Altium Designer Documentation

Drill Table

Created: June 8, 2017 | Updated: June 16, 2017

The Drill Table dialog
The Drill Table dialog

Summary

A standard element required to manufacture 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. The Live Drill Drawing table updates in real time - as hole-containing objects such as pads and vias are placed on and removed from the PCB design, the table updates.

The drill table is edited via the Drill Table dialog.

Access

The Drill Table dialog can be accessed prior to entering placement mode by selecting Drill Table from the Primitives list on the PCB Editor - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog (DXP » Preferences). This allows you to change the default properties for the object, which will be applied when placing subsequent Objects.

The dialog also can be accessed during placement:

  • By pressing the Tab key.

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

  • Double-click on the placed object.
  • Place the cursor over the object, right-click and choose Properties from the context menu.
  • Select the Edit » Change command, then click once on the placed object.

Options/Controls

Grid Area

The drill table displays detailed information for each symbol type. It 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.

To sort the drill table, click once on a column heading to sort by that column. A small triangle will appear, indicating the current sort direction - click a second time to reverse the sort direction. Multi-level sorting is also supported, hold the Shift key as you click to sub-sort by a second (or third) column. 

Layer Pairs to Preview

The drill table supports multi-layer boards that use layer-pair drilling. To support the designer in using the drill table during the design process the table includes the Layer pairs to preview option, set this to restrict the table to only show the drill holes for just the selected layer-pair. Alternately, you can set the drill table to display All Layer Pairs (Composite table)  or  All Layer Pairs (Separate tables). The Composite table includes information for all layer pairs, while the Separate tables, as its name implies, displays information for each layer pair in a separate table.

The Layer pairs to preview option is not used to control which layer-pair drilling is included in the drill table during output generation, that is defined by the Drill Layers setting in the Layer Properties dialog in the output setup. That means that you only need to place a single drill table on the design, the table will only include the appropriate layer-pair data during generation of a drill drawing for each layer-pair.

Alignment

The table can be built from the bottom-up, Alignment = Bottom, or from the top-down, Alignment Top. Use this setting to allow for table size changes without impacting on surrounding objects in the workspace.

Display Options

  • Location X - Current X location of the Drill Table reference point. The reference point is the bottom left corner if Alignment = Bottom, or top left corner if Alignment = Top.
  • Location Y - Current Y location of the Drill Table reference point. The reference point is the bottom left corner if Alignment = Bottom, or top left corner if Alignment = Top.
  • Rotation - Angle in degrees that the the Drill Table is rotated.
  • Locked - Enable to lock the drill table. 
  • Table Border Width - Width of the lines used to create the table border.
  • Text Height - Height of the text used in the Drill Table.
  • Text Width - Stroke width of the text used in the Drill Table.

Font Kind

Set the Font used in the Table to be either:

  • Stroke - Stroke fonts are native to the software and are supplied as part of the installation. Select the Font style in the Font Name drop down.
  • TrueType - TrueType fonts are installed in Windows, select the required TrueType font in the Font Name drop down.

Select Stroke / TrueType Font

Depending on whether TrueType or Stroke fonts have been selected, a number of different options will be available.

  • Font Kind: Stroke - Stroke Fonts are a simple, built-in font family of 3 styles: DefaultSans Serif, and Serif. The Default style is a simple vector font designed for pen plotting and vector photo plotting. The Sans Serif and Serif fonts are more complex in their shape. Stroke-based fonts are built into the software and cannot be changed. All three Stroke fonts have the full IBM extended ASCII character set that supports English and other European languages.
  • Font Kind: TrueType - The Font Name drop down list will be populated with the names of all the TrueType fonts available on this PC (in the \Windows\Fonts folder). TrueType fonts offer full Unicode support. 

By default, the software links to a used TrueType font (they are not stored in the PCB file), which means the same font must be present on each PC that the design is moved to. Alternatively, embed used TrueType fonts in the PCB file using the options in the PCB Editor - True Type Fonts page of the Preferences dialog, where you can also select a Substitution Font to be used if a non-embedded Font is not available.

To toggle the units of measurement used in the open dialog between metric (mm) and imperial (mil), press the Ctrl+Q shortcut. This affects the dialog only and does not change the actual measurement unit currently employed for the board, as determined by the current Measurement Unit specified in the Board Options dialog (Design » Board Options).

Units

  • Imperial / Metric - Set the Units to be either Metric or Imperial.
  • Precision - Set the required precision (number of digits after the decimal point) for each type of Units.
  • Add secondary units - Enabling this displays each numerical value in both Unit types, with the secondary units enclosed in brackets.

Draw Symbols

  • Configure Drill Symbols - Click this button to open the Drill Symbols dialog. This dialog allows users to assign symbols/letters to each drill size.
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