I have some parts where the designator is "inside" the component on the PCB. I want to move them but when I try to select the designator I get the whole part instead.

The only way I've found to do it is:

  • lock the component location
  • select the designator
  • move it outside the component outline
  • unlock the component location

It works but it is annoyingly time consuming and I have lots of designators to move.

Is there an easier way to select only the designator?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Use Shift + TAB until it selects what you want. This key combination selects the next overlapping object. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2020 at 2:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks but that doesn't seem to work for me - the problem is the designator is considered part of the component. For the same reason I can't do a "drag select" and select the designator. \$\endgroup\$
    – peter_mcc
    Jun 4, 2020 at 2:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ It should because it's the only way. Click the designator and hit Shift+Tab. It gets easier when the active layer is the corresponding Overlay layer. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2020 at 2:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ The problem is the designator is inside the component - ie would appear under it when the board was made. When I try to select the designator it selects the component instead. \$\endgroup\$
    – peter_mcc
    Jun 4, 2020 at 3:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay, I understand. I know what happens. But as I said, this is the only way. Assuming it's in the Top Overlay layer. So set the active layer to Top Overlay from the layer tabs at the bottom. Then click the designator. After it selects the component, release the mouse and use Shift + Tab. This combination selects the next overlapping object (pad, designator, track etc) so you may use several times until it selects the designator. It's strange that this doesn't work for you, because this is the only way. Verify this by googling "altium select next overlapping". \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2020 at 3:18

1 Answer 1

  1. select the layer of the Designator. For example top Overlay
  2. Press Shift + s to select single layer mode. (one to three times)
  3. now click at a designator to select and move it. (As long as the designator position is not locked)

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