At 11:51 AM 10/26/01 +1100, Thomas wrote:
>Thanks Darren, just what I wanted. (I had noticed the tool button for that
>function before but was not sure what it was for).

Actually, if you look at the Place menu, you will see that there is no 
Place Track command. Protel used to have that, but it was replaced with 
Place interactive rouTing. Same shortcut initials, for which we thank the 
programmers, since one gets awfully used to such a common command sequence. 
The difference, of course, is that PT follows connectivity and other copper 
design rules, whereas PL, Place Line, ignores them.

Place Interactive Routing quite reasonably prevents you from placing track 
on non-copper layers. That's what Place Line is for, so that Protel's 
famous flexibility is preserved while at the same time protecting us from 
easy mistakes.

>Only one problem; why does the line constraints dialogue box (TAB when
>placing line) use mils for the line width when I'm working with metric
>units? It's not a major hassle, but if I want a 0.8mm wide line I have to
>type "0.8mm" instead of "0.8".

Place Interactive Routing correctly uses metric units, but Place Line only 
displays imperial, a minor bug, since line widths on non-copper layers are 
rarely critical. Note that the current line widths for Place Interactive 
Routing and Place Line are distinct. Place Interactive Routing also, of 
course, will clip or increase line widths as necessary to satisfy the 
design rule for the net being routed. Place Line is subject to no design 
rule (though it will create DRC violations if the placed lines are on 
copper layers and violate a rule; PL track is always no-net).

Note that you can assign nets to track on mech layers. This is convenient 
if you want to move some routing out of the way and be able to bring it 
back with its net attributes. Just select it and globally edit it to a mech 
layer. Be sure to clear out selections after the move unless you are going 
to use them immediately, lest you accidentally move or delete invisible but 
selected primitives.

Abdulrahman Lomax
Easthampton, Massachusetts USA

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