Understanding the Library StructureFollow article
DSPCB and Pro have similar library structures and storage arrangement. The following illustrates the DSPCB paths but Pro is similar using the appropriate "Pro" pathnames.
The Library Manager is a versatile tool allowing you the flexibility to create and manage the library structure that suits your requirements. The following describes where the libraries are stored in Windows and how you manage them in the Library Manager.
1. Where is my library?
At each version install (not patch updates) a full set of libraries are installed in your public documents folder.
Each version will have its own folder such as "DesignSpark PCB 10.0"
In the image above you will see the folder also contains a new set of Examples, Report Templates and Technology files. All of these will be usable in the current and future DSPCB and Pro releases, but depending on the new features of the version may not be compatible with older versions.
You will also notice folders for previously installed versions. This is a key point that your files are not deleted with a newly installed version or when un-installing DSPCB.
2. DesignSpark PCB N.n version Library folder.
Examining the DesignSpark PCB 10.0 version Library folder as shown in the image.
These libraries as said are "new" at first install and the User library at this point is empty.
This can cause some confusion after your first upgrade, but a detailed description of how to map to your previous version User library is provided here.
You may also use Windows File Explorer to copy or move your User folder from the previous version and replace the new empty User folder.
3. Library Manager and search procedure.
Launch the Library Manager and view the "Folders" tab, this provides several configuration options.
The first point to be aware of is that the libraries (components and symbols) are searched in the order of the "Folders" from top-down.
DSPCB also expects every component and symbol to be of a unique name and it will stop the search at the first name 'hit'.
This means that any duplicate named component or symbol will not be retrieved if lower down in the folders search order.
The recommendation is for any of your own components or symbols to have a unique name, but further versatility can be achieved by setting the search order with your User folder at the top and searched first.
As noted later it is also important to save the components schematic and PCB symbols in your User Library *1 .
The other folders can be in any desired order, but the (default) Libraries contains many useful components and symbols and hence recommended next, this document describes how to enable the (default) libraries.
To set the search order select any library in the Folders list by a mouse click to highlight and use the Up and Down buttons to produce the desired order.
With the set-up as above with your User folder at the top and the desired search order for the other libraries, your system is configured as required.
Further Configuration Options.
It is possible to further enhance the library by disabling any component libraries that are not required by selectively using the File enabled check box. This will enhance the search speed in the Library Manager and when using "Add Component".
In the image below in the "Files Found" lower window of the Library Manager, the files with a highlight box are greyed out indicating they are not selected and will not appear in the design when using "Add Component".
In this case, the ones shown with a yellow highlight are recommended to be disabled as they are generic components for SPICE circuit analysis only and do not have a PCB footprint which may confuse new users.
The files with an orange highlight can be kept enabled if desired as they represent schematic symbols (and will NOT appear when using "Add Component") and can be useful when creating your own component.
Note File types:
.cml is a component library, these are used in the DesignSpark design.
.ssl is a Schematic Symbol Library.
.psl is a PCB Symbol Library.
.ssl and .psl library symbols are used to build a component.
Are there any issues to be aware of?
Mostly everything is straightforward and behaves as expected, but you should be aware of the following when upgrading DSPCB (or Pro):
Components created using the Wizard are stored in the User Library, but a point to be aware of is that if the component uses symbols from the supplied libraries, these same libraries in the new installation must also be enabled or the symbols will not be found.
*1 Related to the above, if you edit a component symbol (either schematic or PCB) you must ensure the symbol is saved in the User Library. Do not save in the installed library as obviously, it will not be in any newly installed version library!
If you take care of this point you will have no issues installing any version upgrade and everything will work as before once you have mapped your old User library as described above.
Components downloaded from the online resource PCB Part Library are completely stored in your User Library and behave exactly as expected.
Other Available Resources.