Altium NEXUS Documentation


Created: June 9, 2022 | Updated: June 9, 2022
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 Surface Finish object onto the active Draftsman document (*.PCBDwf). Surface Finish graphical symbols and their associated parameters comply with the ISO 1302:2002 International Standard for surface texture in technical product documentation. The standard specifies the rules for the indication of surface texture in drawings, based on special symbols and attributes that describe the permitted surface material for the product - in this case, a printed circuit board.

The addition of Surface Finish indicators in Draftsman avoids the need for a separate Surface Finish tool or application when this standardized information is required for PCB manufacture. The graphical symbols are accompanied by a range of specialized text codes, as defined by the ISO standard, that are added via the Draftsman Properties panel when a placed Surface Finish object is selected.

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 Surface Finish.


This command can be accessed from the PcbDrawing Editor by:

  • Choosing the Place » Annotations » Surface Finish command from the main menus.
  • Locating and using the Surface Finish 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 » Surface Finish command from the context menu.


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

  1. Position the cursor at the required point within the drawing, typically this will be an edge of an existing view. In this case position at a point along the edge (the drawing element is highlighted). With the cursor in position, click to effectively nominate that edge.
  2. Click again to anchor the surface finish object to that edge - completing placement and exiting placement mode.
If you are placing a surface finish object and the option to Allow Different Requirements has been enabled (pre-placement), the object must be placed in free space and not attached to an edge of an existing view.


  1. In most cases only one or two surfaces need to be defined, such as the surface of the top and bottom layers, so a minimal number of symbols/attributes are usually required.
  2. A Surface Finish can be graphically modified after placement. Click and drag to move it to a different location within the current sheet.
  3. Most aspects of a placed surface finish are available for editing through the Properties panel. If the panel is already open, simply select a placed surface finish to populate the panel with its associated properties. If the panel is not open, double-click on the surface finish to access it.
  4. The attached surface indicator can be dragged anywhere along its reference edge. Optionally, freely position the symbol via an automatic Extension Line. To enable this functionality, ensure the With Leader option is enabled, in the View section of the Properties panel.
  5. Defaults for this primitive type can be defined on the Draftsman - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog.
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