Altium Designer incorporates a wide variety of importer and translator technologies, allowing you to easily import designs originating from previous versions of Altium software, or alternative software packages.
To make use of the importer/exporter technologies available in Altium Designer, you must install the relevant plugins. These can be found in the Importers and Exporters category of the Plugins view (DXP»Plugins and Updates).
The following provides an overview of what file types can be imported into Altium Designer. The method of import may differ between different file types, and are detailed in the sections thereafter.
A range of file types can be imported via the Choose Document to Open dialog, accessed through File»Open. Set the Files of type option to the required (and supported) file format.
Importing documents using the Choose Document to Open dialog.
Some file types cannot be imported using the File»Open command, and are only imported through use of the Import Wizard. It is advised to use the Import Wizard in the first instance, especially when importing both design files and their related libraries into a new Altium Designer project and its constituent documents.
Certain file types can be imported directly into the active schematic or PCB document using the File»Import command.
Use the Import File dialog to specify the file type to import from one of the following:
Altium Designer also includes a unified means of importing designs from a variety of different design tools, using the Import Wizard. The wizard walks you through the import process, handling both the schematic and PCB parts of the project, as well as managing the relationship between them. Select File»Import Wizard to launch the Wizard. The Import Wizard can be used to import the following types of design files:
Protel 99SE DDB Files
99SE DDB (*.ddb)
Cadence® Allegro® Design Files
Allegro binary PCB (*.brd), Allegro ASCII PCB (*.alg)
Zuken CADSTAR® Designs and Libraries
CADSTAR Schematic Archive (*.csa), CADSTAR PCB Archive (*.cpa), CADSTAR Part Library (*.lib)
CircuitMaker 2000 Schematics and Libraries
CircuitMaker Schematics (*.ckt), CircuitMaker User Libraries (*.lib), CircuitMaker Device Libraries (*.lib)
Mentor Graphics® DxDesigner® Designs and Libraries
DxDesigner Designs, DxDesigner Libraries
Mentor Graphics® Expedition® Designs and Libraries
Mentor Expedition files (*.pcb, *.lib). Note, this feature is currently part of the Altium Labs
Cadence® OrCAD® Designs and Libraries
OrCAD Capture Designs (*.dsn), OrCAD Layout PCB documents (*.max), OrCAD Capture Libraries (*.olb), and OrCAD PCB Libraries (*.llb)
Cadence® OrCAD® CIS Configuration Files and Libraries
OrCAD CIS Configuration file (*.dbc) and OrCAD Library files (*.llb, *.olb)
Mentor Graphics® PADS® Layout and PADS® Logic Designs and Libraries
PADS Layout ASCII Design files (*.asc), PADS Layout ASCII Decal Libraries (*.d), PADS Logic ASCII Design files (*.txt), PADS Logic ASCII CAE Decal Libraries (*.c), PADS Logic ASCII Part Type Libraries (*.p)
Cadence® OrCAD® and Mentor Graphics® PADS® Designs and Libraries
OrCAD Capture files (*.dsn), OrCAD Schematic Library files (*.olb), PADS Logic ASCII Design files (*.txt), PADS Layout ASCII Decal Libraries (*.d), PADS Logic ASCII CAE Decal Libraries (*.c), PADS Logic ASCII Part Type Libraries (*.p)
P-CAD Designs and Libraries
P-CAD V16 or V17 Binary Schematic design files (*.sch), P-CAD V16 or V17 ASCII Schematic design files (*.sch), P-CAD V15, V16, or V17 Binary PCB design files (*.pcb), P-CAD V15, V16, or V17 ASCII PCB design files (*.pcb), P-CAD V16 or V17 Binary Library files (*.lib), P-CAD V16 or V17 ASCII Library files (*.lia)
The Import Wizard supports importing from a large variety of design tools.
Schematic and PCB design files can be exported into various formats – including previous versions of Altium's software or alternate software packages. PCB assemblies can also be exported as 3D STEP model files for use in mechanical CAD packages. Export of files is performed using the File»Save As command, or the File»Save Copy As command.
Exporting design files using the File»Save As command.
Schematic Library Editor
PCB Library Editor