Altium Designer Documentation


Created: July 27, 2015 | Updated: June 20, 2017
Now reading version 15.1. For the latest, read: PlaceOLEObject for version 22

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 an OLE object onto the active document. This is made possible through Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) technology in the PCB Editor, which allows data supplied by Windows OLE applications to be embedded in a PCB design while actively linked back to the source application. In many cases, this allows the embedded PCB data to be edited from within the application that created it.

Typical objects that might be placed in a PCB document include common Excel documents, Word documents or graphics objects from a suitable OLE image application. The supported file types include universal formats such as CSV and XLS format spreadsheets, DOC and RTF word documents, and BMP image files.

For detailed information about this object type, see OLE Object.


This command is accessed from the PCB Editor by choosing the Place » Object From File command, from the main menus.


First, make the layer on which you wish to place the OLE Object data, the active layer in the workspace. After launching the command, the standard Windows Choose file dialog will appear. Use this dialog to browse to the required OLE file - making sure it's a supported format! After clicking Open, the data from the chosen file will appear floating on the cursor. Position as required within the workspace and click, or press Enter, to effect placement.

Press the Tab key to access the OLE Object dialog, from where properties for the OLE Object can be changed on-the-fly.


  1. Altium Designer’s Smart Paste capability also allows a selection in an OLE application to be copied and pasted (Edit » Paste) into the PCB document as an OLE object.
  2. To paste copied text from an OLE application as pure PCB text string primitive objects, rather than a single OLE object, use the Edit » Paste Text command.
  3. An OLE Object can be converted to a collection of free primitive objects using the Tools » Convert » Explode OLE Object to Free Primitives command. This will break the object into appropriate Regions and/or Text objects. A convert to free primitives option is also offered if the matching OLE application cannot be found when attempting to edit an OLE Object.


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