Altium Designer Documentation


Created: June 19, 2017 | Updated: June 19, 2017

Parent page: PCB Commands

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

Applied Parameters: None


This command is used to place the active library component on the last active PCB document.


This command is accessed from the PCB Library Editor by choosing the Tools » Place Component command, from the main menus.


First, ensure that the component you wish to place is selected in the Components list, on the PCB Library panel (and is therefore the active component in the main design window).

After launching the command, the last active PCB document will be made the active document in the main design window, and the Place Component dialog will appear. The dialog contains the library footprint you selected, already loaded and ready to place. Should you wish, you can browse for a different footprint within the Available Libraries (Project libraries, Installed Libraries and libraries found along defined search paths), or along an external path to any location. To place, perform the following sequence of actions:

  1. Click OK to place the component footprint instance on the document. You will return to the PCB document and an outline of the component will appear 'floating' on the cursor.
  2. Position the component and click or press Enter to place it.
  3. Continue placing instances of the same component footprint, or right-click, or press Esc, to exit.
  4. The Place Component dialog will reappear, set ready for placing another instance of this component footprint type, with the designator already incremented. Continue placing instances of the same component footprint, or other component footprints, or press Cancel to exit.

Additional actions that can be performed during placement are:

  • Press the Tab key to access the Component dialog, from where properties for the fill can be changed on-the-fly.
  • Press the L key to flip the component to the other side of the board.
  • Press the Spacebar to rotate the component anti-clockwise, or Shift+Spacebar for clockwise rotation. Rotation is in accordance with the value for the Rotation Step, defined on the PCB Editor – General page of the Preferences dialog.
  • Press the X or Y keys to mirror the component along the X-axis or Y-axis respectively.
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.


  1. As the command will target the previously active PCB document, you may find it easier to have just the required PCB document open, and split the main design window so that both library and PCB documents are side-by-side.


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