At 09:08 PM 3/7/2002 +0100, Peder K. Hellegaard wrote:

>Working as a designbureu using Protel I need a server/addon/tool that can
>place all components in a PCB library on a number of pcb sheets for
>subsequently printing. Preferbly with an option of automatically indicating
>the pinnumbers next to the pads and a list with the holesizes used.
>
>Anybody who knows of such software ?

You don't need special software to place the parts. There are two ways.

(1) Select all the parts in a library panel (with a library open). 
Rt.-click on the selection, and click on Copy. (To select all parts, you 
can click on the first, then use the slider to move to the end of the list 
and Shift-click on the last one. This should leave all selected.)

(2) Open a blank PCB file, click on the workspace and then Edit/Paste and 
paste the parts. All parts will be added to the PCB. Nice, eh? You can use 
Tools/Interactive Placement to spread them out....

The second way is to edit a library report into net list format, and then 
load the net list. I used to do that with Tango, the same trick works with 
Protel.

As to the rest of what you want, it would not be difficult. I don't have 
the time, but anyone who knows the Protel database format should be able to 
do it quickly; I would use QuickBasic simply because I've been using it for 
so many years.... (The database -- ASCII form -- is self-documenting and 
very easy to read.)

What I would do is to read the database and write each record as I read. I 
would look for component records and would change the Refdes field to the 
name of the Footprint, which is in the same record as I recall. Easy-peasy.

In the same scan I would look for pads, and for each pad I found I would 
create a text record on an appropriate layer with the X,Y coordinate the 
same as the pad, containing the pad name. I'd accumulate these records, 
then write them at the end of the file; as I recall that should work. All 
these names could then be shifted en-masse back in the PCB editor; or, 
alternatively, one might get fancy and figure out where to write them in 
the first place.....

Hole sizes could be written in the same way....

Frankly, this would be very useful for documenting libraries and for 
checking footprints.

There might be a way to do it in Client Basic, but I haven't learned it.... 
So many languages, so little time....

Abdulrahman Lomax
Easthampton, Massachusetts USA

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