Altium NEXUS Documentation

Drill Table

Modified by Annika Krilov on Apr 14, 2017

Parent page: PCB Objects

The Drill Table presents a live summary of all drill holes present in the board.

Summary

A standard element required for manufacture of a Printed Circuit Board is a drill drawing table, also known as a drill table or a drill drawing legend. The drill table lists the size and number of holes for each drill used on the board. Each drill size can be represented by a symbol, a letter or the actual hole size. When a drill drawing is generated for the board, each actual drill site is marked by a symbol. The drill table updates in real time - as hole-containing objects such as pads and vias are placed or removed from the PCB design, the table updates.

Availability

A Drill Table can only be placed in the PCB Editor, by using the Place » Drill Table command, from the main menus.

Note that the drill table must be placed on the Drill Drawing layer. It will be automatically placed on the Drill Drawing layer, even if this is not the currently active layer.

Placement

After launching the command, a drill table will appear attached to the cursor. Position the table in a suitable location outside the board and click, or press Enter, to place it.

While attributes can be modified during placement (Tab to bring up associated properties dialog), bear in mind that these will become the default settings for further placement unless the Permanent option on the PCB Editor – 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.

Graphical Editing

Moving a Drill Table

Click and hold anywhere within the drill table, then move it to a new location in the PCB editor workspace.

Interactively Resizing a Drill Table

The drill table is automatically sized based on the specified Text Height setting, as well as the number of different hole sizes (rows) and the number of defined columns. To interactively resize the table, click once to select it, then click and hold on a corner vertex, and move to resize as required. Note that interactively resizing the table will also increase/decrease the font size.

Interactively Switching the Layer Pair to Preview

When the board includes layer-pairs, the displayed layer-pair is controlled by the Layer pairs to preview option in the Drill Table dialog.

This chosen layer-pair can also be switched using the:

  • PCB Editor right-click menu, simply right-click on the Drill Table and select the required layer-pair in the Drill Table sub-menu, as shown in the image below. 


Right-click on the Drill Table to switch it to display another layer-pair.

  • Layer-pair selection menu accessed via the Layer Tab at the bottom of the workspace, as shown in the image below.

Non-Graphical Editing

The following methods of non-graphical editing are available:

Via the Properties Dialog

Dialog page: Drill Table

This method of editing uses the following dialog to modify the properties of a drill table object.

The Drill Table dialog.

The Drill Table dialog can be accessed prior to entering placement mode, from the PCB Editor – Defaults page of the Preferences dialog. This allows the default properties for the drill table object to be changed, which will be applied when placing subsequent drill tables.

During placement, the dialog can be accessed by pressing the Tab key.

After placement, the dialog can be accessed in one of the following ways:

  • Double-clicking on a placed drill table object.
  • Placing the cursor over a drill table object, right-clicking and choosing Properties from the context menu.
  • Using the Edit » Change command and clicking once over a placed drill table object.
To sort the drill table, click the required column heading. A small triangle will appear, indicating the current sort direction - click a second time to reverse the sort direction. Multi-level sorting is supported, hold the Shift key as you click to sub-sort by a second (or third) column.

Controlling the Assignment of Symbols or Characters

The software automatically assigns a symbol for each hole size. This automatic assignment can be overridden if required, in the Drill Symbols dialog. Use this dialog to change the style of an assigned Symbol, or choose a Letter (Character) instead.

Configure the assignment of Symbol-to-hole size in the Drill Symbols dialog. The assignments are stored in the PCB file.

There are a total of 15 symbols available, as shown below. If there are more than 15 different hole sizes in the PCB, then letters are automatically assigned.

The 15 pre-defined graphical symbols that are available.

Sort Order

To sort the Drill Table, click the required column heading. A small triangle will appear, indicating the current sort direction - click a second time to reverse the sort direction. Multi-level sorting is supported, hold the Shift key as you click to sub-sort by a second (or third) column. In the image below the table has been sorted by:

  1. Plated (to separate plated from non-plated), then
  2. Hole Type (to order holes to Round then Slot then Square), then
  3. Finished Hole Size (to order by size).

Sort the drill table by clicking the column headings, hold shift and click to sub-sort by other columns.

Customizing the Table

The Drill Table can be customized, including:

  • Changing the column order - click and drag on a column header to change the order of columns.
  • Change a column header - select the column then click the Change Header button, or right-click in the column and select Change Column Header from the menu.
  • Hide a column - select the column then click the Remove Column button, or right-click and select Remove Column from the menu.
  • Show a column - click the Add Column button then select the required column, or right-click and select the relevant Add Column menu entry.
  • Add a Custom column - click the Add Column button then select Custom column, or right-click and select the Add Column » Custom Column menu entry. Both the header and the values are user-defined in a Custom column.
  • Text Alignment - right-click and select the required alignment option from the Text Alignment sub-menu. Note that the alignment option is used for the placed Drill Table, not in the Drill Table dialog.
  • Set Column Width - right-click and select the Autosize or Manual option from the Set Column Width sub-menu. Note that the manual setting is applied to all columns.

Via the PCB Inspector Panel

Panel page: PCB Inspector, PCB Filter

The PCB Inspector panel enables the designer to interrogate and edit the properties of one or more design objects in the active document. Used in conjunction with appropriate filtering - by using the PCB Filter panel, or the Find Similar Objects dialog - the panel can be used to make changes to multiple objects of the same kind, from one convenient location.

Via the PCB List Panel

Panel page: PCB List, PCB Filter

The PCB List panel allows the designer to display design objects from one or more documents in tabular format, enabling quick inspection and modification of object attributes. Used in conjunction with appropriate filtering - by using the PCB Filter panel, or the Find Similar Objects dialog - it enables the display of just those objects falling under the scope of the active filter – allowing the designer to target and edit multiple design objects with greater accuracy and efficiency.

Tips

The drill table will appear on all output that includes the Drill Drawing layer. The image below shows an example of drill drawing output, showing each drill site marked by the symbol that has been assigned to that hole size. This example output also includes the Drill Guide layer, which adds a small cross at each hole site.  

Example output of the Drill Drawing layer showing the Drill Table next to the board, with each drill site marked by the appropriate hole size symbol.

 

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