Working with the Polygon Connect Style Design Rule on a PCB in Altium Designer

This document is no longer available beyond version 21. Information can now be found here: Polygon Connect Style Rule for version 24


Rule category: Plane

Rule classification: Binary


This rule specifies the style of the connection from a component pad, or routed via, to a polygon plane.

You can use this rule in simple mode, to define a generic connection style that applies to all pads and vias, or you can use its advanced mode of operation, whereby different connection styles can be specified for each of the connecting entities (thru-hole pads, SMD pads, and vias).
All design rules are created and managed within the PCB Rules and Constraints Editor dialog. For a high-level view of working with the design rules system, see Defining, Scoping & Managing PCB Design Rules.


Default constraints for the Polygon Connect Style rule. Roll the mouse over the image to compare the two modes of operation available.Default constraints for the Polygon Connect Style rule. Roll the mouse over the image to compare the two modes of operation available.

  • Mode of Operation - the rule can operate in one of the following two modes:
    • Simple - this mode is the generic setting for how pads/vias connect to a polygon pour, as present in previous versions of the software.
    • Advanced - in this mode, you have the ability to define specific thermal connections for thru-hole pads, SMD pads, and vias, separately.
  • Connect Style - defines the style of the connection from a pin of a component, targeted by the scope (Full Query) of the rule, to a polygon plane. The following three styles are available:
    • Relief Connect - connect using a thermal relief connection.
    • Direct Connect - connect using solid copper to the pin.
    • No Connect - do not connect a component pin to the polygon plane.

The following constraints apply only when using the Relief Connect style:

  • Conductors - the number of thermal relief copper connections (2 or 4).
  • Conductor Width - how wide the thermal relief copper connections are.
  • Angle - the angle of the copper connections (45° or 90°).
  • Air Gap Width - the distance between the edge of the pad and the surrounding polygon.

How Duplicate Rule Contentions are Resolved

All rules are resolved by the priority setting. The system goes through the rules from highest to lowest priority and picks the first one whose scope expressions match the object(s) being checked.

Rule Application

During polygon pour.


  • The Simple mode is the default mode, for a newly created rule of this type.
  • After setting and applying constraints in Advanced mode, be aware that switching back to Simple mode is considered a modification - clicking Apply or OK will effect the simple definition, overriding the individual advanced definitions specified previously.
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