Working with the Creepage Distance Design Rule on a PCB in Altium NEXUS

Created: March 18, 2022 | Updated: March 18, 2022
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Rule category: Electrical

Rule classification: Binary


This rule tests the creepage distance between the targeted signals across the board surface through unplated holes, cutouts, and around the board edge. 

All design rules are created and managed within the PCB Rules and Constraints Editor dialog. For a high-level view of working with the design rules system, see Defining, Scoping & Managing PCB Design Rules.


Default constraints for the Creepage distance rule.Default constraints for the Creepage distance rule.

  • Creepage distance - a rule violation is flagged when any point on the First Object is equal to or less than the distance from any point on the Second Object.
  • Ignore Internal Layers - use this option to ensure the rule will only be applied to outer layers.

How Duplicate Rule Contentions are Resolved

All rules are resolved by the priority setting. The system goes through the rules from highest to lowest priority and picks the first one whose scope expressions match the objects being checked.

Rule Application

Online DRC, Batch DRC, and during autorouting.

Note that this rule only highlights the first violation occuring between any two nets, to reduce the number of reported violations. After resolving an error, re-run rule checking to ensure that all violations have been cleared.


  • The Creepage Distance rule is not enabled for Online or Batch design rule checking by default. Enable Online/Batch checking in the Design Rule Checker dialog (Tools » Design Rule Check, Electrical category).
  • The display of rule violations may also need to be configured, Violation Details (localized violation information) and/or Violation Overlay (highlighting of the entire objects in violation) is enabled in the PCB Editor - DRC Violation Display page of the Preferences dialog.
  • The rule identifies the closest points on the targeted nets and checks the distance between them in the X, Y, and Z planes.
  • If a board slot has been created by placing a pad, make sure that the Plated option is disabled in the pad properties as the software assumes that the plated barrel is conductive and will reduce the creepage distance accordingly.
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