Often during the schematic and PCB layout design and during study of electronic system one requires to know and locate part/wires from schematic in PCB or vice versa. This is especially required in highly dense and complex schematic/pcb work. 

Altium designer has many options available to see and locate components and connection back and forth between the schematic and PCB. One of them is the cross probing tool.

Below shows a typical schematic and its PCB layout-

Now suppose we want to see the oscillator in the PCB. It is quite difficult to locate the oscillator in the PCB because the PCB is simply dense with different components of various sizes filling up the PCB and because of the different color assignment to different layers, pads, silkscreen etc.

Here we will find the cross probing tool in Altium designer very helpful. To do this, go to Tools>Cross Probe from the toolbar as shown.

A + cross will appear at the tip of cursor. Select the oscillator (the part you want to cross probe, in this case oscillator) in the schematic and immediately Altium designer will highlight the oscillator part(footprint) and dim others in the PCB editor-

Now the oscillator is clearly visible in the PCB. To deselect the cross probing tool press ESC key and then select the clear button-

Similarly we can locate parts or nets from the PCB to schematic. Go to Tools>Cross Probe as before or select the cross probe icon and select the part in the PCB to get locate part in the schematic as shown-

See more tutorials on PCB design using PCB software


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