Keyboard shortcuts can be viewed by selecting View → Workspace Panels → Help → Shortcuts. They are also in the PDF at the bottom of this page.
- Space bar - Rotate component (while dragging or placing) or change direction (straight/diagonal in PCB editor or initial direction in schematic editor)
- Tab - Set component parameters (while placing)
- Ctrl+M - Measure the distance between two points
- X - Horizontal flip
In a PCB:
- * (asterisk on numeric keypad) - Change routing layer for interactive routing tools (can be used to insert a via while routing too)
- [ and ] - Increase/decrease mask level (background dim level when viewing a specific net's pins)
- 2 and 3 - Switch between 2D and 3D view modes
While drawing a trace:
- Shift+W - Select from a list of favorite trace widths
- ~ - Quick shortcut menu for all trace options
- 3 - Select trace width (min, preferred, max based on rules)
While in 3D view:
- 0 - Reset viewing angle to 0° (flat view)
- 9 - View board at 90° rotation
When placing parts, they are given designators like "R?" or "C?" by default. You can change these designators before actually placing the part by pressing Tab. The preferred method is to just leave them with the question mark and then let Altium number them all automatically.
- Tools → Annotate Schematics...
- Make sure Designator Index Control is checked next to each of the sheets you want to be annotated.
- Click Update Changes List
- Click Accept Changes (Create ECO)
- Click Execute Changes and then Close.
NOTE: It is important to annotate your schematics before updating PCB documents since updating the PCB will fail if there are multiple components with the same designator (e.g., if you have multiple components named "R?").
While viewing a schematic, select Design → Update PCB Document <name> to update the specified PCB document with any changes from the schematic.
While viewing a PCB document, select Design → Import changes from <name> to import changes from the project's schematics. If you have made changes in the PCB document (such as changing the footprint of a part) select Design → Update schematics in <name> to update the parts in the schematic documents. If you don't do this, your footprint changes will be lost the next time you update the PCB document.
Net Classes can be used to trigger certain things. For example, in the following screenshots I have a Power net class that triggers a rule in the PCB designer for larger trace widths.
Also, be sure Generate Net Classes is enabled in Project Options (see below).
If you plan to use a ground plane, you can hide ratsnest lines for the GND net by selecting View → Connections → Hide Net and then clicking a pin connected to GND.
This (and more) is detailed here.
Some settings I modified from the defaults:
These are the sensitivity settings I (ike) am using, in case I need them again sometime.