I want to define a custom component (TO92 temperature sensor) in Altium Designer with through-hole pads (0.7mm hole diameter, 1.27mm pitch). What is the right way to do this? I I created the schematics (all fine) and PCB library entries. I ran into the problem that I have no clue how to generate a pad with a hole in the PCB library, this is what I tried:

Approach 1 (using via):

Problem: Vias are not recognized as pads and therefore cannot be associated with a name/denominator resulting in vias not having a net in the final PCB document. I guess I cannot tell Altium "treat this via like a pad and give it a net"? Since it is not a pad, manually assigning is also no option via Design->Netlist->Edit nets

Approach 2 (using vias on top of pad) Problems:

  1. too big diameter of pad solder mask: It seems small pads are not possible when choosing Place->Pad since the pad is always huge, even when choosing a diameter of e.g. 0.1mm: (note the tiny hole of 0.1mm in the center whereas the outer ring is still huge with over 1mm diameter).

  2. unsure how to get hole: I put a via on top of a pad, this seems a pretty inelegant solution, what is the standard way to do this?

Thanks for any help/suggestions for directions! Sebastian


2 Answers 2


When you design your schematic component, assign Designators to the pins, e.g. A + B or 1 + 2, .... In your PCB Library item (the one that is linked to your schematic symbol) use the Place -> Pad, select "Multi-Layer" as Layer, enter a hole size (.7mm) and a pad size (e.g 1.5x1.5mm) and you're done, name the two pads A + B (same name as in the schematic).

Place - Pad Dialog

Resulting Through-Hole Pad

Now when you transfer your schematic design to your PCB, Altium will assign the appropriate nets to your pads.

  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks for that, exactly what I was looking for. Didnt know this is even the default option! And in that dialog I can also change the overall size (Problem 1 in my Approach 2). \$\endgroup\$
    – SCBuergel
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 9:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Having a circular object's dimension dictated by "X/Y" fields is terribly unclear. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ralph
    Commented Apr 29, 2022 at 7:18

You can paste the Vias on you Pad in circular pattern. Picture is show below.

enter image description here


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