Altium Designer Documentation

Annotation

Created: July 28, 2015 | Updated: June 16, 2017

The Annotation dialog.

Summary

This dialog allows the designer to specify the properties of a Text String object. A text string (also referred to as an annotation, or label) is a non-electrical drawing primitive. It is a single line of free text that can be placed on a schematic sheet. Uses might include section headings, revision history, timing information or some other descriptive or instructive text.

For information on how a placed text string object can be modified graphically, directly in the workspace, see Graphical Editing.

Access

The Annotation dialog can be accessed prior to entering placement mode, from the Schematic – Default Primitives page of the Preferences dialog. This allows the default properties for the text string object to be changed, which will be applied when placing subsequent text strings.

During placement, the dialog can be accessed by pressing the Tab key.

While attributes can be modified during placement, bear in mind that these will become the default settings for further placement unless the Permanent option on the Schematic – Default Primitives page 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.

After placement, the dialog can be accessed in one of the following ways:

  • Double-clicking on the placed text string object.
  • Placing the cursor over the text string object, right-clicking and choosing Properties from the context menu.
  • Using the Edit » Change command and clicking once over the placed text string object.

Options/Controls

  • Color - click the color sample to change the text color, using the standard Choose Color dialog.
  • Location X/Y - the current X (horizontal) and Y (vertical) coordinates for the bottom-left corner of the text string's bounding rectangle (when placed with zero rotation). Edit these values to change the position of this corner in the horizontal and/or vertical planes respectively.
  • Orientation - specify the orientation of the text string, counter-clockwise in relation to the horizontal. Options available are: 0 degrees, 90 degrees, 180 degrees, 270 degrees.
  • Horizontal Justification - specify how the text string is to be horizontally justifed. This will depend on its current Orientation and Location X/Y. The following justification options are available, using a placed text string with 0 degrees orientation as an example:
    • Left - the left edge of the text string's bounding rectangle is against the X = Location X line.
    • Center - the text string's bounding rectangle is centered across the X = Location X line.
    • Right - the right edge of the text string's bounding rectangle is against the X = Location X line.
  • Vertical Justification - specify how the text string is to be vertically justifed. This will depend on its current Orientation and Location X/Y. The following justification options are available, using a placed text string with 0 degrees orientation as an example:
    • Top - the top edge of the text string's bounding rectangle is against the Y = Location Y line.
    • Center - the text string's bounding rectangle is centered across the Y = Location Y line.
    • Bottom - the bottom edge of the text string's bounding rectangle is against the Y = Location Y line.
  • Mirror - enable this option to flip the text string across an axis that depends on its current Orientation and Location X/Y.
When the text string object is mirrored, this simply means the location of the text may shift by virtue of mirroring the bounding rectangle. The text itself is not mirrored, and will always remain readable.

Properties

  • Text - use this field to directly enter the required text. Alternatively, make use of special strings. Special strings appear in the format =<ParameterName>. They are derived from parameters defined at the document and/or project level, a listing of which is available from the associated drop-down. Parameters can also be defined at the variant level. Such a parameter can be referenced using the special string notation (i.e. =<VariantParameterName>). The value of the parameter will only be displayed when the associated variant for which it is defined, is made the current variant.
Document-level parameters are defined on the Parameters tab of the Document Options dialog (Design » Document Options). Project-level parameters are defined on the Parameters tab of the Options for PCB Project dialog (Project » Project Options). Variant-level parameters are defined in the Edit Project Variant dialog.
  • Font - this control serves two purposes. Firstly, it reflects the currently chosen font for the text in terms of Font Name, Font Size and Font Style. Secondly, when clicked it provides access to the standard Font dialog, from where to change the font as required.
Effects are also displayed when enabled (Strikeout, Underline). If Regular is used for the font's style, this will not be displayed visually in the control's string.
  • Locked - enable this option to protect the text string from being edited graphically.
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. Double click on the locked object directly and disable the Locked property, or disable the Protect Locked Objects option, to graphically edit the object.

 

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