Altium NEXUS Documentation

Configuring PCB Track Object Properties in Altium NEXUS

Created: October 24, 2019 | Updated: August 24, 2021
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Parent page: Track

PCB Editor object properties are definable options that specify the visual style, content and behavior of the placed object. The property settings for each type of object are defined in two different ways:

  • Pre-placement settings – most Track object properties, or those that can logically be pre-defined, are available as editable default settings on the PCB Editor - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog (access from the  button at the top-right of the design space). Select the object in the Primitive List to reveal its options on the right.

  • Post-placement settings – all Track object properties are available for editing in the Track dialog and the Properties panel when a placed Track is selected in the design space.

If the Double Click Runs Interactive Properties option is disabled (default) on the PCB Editor - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog, when the primitive is double-clicked or you right-click on a selected primitive then choose Properties, the dialog will open. When the Double Click Runs Interactive Properties option is enabled, the Properties panel will open. 
While the options are the same in the dialog and the panel, the order and placement of the options may differ slightly. 

In the below properties listing, options that are not available as default settings in the Preferences dialog are noted as "Properties panel only".

Net Information (Properties panel only) 

  • Net Name - the name of the selected net.
  • Net Class - the name of the selected net class.
  • Total
    • Length - the total Signal Length. The Signal Length is the accurate calculation of the total node-to-node distance. Placed objects are analyzed to: resolve stacked or overlapping objects and wandering paths within pads; and via lengths are included. The Pin Package Length is also included if it has been defined for the pad(s). If the net is not completely routed, the Manhattan (X + Y) length of the connection line is also included. For more information regarding Signal Length and its applications, see the PCB - Nets page.
      • Delay - the delay of the routed segments of the Total Length. Includes the Pad and Via Propagation Delay values, if they have been defined for the pads and vias.
The Total Length includes an estimate for the unrouted part of the net (the Manhattan (X + Y) length of the connection line), but for the Total Delay, it does not.
Select the clickable links for the Net Name, Net Class, Total Length, and Total Delay from the Track mode of the Properties panel to be redirected to the PCB - Nets panel, where you can view details of the net. Note that the panel will only display the Signal Length and Delay if these columns have been enabled (right-click in the Nets section of the panel to enable/disable these columns).
  • Selected
    • Length - the total length sum of the selected object(s).
    • Delay - the total delay of the selected object(s). Includes selected Pad and Via Propagation Delay values if they have been defined for the pads and vias.

Location (Properties panel only) 

The  icon to the right of this region must be displayed as  (unlocked) in order to access the below fields. Toggle the lock/unlock icon to change its lock status. 
  • (X/Y)
    • X (first field) - the current X (horizontal) coordinate of the reference point of the track relative to the current design space origin. Edit to change the X position of the track. The value can be entered in either metric or imperial; include the units when entering a value whose units are not the current default. 
    • Y (second field) - The current Y (vertical) coordinate of the reference point of the track relative to the current origin. Edit to change the Y position of the track. The value can be entered in either metric or imperial; include the units when entering a value whose units are not the current default. 

Properties

  • Net - use to choose a net for the track. All nets for the active board design will be listed in the drop-down list. Note that if object placement commences at the same location as an existing object that is already connected to a net, then the Net property of the new object is automatically assigned to that net. Select No Net to specify that the track is not connected to any net. The Net property of a primitive is used by the Design Rule Checker to determine if a PCB object is legally placed. Alternatively, you can click on the Assign Net icon () to choose an object in the design space - the net of that object will be assigned to selected track(s).
  • Layer - use the drop-down to select the layer on which the track is located.
  • Start (X/Y) (Properties panel only) - displays the current X/Y coordinate of the track start point relative to the current origin.
  • Width - displays the current width of the track. Edit this field to change the track width within the range 0.001mil to 10000mil.
  • Length - displays the current length of the track. Edit this field to change the track length within the range 0.001mil to 10000mil.

Values can be defined in either mm or mil units. When entering a value in units other than the current units, add the mm or mil suffix to the value.
  • End (X/Y) (Properties panel only) - displays the current X/Y coordinate of the track end point relative to the current origin.

Paste Mask Expansion 

  • Rule/Manual - select the desired paste mask expansion configuration. Select Rule to have the paste mask expansion for the track follow the defined value in the applicable Paste Mask Expansion design rule. Select Manual to override the applicable design rule and specify the paste mask expansion value for the track. You can then enable and enter the desired measurement.
To define or alter the value in the applicable Paste Mask Expansion design rule, visit the PCB Rules and Constraints Editor page.

Solder Mask Expansion 

  • Rule/Manual - select the desired solder mask expansion configuration. Select Rule to have the solder mask expansion for the track follow the defined value in the applicable Solder Mask Expansion design rule. Select Manual to override the applicable design rule and specify the solder mask expansion value for the track. You can then enable and enter the desired measurement.
To define or alter the value in the applicable Solder Mask Expansion design rule, visit the PCB Rules and Constraints Editor page.
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