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Old 24th May 2004, 02:47 AM   #1
tool49 is offline tool49  Canada
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Default Protel Help

Hello,

I've always used cheap PCB software (i.e. ExpressPCB). But about three weeks ago, I discovered that we are allowed to use Protel DXP at school. (I guess I should have checked earlier...)

Protel's help file are quite good but it is not quite as easy to find what your looking for as should be. Now there is a few things I would like help on getting around to in Protel.

First: Can I rotate more than one parts at a time? (Or group parts and rotate the group perhaps?)

Second; How do I print the PCB layout to be at 1:1 scale on the paper? When using the "File->Fabrication Outputs->Final" the scale used is pretty weird (I have to resize the image at 35.71% of the original on the copier which is less than ideal even for home made pcbs...)

Third; Do you guys know how much it costs to buy Protel as a student or where to buy it for that matter? (I checked the Protel web site, but I don't believe the $7995 price should apply to students, and they just haven't responded to my e-mail in three weeks time.)

EDIT: Fourth; Can I make it so that if I move a part, the traces/wires will follow the part instead of having to reform every single trace every time I budge a part ever so slightly?

Thanks,
Sébastien
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Old 25th May 2004, 04:15 PM   #2
tool49 is offline tool49  Canada
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Since no one seems interested in helping me, or that every guru in Protel is too occupied to help me, I tought I'd put a list for the newbies like me of interesting features I found in Protel while dabbling with it.

I still havent found how to rotate multiple parts in the schematic tool. In the PCB tool it can be done in the following manner:
Select the parts to be rotated. Click the menu Edit then Move then Rotate Selection, enter the desired rotation angle and then click on the parts you selected previously.

In both tools, you can use the scroll button on the mouse to move in every possible direction. What?? Yep, that is up/down right/left and zoom in/zoom out. How? Simple. Press and hold the CTRL key on your keyboard while scrolling to zoom in/zoom out and the Shift key to scroll in the right/left direction.

In the pcb tool, you can reshape a trace by first selecting the trace and then moving it, this will modify the two traces at its extremity to follow the movement of the trace you are moving. If you don't select it first, the two other traces won't budge so you will have to reconnect them manually. (This does not work in the schematic tool which is a shame...)

I still havent found how to print the final outputs in scale BUT I have found that the gerber files can be printed in scale. The only downside for the home user is that the gerber includes a drille file instead of placing the holes directly in the copper, making it a bit harder to drill with the tiny carbide bits as there will be no marker for the hole. Help in this department would be appreciated.

Hope this helps someone!
Sébastien
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