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As the title says, is there a way to hide the component designators in the fabrication ourput in Altium AD15?

I have a very tight board with 0402 parts very close, so there is no room for the designators in the gerber silkscreen. But I want them to be visible when editing my layout in Altium. So they must be hidden only in the fabrication ourput.

Can this be done in Altium AD15?

Or is there an option to remove silkscreen from solder pads in fabrication gerber output. ?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you want to remove all of silkscreen or just part of it? \$\endgroup\$ – Jan Dorniak Jan 11 '16 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just the component designators, the package outlines are ok. \$\endgroup\$ – JakobJ Jan 11 '16 at 15:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ I work with Eagle, not Altium, bot usually I have the designators on a different layer then the outlines, so it's just a matter of choosing which layers to export as silk. Also a decent fabhouse won't print silk on pads. \$\endgroup\$ – Jan Dorniak Jan 11 '16 at 15:20
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To mass-hide all component designators:

  • Shift+F, then click on a component designator
  • It says Object Kind, Text, Same. Change the box String Type, Designator from "Any" to "Same"
  • Click OK
  • All component designators are selected.
  • In the PCB Inspector, click Hide->True
  • If you have some hidden already, this will Unhide all
  • Click again to hide all

When you want to unhide them all, go into a component dialog and uncheck Hide in the Designator area. This will give you something to click on for the Shift+F operation.

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    \$\begingroup\$ OP said he wants them visible during editing. In that case it would be better to move them to a mechanical layer or copy them to a mechanical layer before hiding them on the silkscreen layer. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Jan 11 '16 at 17:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can do that, or you can hide and unhide them. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Jan 11 '16 at 18:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThePhoton I guess it would be better to set up a mechanical layer pair for boards that are to be populated on both sides. \$\endgroup\$ – Spehro Pefhany Jan 11 '16 at 18:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Honestly these days I just hide all and only show connector and IC desigs. If you want to know more, you can look at the elaborate assembly drawing I make by putting the .Designator label in a bounding box in the Mechanical 1 layer of every component. Then you don't have to worry about the goofy Altium designator system. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Jan 11 '16 at 18:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I use this method too. I just hide all designators before generating gerber files. It's a 8 sec job. Also, if the designator is unsuitable on the physical board, it could be annoying during design time too. Usually, when I place the components in the editor, I also hide their designator. I don't like them during routing. \$\endgroup\$ – bakcsa83 Jan 11 '16 at 20:03
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In a PCB window, press L to open "View configuration". Select tab: "Show /Hide". Under Strings, select Hidden. hide designators in Altium

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