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 menus for the first time :-).

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

Schematic Designer

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 schematic editor), change the sheet template, and add schematic parameters.
G: Cycle through the predefined grids.
Q: Toggle the measurement unit system between metric and imperial.
T, C: Cross-probe a net, pin or component between the SCH and the PCB (or between the PCB and the SCH).

Schematic 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, A: Open the “Annotate” window. You can use T, A, U instead to perform a “quick annotate”.

PCB Designer

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 (design rule checks). I normally deselect “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.
Q: Toggle the measurement unit system between metric and imperial.
T, C: Cross-probe a net, pin or component between the SCH and the PCB (or between the PCB and the SCH).

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).
Shift-W: Set the track width to something from the predefined track width list.
T, G, A, A: Repour all polygons.

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 centers.
A, V: Align vertical centers.

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 through 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.
D, T, <letter>: Select a view configuration. These views and their key shortcuts are user configurable. I usually configure Altium 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.
L: Show the Layers dialog box to adjust the visible layers and/or enable/disable layers.
G: Cycle through the predefined grids.

Scripting

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

Posted: September 5th, 2011 at 6:22 pm
Last Updated on: July 25th, 2017 at 4:32 pm

  • Justin MASSIOT

    Hello !
    Thanks for this list.

    I don’t know when you wrote this post but I have some corrections, at least for recent versions of Altium Designer (17):

    Schematics:
    T>A doesn’t work, it’s T>A>A (T>A>U for automatic annotation)

    Here are some other shortcuts that I use extensively:

    PCB:
    L -> show the “Layers” dialog box the adjust the visible layers and/or enable/disable layers
    Shift+W -> set the track width to something from the predefined track width list

    Both SCH and PCB:
    G -> cycle through the predefined grids
    Q -> change the measurement unit system between Metric and Imperial
    T>C -> cross-probe a net, pin or component between the SCH and the PCB (or between the PCB and the SCH)

    Cheers

    • Hi Justin!

      Yes it’s been a while since these shortcuts have been updated. Thank you for bringing some of the out-of-date ones to my attention and providing some additional shortcuts you find useful. You should find that I have now updated this page, and added your favourites to the list!

      Many thanks, Geoff 🙂

      • Justin MASSIOT

        Great job and nicer presentation 😉
        I also forgot one: “Repour all polygons” is T>G>A now, not “T, G, Up, Up, Up, Enter, Enter” any more.