> > In fact, I have a job at the moment where it would be a really useful
> > tool. There are two boards that plug together component side to
> > component side. If such a tool existed, I could place components
> > on both sides of a single outline so that I could check for
> > interferences as I go. I could also put the connectors on top of
> > each other so that I know they will match up. Once I am happy, I
> > could select everything on the bottom layer and flip them with a
> > copy of the outline. Now I have two boards as they will be
> > manufactured on a panel, with the components on the top, no
> > transposition errors and I still have the ability to keep in sync with
> > the schematic.
> >
> > Steve Baldwin
> You can flip x or y now  and it flips correctly  so why does anyone what
> flip so it contrary to design standards?  I dint get your point,  but I
> seen boards backwards  when these standards were ignored.  The problem is
> that mech engineers and designer dont know how to view a board.
> Mike Reagan

It is currently possible to *mirror* a PCB file (using the X or Y key), but
due care is required when doing so, because of the potential to produce a
PCB which contains mirrored footprints (which can't have real world
components fitted to them).

OTOH, an "inverted" PCB file contains components which are *still* in an
*unmirrored* state (but on the opposite side of the PCB to previously).
Inverting a PCB is thus inherently safer than mirroring it, because it is
not necessary (nor sensible) to mirror components that are (newly) added to
an inverted PCB, whereas that *is* necessary in the case of a mirrored PCB
(because not mirroring them at that time will result in them being in a
mirrored state after the entire PCB file is subsequently

An inverted PCB should be inverted a second time (to restore it to its
previous state) in order to comply with IPC standards, *but*, if that is
*not* done, the PCB will nevertheless *still* be capable of being assembled,
because none of its footprints will be in a mirrored state.

However, using the alternative (and currently available) option of mirroring
a PCB file does result in an increased risk of the manufactured PCBs
incorporating mirrored footprints, due to the potential for the PCB designer
to forget to (or overlook the need to) re-mirror/un-mirror the PCB file, or
to *not* mirror components which are added to the PCB file while this is in
a mirrored state.

And apart from that, as others have already said, there can be occasions
when it is desirable to invert an entire PCB, or else parts of this, when
re-using such work in another new job.

I don't know if the concept of inverting a PCB has previously occurred to
Altium, but to some extent it is not surprising that such a feature has not
been provided to date. As I have said on previous occasions, the provision
of this feature could open large cans of worms, as there are issues to
consider concerning what aspects of a PCB should be inverted. That is not
just an issue when an *entire* PCB file is inverted (as there are
differences between Standard Inversion and Deep Inversion), but also when
just *some* of a PCB file (such as those objects that are currently
selected) is inverted.

I, and others, have pointed out why the provision of an inverting feature
could be beneficial. But even if the feature of "on-line" inversion of an
*entire* PCB file is not provided in Phoenix ("off-line" inversion is
possible for users to implement (conditional upon ASCII versions of PCB
files containing *all* of the data associated with the PCB file), and
"on-line" inversion would also be possible for users to implement *if* the
SDK files and associated documentation were up to par (something which is
not currently the case with Protel 99 SE)), there is still a good case for
at least improving the outcome of using the L key while moving either single
objects or currently selected objects. (I have already requested others to
comment on what should happen in those circumstances.) At present, the
outcome of using that key is typically decidedly unsatisfactory...

Geoff Harland.
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