At 09:55 AM 10/25/01 -0400, Chris Mackensen wrote:
>         I could be wrong, but it sounds like the actual elusive traces are on
>another layer that is *not* visible.  When you go to route or select a net,
>traces on some of the non-visible layers will temporarily appear....  to
>fix, turn on those layers and delete as appropriate......

Yes, that's right.

>do not be fooled by the graphical color change of a selected net/trace on
>these non-visible layers... sometimes (if the layer color is just right),
>when selected, the color appears different and it could be mistaken for a
>different layer's color instead of the layer of interest....

There is an option which may control some of this, I'm not sure, but my 
system is set so that when a primitive has the focus (this is not the same 
as selection), its color changes to a complementary color. So you can tell. 
This also extends to other primitives connected to the same net, and they 
will display temporarily even if their layer is turned off. Similar 
behavior occurs when one moves a track such that it creates a clearance 
error, the involved primitives take on the error color, as I recall.

It's actually quite useful, once you realize what is going on. You can work 
on a layer and display only that layer, which makes it a lot easier to see 
what space is open for a track, and then you can place a via. If you wave 
the via around while it is floating on the cursor, you can see any problem 
primitives on all the other layers. Note that when you place a via, it will 
take on the net of any contacted primitive unless there is a conflict. If 
there is no connected primitive or it caused a short, one may wish to edit 
it to the appropriate net before putting it in its final position.

Another way of doing this is to wave around a no-net via (which is any 
unplaced via popped up to the cursor with Place/Via) to find a clear space 
and then pop the via down on a trace to which one wants to connect (or a 
pad of the same net).

Just to mention it, when I am creating a via fanout for a many-pin SMT 
device, I pop the vias down in contact with the pads. Usually they will 
have clearance errors, but I place them so that they just graze the pads, 
they do not short to another pad. Then I can move them out and rat's nest 
lines will automatically appear. When I have routed the lands to the pads, 
often this same pattern can then be copied to another symmetrical part of 
the SMT pattern. (Protel also automatically assigns nets in a similar way 
when they are copied, which is *totally* cool.)

Abdulrahman Lomax
Easthampton, Massachusetts USA

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