Altium Designer Documentation


Created: June 9, 2022 | Updated: June 9, 2022

Parent page: SystemDesigner Commands

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

Applied Parameters: None


This command is used to connect two entries between two modules on the active Multi-board Schematic document (*.MbsDoc), using a Direct Connection. A direct connection is used whenever the connector on one board is to plug in directly to the connector on another board, without the use of a physical connection (wire, cable, or harness).

For a high-level look at multi-board design within Altium Designer, see Designing Systems with Multiple Boards.


This command can be accessed from the Multi-board Schematic Editor by:

  • Choosing the Place » Direct Connection command from the main menus.
  • Locating and using the Direct Connection command () on the Active Bar.
If the command has been recently used from the Active Bar, it will become the active/visible button. Where other commands are available, this is indicated by a triangle at the bottom-right corner of the button. Click and hold on the active button to access a menu of all associated commands for that grouping.
  • Right-clicking in the workspace and choosing the Place » Direct Connection command from the context menu.


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

  1. Position the cursor over the source entry's connection point (the orange circle) and click to anchor the starting point for the connection. When the cursor is hovered over an entry's connection point, that point will turn green to indicate a valid starting (or ending) point.
  2. Position the cursor and click to anchor a series of vertex points that define the path of the connection, as required.
  3. Position the cursor over destination entry's connection point (the orange circle) and click to anchor the finishing point for the connection.
  4. Continue placing further direct connections between additional module entry pairs, or right-click or press Esc to exit placement mode.


  1. After placement, the direct connection object will be given a designator of its own, as well as mated part designators displayed at either end, in the form <TargetModuleDesignator>-<TargetEntryDesignator>.
  2. Most aspects of a placed direct connection are available for editing through the Properties panel. If the panel is already open, simply select a placed direct connection to populate the panel with its associated properties. If the panel is not open, double-click on the direct connection to access it.
  3. Defaults for this primitive type can be defined on the Multi-board Schematic - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog.


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