thanks for the many great questions and answers over the years. This is my first question.

I use Altium Designer for capturing designs.
I had an idea to make my processor components a little more flexible/readable. With all the functions that can be held by processor pins these days, having all the functions in one name is unwieldy. Perhaps I could put into the pin, as parameters f1 f2 ..., all the different pin functions and make them visible when needed and hide the original Display Name of the pin. I like the idea so far but I always have to ask what dangerous beast is waiting for me down the road. Can anyone see a drawback to this method?

I believe in the schematic a pin could be modified to show a different name/function parameter by editing the pin if needed and hide the ones not needed. Maybe someone has done this before if you have I would appreciate knowing any drawbacks to this approach.

Thanks in advance


2 Answers 2


It depends on you or your teams workflow. If you think this will save time, then do it. The problem I see is that if you hide the Port name then it may be more difficult to find what the pin does in documentation.

Usually in software the port is referenced by the port name not the pin number. If you don't know the port number, then you have to go look up the pin number and cross reference it with the port name in documentation and this takes time and is annoying.

One way I have overcome this is to make a processor with pin number and port name, then add external text to let designers know what the functionality of the pin is on that project.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So maybe show the port number but have a parameter to indicate it's alternate function might be better. \$\endgroup\$
    – user30884
    Jan 15, 2019 at 17:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I just add a label over the top of it, there are many ways to make it look this way, do what is best for you workflow \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike
    Jan 15, 2019 at 17:33

I do not recomend this but you can add a net lable like "=CAN_FLEXRAY_TXD" and place it on the TX net.

Then you define an assembly variant CAN and another one FLEXRAY to assemble a CAN Transceiver or a FlexRay Transceiver. Enable "Allow variation of fabrication outputs" and add the parameter CAN_FLEXRAY_TXD = "CAN_TXD" for the assembly variant CAN and "FLEXRAY_TXD" for the assembly variant FlexRay.

The PDF will then show the correct net name for every assembly version


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