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Entry type: FAQ Entry ID: 37364723, Entry date: 09/17/2018

How do you open, edit and upgrade global libraries in the TIA Portal?

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You open the libraries in the TIA Portal via the toolbar in the "Libraries" task card.


There are global libraries in the TIA Portal in addition to the project library. The project library is opened, saved and closed in conjunction with the current TIA Portal project. You can develop global libraries centrally and use them in different projects. The libraries are compatible with each other so that you can copy and move library elements from one library to another. You recognize a library file by the file name extension ".al[version number]" and the fact that it can be opened with the TIA Portal.

Note on versions

In order to open a global library, the version of TIA Portal must correspond at least to the version of the library. If this is not the case, the TIA Portal proposes to upgrade the global library.

Opening global libraries in the TIA Portal

You cannot open global libraries with a double-click. Proceed as follows to open a global library in the TIA Portal:

  1. Start the TIA Portal.

  2. Open the "Libraries" task card and click "Global libraries" to open the palette.

  3. Click the "Open global library" icon in the task bar or in the "Tools" menu you select the command "Global libraries > Open library".   

    Fig. 1

  4. Select the global library you want to open and mark the file with the file name extension ".al.." 

  5. Click the "Open" button (Fig. 2). The global library is displayed in the "Global libraries" palette.

    Fig. 2

    The global library is write-protected by default.

    • If you wish to change the global library, you have to disable the "Open as read-only" option.
    • If you open the global library as read-only, the library and all its subfolders are grayed.
      Multiple users can open a global library at the same time from a central storage location as long as all the users have opened the global library as read-only. The read-only option must be enabled to upgrade a library.


    Upgrading global libraries in the TIA Portal

    TIA Portal V15.1

    You can upgrade to TIA Portal V15.1 any global library created in earlier versions of the TIA Portal. It is necessary to upgrade the global library, otherwise you will not be able to open the library. During upgrading the TIA Portal creates a copy of the original global library and saves this in a current library version belonging to the TIA Portal. The original library is retained.

    Proceed as follows to manually upgrade global libraries to the current library version of the TIA Portal:

    1. Open the global library as described in the procedure above, Steps 1 to 5. The message "Project / Library is being upgraded" is displayed (Fig. 3).
    2. Acknowledge the message with "OK". The global library is upgraded and then displayed in the "Global libraries" palette.
      After upgrading to V15.1 you can no longer open the global library with an earlier version of TIA Portal.

    Fig. 3

    Remove know-how protection for upgraded library types

    ​If you want to upgrade a library with know-how protected blocks to a new version, you have to remove the know-how protection if you want to edit and compile the library type. Otherwise you receive the following message when you open the block:

    • "The block cannot be opened. (0604:000926)"
      "The block ... cannot be edited because the know-how protection was enabled with V13 SP1 of the TIA Portal. Remove the know-how protection in the current version of the TIA Portal and then set it again to be able to edit the block."

    Proceed as follows to remove the know-how protection in the current version:

    1. If still open, close the block editor of the know-how-protected block.
    2. In the "Program blocks" folder you right-click the know-how-protected block and in the pop-up menu you select "Properties...".
    3. Select the "General" tab and in the area navigation you then click "Protection".
    4. Under "Know-how protection" you click the "Protection" button.
    5. In the window that opens you can remove the know-how protection.

    Fig. 4

    Further Information

    More information is available in the following table:

    Entry typeLink 
    FAQWhen starting TIA Portal V13 onwards, how do you get a global library to open automatically and use it as corporate library, for example? 
    FAQIn STEP 7 (TIA Portal) for the S7-1500, how do you store a sequence of modules in a library in order to be able to use the same arrangement for other projects?
    FAQAutomation in less than 10 minutes TIA Portal: Time Savers - Global Libraries 
    Application exampleLibrary with program examples for TIA Portal instructions 
    ManualOpening Global Libraries 
    ManualCompatibility of Global Libraries 

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