Altium NEXUS Documentation

Configuring PCB Designator Object Properties in Altium NEXUS

Created: October 23, 2019 | Updated: April 10, 2021
All Contents

Parent page: Designator

PCB Editor object properties are definable options that specify the visual style, content and behavior of the placed object. The property settings for each type of object are defined in two different ways:

  • Pre-placement settings – most Designator object properties, or those that can logically be pre-defined, are available as editable default settings on the  PCB Editor - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog (accessed from the  button at the top-right of the design space). Select the object in the Primitive List to reveal its options on the right.

  • Post-placement settings – all Designator object properties are available for editing in the Parameter dialog and the Properties panel when a placed Designator is selected in the design space.

If the Double Click Runs Interactive Properties option is disabled (default) on the PCB Editor - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog, when the primitive is double-clicked or you right-click on a selected primitive then choose Properties, the dialog will open. When the Double Click Runs Interactive Properties option is enabled, the Properties panel will open.

In the below properties listing, options that are not available as default settings in the Preferences dialog are noted as "Properties panel only".
While the options are the same in the dialog and the panel, the order and placement of the options may differ slightly. 

Location (Properties panel only)

The  icon to the right of this region must be displayed as  (unlocked) in order to access the below fields. Toggle the lock/unlock icon to change its lock status. 
  • (X/Y) 
    • X (first field) - the current X (horizontal) coordinate of the reference point of the designator, relative to the current workspace origin. Edit to change the X position of the designator. The value can be entered in either metric or imperial; include the units when entering a value whose units are not the current default. 
    • Y (second field) - The current Y (vertical) coordinate of the reference point of the designator, relative to the current origin. Edit to change the Y position of the designator. The value can be entered in either metric or imperial; include the units when entering a value whose units are not the current default. 
  • Rotation - the designator's angle of rotation (in degrees) measured counterclockwise from zero (the 3 o'clock horizontal). Edit to change the rotation of the designator. Minimum angular resolution is 0.001°.

Properties

  • Parameter type (Properties panel only) - displays the type of parameter (Component, Sheet Symbol, etc.,) and parameter name.
  • Name - the name of the designator.
  • Value - use this field to enter the desired value of the designator. Click the eye icon to togglethe value between being visible and not visible in the design space.
  • Layer - use the drop-down to select the desired layer. Enable Mirror if desired.
  • Autoposition - use the drop-down to select the desired automatic position in relation to the associated object.
  • Text Height - use this field to enter the desired text height.
  • Font Type 
    • TrueType - select to use fonts available on your PC (in the \Windows\Fonts folder). TrueType fonts offer full Unicode support. By default, the software links to a used TrueType font (they are not stored in the PCB file), which means the same font must be present on each PC to which the design is moved. Alternatively, embed used TrueType fonts in the PCB file using the options in the PCB Editor - True Type Fonts page of the Preferences dialog, where you can also select a Substitution Font to be used if a non-embedded Font is not available.
      • Justification - use to set the location of the designator within the border rectangle.
        • Left () - click the left button to align the horizontal text on the left.
        • Center () - click the center button to align the horizontal text in the center.
        • Right () - click the left button to align the horizontal text on the right.
        • Above () - click the above button to align the vertical text above.
        • Middle () - click the middle button to align the vertical text in the middle.
        • Below () - click the below button to align the vertical text below.
      • Font - use the drop-down to select the desired TrueType font. Use the (bold) and/or I (italic) options to add emphasis to the text as required. 
        • Inverted - use to have the text displayed as inverted with control over the size of the border around the text. You can use the following options to further configure the text:
          • Size (Width/Height) -
            • Width - the width of the border rectangle.
            • Height - the height of the border rectangle.
    • Stroke
      • Justification - use to set the location of the designator within the border rectangle.
        • Left () - click the left button to align the horizontal text on the left.
        • Center () - click the center button to align the horizontal text in the center.
        • Right () - click the left button to align the horizontal text on the right.
        • Above () - click the above button to align the vertical text above.
        • Middle () - click the middle button to align the vertical text in the middle.
        • Below () - click the below button to align the vertical text below.
      • Font - use the drop-down to select the desired Stroke font. Choices are:
        • Default - a simple vector font designed for pen plotting and vector photo plotting. 
        • Sans Serif - a complex font that will slow down vector output generation, such as Gerber.
        • Serif - a complex font that will slow down vector output generation, such as Gerber.
      • Stroke Width - displays the width of the stroke.
  • Border Mode
    • Margin - click this button to enable the editing of the Margin Border option.
      • Text Offset - the amount the designator is offset back from the edge/corner that it is justified against. This option has no effect when the Center justification mode is chosen. This option is not available for Margin.
    • Offset - click this button to enable the editing of the Text Offset option.
      • Margin Border - use to specify the size of the margin border surrounding the designator. This option is not available for Offset.
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