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  • Getting to grips with common design features
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  • For discussing more complex issues
  • Getting help from a community of professional Design Engineers
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  • For reporting issues with the functionality of the software
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Top FAQ's

How do I activate DesignSpark PCB?

Note: You must be connected to the internet throughout this process.
1. At the DesignSpark homepage create an account.
2. Activate this user account by clicking the verification link within the email.
3. Confirm that your account works by logging in to the DesignSpark homepage.
4. Download the DesignSpark PCB software.
5. Run the program to install on your system. You must be an Administrator to be able to do this.
6. Launch from the short cut icon to complete the process by registering the software. You will have to run the program with administrator rights as it accesses the internet. Right click on the shortcut on your desktop and select "Run as Administrator". NOTE: This is different from being logged in to Windows as an Administrator as it gives the program higher privileges.
7. Complete the registration screen. Complete ALL required fields including the Job Title/Position and accept the T&C's. If clicking the button produces no action, check ALL of the fields are complete and look for errors. Ensure you email address is valid and correct. Incorrect entries will result in errors later on.

How do I upgrade to the latest version?

New DesignSpark PCB versions come with a separate installer and do not install on top of the previously installed revision.

Installing a new version along the previous installations is possible however it will result in two versions sharing some files and Windows Registry settings which can have potential consequences.

Unless you're an advanced Windows user, we recommend to have only one copy of DesignSpark PCB installed.

Please visit our DSPCB support section for more details.

How can I setup schematic sheets?

In order to start a new Schematic design or a PCB design visit the File menu and click New (shortcut key ).
Select the Schematic Design button and ensure the Use Technology File button is ticked. The Default.stf template will help you get started quicker, so please ensure you select this file.
If you want to add a new schematic design sheet in the project, select Add To Open Project at the bottom of the New Design dialog box. Read more in Support Centre

How can I start a project?

In order to start a new project select the File menu, and click New (shortcut key )
Select the Project button and give your project a name by clicking Browse... in the New Project Name section.
Now, you can start adding schematics and PCB design files into your project.
Read more in Support Centre

How can I add files to a project?

If you want to add a new schematic design sheet in to a project, use the New option from the File menu. Choose Schematic Design and ensure the Add To Open Project box at the bottom of the New Design dialog box is checked.
Either press OK or use the Browse button to the right of the Add To Project button. You will be presented with a standard Save dialog for you to provide the name of the new schematic design. The new sheet will then be shown in the project window.
Read more in Support Centre

How can I use the Library Manager?

The Library Manager is used to create and manage all of your libraries.
Use the Symbol and Component tabs to enter the correct library ‘type’ mode. For example, if you need to edit a PCB footprint, click on the PCB Symbol tab.
The Dir: list shows the current library path
The Library: list shows the current selected library.
Any items found in the selected library are displayed in the Library contents list.
Read more in Support Centre

Do I need internet access to use this software?

Our DesignSpark software is available for use by registered DesignSpark members.
The software will periodically check that the user is still registered on DesignSpark, if the software can not verify the user i.e. there is no internet connection, then it will continue trying for 30days and then give notice that the software will stop working after a further 30days.
It is therefore recommended that the system is connected to the internet at least once every 30 days to ensure seemless usage.

Can I still Access the Community Forums?

If you have a question that you would like to ask our community, you can post it in our Community Forum