Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Order component designators sequentially in Altium Designer

Heres one thing that I often have to do and always forget how it went.

Its annoying, but we're gonna have to deal: when you place components in Altium, the component designator is NOT automatically set to be the next one in sequential order. Ie, you just finished placing a few 0805 package resistors, the final one with the designator R105, and you switch to a MELF resistor. As long as the parts you are placing have the same component name (and perhaps the same logical symbol), the numbering of the designators will take up where you left off, with R106. If you start using a component with a NEW name, suddenly Altium doesnt suggest designator R106, but rather 'R?'. Yep.. annoying.

Good news, this can be easily fixed:
  1. Tools >> Annotate Schematics
  2. Click Reset All to reset all designators to R?
  3. Click Update Changes List to generate new proposed designators
  4. Click Accept Changes --> Execute Changes
This feature is documented on the Altium Wiki under Annotation and Re-Annotation.