At 08:49 AM 9/30/2002 +1000, Ian Capps wrote:

>Others have mentioned the compacting so try that first. If that doesn't help
>try moving your completed mech layers to separate pcb file for storage

Since we know that Mr. Robison is using massive bitmaps, this may well be 
one source of the problem, though this is the first time I have encountered 
a file size limit in Protel 99SE. Perhaps there is also some limit on Mr. 
Robison's disk, though that is just a stab in the dark. Most likely, Mr. 
Robison does not have Compact on Close enabled, as others have suggested. 
It is very easy to overlook this option in the unnamed Client menu.

Moving the bitmaps out would be helpful. Keeping them as gerbers would be 
one way to quickly bring them back in as needed. If the coordinates are 
absolute, and set that way in the plot, gerber imports will come back into 
primitives located where they originally existed. (I don't recall all the 
rules for how coordinates are handled in import, but I am sure 
absolute-absolute works.) In this case you'd want to use single-file gerber 
import, which will place the primitives on the current layer, so remember 
to set the mech layer you want to use as Current!

>If you place a pad on all the layers for a reference point it will make it
>easier to copy that layer back into position for final checks. (Make sure
>that the hole size is zero if you place the pad within the board area.

Zero hole size is probably be a bit safer if one forgets to remove the 
pad.... Note that pads can live on mechanical layers, and in that case I'd 
really want the hole to be zero, I just am not sure how Protel handles 
holes in a non-copper layer and I'm not sure I'd want to find out in the 
middle of a job.

Using pads and snap is a good way to easily maintain reference when using 
copy and paste.... But it may not be needed here if the files are kept as 
gerber (which is, incidentally, substantially more efficient in terms of 
space than is a PCB file, not that most of us are short of space. Tango DOS 
had a block file format, you could save a block of a PCB and then reload it 
into another board. I don't think Protel has a function that simple; copy 
and paste does the job, to be sure, but not as quickly.)

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