Just starting out on Altium. I want to start my own library and eventually end with a big library. This is Altium 09 and not the new one with access to the vault.

According to the website:

Adding Footprints from Other Sources

You can copy existing footprints into your PCB library. 
The copied footprint can then be renamed and modified to match the specifications required.
If you want to copy existing footprints to your PCB library, you can:

select placed footprint(s) in a PCB document and copy ( Edit » Copy ) 
and paste them into an open PCB library using Edit » Paste Component , or
Select Edit » Copy Component when the footprint to be copied is active in the PCB Library Editor, 
change to the open PCB destination library and select Edit » Paste Component , 
or select one or more footprints in the list in the PCB Library panel 
using the standard SHIFT + Click or CTRL + Click, 
right-click and choose Copy , switch to the target library, 
right-click in the list of footprint names and choose Paste ."   

My option to copy from the library is greyed out, and I have tried several hours trying to get around it with no avail. Also not really anything other than tutorials to be found on the internet!

EDIT After realizing that I am also not able to manage 3D models I re-investigated @Spehro's comment regarding licensing - that lead to solving my problem!

Does anyone know how to do this?

Menu from PCB Library

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are the library and the PCB document in the same project? If not, that might be the reason. \$\endgroup\$ – user57709 Apr 24 '15 at 13:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Jip, they are in the same project. No joy! \$\endgroup\$ – AJBotha Apr 24 '15 at 13:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a workaround, you can copy the primitives from the library and paste them into a component in your library. \$\endgroup\$ – user57709 Apr 24 '15 at 13:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ CTRL-A, CTRL-C & CTRL-V :-) \$\endgroup\$ – m.Alin Apr 24 '15 at 13:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @m.Alin I can Select all >> Right Click >> Copy. When I then move to my library the Past option is grayed out. \$\endgroup\$ – AJBotha Apr 24 '15 at 13:53

If I recall correctly, Altium will go into kind of a read-only mode if you don't have the appropriate license checked out. There are two levels of license and only the higher one permits modification of PCB layouts. Check that your network license server is working correctly (assuming floating licenses) and that you have the correct type of license checked out.

This can be a real face-palm moment if you own both full and schematic-only licenses.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi Spehro. Thanks for the suggestion, I will have a look! It said Fully Licensed in the Title bar and "This copy may be used for commercial purposes" or whatever, just didn't want to include the company name so I cropped that out. It is indeed floating licenses and a license server. \$\endgroup\$ – AJBotha Apr 28 '15 at 6:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ You were right! I added the answer but marked your Answer as correct. Thank you for the help! \$\endgroup\$ – AJBotha Apr 28 '15 at 8:41

After @Spehro's comment I navigated to licenses and saw that there is an alternative license available to the one I am using. After releasing the buttom one and selecting to use the top one I am able to copy components between libraries! Thanks @Spehro Pefhany

enter image description here

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I was having difficulty pasting from one library (which was from a different project) to another. It turned out that the name was the same in both libraries. When I temporarily renamed the destination part it pasted as expected.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ OP marked a correct answer THREE YEARS ago. \$\endgroup\$ – MrGerber Mar 30 '18 at 20:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MrGerber, that doesn't mean this answer can't be useful to somebody else reading the site. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Dec 20 '18 at 17:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Agreed, but as an answer, not a comment? I'm not so sure \$\endgroup\$ – MrGerber Dec 21 '18 at 19:03

My best suggestion would be to either use the "IPC Compliant Footprint Wizard" or "Component Wizard" under Tools and learn to create footprints that way. It may take a minute longer than to just copy/paste but it will take much less time than trying to find a footprint to copy from for each component. Especially for those odd surface mount components.

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