Slightly to the side of the topic, but...

I have had in the past, great problems with connections (in the ratsnest
layer) going off to a point, that probably had a track in the past.
Based on what you've said below, I guess the track became zero length in
the process of cleaning up, but then later, adjacent tracks were
deleted.  I'm then left with zero length track on the net, that I can't
delete, select, or even see!  I'd love to be able to clean this up.

Till later,
Scott.
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    Scott May.
    Hydrographic Support
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 -----Original Message-----
From:   Abd ul-Rahman Lomax [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]] 
Sent:   Friday, 8 February 2002 10:45 AM
To:     Protel EDA Forum
Subject:        Re: [PEDA] Removing virtual tracks

At 04:01 PM 2/7/2002 -0500, Jenkins, Charlie wrote:
>I have not tried this but select any track and then do a global to
select if
>the track width matches 0.  Then only the 0 width stuff will be
selected.

The track in this case was zero length, not zero width. Global edit will

not catch this. Protel (incorrectly, in my opinion, does not display a
zero 
length track. This is particularly anomalous because zero-length draws
in 
gerber *are* drawn (and the result is as if the aperture were flashed).
So 
if you import a gerber file with a zero-length track, that is, a draw
with 
the same starting and ending point, it will become a zero-length track
in 
Protel that does not display.

[Zero width track, incidentally, *does* display with a single pixel from

whatever zoom, and it can readily be selected. And it plots, with a zero

diameter aperture. I consider this correct behavior.]

There should be an option (under Preferences) to automatically delete 
zero-length track when it is created by an edit. Existing zero-length
track 
should be respected, display, plotted, DRC'd, etc.

There are various methods to select zero-length tracks. It is not
necessary 
to go to the ASCII database and, in fact, it would not be completely 
straightforward to find such track, (It would not be difficult in Excel
or 
other spreadsheet, including the Protel spreadsheet, one could calculate

track length and sort the records on that basis. The Protel spreadsheet,

unfortunately, does not allow the setting of the selection field, as I 
recall. But you could give the track some length by changing one
coordinate 
to a weird value, like 99.999, which could then be the object of a
global 
edit, if one was still necessary)

As to the behavior of zero-length track: When moving the endpoint of a 
track, the track disappears as the cursor is moved to the endpoint of
the 
track. I find that the track will edit normally, but because it is 
invisible, it may be difficult to place the cursor on the track to
select 
and edit it.

The Query Manager cannot be used to select this track because the Query 
Manager does not allow formulas or variables in the selection fields,
nor 
is track length one of the allowed variables.

I was able to make the track visible in the following way: I placed a
large 
pad on the track, which took on the track's net. Immediately when the
pad 
was released, the pad became visible, because primitives of the same net
as 
a primitive with the focus display highlighted.

If the pad is "No Net," however, this does not work directly. A new pad
of 
a different net, violating against the "No Net" pad, shows a DRC error,
but 
the zero-length track does not display the error. The Violations Browse 
gives (in Details) the coordinates of the zero-length track, which could

then be used by the Query Manager to select it.

There may well be a fast way to find this track and select it for
deletion. 
If it were easy to use formulas in the spreadsheet, that might cut it.
Any 
clues? (I know I could do it in Excel, but it would be much faster if
the 
native spreadsheet could be used.) The problem is that the spreadsheet 
includes units in the coordinates, so a direct subtraction does not
work. I 
could not find a *simple* way to convert the coordinate text to an
actual 
number. Sure, I could parse the strings, but, hey, if you are going to
feed 
us numbers with units, fix the spreadsheet so that it will do math on 
numbers with units!!!

(All is forgiven if there is a simple function I overlooked. Some forms
of 
Basic will evaluate strings to numbers by ignoring any text characters 
beyond the numbers. That's all that would be needed. On the other hand,
if 
there is a function, no kudos to the documentation people.... (does
Protel 
have documentation people?)




[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Abdulrahman Lomax
Easthampton, Massachusetts USA





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