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Duplicate a layer



  • Brad Levy

    I don't know of any one-step method. But here is an approach that isn't too painful.

    First, add the new layer to the Design Technology, so you have somewhere to put the copy.

    Zoom out so your design only fills half the window.

    Open the Colors dialog.

    In the [All] layers row, set Display and Select to No.
    In the rows of the layer you want to copy, and the one you want to copy to, set Display and Select to Yes.


    The next steps need to be repeated for each type of entity on the layer (for example, text, shapes, tracks, pads). (On a documentation layer, you most likely only have text and shapes.)

    Set Selectable to No in all columns of the Colors dialog except the entity type you are currently processing. (For example, set Selectable to No for everything except Text). Set Selectable to Yes for the current entity type. Click Okay to apply the settings and close the dialog.

    Now when you frame-select your the whole window, it should select all of that type of entity (e.g., Text), but not the other entities. Control-shift-click the board outline to deselect it. (Unfortunately, I didn't see a way in the Colors dialog to make it unselectable.) Press control-C, which will copy all of the current entity to the clipboard. Press control-V to paste a copy. To reduce the likelihood of confusion between the copy and the original, I place the copy at a fixed offset side-by-side or above/below the original. After pressing enter to complete the copy, but while the copy is still selected, press Alt-Enter to bring up the Properties dialog. Most items in the dialog will be displayed as [Different] if you have more than one of that type of entity (for example, multiple text items on your documentation layer). But the Layer: setting will be the current layer. Change it to the new (destination) layer, and press Okay. That will move the copied items to the new layer.

    Now repeat the process for your other entity types. You can only access the Properties dialog when all selected items are the same type of entity (text, shape, etc.) which is why you need to do the process separately for each entity.

    If your board outline is complex (nested openings, etc.) it may be easier to select the entities you want to copy in smaller groupings rather than selecting the whole window and deselecting the board outline.

    Once you've transferred all the items to the new layer, select them all, and move using offset to place them back at the original x/y position of the design, aligned with everything else.

    Open the Colors dialog, and set Display and Selectable back to Yes for your normal layers and entity types. Press Okay.

    (just another user)

  • William Franks

    Thank you for the tips.  I had originally attempted to copy then paste offset as you suggested, and then select the new layer in the properties dialog for the selected items.  However i was dead ended when the layer select combo box did not appear in the dialog,  

    This points out a serious deficiency in DesignSpark as this process should be no more difficult than copying an item (or items), then selecting 'Paste to New Layer', selecting the target layer, and pushing 'OK'.  

    Maybe in the next revision. 


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