I have been given the task to add assembly drawings to a design that another engineer is working on using protel 99SE. I would like to go into the library that he is currently using and just add a mechanical layer 1 to each part with a .comment string, and update the PCB from the library. There are about 100 parts on the secondary side of the PCB, is there a way to automatically change the mechanical layer to layer 2 with out having to select each out line and cut it and past it on another layer for the parts on the secondary side of the PCB? Is there another way that this can be accomplished that I am should be looking into.
Okay, let me see if I understand this. In infer that what you want is an assembly drawing and for this you want to use a .comment string because that string will normally hold type information from schematic. Further, the PCB you are working with has components on both sides, so you want to make two assembly layers, one for top and one for bottom.
This is actually pretty routine.
Let me suggest that you don't want to change the footprints in the library. Every part already has a .comment string unless you have done something to remove it. What you want to do is to make it visible and move it to the appropriate layer. This is not complicated to accomplish.
First, to make working simple, double-click on any reference designator and use a global edit to hide all designators -- you can bring them back later. Then double-click on any component and use another global edit on the Comment tab to make all comments visible. Then double-click on any Top Side Comment and globally edit all comments on the Top Overlay layer (assuming that it is on the default layer) to the Mech layer you want to use. Normally, I'd be using Mech 1 for outline, so I'd choose a different one. Whatever layer I choose, I'd name it functionally, so, in this case, I'd end up moving all the Top Overlay Comments to Top Assembly. Then I would likewise move all Bottom Overlay Comments to Bot Assembly.
I think Mr. Tontis knows how to use global edits properly, so I haven't included details about that....
I might then bring back all the reference designators. If I want both reference designators and comments on the assembly drawings, I might use the autopositioning feature to place them in complementary positions, or it might be necessary to manually retouch the positions, or it might not be possible to have both.
If I want both, I'd simply merge, in a plot, Outline, Top Overlay, and Top Assy layers. If there is room, I'd also have top and multilayer pads in the plot.
Anyway, all this is a few minutes work, except for the retouching of text positions if that is needed.
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