Simple Placement

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 and a connected Altium 365 Workspace. Check out the FAQs page for more information.

Parent page: Component Placement

A component can be moved, rotated, and flipped in the PCB design space.

  • Click, hold and drag to move the selected component. The cursor will jump to the component reference point, or the nearest pad center if the Smart Component Snap option is enabled on the PCB Editor - General page of the Preferences dialog. Press the Alt key to constrain the direction of movement to the horizontal or vertical axis depending on the initial direction of movement.
  • While a component is moving on the cursor press the Spacebar to rotate it (Shift+Spacebar to rotate in the other direction). The default rotation step is 90 degrees. To change this setting, use the Rotation Step value in the PCB Editor - General page of the Preferences dialog.

    If the component is being rotated, the Designator and Comment strings can be configured to hold their orientation, or to rotate with the footprint. This behavior is controlled by the Autoposition setting for these strings. The defaults can be set by editing the default Component on the PCB Editor - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog. Note that setting the default will not affect any components that have already been placed.
  • While a component is moving on the cursor press the L key to flip it to the other side of the board.

    Do not use the X or Y keys as this will mirror the component but not change its layer.

The connection lines are an excellent aid during component placement, to help locate and orient components that are connected to each other. As you move the component, connection lines are dynamically optimized so that every connection line is following the shortest path to any other object with the same net name.

Use the connection lines to help locate and orient the components.
Use the connection lines to help locate and orient the components.

While moving a component, you can temporarily disable the re-optimization and display of connection lines by pressing the N shortcut.