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Version Control

Schematic Compare

The Schematic Compare feature allows you to quickly compare schematics, graphically highlighting the differences directly in the preview screen.

The feature is available within Altium Designer or through Altium 365 Workspace browser interface.

Tip: You can compare two revisions of a schematic by selecting any commit or release. This can be accessed through Releases or Project History.

Access through Releases: Select Releases on the left side of the screen, and choose one release from the list. Click the three dots 3 dots in the upper right-hand corner of the selected release, and select 

  • Compare Schematic to >> Source A.x
Fig. 1 - Accessing Schematic Compare through Releases

Access through Project History: Select History on the left side of the screen and choose one project already released or committed from the list. Click the three dots 3 dotsin the upper right-hand corner of the selected project and select:

  • History >> … >> Compare >> Schematic to >> Previous Commit 
  • History >> … >> Compare >> Schematic to >> Select Commit or Release
Fig. 2 - Accessing Schematic Compare through Project History

You will receive an email when performing the first run of schematic comparison; it might take some time (30 seconds or more, depending on the board's size). Consecutive runs of the same dataset are instantaneous as the data are cached. When you see this screen, you can choose to wait for the process to complete or close the page:

Fig. 3 - “Comparison in progress” screen

The email will be sent out as soon as the process is complete. After that, you can access the comparison by clicking the “Open in Altium 365” link:

Fig. 4 - Email from Altium’s notifications service, as received by the supplied user email, informing the user that the process is complete.

When you open the schematic comparison, you will see the Differences panel on the left side. Every item that has been added, modified, or removed is color-coded with support to cross probe between the schematics and the Differences panel.

Fig. 5 - Cross-probing between the Differences panel and the schematics.

The Differences panel displays the logical differences found in the schematic comparison. This panel allows you to explore the differences and review the design interactively to refine and evaluate modifications. Above the Differences panel, you can see the name of the schematic document.

Fig. 6 - Details of the Differences panel.

If you can’t find the Differences panel, it can be made permanently visible or opened by tapping the icon Visible on the upper-left side of the screen:

Fig. 7 - How to display the Differences panel

TIP: Components and Nets groups on the Differences Panel: Components – Each entry includes the names of affected components, and when selected, expands a list of any changed component parameters (highlighted in red) and unchanged parameters (highlighted in green). Select a component of the structure to cross probe to its schematic graphic. Nets – Each entry includes the name of the net and the component reference designators representing connectivity changes. A color code will tell you if the pin was connected (green) or disconnected (red). You can cross probe to the selected net in any schematic where the pin was connected or disconnected.

Fig. 8 - The Differences panel

Cross-probing: Selecting a component, net, or pin by clicking on the Differences panel immediately zooms in to a close-up of the same component, net, or pin in the schematic.

Fig. 9 - Cross-probing

An icon associated with a specific net in the Differences panel indicates the presence of that net in other schematic documents. Select the icon Net to access a drop-down list of those schematic documents, where each document affected by the net change is indicated by yellow highlighting. Choose a schematic document from the menu to cross probe to the net on that schematic, highlighted accordingly.

Fig. 10  - Cross-referencing a net in multi-sheet schematics
Fig. 11  - Details of the cross-reference information


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