Parent page: Workspace Manager Panels

Two projects open in the Projects panel with one PCB selected and open in the editor.


The Projects panel displays all projects that are currently open along with their constituent documents. Any open documents that have not been created as part of a project or added to an existing open project will also be listed.

Panel access

Click the View | System | button to open the Projects panel. Projects or documents opened from the File menu or generated during the design process are accessible in the panel.

Panels can be configured to be floating in the editor space or docked to sides of the screen. If the Projects panel is currently in the group of docked panels, use the Projects tab located at the bottom of the panels to bring it to the front.

Project Documents Tree

As you open an existing project or create a new one, its entry will appear in the panel. Any existing documents that are part of a project (and any new ones that have been added) will appear under sub-folders according to their purpose and/or type. For example, the following common folders and content document types can appear under a project:

  • Source Documents - Core design documents such as schematics, PCBs, etc.
  • Libraries - Local source library documents. Documents are further sub-divided based on library type (e.g., schematic libraries, PCB libraries, etc.,).
  • Generated - Documents generated as output. Documents are further sub-divided based on type (e.g., BOM documents, text documents, etc.,). As project output is generated, the corresponding sub-folders in the main tree will be created and become populated.

Any documents that are independent of a project will appear as Free Documents and will appear under corresponding sub-folders.

Along with allowing multiple documents to be open for editing, the environment also supports multiple projects being open at the same time. These could be unrelated or related projects.

Active Versus Focused

In the panel's main tree, the active project is highlighted using the Windows Active Title Bar color for your system. When there are no documents open in the design editor window, a project is made active by selecting it from a list of all currently open (loaded) projects in the panel. As soon as a project document is opened (in an editor/viewer), the parent project of that document automatically becomes the active project.

The active document in the design editor window will also be highlighted in the panel and accompanied by the file open icon .

The highlighting of an opened active document and its active parent project.

With no project documents open in the design editor window, opening an additional project will automatically make it the active project in the panel.

With numerous documents open in the design editor window, changing the active document using editor's document tabs will cause the Projects panel to update accordingly to reflect both the active document and the active project (if the document made active does not reside in the same project as the previously active document). Conversely, clicking on the entry for a document that is already open (and which belongs to a non-active project) will make the parent project of that document the active project.

Only one project and document may be active at any given time, however, the panel allows you to focus and perform actions on any project or document. Right-clicking on the entry for a non-active project or a non-active document will bring up an associated menu with commands targeting the focused project or focused document – see Right-click menus below.

In the case of focusing a document, the document will only become focused if it is closed or hidden, otherwise it will become the active document and its parent project will become the active project. For example, in the image below the active project is Tst.PrjPcb and the active document is Processor.SchDoc. The focused document is Lithium Cell.SchDoc (distinguished in the panel by a dotted outline box) in the inactive GSM Logger.PrjPcb project.

An opened active document (blue) and a selected focused document indicated by the dotted outline.

Documents can be hidden in order to prevent clutter in the tabbed area of the design editor window. When a document is hidden, it is still open from the point of view of processes, such as compilation/synchronization/annotation. It is just not displayed as a tabbed-document in the design editor window.

A project document can be removed from a project. If it is currently open in the design editor window, it will be removed from its parent project but remain open in the panel as a free document. If, however, it is not currently open in the design editor window, removal will effectively close it.

Document Display Icons

Document entries in the panel are accompanied by document icons that indicate their open/modified status. This provides a quick visual summary of which documents are modified, saved or hidden.

The document icons and meaning are listed below.

Open/Modified Status Icons

[blank] The document is closed.
  Open – The document is open as a tabbed document in the design editor window.
  Hidden – The document is hidden (open, but not displayed in the workspace). Use the right click menu option to hide project files.
  Open/Modified – The document is open and has been modified (yet to be saved).
  Modified (applies to projects) – Appears next to the main project document to show that its structure has been modified (yet to be saved).

A modified document or project that has yet to be saved is also distinguished by an asterisk next to its entry in the panel. Modified documents are also indicated by an asterisk inside their tab in the design editor window.

Right-click Menus

Project File

Right-clicking on a Project file in the panel provides access to additional options and commands via the pop-up context menu.

Typical right-click context menu for a project.

Those of particular note include:

  • Compile PCB Project - The compiling process detects electrical and drafting violations and is integral to producing a valid netlist for a project.
  • Show Differences - Detect and resolve the difference between two design files.
  • Variants - Define variations of the base design where components can be configured as fitted or not, or fitted with modified component parameters.
  • Project Options - Opens the Options for Project dialog for this project. Set configurations for error and differences warnings, ECO generation, file paths, etc., that override the installation defaults.

Document File

Right-clicking on a document file in the panel provides access to a pop-up context menu offering a range of document-specific options and commands.

Typical right-click context menu for a document (Schematic document)

Several right-click options are basically the same as when right-clicking on a Project, outlined above (for example, Variants). Others include:

  • Compile Document – Check the integrity of a Schematic document with results displayed in the Messages panel (View | System | Messages).
  • Remove from Project – Remove the document from the parent project
  • Hide/Close - A hidden document is active but not displayed in the design editor window. A closed document will no longer be open in the design editor.
  • Page Setup/Print - Manage document printing, replicating the functions available from the main Print options (Outputs | Documentation | Print).


  • Documents can be transferred between projects in the panel by clicking and dragging. The document does not have to be dragged into the correct sub-folder – it will be placed correctly within the project structure automatically.
  • The keyboard shortcuts Up Arrow, Home, End and Down Arrow can be used to display the previous, first, last and next entry in the panel, respectively. Use the Right Arrow and Left Arrow keys to expand and collapse a top-level entry or its sub-folder, respectively.


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