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Rats Nest visibility, component positioning and board views.

Hello, I did some searching around and could not find any references to these questions.  I am a newbee to DesignSparkPCB but not to PC design in general. While I'm enjoying many of the features  of this program, I find the lack of some rather annoying and bottle-necking in the layout process.

I have two specific feature requests:

1. Provide the visibility of the connection rat's nesting lines to be assignable to a short cut key press.  Or optionally add a toggle to the mouse context menu.  On dense layouts these lines hamper component visibility.  I know this can be done through the Colors menu but it's relatively cumbersome.

2. Make the movements of selected components assignable to a short cut key press. For example it would be nice to assign the left-right-up-down keys to moving the selected component(s) by one grid snap setting value.  For small movements the keyboard is easier.

3. ExpressPCB Plus has the ability to flip the layout view from the front view to the back view.  I find this to be fantastic for PCBs with components on both sides. Much better than just doing it by x-ray view only.

Please advise if these capabilities are already present and I just missed them..

Thank you for your time.

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February 20, 2020 10:42

Thank you for your response. I will repost the all these as you suggested. Now that I've sort of fought my way through the first design I've got a many more suggestions I'll drop in there as well. Overall a good program but definitely needs some polish to become more intuitive is some areas.

Regarding the third question, yes I am aware of the 3D view and it does help some. But I suggest you checkout the ExpressPCB Plus editor and you'll see what I meant in my query. ExpressPCB Plus flipped view is essentially an mirrored editor and layer reversal - just like turning the board over in every respect. That along with the reduce highlighting of deeper traces/layers improves productivity of the bottom layout process by a lot. It's just a better way to do it. It's sort how your mind WANTS to do it.

0 Votes

February 17, 2020 09:46

For the first two items, I'd suggest you post these in the DS PCB New Feature Request section of the DesignSpark forums:

You could post the third item there as well, though there is a partial solution for already in the program. The 3D View lets you rotate the board to look at it from any angle, including the back side. But it is only a viewing window, not an editing window.

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