This blog post is about my set-up of allium layers and colors. I have made some changes to the default colors to suite the way I am was used to since working with HP-EGS and Supermax EDA.

My principle is to use darker earth colors for signal and plane layers. The thinking being that bright colours, large areas emit much light and when doing long hours late a night it strains the eyes. construction layers and mechanical layers can use brighter colours since they are often thin lines.

Layer names and colors


General Mechanics is 4 layers for … well … generic data.

Casing 3D is for STEP files for casing. It also has a 40% transparency.

Construction layers is for various extra lines to snap and attach to.

3D Body Top/Bottom is for 3D mechanics for component packages.

Assembly Top/Bottom is for the old assembly data for component placement drawings.

Nowadays I use the draftsman package to create and edit the manufacturing documentation needed.

RefDes Top/Bottom is for the Reference Designator for component placements drawings. I do never use RefDes on overlay and always has the names turned off. I actually think that is one of the annoying features with Altium. All these legacy hardcoded old school ways of doing things.

Router contains the router path. Mainly used when I draw panels with multiple boards. It is created from the board outline using “Design – Board Shape – Create Primitives from Board Shape” with 2mm thickness and “Route Tool Outline” enabled.

Contour is simply the contour and follows the border of the board. Mostly used for drawings and gerber for the contour. Created also with “Design – Board Shape – Create Primitives from Board Shape”, but with 0.1mm thickness and centreline to the board outline.

Signal Layers

Primary side is using red color and secondary green. The inner layers has a various earth and darker colors.


The Solder mask is using 2 shades of blue. Light for primary side and dark for the secondary side. Paste is grey, as it should, and also light for primary and darker for the secondary side.


The Overlay is made of a light and dark yellowish color.

View Options

I have always positiv solder masks. That way they are displayed as they will be manufactured. I also NEVER use the Single Layer mode. Convert Special Strings always on.

3D Options

All default settings, in the first one.

Realistic colours on. I have 3 versions. Red, Blue and Black solder mask. Solder mask is slightly transparent.

All defaults.