Altium Designer Documentation

PlaceGraphicImage

Created: June 7, 2017 | Updated: January 30, 2019

Parent page: Schematic Commands

The following pre-packaged resource, derived from this base command, is available:


Applied Parameters: None

Summary

This command is used to place an Image object onto the active document. An image object is a non-electrical drawing primitive. It is essentially a container for an image file that can be imported and placed onto a schematic sheet. The image associated with an image object can either be linked or embedded.

For detailed information about this object type, see Image.

Access

Image objects are available for placement in both Schematic and Schematic Library Editors:

  • Schematic Editor - the following commands are available:
    • Choose Place » Drawing Tools » Graphic from the main menus.
    • Locate and use the Graphic command () on the Active Bar.
      If the command has been recently used from the Active Bar, it will become the active/visible button. Where other commands are available, this is indicated by a triangle at the bottom-right corner of the button. Click and hold on the active button to access a menu of all associated commands for that grouping.
    • Click the  button on the Utility Tools drop-down () of the Utilities toolbar.
    • Right-click and choose Place » Drawing Tools » Graphic from the context menu.
  • Schematic Library Editor - the following commands are available:
    • Choose Place » Drawing Tools » Graphic from the main menus.
    • Locate and use the Graphic command () on the Active Bar.
      If the command has been recently used from the Active Bar, it will become the active/visible button. Where other commands are available, this is indicated by a triangle at the bottom-right corner of the button. Click and hold on the active button to access a menu of all associated commands for that grouping.
    • Click the  button on the Utility Tools drop-down () of the Utilities toolbar.
    • Right-click and choose Place » Drawing Tools » Graphic from the context menu.

Use

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

  1. Position the cursor and click or press Enter to anchor the first corner of the image's frame, in which the image itself will reside.
  2. Move the cursor to adjust the size of the frame and click or press Enter to complete frame placement.
  3. The Open dialog will appear, from where you can browse to and select the required image. Select the file you wish to insert and press the Open button to complete image placement.
  4. Continue placing further image objects, or right-click or press Esc to exit placement mode.
At any time during placement, press the Tab key to access the Properties panel, from where properties for the image can be changed on-the-fly. Pressing Tab pauses placement, allowing you to interact with the panel (or other area of the software) directly. To resume, click the pause symbol that appears over the workspace.

Additional actions that can be performed during placement – while the image's frame is still floating on the cursor, and before its first corner is anchored – are:

  • Press the Alt key to constrain the direction of movement to the horizontal or vertical axis, depending on the initial direction of movement.
  • Press the Spacebar to rotate the image frame counterclockwise or Shift+Spacebar for clockwise rotation. Rotation is in increments of 90°.
  • Press the X or Y keys to mirror the image frame along the X-axis or Y-axis respectively.

Tips

  1. The following image formats are supported: .bmp, .dcx, .dib, .emf, .jpg, .pcx, .png, .rle, .svg, .tga, .wmf.
  2. To retain the image's original aspect ratio, ensure that the X:Y Ratio 1:1 option is enabled (through the Properties panel). When this option is enabled, the image will be scaled to fit optimally into the frame size specified while maintaining the original aspect ratio of the image. If the option is disabled, the image is stretched to fit exactly into the drawn frame size.
  3. A copy of a placed image will only be stored inside the schematic sheet if the corresponding Embedded option is enabled (post-placement, through the Properties panel). If this option is disabled, only a link to the image file will be stored. Care should be taken when using linked images - if the location of the image changes, you will need to update the link accordingly, using the File Name field (also available post-placement, through the Properties panel).
  4. For information on how a placed image object can be modified graphically, directly in the workspace, see Graphical Editing.
  5. While attributes can be modified during placement (Tab to bring up the Properties panel), bear in mind that these will become the default settings for further placement unless the Permanent option on the Schematic - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog is enabled. When this option is enabled, changes made will affect only the object being placed and subsequent objects placed during the same placement session.

 

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