Yu-Ming Luo
You have identified a long time problem with Protel. I have my library
components constructed with a .designator string and an outline much as you
describe. Mine are on Mechanical 1, from days with only 4 mechanical layers.
My outlines are 4mil lines centered ten mils beyond the max part dimension
or max pad extension whichever is greater. When I place components and see a
mil between outlines I'm confident that a pick and place machine can get to
it with a 25mil component to component spacing. When I have components on
both sides, I unlock components on one layer only and globally change the
.designator string to another layer for the 2nd page of the assembly
drawing. I still need to reposition the strings manually. Most importantly
relock all primitives. One of the difficulties is the length of the
.designator string. It should have an abbreviated form (4 chars would be the
same length as R999 for example) so that it does not extend beyond the
component so far. On a crowded area surrounding an OP AMP for example a
mouse click will select every component in the area depending on the
orientation of the parts and the size of the .designator string. The
.designator string also causes parts to autoplace farther apart than I would
normally place them. My recommendation is to have a process to center
.designator strings on component pads centroid. This should be done by
component layer and have orientation options  for specifing that
.designators can be allowed freedoms. Check boxes would allow no rotation
changes if the 0, 90, 180, 270 were all checked.
I have too many last things to do on every circuit board and of course the
truth is only one thing can be last and one priority can be highest. I think
this is an example of a low priority at Protel.
Dave E

-----Original Message-----
From:   Yu-Ming Luo [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent:   Tuesday, August 21, 2001 12:07 AM
To:     Protel EDA Forum
Subject:        [PEDA] Customize layer pairs

Dear All,

I try to creat a footprint which contains special string .designator on
mechanical layer 15 and .comment on mechanical layer 14, and set default
string height and width to them, both of the string are in the center of the
footprint. So I can easily to creat the assembly drawing for debuging and
assembly, and need not to move the string on the silkscreen.

If all components are on the same side, it looks ok. but if the components
are on both side, I should manually change the the special string to
different layers, before creat assembly drawing.

I wonder if I can customize layer pairs to accomplish that, for example,
mechnanical 12 VS mechnanical 14, mechnanical 13 VS mechnanical 15, then if
I move a component to another layer, the special string can move to the
corresponding layer automatically.


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