Welcome to the CADSTARguys Blog - Information, hints, tips and my waffle on the CADSTAR Printed Circuit Board design suite.

Please note that all names used are completely fictitious and any thing written is my own personal opinion or knowledge and not related in any way to either my employers or their customers (or Zuken).
Also this is not a replacement for proper Maintenence/support and you should read the help files before asking anything techy:).

Monday, 16 May 2011

Further improving your schematic templates.

If you have followed the posts on setting up a schematic template to use documentation symbols and zone links there are a few other things that can be done to further improve them.

You may have noticed a little selection box when starting a new design entitled
"View New Design Settings".
By selecting this you will get an intermediate configuration box before your new schematic opens where you can configure initial settings for the schematic such as the units, grid step and style, colour scheme etc.

In addition, provided you have previously added attributes to your document symbols you can be prompted to fill in information such as Design Title, Project Name, Issue, Revision, Designers name etc.
Simply fill in the list and once you click OK then this information will populate the document symbol with the appropriate text. This is ideal for those that tend to forget to enter this sort of information later on thereby making designs harder to identify.

You will need to edit the document symbols you have (or the set I created for you to use) to have an attribute for every bit of text that you want to pre define when starting your schematics.

Settings \ Attribute Names + Add
To do this, edit the document symbol that it is to go on I.E. the Project Details symbol, in Settings\Attribute Names select "Add" and add attribute names that match what you want to have text added for. These need to be an "Attribute Of:" "Documentation Symbol" and for All Design types.

As you can see in the image on the right I have added several relevant to the Project Details symbol.

OK those screens then choose to "Add Origin" and add the origins for the attributes that you just created - not forgetting to ensure that the text codes used are identified as document symbol ones.

Project Details with Attribute origins added.

 Re save this to your document symbol library, start a new design using the template that uses this document symbol, select it's properties and reload it. Because the attributes do not have any values yet you will not see any difference.

Before re saving this template we can also add some further features such as a design field.

Design fields are for text entries that take their values from design information such as file name, sheet name, sheet number, variant name, current user, date time etc.

To do this, choose to "Add Text" and in the bottom R/H corner of the text entry field there is a drop down arrow for the design fields, select the one you want to add, give it an appropriate text code and alignment (I suggest the origin in the centre and centre justification).

Design Field's cannot be added to the document symbol library, they need to be added to the schematic (or PCB) template.

Re save this schematic as a template overwriting the existing one, now whenever you start a new design that uses this template, providing you have selected the "View New Design Settings" tick box then you will be prompted to enter in all the details to fill in all the project detail information etc.

Filling in the details in this screen will then populate the design fields as shown below.

Hopefully, engineers will get into the habit of identifying their schematics before they start them.


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