I am trying to design a component in Altium that has different orderable variants.

For example, my component takes the orderable code XYZ-AAA where AAA corresponds to a parameter like operating temperature.

If my component has two orderable variants, AAA and BAA, is there a way of creating them in Altium elegantly without having to resort to making multiple symbols?

Is a DbLib the only way of doing this?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you tried using the variant manager? It is used for this sort of thing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Steve G
    Nov 26, 2019 at 16:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SteveG, Variants in Altium is for multiple versions of a PCBA with different parts loaded. It doesn't help you manage the catalog of available parts. \$\endgroup\$
    – The Photon
    Nov 26, 2019 at 17:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThePhoton isn't that what the OP is asking? Different parts for different builds of the same PCB? \$\endgroup\$
    – Steve G
    Nov 26, 2019 at 17:04
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SteveG, I read it as being about how to set up the library to account for different part numbers with the same schematic symbol. \$\endgroup\$
    – The Photon
    Nov 26, 2019 at 17:06

1 Answer 1


Each part I add to a schematic library gets two parameters defined: manufacturer and manufacturer part number (aka MPN). The "Description" and "Comment" fields don't necessarily specify an exact MPN.

If I want to change just one example of a part to a different MPN, I can place the part in a schematic and then just edit the manufacturer part number parameter.

If I want to add multiple of a specific MPN, I can go to the schematic library, and copy and paste to make a new component with the specific MPN.

Having separate entries in the library for each specific MPN is actually useful, as it tends to discourage proliferating multiple similar (but not quite the same) parts in a design, which leads to better quantity price breaks, lower handling costs for purchasing and manufacturing, etc.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi @ThePhoton, I thought this might be my best way forward. My main worry with having to deal with a proliferation of slightly different symbols for the same part with their different variant part numbers. It doesn't scratch my "elegance" itch but it'll do for now. \$\endgroup\$
    – VBwhatnow
    Nov 27, 2019 at 9:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think that if I create an Excel/Access backed DbLib (Which I do for passives) then I can probably quite easily permute the different part numbers without cluttering the actual SchLib \$\endgroup\$
    – VBwhatnow
    Nov 27, 2019 at 9:22

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