Altium Designer Documentation

Positional Re-Annotate

Created: August 4, 2017 | Updated: September 27, 2019
Now reading version 18.0. For the latest, read: Positional Re-Annotate for version 22
Applies to Altium Designer versions: 18.0, 18.1, 19.0, 19.1, 20.0, 20.1, 20.2 and 21

The Positional Re-Annotate dialog
The Positional Re-Annotate dialog


The Positional Re-Annotate dialog is used to configure the scope of annotation (components (further targeted by side, or selection) or free pads), the direction of annotation (based on object position), and additional options, such as a starting index, and whether locked designators should be protected. As you select a style of annotation, a graphical depiction is shown within the dialog as a visual indication of how annotation will occur.


The dialog is accessed by clicking Tools » Re-Annotate from the main menus.


  • Annotate Direction - choose the order of re-annotation. The options available are:
    • 1 By Ascending X Then Ascending Y
    • 2 By Ascending X Then Descending Y 
    • 3 By Ascending Y Then Ascending X 
    • 4 By Descending Y Then Ascending X 
    • 5 Name from Position
The Name from Position option uses the X,Y location of the component, in relation to the Absolute Origin (not a set User Origin).
  • Annotate Scope - specify the scope of re-annotation for components or pads. 
    • Components
      • Top Side, Then Bottom Side 
      • Top Side Only
      • Bottom Side Only 
      • Selected Only
    • Pads
      • Free Pads.
  • Protect Locked Designators - enable to ignore components during re-annotation whose designators are locked.
  • Comparison Threshold - the position distance threshold to change re-annotation direction.
  • Start Index - specify the start index for re-annotation. So for example, consider four resistors with current designators R1, R2, R3, R4. Re-annotating with a Start Index of 10 would change the designators to R10, R11, R12, R13 (and in accordance with other options defined). This option applies to the first four annotation direction options only.
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