Now reading version 1.0. For the latest, read: Designator for version 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 and a connected Altium 365 Workspace. Check out the FAQs page for more information.

Parent page: PCB Objects

A placed Designator object
A placed Designator object


The designator field is a child parameter object of a PCB component (part). It is used to uniquely identify each placed part to distinguish it from all other parts placed in all the PCB documents in the project.


The designator is automatically placed when the parent component part object is placed. It is not a design object that you can directly place.

Graphical Editing

The designator can be edited graphically using what is known as in-place editing. To edit a designator in-place, click once to select it, pause for a second, then click a second time to enter edit mode.

When a non-inverted designator object is selected, the following editing handles are available:

A selected Designator
A selected Designator

  • Click the editing handles to resize.
  • Click anywhere on the designator away from any editing handles then drag to reposition it. The designator can be rotated (Spacebar/Shift+Spacebar) or mirrored (X or Y keys to mirror along the X-axis or Y-axis).

Non-Graphical Editing

The following methods of non-graphical editing are available:

Via the Properties Panel

Properties page: Designator Properties

The properties of a Designator can be edited in the PCB editor's Properties panel, which allows editing of all item(s) currently selected in the workspace.

To access the properties of a placed Designator:

  • Double-click on the Designator.
  • Right-click on the Designator then select Properties from the context menu.
  • If the Properties panel is already active, click once on the Designator to select it.

Editing via a List Panel

Panel pages: PCB List, PCBLIB List, PCB Filter

A List panel allows you to display design objects from one or more documents in tabular format, enabling quick inspection and modification of object attributes. Used in conjunction with appropriate filtering - by using the PCB Filter pane l or the Find Similar Objects dialog - it enables the display of just those objects falling under the scope of the active filter – allowing you to target and edit multiple design objects with greater accuracy and efficiency.

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