Brian,
Have you seen/used component classes (or 'rooms')?  They provide some of the facility 
you're describing, although not as flexible.
The idea of having both preferred and disallowed areas for parts is interesting.  To 
make use of this additional information,
though, one would need an autoplacer quite a bit 'smarter' than the current one.

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Guralnick
Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2001 11:42 AM

Schematic:
For both individual components & sub-hierarchal sheet designators.  In the properties, 
there should be a simple graphical
representation of the outline of your PCB.  On this outline, you should be able to 
paint with the mouse the area of preference,
(best position, neutral position, keep out position), for where the auto place should 
try to place the components for that sheet.
All components within the sheet would use the painted setting of the sheet s sheet 
designator setting unless an individual component
within the sheet has a specific setting of it s own.  Default for all components would 
be a neutral setting for the entire board.



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