Skip to content

AD Basic Operations - Environment Setup

— Altium Designer Tutorial Series


This tutorial series is based on Altium Designer 19 (also compatible with 20), and I will keep it updated for future versions.

Software Download

Simply refer to the Altium Designer 2020 Installation Tutorial. I won't go into details here.

Adjusting Settings

To do a good job, you need good tools. When you first open Altium Designer, you can adjust some settings to make the tool more user-friendly. Find the gear icon in the top right corner and open the settings page, then follow the steps below.

Set to Chinese Language

  1. On the left panel, click on the System - General tab. Under the Localization section, check the Use localized resources option.
  2. Click Apply to save the settings and restart Altium Designer.

PCB Editor

  1. Click on the PCB Editor tab on the left panel.
  2. Under the PCB Editor tab, click on the General section. Under the Copper Pour Rebuild section, check Rebuild copper after modification. In the Document Format Change Report section, check Disable open old version reports and Disable open new version reports. In the Other section, change the Cursor Type to Large 90.
  3. Click on the Display tab. Under the Highlight Options section, check Apply highlight during interactive editing.
  4. Click on the Board Insight Color Overrides tab. Under the Basic Style section, select Solid (Override Color).
  5. Click on the DRC Violations Display tab. Under the Conflict Overlay Style section, select Solid (Overlay Color).
  6. Click Apply to save the settings and restart Altium Designer.


  1. Close the settings page and in the main menu, choose View - Panels and select Components, Messages.
  2. Click the paperclip icon in the top right of the pop-up panel to dock the panel on the right side.

Set Background to Grid

  1. Open any PCB file (if you don't have one, create a new one).
  2. Press Ctrl + G to open the grid settings window.
  3. Under the Display section, set both Fine and Coarse options to Dots.

Input Method Compatibility

If you can't use shortcuts, check if you are in English input mode (the input method status bar shows ENG). If you don't have this option, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Control Panel, then navigate to the Clock, Language, and Region - Language section.
  2. Click the Add a language button, add English, and select English (United States).
  3. You can switch input methods from the desktop taskbar.


In this chapter, we have configured the environment for Altium Designer, and now you can start designing your boards with ease.

References and Acknowledgments

This post is protected by CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 agreement, should be reproduced with attribution.

This post is translated using ChatGPT, please feedback if any omissions.