Altium Designer Documentation

Defining PCB Editor Object Default Preferences for Altium Designer

Created: July 27, 2015 | Updated: January 16, 2017
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The PCB Editor - Default page of the Preferences dialog.
The PCB Editor - Default page of the Preferences dialog.


As its name suggests, the PCB Editor – Defaults page of the Preferences dialog provides numerous controls relating to the default settings within the PCB workspace.


The PCB Editor – Defaults page is part of the main Preferences dialog (DXP » Preferences) and is accessed by clicking the Defaults entry under the PCB Editor folder, in the left-hand pane of the dialog. Alternatively, right click the PCB Editor and select Options » Defaults from the context menu.


  • Primitives - Displays all primitives that can be edited.
All primitive default values are saved in the ADVPCB.DFT file. This file is located in the \Users\<ProfileName>\AppData\Roaming\Altium\Altium Designer <GUID> folder of the installation.
  • Edit Values -  Click to open the Properties dialog for the currently selected primitive object. Use the Properties dialog to define the default behavior for the object.
  • Reset - Click to reset the default properties of the object type currently selected in the primitives list. The properties of the selected object type will be reset to the system defaults. This button only affects the currently selected object type. To reset all object types simultaneously, click the Reset All button.
  • Load - Click to load a previously saved set of default object properties. You will be asked to navigate to and select a previously saved properties file (*.dft).
  • Save as - Click to save the current default object properties to a custom properties file (*.dft). You will be asked for a name and directory for the file.
    When the PCB Editor server is started, the current defaults are read from the file ADVPCB.DFT, and any changes you make to the defaults are stored in this file when you exit. Use the Load button to load a previously saved set of default properties.
  • Reset All - Click to reset the properties of all objects to the system defaults.
  • Permanent - If this option is enabled, the default properties of all object types are locked and are not changed if you edit an object's properties during placement.
    If this option is disabled, any changes you make to a particular object during placement (by pressing the Tab key while the object is floating on the cursor before placement) are used to update the default properties for that particular object type.
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