Altium Designer Documentation

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

Created: June 15, 2017 | Updated: May 16, 2018
Now reading version 18.1. For the latest, read: Text for version 21
Applies to Altium Designer versions: 18.0 and 18.1

Parent page: Draftsman Objects

A placed Text object with the default text string and optional ANSI fill.A placed Text object with the default text string and optional ANSI fill.


A Text box is a text container object that can be placed on a Draftsman document sheet and optionally filled with a solid color or ANSI pattern. The text string that will be displayed is entered through the Properties panel.


A Text box is available for placement in the Draftsman Editor as follows:

  • Choose the Place » Text command from the main menu.
  • Click the  button in the graphic objects drop-down on the Active Bar located at the top of the workspace. 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 workspace then select Place » Text from the context menu.
  • Click the the  entry in the graphic objects drop-down menu () on the Drawing Annotations toolbar (View » Toolbars » Drawing Annotations to enable).


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

  1. Click to define the first corner position of the text box.
  2. Move the cursor to adjust the size of the box (and opposite corner position) then click again to complete placement.
  3. Continue placing further text boxes or right-click or press Esc to exit the placement mode.
The default settings for the Text box object are available in the Draftsman - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog.

Graphical Editing

This method of editing allows a placed text box object to be selected in the workspace and graphically edit its size or location.

Select a text box by clicking on its constituent text or background fill. Once selected, editing handles/nodes are available at its perimeter.

A selected Text box object A selected Text box object

  • Click and drag the object's text or background fill to reposition the box on the drawing document.
  • Click and drag a perimeter node to alter the size of the text box. The text lines will automatically wrap to remain contained by the box if the Clip Text to Bounds option is checked in the Properties panel.

Non-Graphical Editing

Properties page: Text Properties

The non-graphical method of editing a Text box and its constituent text string is available in the Draftsman Properties panel, which provides editable property fields for the item that is currently selected in the workspace.

The Properties panel when a Text object is selected.The Properties panel when a Text object is selected.

To open the Properties panel and access the properties of a placed Text box:

  • Double-click on the text within the Text box or its background fill.
  • Right-click on the text or fill then select Item Properties from the context menu.

If the Properties panel is already active:

  • Click on the text or fill 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 workspace then select Properties from the pop-up menu.
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