At 05:05 AM 9/3/2004, Dave Courtney wrote:
For future reference this was a hidden component that could not be selected
for some reason. I did a text search on the PCB file and found a large
positive fractional X component value. To fix this I edited the schematic to
remove the component, updated the PCB to remove it then replaced the part in
the schematic and updated the PCB again. You can't text edit the PCB file
because it probably has some form of CRC protection.

Yes, from the symptoms described previously it was fairly obvious that this was the problem. However, two comments:

(1) You *can* edit the PCB ASCII file, but you have to get it just right. In particular, if you just tried to delete a component, you'd have to delete not only the mention of the component ref des in the string that displays it, but also the component *number* and all associated primitives. If you want to move a component by editing the ASCII, you could create quite a mess if you don't change all associated primitives. The ASCII file is fine for finding wayward primitives, or moving a primitive here and there, but components are complex creatures better handled within the program.

(2) There are easier ways to find and remove wayward primitives. One way that has generally worked and is easy to use is to select all primitives, then deselect Inside -- and draw the deselect box substantially larger than what you think your PCB will need, but don't go off-screen (be zoomed all the way out when you do this). Selection is a bit of a beast in DXP, this task was much easier in Protel 99SE. Make sure that selection is set for cumulative selection and place a handy object and select it also. Then you can pick up that object and drag it *and* what is off-screen together. With a appropriate placement of the dummy object, you can usually pull any OWS object back into the workspace.

Another technique is to sort your primitives or components in a list display, and look for OWS coordinates. I haven't done this in DXP, it was easy in 99SE. In a list of components, you could edit the coordinates to bring the component back into the workspace.

Protel (all Windows versions, as far as I know) has a display behavior that can make it easy to detect and find OWS objects. If you pick up a selected set of primitives, and it is complex enough or you move the cursor fast enough, the primitives being moved on the cursor disappear and an outline box appears. If that outline goes out of the workspace (i.e., to the display edge) then you do have selected primitives out of the display area. Usually, you don't want to be moving primitives you can't see! So if you watch the behavior of objects when you are moving them, you can tell if you have inadvertently picked up some extra objects (by leaving them selected, perhaps from a previous operation).

It's a good idea, when doing operations involving selections, to clear out all selections (X-A) before beginning....

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