Altium NEXUS Documentation


Created: June 19, 2017 | Updated: December 18, 2020
Now reading version 2.1. For the latest, read: PlaceComponentsFromFile for version 5
Applies to altium-nexus versions: 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2 and 4
This documentation page references Altium NEXUS/NEXUS Client (part of the deployed NEXUS solution), which has been discontinued. All your PCB design, data management and collaboration needs can now be delivered by Altium Designer (with Altium Designer Enterprise Subscription) and a connected Altium 365 Workspace. Check out the FAQs page for more information.

Parent page: PCB Commands

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

Applied Parameters: None


This command is used to position components within your design based on locations specified within a pick-and-place file. This feature is particularly useful if you are given critical placement information from the Mechanical Designer in the form of a .pik file. It can also provide a useful method for quickly applying a favorite/preferred placement obtained by previously generating a Pick and Place file from Altium NEXUS.

A .pik file can be generated from Altium NEXUS by generating a standard pick and place file - in normal .txt format - then changing the extension to .pik. Note that only a pick and place file generated in .txt format can be used in this way. Use of a pick and place file that is generated in .csv format is not supported.

The .pik files that Altium NEXUS generates do not need any modification.


This command is accessed from the PCB Editor by choosing the Tools » Component Placement » Place From File command from the main menus.


First, ensure that any components that are not to be moved are locked by setting their Locked option. This can be performed through the Properties panel or through the PCB List panel - both panels allow you to quickly set this option for all required and selected components in a single action.

After launching the command, the Load File Name dialog will open. Use this dialog to browse to and open the relevant .pik file for the design. Any components in the design that are listed in the .pik file will have their positions updated if their current position is different from that listed in the file (the file position will be used).


  1. A component must already exist in the workspace and have the corresponding designator as listed in the .pik file, in order for the move to take place.
  2. The Mid X and Mid Y coordinates in the pick-and-place file are used as the reference for position changes; other coordinates are ignored.
  3. Different components in the .pik file can use different units (mm or mil) if required.


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