When things don't display or print properly

Created: March 25, 2021 | Updated: May 19, 2023

Here are some things to try when a panel doesn't open after selection or doesn't display properly, or when things don't display or print properly in general

Starting in Version: 18.0
Up to Version: Current

Solution Details

There are a number of things to try:
  • Don't forget to try reboot.
  • Check the Windows Display Settings and make sure that the "Change the size and text, apps, and other items" (Scaling) is set to 100% for each monitor. If a change is required, a reboot of Windows is necessary.   It may be too small to see, but if it works, you can experiment with other values to get something usable.  Please note, when using multiple monitors, Altium Designer does not support different DPI Scaling values set for different monitors. For all UI elements, the DPI Scaling of the main monitor will be used.
  • Your video board driver(s) may be out of date (see note below.)  A newer video card driver may resolve the issue.  It's always a good idea to have the latest video board driver from the board manufacture's web page (rather than using Windows update or from Device Manager.) You can use the Windows control panel > Device Manager > Display adapters, to see what's installed, then go to the manufacturer's web page to download and install the latest driver.
  • Try going to Preferences System View Desktop section click the Reset  button.

Alternatively for some offscreen window/panel, you may bring it back with the following sequence of operations:
  • make dialog/panel active (by invoking the associated command)
  • hit Alt key once (do not hold it down)
  • hit Space key once (do not hold it down)
  • hit M key (you may actually see a menu displayed where M is for specifying Move)
  • hit Up Arrow key (this step locks the cursor to the mid-point of the top of the off-screen window/panel being moved)
  • Gently move the mouse (do not click any mouse buttons) and the window/panel moved should follow the cursor
  • It could be a print driver issue. Try closing Altium, use Windows to change your default printer, then try it again.  You may need to delete all your hard copy printers, reboot and then test again.  If it works, you can add your printers back one at a time until you can determine which one is causing the issue.  If you need that printer, updating its driver may resolve the issue.
  • If you have multiple monitors, try disconnecting all but one, then reboot to test.
Video driver(s) notes:
If you've got a laptop, you might notice you have more than one display adapter. Update both drivers. There may be a way to set the GPU to be the card that gets used for X2.exe. For NVIDIA, You can manage the video settings in the NVIDIA control panel to set a default graphics card 
Open the Nvidia Control Panel.
Select Manage 3D Settings under 3D Settings. 
Click on the Program Settings tab and select the program you want to choose a graphics card for (X2.exe) from the drop down list.  You can also browse for X2.exe in this folder C:\Program Files\Altium\AD[version number]
And try this: 
Click on Manage 3D Settings and open the drop down menu for Global Settings. Select the High-performance NVIDIA processor as your preferred graphics processor and click Apply." 

If you are using "NVIDIA GeForce Experience" to check for updates, make sure you click the radio button for "Game Ready Driver"  rather than "Studio Driver" after clicking the vertical ellipsis button in the upper right corner before checking for updates.

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