Altium NEXUS Documentation

Configuring PCB Ordinate Dimension Object Properties in Altium NEXUS

Created: October 19, 2019 | Updated: October 19, 2019

Parent page: Ordinate Dimension

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 using the following:

  • Pre-placement settings – most Ordinate Dimension 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 (access from the  button at the top-right of the workspace). Select the object in the Primitive List to reveal its options on the right.
  • Post-placement settings – all Ordinate Dimension object properties are available for editing in the Properties panel when a placed Ordinate Dimension is selected in the workspace.

The Ordinate Dimension mode of the Properties panelThe Ordinate Dimension mode of the Properties panel   The Ordinate Dimension mode of the Properties panel


  • Extension Line Width - the current width for the dimension extension lines.
  • Extension Line Gap - the distance between a dimension extension line and the object being dimensioned.
  • Text Gap - the current gap to the left and right of the dimension value text. 


  • Layer - the layer to which the dimension is currently assigned. Dimensions can be assigned to any available layer. Use the drop-down to select a different layer.
  • Text Position - the current position of the dimension text. Use the associated drop-down list to choose one of the following options:
    • Aligned - Left - the dimension text will be aligned with the angle of the dimension line.
    • Unidirectional - the dimension text will remain horizontal regardless of the dimension alignment angle.
    • Manual - the dimension text will be available for manual placement.
  • Text Height - the current height of the dimension text characters. The character width used to display or print the text is automatically proportioned to this height. A minimum height of 36mil (0.9mm) will allow the text to be legibly photo-plotted.

Font Type

  • TrueType - use this field to choose the required TrueType font. The drop-down list is populated with TrueType and OpenType (a superset of TrueType) fonts found in the \Windows\Fonts folder. Note that the list will include only entries for detected (and uniquely named) root fonts. Use the B (bold) and (italic) options to add emphasis to the text.
  • Stroke 
    • Font - use this field to choose the required Stroke font. Available options are:
      • Default - a simple vector font that supports pen plotting and vector photo-plotting.
      • Serif - a more complex font that will slow down vector output generation, such as Gerber.
      • Sans Serif - a more complex font that will slow down vector output generation, such as Gerber.
Stroke-based fonts are built into the software and cannot be changed. All three fonts have the full IBM extended ASCII character set that supports English and other European languages.
  • Stroke Width - displays the current stroke width. 


  • Primary Units - the current unit that is selected for the calculation and display of the dimension value. Choose either MilsMillimetersInchesCentimeters, or Automatic.
The Automatic setting follows the actual measurement unit employed for the board, as determined by the Units setting in the Other region of the Properties panel in Board mode.
  • Value Precision - the current setting for the number of decimal places to the right of the decimal point for which the dimension will be displayed.


  • Format - the current setting for the format of the dimension text. Use the associated drop-down to change the format as required. The options listed will depend on the chosen Unit and present based on the actual value for the current dimension. In generic terms, the available options are:
    • None - no dimension text is displayed.
    • Value Only - no units are displayed, only the dimension value (e.g., 600.00).
    • Value and Unit - units are displayed after the dimension value (e.g., 600.00mil).
    • Value and Bracketed Unit - units are displayed in brackets after the dimension value (e.g., 600.00 (mil)).
  • Sample - this field presents a sample of how the dimension text will appear in accordance with specified Format and any defined Prefix and/or Suffix.
  • Prefix - the current prefix to the dimension value.
  • Suffix - the current suffix to the dimension value. 
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