Problem Fixes in Version 10.0.1
- Stability improvement to protect against user errors with 3D models. Example if a user maps a single pin test point to a 2 pad SMD 3D model the viewer will reject this and substitute a default shape.
- Importing a DSL component model will trap pin mapping issues such as the wrong number of pins mapped.
- The DSL import by drag and drop to the Library Manager schematic, PCB and Component tabs is now more robust against errors.
- BOM Composer will now search for the various part number fields and stop at the first complete entry, not at a blank entry.
- The NC drill file can now contain milling commands which is useful for Panel layouts.
- Custom Reports now handles the column Caption.
- The Small Cross cursor is prevented from being wrongly replaced by the Windows default cursor in some situations.
- Import Eagle designs is now more robust rejecting incorrect pin mapping.
- Change Component now handles “Keep Local Data” correctly.
New Features and Enhancements in Version 10.0.0
New Nets Bar
- A new dockable Nets Bar showing details of the nets in a PCB design has been added to Version 10, (note this is not available for Schematic Designs). The bar can display Net Name, Net Class, Total Track Length, Min/Max Length Values and Rules, Via Count and Test Land Count. These details are available already in the head-up display for a single track being edited, but the new bar allows you to view this information across multiple nets to assist with length matching etc.
- Access the Nets Bar from the View menu and Dockable Bars> Nets menu option.
Intelligent Design Backup Interval
- Design Backups (if enabled) are written whenever you save a Schematic or PCB design. Using the
new Work Time controls (enabled by default) the application will ensure that a meaningful amount
of work is done between each backup regardless of how frequently you Save the design on which you are working. This means you can Save as often as you like without “filling up” your set of cyclic
design backups with tiny incremental differences.
Design Rules Check Changes
- Component-to-Component SMT Check: When doing a Component-to-Component check for SMT components on the opposite side of the board against a through-hole component, if no placement shapes are defined for the through-hole component’s bottom side then Spacing checks are now done only against the space occupied by the pins protruding through that side of the board, rather than using the bounds of the entire component on that side.
- Include Integrity Check: Integrity Check is now available within the Design Rules Check dialog. It's presence here allows it to be included in your saved Sign-off checks.
- Check for Unpoured Areas: There is a new check under the Manufacturing header that checks for Copper Pour Areas that have no copper attached to them (Unpoured Areas). This is an important check to ensure full design and electrical integrity within your design before sending away for manufacture.
- Silkscreen Overlap Check: The existing Silkscreen Overlap check has been split into separate checks for Shapes and Text.
- Individual Item Selection in Silkscreen Checks: Further extensions to DRC Silkscreen Overlap checks means you can now split them by checking Shapes and/or text against any of Board, Pads, Free Pads, Vias and Text.
- Min Via Hole Size: There is now a separate value on the Design Technology, Rules for Min Via Hole Size so you can have two different values for the minimum hole size used for Vias as well as Pads (using Min Hole Size option).
Paste Shapes in Footprints
- Within the PCB Symbol (Footprint) editor, in the Tools menu there is a new command, Apply
Paste. This is used to assist in creating a rectangular pattern of paste shapes for items such as thermal pads. This is an automated way to create something you can already do by hand but this tool makes it much easier.
New Disconnect From Signal Nets option
- Available in both Schematic and PCB designs, a new context menu option Disconnect from Signal Nets can be used in select mode. As the name suggests, this will do the same as Disconnect From Net but it will only do it to nets whose net class is of type Signal, thus leaving any power/ground nets still connected.
- This option is useful if you need to swap gates for instance in a Schematic, it means that the power and ground nets are still connected without having to remember to connect them after the gate changes have been made.
Changes to Component Values dialog
- Editable Ref Name Column: On the Component Values dialog for a design or Project, the Ref Name column is now editable. This allows you to alter the names of multiple components in one place.
- Component Values dialog sorting: Clicking on the column header for any column that is one of the recognised “value” names (Value, R,C, L etc.) will now sort on the ‘actual’ value taking into account series/numeric prefixes, thus putting 100pF before 100nF.
- Ref Name Filter: A field for Ref Name has also been added to the Filter controls, allowing you to filter the component table based on a wildcard of component ref names.
- Colouring for Read-only Controls: Read-only edit boxes now have greyed background to make it clear that they are not currently editable.
Options for Drawing Connections by Side in PCB
- In a PCB design on the View menu and Net Connections, new commands are available to set connections to be drawn only on one side (e.g. only those between Components on the Top Side) and only when both ends are within the current view.
- A new File Open dialog that provides access to recent Projects, Designs and Library items has
been added. This can also be optionally changed back to the standard Open dialog using Preferences if required.
- ‘Pinning’ items in the list: This new dialog includes the ability to ‘pin’ favourite items to the top of the list. This can be done by either clicking on the small pin next to the item name or by selecting the item once and right clicking to reveal the context menu.
Recent Files Lists Projects
- The Recent Files menu on the main File menu now lists Projects and Design files separately for ease
Add to Project – Other Files Relative Path Name
- When using Add to Project, there is an option to reference ‘other’ files (not PCB or SCM) using
their relative path if they are in the same folder as, or a folder below the Project.
- Once in the Project file list, if the file lives somewhere relative to the Project file (in the same folder
or below the Project), a new right-click context menu option will detect that the indicated file is below the Project and will allow you to convert their full absolute path into a Relative Path.
Save Project to Zip File
- There is a new command on the File menu of a Project, that saves all the files in a project into asingle Zip file for ease of archiving or sending to colleagues, etc.
Cross-probe zoom After Probe
- There is a new check box on Cross Probe page of Preferences dialog to Auto Zoom when probing. This enables you to see what has actually been selected in the probe target. With this check box set (which is the default setting), the target design will zoom to show the selected item and a reasonable area around it.
Net Properties – Nets shown on other sheets
- With a selected net, Net Properties has been extended in a multi-sheet project to include Pads on
other sheets, these are shown with an asterisk suffix to differentiate them.
Goto Bar shows DRC Errors for all Open SCM Sheets
- In a multi-sheet Project, the Goto Bar now shows DRC errors for all open SCM sheets.
Different sections for each page are shown:
Drag Connected Items to Component Bin
- Dragging items to the Component Bin has now been extended to allow you to drag components to
the bin even if other design items, like Connections or Tracks, are also in the selection.
Rules for Colouring Components
- A new Component Colours tab is available in both the Design Technology dialog and Display (Colours) dialog to allow settings for over-riding the colours used to draw Component shapes and/or text.
Move Components Names within a Tight Group
- If you select one or more Component Names (and nothing else) where those Components are part of a tight group, this allows you to move those names without disturbing the position of the Components.
Changes to Change Component & Replace Component
Changes have been made to the Change Component dialog (from Component Properties) and
Replace Component (from Tools menu):
- Change & Replace Component dialogs are now resizable: You can resize the dialog by grabbing the edges or corner of the dialog and dragging it. This is useful if you have large components that cannot be viewed using the default size.
- Values are shown in the Preview list: The preview for the selected Component shows you Values. This is the same as it does already in the Add Component dialog.
- Check box to “Keep Local Values”: This will ensure that any values you have defined or altered locally on the Component instance in the design will be retained when the new Component definition is applied.
Rename Components by List
- The Rename Components option (on the Tools menu) has been extended to allow you to provide a
list of new Component Names (including name ranges) that are used in the point-and-click stage
instead of simply renaming sequentially. As well as typing the list, you can also import a list using
Changes to the New Component Wizard
- Description box: The Details tab of the New Component Wizard now has Description box from which to enter the Component description.
- Values Tab: The New Component Wizard now has a new tab for Values to allow you to add values to the Component you are building.
Library Item time stamps
- When copying items between libraries, or from designs to libraries, the existing time stamp
(‘version’) on those library items will now be preserved rather than set to the current time.
Prompt for Net Name on Add Connection
- When starting a new Connection, the new Add Net option will display a net name dialog allowing
you to supply a name straight away, instead of having to finish the connection and/or do Change Net.
Integrity Check suppress PCB-only
- This a new setting in the Integrity Check section of General Preferences. With the Warn SCM/PCB only check box unchecked, any warning messages about ignoring SCM-only or PCB-only Components during Integrity Check will be suppressed. This means where there are many warnings that you know to be correct and irrelevant to you will not be written to the report, thus decluttering it.
Change to Preferences for ‘Cancel in Add Track’
- The existing preference for Cancel in Add Track returns to Select Mode has now moved to the
Interaction tab of Preferences dialog (it was previously on the PCB Tracks tab). This makes it more
meaningful as it applies to other options.
Mirror Pad Style Exceptions
- A new check box Mirror with Component on the Design Technology Rules page has been added.
With the Mirror with Component check box selected, when a Component is flipped (mirrored), it flips over the pad style stack so that any pad style exceptions are applied to the swap layer automatically instead of having to define two sets of exceptions for the Top and Bottom layers.
Allow Reposition of Component Pads
- An additional check box on Pad Properties called Allow Reposition has been added. When this is
checked, the pad on this instance of the Component can be independently moved or rotated, either on the Properties dialog or interactively.
Pour Copper Avoid Same Net Tracks Setting
- A new check box has been added to Copper Pour Area Properties to Avoid Same Net Tracks.
When checked, this will instruct Pour to treat all tracks, even those on the same net as the Area, as
obstacles to avoid.
Thermal Spoke values by Pad Style
- In the PCB Design Technology, Pad Styles now have an extra field for Thermal Spoke Width. If this value is set to something greater than zero (the default) then this size will be used in preference to any design, or area-level rules defining thermal spoke width (in Design Settings, Rules).
Plot Include/Omit Drilled-out Pads
- An additional check box on the Settings tab of the Plotting & Printing dialog has been added. If you have pad styles where the drill size is larger than the pad, this produces an effect called 'drilled out pads' where any copper land for the pad would be completely removed by the drilling process.
Output Drill Data to Gerber
- Drill data plots, previously only written to Excellon format, can now write in Gerber format as well.
This means drill data can be exported using Gerber X2 format as required by some manufacturers.
Extra header info in Excellon
- Excellon files can now contain extra header information to specify coordinate formatting and file
contents, including file function and other details compatible with the Gerber X2 standard as advised by Ucamco.
ODB++ IP Protection
- Three new options are available on the Export ODB++ dialog that help with protecting your
intellectual property (IP) whilst still allowing manufacturing data to be produced and sent externally
to your company - Neutral Names, Omit EDA, and Omit Netlist.
Layers Bar - Hide Power Plane
- In the Layers Bar, when double-clicking on a Power Plane layer to make only that layer visible, any currently displayed power plane will be turned off. This equates to automatically using the Hide Powerplane option when displaying a single layer.
Layers Bar - Toggle True Width with Ctrl Key
- In Layers bar, if you single Ctrl-Click on the layer name, it will toggle the true size state on that layer (e.g. Tracks and Copper shapes).
Named Layer Toggles
- The Layer Toggle entries now have an optional Name. Access this by right-clicking on the Layers
Bar, Set Toggle Layers.
Footprint check – Copper to Pad Association
- When saving a PCB Symbol any copper shapes assigned to pads will be checked to make sure that their associated pad is actually inside the shape.
Hexagonal Pad Shapes
- A regular hexagon shape has been added to the list of available Pad Shapes available. This can be
used in both the PCB and Schematic editors.
Highlight Net during Add and Edit Track
- When adding or editing a PCB Track, PCB Connection or SCM Connection, new Preferences will
automatically highlight the net being edited to make it easy to see the rest of the items on the net.
Prefer Visible Layer in Add and Edit Track
- When adding or editing a PCB track, if the expected/default layer is not visible, checking the Prefer
adding on visible Layer option (set in Preferences, PCB Tracks) will use the first visible electrical
layer instead of attempting to make the hidden default layer visible.
Move Treat Vias as Fixed
- When moving PCB track segments, the Treat Vias as fixed on move Track option causes unselected vias at track ends to be treated as fixed, instead of picking them up with the moving tracks. This avoids disturbing track patterns on other layers.
This option can be accessed from Preferences on the PCB Interaction page.
Problem Fixes in Version 9.0.4
Design Rule Check
- When using net match rules, the check was not obeying the setting for “Stop at first Net Match”.
- It was possible to create schematic blocks with duplicate block names, potentially leading to incorrect linkage between blocks in the project.
- A separate PCB symbol (PSY) file was not recognised as a valid item to add to a library.
- Enabling Break Silkscreen could prevent hatched symbol shapes from being cleared around pads.
- If a PCB design was stored in a folder with Japanese characters in the folder path, the auto-router would simply fail to route the design without displaying any reason for failing.
- The visual result for a DIP switch was sometimes rotated by 90 degrees from its correct position.
- In some circumstances, a ground plane could be marked as split into sub-nets when this was not the case.
Display Net Name
- It was not possible to display more than one net name at a time in Select Mode.
- On adding a schematic drawing to a project, the block name was not being cleared from that drawing, potentially leading to incorrect linkage of sheets in the project.
Problem Fixes in Version 9.0.3
- Stretching the Add Component dialog was not increasing the amount of space for the list of component Values.
- The default action when clicking to insert a corner over an existing track segment on another layer was to ask to insert a via and join to that track, instead of offering this as the default only if both tracks were on the same net.
- Associated parts can now correctly be selected in the BOM Composer.
- Some elements of the colour settings available on the dialog were not being saved/restored using Colour Files.
- The Colour Files dialog would sometimes not list all or any of the available files.
- After saving edits on a symbol whilst having a component open for edit, sometimes the symbol preview would not update to show the newly-saved symbol until you closed and re-opened the component.
- It was not possible to Import a CSV file that had just been Exported from the Components page of the Libraries dialog.
- When deleting a Pour area, the choices offered on the popup question about removing the associated copper did not match the actions that the application then took in response to your choice.
- Grids were not visible on Design Technology and various other dialogs on some high-resolution displays.
- The pickable checkbox for Text was not properly saving and restoring its setting.
- Where folder names are ‘squeezed’ by replacing some folders with ‘…’, it was not possible to see the full names even by resizing the library dialog.
- When Copying items to another library, the application would prompt that the item already existed in the library you are copying ‘from’, not ‘to’.
- Sometimes the Plotting dialog would get ‘stuck’ asking you to save a Plot Job and you were unable to cancel.
- Redundant dialog controls for thermal isolation and spokes were still present on the Settings tab even though the values entered there were no longer used.
- Using ‘Time’ as a field for composing plot file names was causing all plots in a given ‘run’ to have different times, rather than all using the time of the first one generated in that run.
- The right-click menu when selecting a component had the command ‘Display Net Names’ on the menu twice.
New Technology File
- It was possible to create a new PCB technology file with the wrong file extension by following a particular sequence in the File New dialog.
- In some situations, blind or buried vias were being output as through-board.
- In one particular PCB design, some copper was missing the cutouts needed to provide isolation from a plane.
- Where filled shapes were used in symbols, text items would sometimes be obscured by the shape filling when printed to PDF.
- Copper could be poured too close to component copper (copper shapes defined in a PCB symbol) if the shape-to-shape spacing was larger than other spacings.
- The default setting for ‘Ignore Tracks fixed for Router’ was ‘checked’, which meant that it could be difficult to unroute some tracks.
- Changing the layer span of a Via in the Properties dialog had no effect.
- In the custom report, it was not possible to choose to include only those components which had a particular Value defined using “Value <valuename> Is Not” and entering a blank string.
- It was not possible to select Junction Points in a Schematic if the Select Mask for Components was turned off.
- The wrong shape was being generated for teardrops on T-shaped pads.
Problem Fixes in Version 9.0.2
Save New Version
- In a Project file, with some dialog settings it was possible that the application would move the original files to the new location instead of copying them.
Design Rule Check
- When using multiple Net Match spacing rules, it was possible that pad-to-pad checks did not find the largest (worst) spacing value to use for through-hole pads and could therefore miss possible DRC errors.
- “Settings and Highlights” now has full complement of settings available.
- Display driver compatibility enhanced.
- “Missing Technology File” messages when using Library Loader have been resolved.
Problem Fixes in Version 9.0.1
Those marked with ** only apply to DesignSpark PRO
- The About dialog now displays the Product Key used to activate the application.
- No account was being taken of the drill-to-drill spacing when calculating valid positions for adding vias, which could lead to some being later flagged with errors when running Design Rule Check.
- The dialog allowed you to type anything into the drop-down list for inside/outside/both, rather than restricting the input to only allow valid choices.
- The direction choices for inside/outside were producing results the exact opposite of what was chosen.
- If you selected a pad that had no unrouted connections, the menu command for Fanout Selected Pads was not enabled.
- In designs containing copper pour areas it was sometimes possible to generate spurious additional stubs that attempted to join to the copper shapes.
- The sort order in the CSV file generated by BOM Composer was not the same as that shown in the on-screen display or the generated HTML/text report.
- Some standard reports in BOM Composer did not attempt to populate the Part Number column from all possible component Values in the design.
- On the dialog for the separate Configuration Files program, the Help button gave an error ‘Topic not found’.
Design Rule Check
- Spacing errors were not being detected for pads on the special layer [Bottom Layer] when Net Match Spacings were set up for the explicit bottom copper layer name.
Design Tool Tips
- Depending on the Zoom level, the on-screen design tool tip could show information for the wrong item.
- In several places in the application the display of user interface elements (including some dialogs, and list boxes containing check boxes and/or icons) was incorrect or unreadable on high-resolution displays.
- At some zoom levels and grid steps, drawing of screen grid dots could be very slow causing application to become unresponsive.
- When generating Gerber data using the “X2” format, the aperture function ‘SMDPad’ in the file header was missing a mandatory second field (‘CuDef’ or ‘SMDef’).
- The Components tab of the library manager dialog incorrectly displayed the ‘Datasheet’ button as ‘Export’.
- In a Project, the Tools menu incorrectly displayed the menu command ‘SCM/PCB Check’ as ‘Integrity Check’.
- The Help menu contained a link to obsolete ‘Legacy Tutorials’.
- When saving a copy of a Project, an error message was being displayed that incorrectly indicated that the copied Project would not work properly.
- Renaming selected components in a PCB design could result in some of those components being given names that already exist on non-selected components.
- In some situations, components on some Schematic sheets in a Project were being overlooked.
- The setting of the ‘By Stem’ checkbox when using Auto Rename Components in a Schematic was not being remembered for next time the dialog was used.
- The supplied ‘RSBOM’ report did not attempt to populate some columns (including manufacturer and manufacturer part number) from all possible component Values in the design.
- The installer was not applying the correct application icon to be displayed in the Windows ‘Apps and Features’ control panel.
- Improvements have been made to remove occurrence of the widow becoming inactive.