I am trying to find how to get generic components into Altium designer. Basically with generic components we shall have generic resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes e.t.c with popular footprints like 0402, through hole e.t.c. These are generic in the sense that they are placeholders and not tied to a specific part from a manufacturer. We can complete the design with these and when we know what exact components we shall use, we can replace the generic components with the real components.

In my Altium designer, I can see there is a "Simulation Generic Components" but these do not seem to have a footprint if I go by the parameters. It seems that these are for use in simulation and not in schematic capture. I do not see any library that has the word "generic" in its name.

How do I bring generic components with footprints into Altium so that I can create schematic without knowing the exact part that shall be used at time of schematic creation and then I could do the PCB layout as well (possibly). Once I know what specific component to use, I can just replace the generic part in the schematic with the real part from a vendor with manufacturer code. I am sure such a feature exists in Altium but it is not clear how it is enabled.

  • \$\begingroup\$ A suggestion in one of your previous questions shows how this can be done using the "Database Link File" feature. \$\endgroup\$
    – qrk
    Jul 13, 2023 at 0:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am not sure how to get that feature to work on my end. I have seen some youtube videos from Altium in which they are using these "generic components" from library, but these are not showing up on my end in the components tab. Anyway, lets see. \$\endgroup\$
    – gyuunyuu
    Jul 13, 2023 at 10:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ This link will take you to an excellent (and official) Altium forum: live.altium.com/… \$\endgroup\$ Jul 13, 2023 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


There are two generic component lib included in Altium. Their is a good chance that your company deleted them because it is a very bad practice to use generic component. Not having part number will lead to:

  • Mixing up resistor size (oups that should have been an 0805)
  • Not knowing the value (oups, I forgot what value it should have been)
  • Clearing all the values field by accident (oups, I need to update the symbol and can't apply to all without reseting that field)
  • Having to manually generate a BOM (oups, we have received the board but are missing one resistor value)
  • Changing component source between design (oups the previous resistor was 1% and now we took a 5%)
  • etc I see the point were it seems faster to simply input the resistor value and have a generic resistor. But, when it comes to compliance and production, not having part number on every single component will be a bigger issue. Therefore, what I always do and requested my team to do is creating a shared R0402 lib where they just duplicate the template and input all the parameters (part number, supplier, characteristics, tolerance, etc). It takes them about 30 seconds and allow us to have a BOM. and never worry about it.

We also have a component in every one of those libraries that is Not Populated. That allows to place place-older components. In a desperate case, where you want to go fast, you can place your template and then go create the component after, but I think it's less efficient. Usually, after 5-6 design, you will create at most 2 resistors since the other already exists.

It is a personal opinion, if you prefer using generic component, there are generic libraries with footprint. The one you are using is for simulation only and that's your issue.


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