Altium NEXUS Documentation


Created: June 27, 2017 | Updated: June 27, 2017
Now reading version 2.1. For the latest, read: InsertDatumFeature 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: PcbDrawing Commands

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

Applied Parameters: None


This command is used to place a Datum Feature object into the active Draftsman document (*.PCBDwf).  A Datum Feature is an identification object that can be attached to a line, point, or axis of a physical feature in a drawing, such as the edge of board, component, or hole. The Datum Feature is identified by its Label entry, so that relative dimension tolerances included in Feature Control Frames can refer to this and other placed datum. When added to the mechanical elements in a Draftsman drawing view, the combined information represented by Feature Control Frames and their related Datum references can fully describe the acceptable manufacturing constraints for those physical elements.

For a high-level look at how the Altium Draftsman Drawing System provides an interactive approach to the creation of production documentation for your PCBs, see Draftsman. For detailed information about this object type, see Datum Feature.


This command can be accessed from the PcbDrawing Editor by:

  • Choosing the Place » Annotations » Datum Feature command from the main menus.
  • Locating and using the Datum Feature command () on the Active Bar.
If the command has been recently used from the Active Bar, it will become the active/visible button. Where other commands are available, this is indicated by a triangle at the bottom-right corner of the button. Click and hold on the active button to access a menu of all associated commands for that grouping.
  • Clicking the  entry on the Drawing Annotations toolbar.
  • Right-clicking in the workspace and choosing the Place » Annotations » Datum Feature command from the context menu.


After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair, and you will enter datum feature placement mode. Placement is performed as follows:

  1. Position the cursor at the required point within the drawing, typically this will be a feature such as an edge. In this case position at a point where the drawing element is highlighted (edge, or a point). With the cursor in position, click to attach the datum to that feature.
  2. Move the cursor to position the label end of the datum and click to anchor this end.


  1. A Datum Feature can be graphically modified after placement. Click and drag an editing handle to move its reference or label respectively.
  2. Most aspects of a placed datum are available for editing through the Properties panel. If the panel is already open, simply select a placed datum to populate the panel with its associated properties. If the panel is not open, double-click on the datum to access it.
  3. Defaults for this primitive type can be defined on the Draftsman - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog.
Found an issue with this document? Highlight the area, then use Ctrl+Enter to report it.

Contact Us

Contact our corporate or local offices directly.

We're sorry to hear the article wasn't helpful to you.
Could you take a moment to tell us why?
200 characters remaining
You are reporting an issue with the following selected text
and/or image within the active document: