Altium Designer Documentation

Working with a Layer Stack Table Object on a PCB in Altium Designer

Created: July 27, 2015 | Updated: October 4, 2016
All Contents

Parent page: PCB Objects

A Layer Stack Table can be placed on a PCB document alongside the design itself. It provides a detailed summary of the board layer stackups and how the layer groups are assigned.
A Layer Stack Table can be placed on a PCB document alongside the design itself. It provides a detailed summary of the board layer stackups and how the layer groups are assigned.

Summary

A Layer Stack Table is tabular graphic object that documents the layers, materials, thicknesses, and dielectric constants implemented in the current PCB design, as defined in the Layer Stack Manager dialog. It is placed and positioned alongside the board design in the workspace and also includes a graphical key and option map which shows the layer stack used in each region of the board.

The Layer Stack Table is an intelligent design object, meaning it can be placed and updated as the design progresses. Open the Layer Stack Table dialog (see below) and click OK to update the table when the layer configuration has changed.

Availability

The Layer Stack Table is available in the PCB editor when the workspace view is set to normal 2D mode (shortcut 2). It is available on the main menu by accessing Place » Layer Stack Table.

The table reflects the layer configurations defined through the Layer Stack Manager dialog, and is an important documentation asset for designs with a complex layer stack structure, such as a rigid-flex design.

Placement

To place a Layer Stack Table:

  1. Switch to the board layer you would like the table placed on – normally, one of the mechanical layers. This can be changed later.
  2. Select Place » Layer Stack Table to place the table.
  3. A Layer Stack Table will appear floating on the cursor, ready to be placed into the workspace on the active layer.
  4. Click to place the table.
  5. The editor remains in Layer Stack Table placement mode, ready to place another table if required. If not, right-click or press Esc to exit the table placement mode.
  6. Note the Board Map that appears below the table. This is an outline of the board showing how the various layer stacks are assigned to regions of the board – note the graphic pattern key in the table and the Board Map. The Board Map can be scaled, or hidden if required.

Non-Graphical Editing

The following methods of non-graphical editing are available:

Via the associated Properties Dialog

A Layer Stack Table's properties can be accessed and edited from the Layer Stack Table dialog, which is opened by double-clicking on the table or by right-clicking and selecting Properties from the context menu. Note that the dialog can also be opened by pressing Tab while placing a table.


Double-clicking on a table opens the Layer Stack Table dialog where the table and board map properties can be configured.

Configuration options in the The Layer Stack Table dialog include:

  • The board layer assigned to the table and its vertical alignment.
  • The table's display appearance – note that all number fields are editable.
  • Activation and scaling of the graphic Board Map.
  • The table font style.

The table size is automatically scaled to fit the included text, so reducing the font size (Text Height) will shrink the table to match. Note that you will need to reduce its line weight (Text Width) in proportion.

Click OK to accept the new settings and close the dialog. For more information on the dialog settings see the Layer Stack Table dialog page.

Via the PCB Inspector Panel

The PCB Inspector panel enables the designer to interrogate and edit the properties of one or more design objects in the active document. Used in conjunction with appropriate filtering, the panel can be used to make changes to multiple objects of the same kind, from one convenient location. The properties of a selected Layer Stack Table can be edited in the PCB Inspector Panel.

Via the PCB List Panel

The PCB List panel allows the designer to display design objects from one or more documents in tabular format, enabling quick inspection and modification of object attributes. When used in conjunction with the Filter panel, it enables the display of just those objects falling under the scope of the active filter – allowing the designer to target and edit multiple design objects with greater accuracy and efficiency. The properties of a Layer Stack Table can be edited directly in the PCB List Panel, or via the Layer Stack Table dialog by double clicking on a table entry in the list.

Graphical Editing

To move a Layer Stack Table, simply click, hold and drag the table to the required location. 

Select and drag to reposition a Layer Stack Table.
Select and drag to reposition a Layer Stack Table.

To remove a Layer Stack Table, select it and press the Delete key.  

If attempting to graphically modify an object that has its Locked property enabled, a dialog will appear asking for confirmation to proceed with the edit. If the Protect Locked Objects option is enabled on the PCB Editor – General page of the Preferences dialog, and the Locked option for that design object is enabled as well, then that object cannot be selected or graphically edited. Double click on the locked object directly and disable the Locked property or disable the Protect Locked Objects option, to graphically edit the object.

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