Sorry about that - lets try that again, and this time maybe MS Outlook
Express will let me finish the email before it sends it - JaMi

All of the following questions are based on the following premise: I have
Gerber files of an old design that I want to import into P99SE or DXP, and
notwithstanding the initial problems that I may have getting the files
imported, lets assume as a starting point that I have all of the appropriate
primitives imported on to their appropriate layers. Another way to look at
this would be take a completed design done in P99SE or DXP, and delete the
schematic, release all of the primitives of all of the components, and clear
all of the nets, etc., etc., etc... What I now have as a starting point for
all of the following questions is a design full of primitives on individual
"copper" layers, and other primitives on other types of layers such as
solder mask, paste, overlay, etc., etc., etc., but now all of these
primitives are basic, simple, standalone, isolated, and unrelated, to each
other, in any manner other than their actual placement and individual size
and shape.

Question 1. Will Protel 99 SE, or Protel DXP, or any other EDA System for
that matter, allow me to select a group of primitives, say for example pads,
and then "collect" or "un-release" those selected primitives into (or back
into) an association or group (which actually will ultimately become
component with all of the "smarts" of a regular component)?  Possibly
another way to state this would be: is there any way to do an "un-release"
of all of the primitives of a component (besides doing "undo" immediately
after doing it), by selecting all of the primitives and "magically" making
then reassociate to each other as a component.

Question 2. Will Protel 99 SE, or Protel DXP, or any other EDA System for
that matter, allow me to take a standard "Component Footprint" from my PCB
Lib, and position it exactly on top of an existing group of "otherwise dumb"
primitives, and then issue a command that will replace any existing
"otherwise dump" primitives with their counterparts in the "Component
Footprint"? Possibly another way to state this would be: can I tell the
system to "delete duplicate primitives" that are duplicated but yet
unassociated with the "selected object" (a real "component Footprint")?

Question 3. Will Protel 99 SE, or Protel DXP, or any other EDA System for
that matter, allow me to take a predefined object, such as a "Component
Footprint" or another "structure" such as a "via", and tell it to "search
and replace" among all of the "otherwise dumb" primitives, for corresponding
"groups" of primitives, and replace them as a group, or block, or what would
now become a component

Question 4. Will Protel 99 SE, or Protel DXP, or any other EDA System for
that matter, allow me to take any of these "groups" of primitives that have
now been "reassociated" back into a "Component Footprint", and automatically
assign them bogus reference Designators such as "COMP1" thru "COMP999",
etc., etc., etc.?

If I could do these things, I could do an "Update connected copper . . . "
(etc.), and a little editing, and end up with an "intelligent database",
from which I could do other things such as generate a  netlist for compare,
etc., etc., etc..

Do any of these things exist, or am I just wishing out loud?

JaMi Smith


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