For some reason, the PCB is not showing net names on the pads

I have all connections (rats nests) visible I have checked the "Show Pad Nets" and "Show Via Nets" under the View Configurations > View Options Panel

I have checked layer colors and everything is on

What other setting might there be which is preventing the net names from displaying within the pads/vias on the PCB layout?

I am running AD15 on Windows 8.1 and this is really bugging me!

This is an example screen shot of the PCB environment, you can see that despite the option for "show pad nets" being enabled, they are not showing. enter image description here

Thanks for the help

This question is not the same as another related question "Show Pads with their Name on PCB altium " which discussed adding silkscreen designators. It is about why the Altium feature "show pad nets" does not seem to be working to show the 'virtual' net names in the PCB tool within the pads

  • \$\begingroup\$ I answered that very question in the post you obviously saw. Although it's older, the information in there is still true: electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/154605/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Tom L.
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 17:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually you did not answer my question. Your post over there related to silkscreen which is NOT my question. Someone else linked to the Altium info about "Show Pad Nets" but that is NOT working for me, which is why I made this post. Thanks \$\endgroup\$
    – R. Smith
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 17:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see ... when you double-click a net, is the correct net name assigned to that net? \$\endgroup\$
    – Tom L.
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 3:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ That thread does not answer my question, it is not a duplicate \$\endgroup\$
    – R. Smith
    Commented Aug 22, 2015 at 0:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry for the delay, adding comments does not trigger an email to me. Yes, there are no issues with the nets having the correct name, it is only that the net names (or pin numbers for that matter) are not displayed in the PCB Environment within the copper objects. \$\endgroup\$
    – R. Smith
    Commented Aug 22, 2015 at 0:08

1 Answer 1


I really don't appreciate several moderators flagging my post as a duplicate even after I explained explicitly and exactly why it is not. This is not a very helpful way to run a forum.

Tom has been the only one trying to help, and I'm grateful.

I was able to get a response from Altium that when running a Virtual Machine there can be compatibility problems with DirectX, which the Show Pad Nets, Show Via Nets, and Show Pad Numbers features all rely on.

The response I received is as follows and I believe answers the question I raised: "Net Names on tracks and Pads are dependent on Direct X. Some Virtual machines have problems allowing Altium the usage of Direct X. You may need to install the windows video card driver for the particular video card you are using inside of the virtual machine with in the windows environment.

If you are not using a Virtual Machine and if your Video Card supports Direct X then possibly re-installing the latest version of the video card driver may resolve the issue"

I hope this helps someone else out in the future.


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