annotate”.

PCB Desginer

Shortcut Description
GENERAL
D, I Import changes from schematic to PCB. Careful! In the schematic, this is achieved with the shortcut D, U, while using this in the PCB editor will cause changes on the PCB to be pushed back to the schematic, not something you usually want to do!
T, D, R Run DRC. I normally deslect “Create Report File” so that it just displays the rule violations in the bottom window.
Alt-(X, S) Choose a script to run (works in any Altium window).
C, K Open the Edit Component Links window.
ROUTING
P, T Begin routing a track.
Tab (while routing) Brings up routing options/properties windows (very helpful).
Shift-Space Change the track routing style (e.g. from straight to 45 to curved and back again).
COMPONENT PLACEMENT
E, M, M Move component (useful for when you can’t select it because it’s ontop of other components).
E, M, I Flip a component.
Spacebar Rotate object by 90°.
J, C Jump to component (works in schematic designer also).
A, C Align horizontal centres.
A, V Align vertical centres
VISUALISATION
Shift-S Hide all but selected layer (this one should definitely be committed to memory, I use it every 10s or so…).
V, B Flip board.
MouseScroll Move up/down.
Shift-MouseScroll Move left/right.
Ctrl-MouseScroll Zoom in/out.
Ctrl-M Measure (works in schematic designer also).
+,- Increment/Decrement t.hrough the enabled layers.
* Increment/Decrement through routing layers only.
S, S Enables you to select a section of connected copper. Stops the selection at a via, pad or intersection.
Ctrl-H Selects all connected copper and objects to a net. Similar to S, S.
T, G, Up, Up, Up, Enter, Enter Repour all polygons.
D, T, (another letter) Select a view configuration. These views and their key shortcuts are user configurable. I usually configure Alitum so that D, T, U selects the “up” configuration (all top layers), while D, T, D selects the “down” configuration (all bottom layers).
D, O Open Board Options window. This is the quickest way to change the active snap options. To change the grid size for snapping, use the shortcut Ctrl-G.
Ctrl-G Open the Grid Editor window. This is where you can set the grid snap distances.

Scripting

Command Description
Ctrl-Space Provides a list of available commands, very helpful!