Altium Designer Documentation

Working with a Graphic Object on a Draftsman Document in Altium Designer

Created: June 15, 2017 | Updated: July 14, 2021
All Contents

Parent page: Draftsman Objects

A placed Graphic container object with its loaded image.


A Graphic object is an image container that can be placed on a Draftsman document sheet and populated with a standard image file (*.png, *.jpg, *.bmp, etc.).


The Graphic object is available for placement in the Draftsman Editor as follows:

  • Choose the Place » Graphic command from the main menus (Place Graphic).
  • Click the  button in the graphic objects drop-down on the Active Bar located at the top of the design space. Click and hold an Active Bar button to access other related commands. Once a command has been used, it will become the topmost item on that section of the Active Bar.
  • Right-click in the drawing design space then select Place » Graphic from the context menu.
  • Click the  entry in the graphic objects drop-down menu () on the Drawing Annotations toolbar (View » Toolbars » Drawing Annotations to enable).
The default settings for the Graphic object are available in the Draftsman - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog.


After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair and the editor will enter the Graphic container placement mode. Placement is made by performing the following sequence of actions:

  1. Click to anchor the first corner of the Graphic container.
  2. Move the cursor to adjust the size of the container then click again to complete placement.
  3. Select a suitable image from the file browser.
If the Maintain Aspect Ratio option is checked in the Properties panel (the default setting), move one of the Graphic box editing nodes to sync the box aspect ratio to that of the source image.

Graphical Editing

This method of editing allows a placed graphic container object to be selected in the design space and graphically edit its size or location.

When a Graphic object is selected, editing handles/nodes are available at each corner.

A selected Graphic object is resized by dragging an editing node. If the aspect ratio is not locked, the image can be distorted to any shape.

  • Click and drag on any part of the graphic object to reposition it on the document.
  • Click and drag a node to alter the size of the graphic container – the displayed image will automatically resize to fit. If the Maintain Aspect Ratio option is unchecked in the Properties panel, the container size can be set to dimensions that do not match the image file aspect ratio.

Non-Graphical Editing

Properties page: Graphic Properties

The non-graphical method of editing a Graphic container is available in the Draftsman Properties panel, which provides editable property fields for the item that is currently selected in the design space.

The Properties panel when a Graphic container object is selected.

To open the Properties panel and access the properties of a placed Graphic object:

  • Double-click on the Graphic object.
  • Right-click on the Graphic object then select Item Properties from the context menu.

If the Properties panel is already active:

  • Click on the Graphic object to access its properties in the panel.
To manually open the Properties panel, select View » Panels » Properties from the main menu or click the button at the bottom right of the design space then select Properties from the pop-up menu.
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