Altium NEXUS Documentation

Working with a Feature Control Frame Object on a Draftsman Document in Altium NEXUS

Created: June 15, 2017 | Updated: July 14, 2021
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Parent page: Draftsman Objects

Feature Control Frame objects attached to a hole and an edge in a Board Assembly View. The three Datum Feature objects are used as reference locations.


A Feature Control Frame is a graphic information object that can be placed on a Draftsman document sheet to define the manufacturing constraints of the physical feature to which it is attached, such as an object face or machined cutout/hole.

The tabular frame object applies a specialized range of symbols, tolerance values and location references to specify acceptable manufacturing imperfections as defined by the ASME Y14.5-2009 Dimension and Tolerancing standard. Draftsman Datum Feature objects are used as reference locations in placed Feature Control Frames. See Applied Geometric Tolerances for information on a number of basic examples.

The graphic style and dimensioning/tolerancing attributes for a placed Feature Control Frame are definable in the Properties panel. Multiple definition rows may be added to the frame in the Selected Element section of the Properties panel.


Feature Control Frame objects are available for placement in the Draftsman Editor as follows:

  • Choose the Place » Annotations » Feature Control Frame command from the main menus.
  • Click the  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 topmost item on that section of the Active Bar.
  • Right-click in the drawing workspace then select Place » Annotations » Feature Control Frame from the context menu.
  • Click the the  entry on the Drawing Annotations toolbar (View » Toolbars » Drawing Annotations to enable).


After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair and the editor will enter Feature Control Frame placement mode. Placement is made by performing the following actions:

  1. Position the cursor over a highlighted object edge or boundary then click to attach the Feature Control Frame to that object face.
  2. Move the cursor to set the position of the frame then click again to complete placement.
The default settings for the Feature Control Frame object are available in the Draftsman - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog.

Graphical Editing

The graphical method of editing allows a placed Feature Control Frame to be selected in the workspace and its object attachment point or frame location changed. When the Feature Control Frame object is selected, editing handles/nodes become available at its attachment and frame points.

A selected Feature Control Frame with its two positioning nodes.

  • Click and drag the tabular frame to reposition it on the drawing document.
  • Click and drag the edge attachment node to reposition it on the selected object face. An extension line is added when the attachment point is moved beyond the boundary of the object face.

Non-Graphical Editing

Properties page: Feature Control Frame Properties

The non-graphical method of editing a Feature Control Frame is available in the Draftsman Properties panel, which provides editable property fields for the item that is currently selected in the workspace.

The Properties panel when a Feature Control Frame object is selected.

To open the Properties panel and access the properties of a placed Feature Control Frame:

  • Double-click on the Feature Control Frame graphic.
  • Right-click on the Feature Control Frame then select Item Properties from the context menu.

If the Properties panel is already active:

  • Click on the Feature Control Frame to access its properties in the panel.
To manually open the Properties panel, select View » Panels » Properties from the main menus or click the button at the bottom right of the workspace then select Properties from the pop-up menu.
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