How do I unlock component strings ?

    I didn't even know they could be locked.

    I am editing a legacy design using 99SE+SP6 (somebody else started in
Autotrax, last edited in Protel98)
    All mods have been completed and I'm now putting component designators
and comments in the positions that I want them. When selecting each string
to be moved Protel issues the warning: "Primitive is locked. continue?"
    Hitting "Yes" allows me to reposition the string. I have seen (and used)
locked components before but have never seen this type of thing when
manipulating component strings. This isn't the end of the world but it is
annoying when I need to move a lot of strings.

    Has anyone seen this behaviour before? Or better still how to fix it? Am
I missing something blatantly obvious? (it is Monday after all...)
    There is nothing in the string edit dialogue box that allows the string
to be locked or unlocked. The strings are behaving as though it is a
component primitive (ie: pad or track). I've never seen this behaviour in
all the designs I have done from scratch or upgraded over the years.

    (I know about the existence of the string positioning functions but I
have some mechanical constraints that I want the text to avoid - easier done
manually)

Any help appreciated...

LINDEN DOYLE

I agree that Designator strings and Comment strings should always be
movable, regardless of whether the component's primitives are in a locked
state or otherwise (and regardless of whether the component is locked or
not). As such, this sounds like a "legacy quirk": in bringing a file saved
with an earlier version of Protel, aspects of this file can sometimes
"misbehave" in assorted ways.

I would suggest that you select everything in the PCB file, then move these
selected items 1 inch to the right (say), then move these back to their
original position again. Hopefully moving all of the components in this way
will result in them then "snapping out" of their oddball behaviour.

If that doesn't work, try rotating each component 360 degrees before you
attempt to move either of its associated strings (a pain in the neck if the
component is off-grid).

Otherwise, I am not sure what could be done next. But hopefully one or the
other of the above suggestions will work... (Maybe re-booting your PC to
free up memory again; perhaps Protel is playing up due to running out of
memory (because of memory leaks).)

Regards,
Geoff Harland.
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