I have an old P-CAD library file and need to import it to Altium. The library file format is .LIB

I tried to use Import wizard -- P-CAD Libraries and select the file. But I receive a messeage; the file is not recognized. Please select P-CAD PCB or schematic files.

I have also tried to Add Library and open the file, but could not see any component on it.

How to import or open this type of files in Altium ?


1 Answer 1


Altium claims in this tutorial (and also here) that it can import P-CAD's .lib libraries.

I did a quick test, which was successful. I have downloaded a P-CAD library Microchip.lib from here.

  1. in Altium. File → Import Wizard
    Click Next

  2. title: Select type of files to import
    choose P-CAD Designs and Libraries files
    Click Next

  3. title: Importing P-CAD designs
    Don't add any files (leave the list empty). You only want to import libraries, but not designs. I think, this is where the O.P. got stuck.
    Click Next

  4. title: Importing P-CAD library files
    Add library(ies) which you wish to import.
    Click Next

  5. I clicked Next in all of the remaining wizard pages, accepted defaults.

  6. After I clicked Finish, Altium created a folder called Imported Microchip.lib inside are .SchLib and .PcbLib files.

On a different occasion, I have also successfully imported P-CAD libraries in .p, .c, .d format into Altium (downloaded from here).

This also worked for importing OrCAD libraries into Altium. (Different choice for step 2., of course.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ In step no.4 : I receive the following message/error: Library file not recognized. Please select P-CAD library files. As I mentioned before, the format of the file is Altium Library (.LIB) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 13, 2016 at 6:36
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Do you suspect that the P-CAD library is too old, and Altium doesn't recognize its format? Maybe you can ask someone who has got P-CAD software to open your old library (hopefully, P-CAD maintained backward compatibility with it's own old libraries) and save it in a some newer format which Altium can open. [I've never run P-CAD myself, so these are only $0.02 guesses.] \$\endgroup\$ Jun 13, 2016 at 16:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ As you mentioned it seems that Altium doesn't recognize this old format anymore !! \$\endgroup\$ Jun 14, 2016 at 7:09

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