Defining Text Editors Preferences for Altium Designer

The pages in the Text Editors category of the Preferences dialog provide access to preferences relating to features and functionality associated with the Text Editor.


The Text Editors – General page of the Preferences dialog provides configuration controls related to the editing behavior of the Text Editor.

The Text Editors – General page of the Preferences  dialog
The Text Editors – General page of the Preferences dialog

  • Insert Mode - check to insert text at the cursor without overwriting existing text. If this option is disabled, text entered at the cursor is overwritten.

    The keyboard Insert key can be used to toggle Insert Mode in the Text Editor without changing this default setting. The mode is indicated by the Overwrite or Insert message on the status bar.
  • Overwrite cursor as block - check to overwrite the cursor as a block.
  • Cursor through tabs - check to allow the arrow keys to move the cursor to the logical spaces within each tab character.
  • Cursor beyond EOL - check to allow the cursor to be positioned beyond the end-of-line (EOL) character on the text document.
  • Cursor beyond EOF - check to allow the cursor to be positioned beyond the end-of-file (EOF) character on the text document.
  • Persistent blocks - check to keep marked blocks on the text document marked even when the cursor is moved using the arrow keys. When a new block is selected, the previous block is removed.
  • Overwrite blocks - check to allow a marked block of text to be replaced with whatever is typed next. If the Persistent blocks option is also selected, text entered is appended following the currently selected block.
  • Disable dragging - check to inhibit the ability to drag selected blocks of text across the text document. By default, this option is disabled.
  • Group undo - check to undo the last editing command, as well as any subsequent editing commands of the same type.
  • Remember undo/redo after save - check to make Undo data remain after a text file is saved allowing all changes to be reverted. This option is enabled by default. Disable this option and all the Undo data is lost after saving a text file.
  • Smart 'Home' key - check to make the Home key (when used for the first time) cause the cursor to jump to the first non-space character in the current line. With the next Home key press, the cursor will jump to the beginning of the line, and so on. This Home key behavior matches that of the Microsoft™ Visual Studio™ product. Disable this option and the Home key will always cause the cursor to jump to the beginning of the current line.
  • Find text at cursor - check to cause the current text at the cursor to be placed into the Text to find field in the Find Text dialog. If this option is disabled, the search text must be manually entered.
  • Find selected text on Find Next - enable this option to quickly find subsequent occurrences of the currently selected text, instead of the text that was used in the original find text action.
  • Select found text - check to copy the found text to the clipboard when the copy command is used.

Import from - click to import Text Editor Preference settings then choose from Tasking or Visual Studio.

Tabs & Indent
  • Use tab character - when enabled, a literal tab character is inserted for each tab. When disabled, space characters are inserted instead. Enable the Use special symbols option on the Text Editors - Display Preferences page to see tab characters in the text document.
  • Optimal fill - check to make a line auto-indent with the minimum number of characters possible, using tabs and spaces as necessary. Enable the Use special symbols option on the Text Editors - Display Preferences page to see the tab symbols on the document.
  • Smart tab - check to have a new line tab to match the position of the first non-whitespace character on the preceding line.
  • Auto indent mode - check to create a new line when Enter is pressed. The cursor will indent the same as the position of the first non-whitespace character on the preceding line.
  • Smart indent mode - check to enable programming-aware tab behavior; currently used only when editing C files. For example, when this option is enabled and a closing curly bracket is typed, the editor will indent this character so that it is aligned to the matching opening curly bracket. Disable this option and the tab behaves normally.
  • Backspace unindents - check to have the backspace key remove an indent in one keypress.
    • Tab Stops - use to define the editor tab stops in number of characters represented by a tab.
    • Block Indent - use to specify the standing number of spaces to indent text, and the Indent/Outdent space used for a marked block of text. The Indent and Outdent block key commands are Ctrl+Shift+I and Ctrl+Shift+U, respectively.
Key Mapping

Select one of the following Key Mapping assignments for editing a text document:

  • Default - map the editor keys to match CUA mappings.
  • Borland Classic - map keys to match the Borland Classic editor keys.
  • Brief - map keys to match the Brief keystrokes.
  • Epsilon - map keys to match the Epsilon keys.
  • Visual Studio - map keys to match the Visual Studio editor.
  • Double click line - click to highlight a line when a character in the line is double-clicked. If this option is disabled, only the selected word is highlighted.
  • Unix EOL style - click so that when a text file is saved, each line will be separated using a single LF character (Unix style) instead of a CR/LF pair.
  • Compress undo motion - enable so that changing the caret position does not go into the undo list. Normally, if text is modified and the PageUp key pressed, Undo would have to be used twice to restore the text to the original state. With the Compress Undo Motion enabled, that can be done with a single Undo.
  • Advanced block editing -  click to have all the selected blocks simultaneously overwritten when typing.


The Text Editors – Display page of the Preferences dialog provides controls and information related to text display.

The Text Editors – Display page of the Preferences  dialog
The Text Editors – Display page of the Preferences dialog


Editor Front: Change - click to access the standard Windows Font dialog in which you can configure the font used for text documents. The field to the right reflects the current font for the Text Editor.

  • Visible right margin - check to display a right-hand margin on the text document. You can adjust the margin width by entering a new value in the Margin width field. The right margin is used for visual formatting and for word wrapping.
  • Show line numbers - check to display line numbers on the text document. Use the following sub-options to configure how the numbering is displayed:
    • Line numbers on gutter - check to have the line numbers appear on the gutter. If this option is disabled, the line numbers are displayed on a column next to the gutter within the document itself.
    • Show all numbers - check to display all line numbers. With this option disabled, the line number for every tenth line will be displayed, with tick marks for all other lines (major tick lines for every fifth line).
  • Use special symbols - check to display special symbols, such as those for a carriage return or end of line.
  • Word wrap - check to have text wrap in accordance with one of the following options:
    • Wrap at margin - select to have lines of text wrap around at a right-hand margin line. Ensure that the Visible right margin option is enabled and define the width of the margin using the Margin width field.
    • Wrap at window - select to have lines of text wrap around at the right-hand edge of the text document visible design space.
  • Indicate modified lines - check to have lines of text that are modified or added automatically highlighted with color markers on the gutter. Unsaved changes are indicated with red markers while saved changes are indicated with green markers - this allows you to quickly identify which text is committed.
Syntax Highlighting
  • Use syntax highlighting - check to enable syntax highlighting. To set highlighting options, use the Text Editors - Colors page.
  • Highlight brackets - check to highlight the brackets in the text, which is useful to identify opening and closing brackets in text.
  • Automatic delimiter highlighting - check to control whether matching pairs of delimiter characters are highlighted. For example, when this option is enabled and you close a bracket, the text editor will highlight.
  • Underline typing errors - check to underline any typing errors.
Code Outlining

Use Code Outlining - check to view a small box that appears for each procedure/function/sub-routine on a text document. Each routine can be collapsed to one line or expanded by clicking on the small box. Use the Show Collapse Lines and Buttons on Gutter options to have more control over the Code Outlining feature.


The Text Editors - Colors page of the Preferences dialog provides controls and information related to text colors.

The Text Editors – Colors page of the Preferences  dialog
The Text Editors – Colors page of the Preferences dialog

The right-hand region of the dialog changes according to the settings you choose in the left-hand region. Additionally, when you click an element in the Example region, the left-hand region automatically shows the selected element's settings. These features enable you to readily see the effect of your color settings.
Editor Colors Settings
  • Color SpeedSetting - use the drop-down list to select the desired color setting. Choices include:
    • Custom

      If Custom is selected, color settings can be set manually using the controls located in the lower region of the dialog.
    • Default
  • Element - this is a list of all elements that exist in the text. Each element has a default setting that is available in the lower region of the dialog.

    If default setting is checked, the default color is shown in the associated drop-down as well as in the Example region.
  • Foreground Color
    • Use default color - check this box to use the default foreground color. Use the drop-down list to select a system defined foreground color for the selected element. 
  • Background Color
    • Use default color - check this box to use the default background color. Use the drop-down list to select a system defined background color for the selected element.  
  • Text attributes - check desired boxes to define attributes for the text. Choices include:
    • Bold
    • Italic
    • Underline
Additional Controls
  • Load Colors - click to open the Load Color Scheme dialog in which you can load color settings (*.clr files) from external sources.
  • Save Colors - click to open the Save Color Scheme As dialog in which you can save the color settings as a *.clr file.
  • Configure Language - click to open the Language Setup dialog from where you can manage a list of languages that can be associated to documents opened in the Text Editor. 
  • Edit Current Language Syntax - click to open the Syntax Editor dialog from which you can edit the syntax of the current language.

可用的功能取决于您的 Altium Designer 软件订阅级别