Altium Designer Documentation


Created: July 27, 2015 | Updated: April 11, 2017

Parent page: Schematic Commands

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

Applied Parameters: None


This command is used to place a Compile Mask object onto the active document. A compile mask is a design directive. It is used to effectively hide the area of the design it contains from the Compiler, allowing you to manually prevent error checking for circuitry that may not yet be complete and you know will generated compile errors. This can prove very useful if you need to compile the active document or project to check the integrity of the design in other specific areas, but do not want the clutter of compiler-generated messages associated with unfinished portions of the design.

For detailed information about this object type, see Compile Mask.


Compile masks are available for placement in the Schematic Editor, by:

  • Choosing Place » Directives » Compile Mask from the main menus.
  • Right-clicking and choosing Place » Directives » Compile Mask from the context menu.


After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair and you will enter compile mask placement mode. Placement is made by performing the following sequence of actions:

  1. Position the cursor and click or press Enter to anchor the first corner of the mask.
  2. Move the cursor to adjust the size of the mask, such that it completely encapsulates the area of the design that you want hidden from the Compiler, then click or press Enter to anchor the diagonally-opposite corner and thereby complete placement of the mask. Design objects falling completely within the bounds of the mask will become grayed-out.
  3. Continue placing further compile masks, or right-click or press Esc to exit placement mode.
Press the Tab key during placement to access the Compile Mask dialog, from where properties for the compile mask can be changed on-the-fly.


  1. While compile masks can be rotated or mirrored along the X or Y axis, this has no effect on the orientation of the design circuitry within.
  2. For information on how a placed compile mask object can be modified graphically, directly in the workspace, see Graphical Editing.
  3. 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 Schematic – Default Primitives 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.


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