Altium NEXUS Documentation

Note

Modified by Susan Riege on Oct 9, 2018
This documentation page references Altium Vault, which is no longer a supported product. Altium Vault and its component management features have migrated to Altium Concord Pro.
All Contents

Parent page: Schematic Objects

A placed Note

Summary

A note is a non-electrical drawing primitive. It is used to add informational or instructional text to a specific area within a schematic similar to that of commenting a program's source code. The note is a resizable rectangular area that can contain multiple lines of text and can automatically wrap and clip text to keep it within the bounds of the note.

Availability

Notes are available for placement in the Schematic Editor only in the following ways:

  • Choose Place » Note from the main menus.
  • Click the Note button () in the graphic objects drop-down on the Active Bar located at the top of the workspace. (Click and hold an Active Bar button to access other related commands. Once a command has been used, it will become the top-most item on that section of the Active Bar.)
  • Right-click in the workspace then choose Place » Note from the context menu.

Placement

After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair and you will enter note placement mode. Placement is made by performing the following sequence of actions:

  1. Click or press Enter to anchor the first corner of the note.
  2. Move the cursor to adjust the size of the note then click or press Enter to complete placement.
  3. Continue placing further notes or right-click or press Esc to exit placement mode.

Additional actions that can be performed during placement while the note is still floating on the cursor and before its first corner is anchored are:

  • Press the Tab key to pause the placement and access the Note mode of the Properties panel from where its properties can be changed on-the-fly. Click the workspace pause button overlay () to resume placement.
  • Press the Alt key to constrain the direction of movement to the horizontal or vertical axis depending on the initial direction of movement. 
  • Press the Spacebar to rotate the object counterclockwise or Shift+Spacebar for clockwise rotation. Rotation is in increments of 90°.
  • Press the X or Y keys to mirror the note along the X-axis or Y-axis.
While attributes can be modified during placement (Tab to access the Properties panel), keep in mind that these will become the default settings for further placement unless the Permanent option on the Schematic - Defaults of the Preferences dialog is enabled. When this option is enabled, changes made will affect only the object being placed and subsequent objects placed during the same placement session.

Graphical Editing

This method of editing allows you to select a placed note object directly in the workspace and change its size, shape or location graphically.

A note can be displayed in either expanded (full frame) or collapsed (small triangle) modes. Toggle the display mode by clicking on the top left corner of a placed note.

Click the triangle in the top-left corner to collapse a note.

When a fully expanded note object is selected, the following editing handles are available:

A selected Note (fully expanded).

  • Click and drag A to resize the note in the vertical and horizontal directions simultaneously.
  • Click and drag B to resize the note in the vertical and horizontal directions separately.
  • Click anywhere on the note away from editing handles then drag to reposition it. While dragging, the note can be rotated (Spacebar/Shift+Spacebar) or mirrored (X or Y keys to mirror along the X-axis or Y-axis).

When a note is fully expanded, the textual content of that note can be edited in-place by:

  1. Single-clicking the note to select it.
  2. Single-clicking again (or pressing Enter) to enter the in-place editing mode. Sufficient time between each click should be given to ensure the software does not interpret the two single-clicks as one double-click (which would open the Properties panel).
  3. To finish editing in-place text, either click away from the note or press the green tick button (). If you decide the change made is not needed, press the red cross button () to discard the change.
This feature is only available provided the Enable In-Place Editing option is enabled on the Schematic - General page of the Preferences dialog.

The right-click menu provides standard editing commands such as Cut, Copy, Paste, and Delete. In addition, if the Word Wrap option is disabled in the Properties panel, a horizontal scroll bar will also be available when editing the text.

Examples of in-place editing, with word wrapping enabled (top)
and disabled (bottom).

The size and shape of a note cannot be changed graphically when it is in collapsed mode; only its location/orientation can be changed. As such, editing handles are not available when a collapsed note object is selected.

A selected Note (collapsed)

Click anywhere inside the dashed box and drag to reposition the note as required. The note can be rotated or mirrored while dragging.

When a note is in collapsed mode, hover the cursor over it to access a pop-up containing the name of the note's author and the actual text content of the note.

Hover over a collapsed note to display information.

If attempting to graphically modify an object that has its Locked property enabled, a dialog will appear asking for confirmation to proceed with the edit. If the Protect Locked Objects option is enabled on the Schematic – Graphical Editing page of the Preferences dialog, and the Locked option for that design object is enabled as well, then that object cannot be selected or graphically edited. Click the locked object to select it then disable the Locked property in the List panel or disable the Protect Locked Objects option to graphically edit the object.

Non-Graphical Editing

The following methods of non-graphical editing are available:

Via the Properties Panel

Properties page: Note Properties

This method of editing uses the associated Properties panel mode to modify the properties of a note object.

The Note mode of the Properties panel

During placement, the Note mode of the Properties panel can be accessed by pressing the Tab key.

After placement, the Note mode of the Properties panel can be accessed in one of the following ways:

  • Double-click on the placed note object.
  • Place the cursor over the note object, right-click then choose Properties from the context menu.
  • If the Properties panel is already active, select the note object.
The Note properties can be accessed prior to entering placement mode from the Schematic - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog. This allows the default properties for the note object to be changed, which will be applied when placing subsequent notes.

Editing Multiple objects

The Properties panel supports multiple object editing, where the property settings that are identical in all currently selected objects may be modified. When multiples of the same object type are selected manually, via the Find Similar Objects dialog or through a SCH Filter or SCH List panel, a Properties panel field entry that is not shown as an asterisk (*) may be edited for all selected objects.

Wrapping and Clipping Text

In addition to providing a Word Wrap option, the Properties panel provides a Clip to Area option. This option comes into play if word wrapping is disabled. With this option enabled, text will be kept within the bounds of the note's frame. When disabled, text will spill out of the frame onto the schematic sheet.

Example of word wrapping and the effect of clipping

Specifying Text Margins

Specify a single value to apply equally to Left, Top, Right, and Bottom margins for the current note using the Text Margin in the Properties panel.

To benefit from the text margin functionality within the area of the note's frame, ensure that the Clip to Area option is enabled. Ideally, the Word Wrap option also should be enabled.
Negative margins are also possible; use the minus prefix (-).

Example note with a Text Margin setting of 20 (Default DXP Units, equivalent to 200mil).

When editing text in-place directly within the note's frame, the defined margins are not present. They will be reapplied after editing is complete and the text changes are applied.

Margins are not shown while graphically modifying the text in-place.

Via the SCH List Panel

Panel pages: SCH List, SCH Filter

The SCH List panel allows you to display design objects from one or more documents in tabular format, enabling quick inspection and modification of object attributes. Used in conjunction with appropriate filtering - by using the SCH Filter panel or the Find Similar Objects dialog - it enables the display of just those objects falling under the scope of the active filter – allowing you to target and edit multiple design objects with greater accuracy and efficiency.

Tips

While notes can be rotated or mirrored along the X or Y axis, this has no effect on the orientation of the text within.

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