Electrical Engineering & Electronics Design

Created by Xgentec Jason on 11 April, 2018

Should Altium PCB Design Software Be More User Friendly ??? Your thoughts ???

I have been designing circuits with Altium on a professional level among many other software packages for some time. I have found it to be one of the most user-UNFRIENDLY pieces of software I have ever come across.

Don’t get me wrong Altium is a very powerful tool when you really know what you are doing.


Functionality and commands which should be really easy and straight

forward and are with most software packages are seemingly intentionally made convoluted

and ridiculously complicated with Altium.


It is like the software was intentionally designed to be unusable unless that person pays for expensive training lessons or courses or endless weeks and years of studying just to get to grips with it.

Also this company seems to make it quite apparent they want to milk you for every penny at every available opportunity. Such as seperate products for component databases.


An analogy of most of the issues would be “You want to place an apple on the table. Most people would think the best course of action it to pick it up and place it on the table. Done! Altium doesn’t think this way. They think you should place it on the roof. Then it will roll down the roof and bounce off the shed roof then fly through the window and land on the table. This appears to be the Altium way.


The issues with this software are extensive:


Ridiculously complicated or non-existent copy and paste functionality. What software of this price tag wont let you copy and paste between schematic and schematic library sheet ???

No basic electronic component symbols menu.

No fully integrated component wizard to make symbols, footprint and 3D model and place it in a user component library.

Everything must be done tediously and manually that is assuming you can find where Altium hides it, including making integrated library’s.

Schematic misalignment issues.

May as well be zero circuit simulation functionality.

We would be here forever listing things.


This software desperately needs a system design engineer to go though it to make the software intuitive and easy to use. Desperately !!!


For software with such an extreme price tag I would expect the software to be refined and really easy to work with and more importantly efficient to work with. This is most certainly not the case with Altium.

What are your thoughts on this or other pcb or circuit simulation and pcb software ???