Altium Designer Documentation

Working with a Diametral Dimension Object on a Draftsman Document in Altium Designer

Created: March 9, 2021 | Updated: October 13, 2021
Applies to Altium Designer version: 21

A variety of Diametral Dimensions applied to a Board Assembly View.A variety of Diametral Dimensions applied to a Board Assembly View.


The Draftsman document Diametral Dimension is an automated dimensioning graphic that applies to circular hole objects in a Board Assembly View. The visual style of the dimension lines and the configuration of the dimension text data can be set in the Properties panel, when a placed Diametral Dimension is selected.


The Diametral Dimension feature is available when a graphic object, such as a Board Assembly View, has been placed in a Draftsman document. Its placement is accessed from the Draftsman Editor as follows:

  • Choose the Place » Diametral Dimension command from the main menus.
  • Click the  button in the dimension 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 » Diametral Dimension from the context menu.
  • Click the  entry in the dimensions menu () on the Drawing Annotations toolbar (View » Toolbars » Drawing Annotations to enable).


When the command is launched, the cursor will change to a crosshair, indicating Diametral Dimension placement mode. To dimension a hole object the placement steps are:

  1. Hover the cursor over circular hole objects in a Assembly View. Each hole perimeter will be highlighted as an orange colored outline.
  2. Click on a highlighted hole outline to place the dimension target reference.
  3. Move the mouse and click to set the position of the dimension text and its associated pointer line.

To cancel the placement mode, press Esc or right-click in the design space.

The size, and therefore, number of holes that will be included in a Board Assembly View is determined by the Display Holes setting and its associated Minimum Diameter field in the Assembly View Properties – see the panel's Properties section.

Graphical Editing

The Diametral Dimension can be graphically modified by selecting any part of its graphic representation and then dragging its editing handle new location – its associated extension lines will adjust accordingly.

Select and drag the dimension's editing handle to a new position.Select and drag the dimension's editing handle to a new position.

The default settings for the Diametral Dimension object are available in the Draftsman - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog.
If dimensions created in a Draftsman document are snapped to a primitive that is removed from the PCB document, the dimension objects themselves are not removed and will remain greyed-out on the Draftsman document.

Non-Graphical Editing

Properties page: Diametral Dimension Properties

The non-graphical method of editing a Diametral Dimension is available in the Draftsman Properties panel, which provides a wide range of editable properties and graphic options.The Properties panel when Diametral Dimension is selected.

To open the Properties panel and access the properties of a placed Diametral Dimension:

  • After selecting the Diametral Dimension object, select the Properties panel from the Panels button at the bottom right of the design space or select View » Panels » Properties from the main menus.
  • Double-click on the Diametral Dimension object in the design space.
  • Right-click on the Diametral Dimension then select Item Properties from the context menu.

If the Properties panel is already active, click on the Diametral Dimension object to access its properties in the panel.

The Diametral Dimension properties can be accessed prior to entering placement mode from the Draftsman - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog. This allows the default properties for the Diametral Dimension object to be changed, which will be applied when placing subsequent Diametral Dimensions.

Editing Multiple Objects

The Properties panel supports multiple object editing, where the property settings that are identical in all currently selected objects can be modified.

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