Frequently Asked Questions

Finding Answers to Common Questions

You can use this page to view collection of Frequently Asked Questions to find help and information about a particular topic.

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CategorySub CategoryDescription
GeneralGeneral Design EditingI saved my design and I see another file with a “~” character before it, what is this?
When browsing around your folders you may discover files that start with the ~ character.
How can I change the 'angle' at which tracks and shapes are drawn?
There are several 'segment modes' which control the angle at which each segment of track or shape is laid down.
Using Star Points
Star points are a way of linking different nets without them automatically merging into one.
Why colour files will not update my design
Some tips about how to use colour files in PCB designs
Backing up your designs
Keeping a history of earlier versions
Why are layer types important?
Layer types are frequently misunderstood. This explains their use.
Configuring security copies
How to configure where and when security copies are saved
Can I list the hot keys?
How to report the available shortcut keys in a design
Filling imported DXF letters
How to avoid gaps in letters imported as vector DXF from being flood filled
Setting properties of multiple items
If you want to change a particular property of a number of items, you can do this in one go if they are all the same kind of item.
How do I place components using a reference point?
Components (and other items) can be placed relative to a particular point using the Relative Origin.
Making scroll bars more responsive
The responsiveness of the scroll bars on an Easy-PC design window is related to the size of the design working area
Frame-select using keyboard only
When working on dense designs, you may find you need to start a 'frame select' action without the normal mouse-down
LibrariesCan I reuse Symbols or Footprints in other Components?
Existing symbols in the libraries can be utilised in new components.
How do I add my own values to components?
Components can have an unlimited number of values (attributes) which can be used for a variety of purposes.
Components with non-sequential pins
How to manage the creation of components which have 'gaps' in their pin numbering
Having created a symbol, how do I add it to the design?
Once you have created a schematic symbol, there is another step you need to take before you can add it as a component to a design.
How can I verify that the symbol I have created is correct?
Other than experience showing you, the easiest way is to add the newly created symbols to the design, both Schematic and PCB.
Why are my footprint pads not showing as surface mounted?
Sometimes you may find a footprint you have created is showing its pads as through-hole instead of surface-mount.
How can I create a pad shape that isn't provided by the application?
Some components require pads with strange shapes that don't match any of the inbuilt shapes provided by the application.
Surface mount footprints with heatsink pads
Methods of defining thermal or heatsink pads in your PCB symbols
If I use the supplied libraries, should I verify them for my own use?
A wide range of components is supplied in our standard and supplementary libraries, but you should still check them before using them.
How do I place pads on a certain pitch on my footprint?
Most footprints require pads to be placed at a specific pitch. There are tools that will assist you in doing this.
How do I find the component I am looking for?
With multiple libraries set up it is sometimes difficult to remember where a specific library item might be.
Is there an automatic method to create Components and Symbols?
Many components follow a similar pattern, and you can benefit from this by using the Wizards provided with the application.
How do I create a connector?
Connectors are not that different from other components, although we offer here two suggestions about how to create them.
What are placement shapes?
Using these can avoid spurious component errors.
Why are there three types of library, do I need them all?
Easy-PC uses three sets of libraries, for the Schematic, for the PCB and for both to tie them together (Components).
Can I create my own components?
You can create your own components very easily. Easy-PC is supplied with standard set of libraries to which you can add your own.
Recovering components and symbols from designs
If you find your libraries don't contain components or symbols that are used in some of your designs, those items can be 'recovered' from the design files to rebuild your libraries.
Library loader won't work
Resolving issues when the library loader malfunctions
Disappearing silkscreen shapes
When adding components to a PCB design, you might find that the expected silkscreen shapes do not appear in the design.
Designing surface mount footprints
Guidelines for the general principles of designing footprints for surface mount use.
Finding 'missing' libraries
With the different ages and installation paths of different libraries with Easy-PC, sometimes it's possible that libraries are not correctly identified. This describes a technique for finding and adding those libraries to the program.
How to tell the program where to look for library files
The application can access library files from a 'set' of folders with a specified 'search order'.
OverviewWhich should I create first, the Schematic or PCB designs?
Although you can in theory start with either PCB or Schematic, if you are designing the whole project then it is better to start from the Schematic.
Why do I even need a Schematic design?
Although you can if you wish create your board directly as a PCB design without a schematic, there are benefits to starting with a Schematic.
How do I save my preferences?
Preserving custom configuration for reinstallation
PropertiesHow do I change the value of discrete components such as capacitors and resistors?
Once you have made a basic choice about whether you are using 'generic' components, changing their value is very easy.
Repetitive BlocksRepeated blocks of circuitry
How to avoid the tedious task of laying out multiple iterations of the same pattern
TroubleshootingWhy can't I install to my network drive?
Why mapped drive letters aren't recognised
Why are my toolbar functions wrong?
Resolving scrambled icon functions
Installation and SetupDatabookDatabook cannot find 'templates'
On some installations the Library Databook has problems reading the 'templates' it uses to format the display.
ErrorsUnable to load Keylock.dll
This error message may occur on a small number of systems
HASPManually removing HASP drivers
Sometimes it is necessary to 'force' removal of HASP (key) drivers.
LicensingLicensing the software
Several issues and common questions related to the licensing of Number One Systems software are covered here.
Moving Easy-PC to another machineMoving Easy-PC
Information to help you set up Easy-PC with as much information as possible from your old computer
RouterInstalling and licensing Pro-Router
Several issues related to the installation and licensing of the Pro-Router autorouter are covered here.
What to do if Pro-Router will not run
Procedures for trouble-shooting a Pro-Router installation in the event of problems.
PCB DesignCheckingShould I clear all the design rule errors?
You may find that Design Rule Check flags up some errors. You then need to decide whether these errors indicate issues that need to be resolved.
How do I correct DRC errors?
After you have checked your design using DRC, you will need to take account of any errors that DRC has found.
Design for ManufactureCustomising solder mask and paste
This description assumes that the item with the non-standard mask is on the top side of the board.
Producing a solder mask
A solder mask (or solder resist) is a pads-only plot which may be oversized by a small amount, usually 5 thou or thereabouts. This plot can easily be created using one of two methods.
Glue mask for flow soldered SMT
Creating a glue mask for flow soldered surface mount components
What size vias should I be using?
Choosing the correct size for vias is dependent on a number of factors.
How do I decide how many layers I need to use in my design?
When starting a PCB design you will need to decide how many layers the design should have.
General Design EditingI can't select many items since upgrading
How to resolve an inability to make selections
Can I swap 'units' during the design process?
The 'units' you choose will only affect what is displayed on the screen, the underlying data doesn't change.
Using Bitmaps on PCBs
The Add Bitmap function allows you to add standard Windows bitmaps to your designs. There are, however, some limitations on what you can do with them.
How do I place a component on the back of the board?
Just use the Flip command to turn a component over and place it on the back of board.
How do I import a DXF board outline?
Resolving any problems preventing direct import
How do I create slots in a board?
Various approaches to creating slotted holes in a board
Selecting overlapping items
When working on dense designs, or on designs where you have items that 'overlap' each other on different layers, it can be difficult to select the right item
How can I join two nets together in the PCB design?
Sometimes you may need to alter the design to join together two nets that are currently separate.
What's the 'butterfly' symbol that's appeared on a pad?
Meaning of '+' symbol with two quadrant arcs
How do I make mounting holes?
Although there is no specific item for mounting holes they can still be created.
Finding the component to which a name belongs
When moving items around on a PCB (particularly if your board is complex), it can happen that you manage to move a name away from its component so that it is hard to see which component it belongs to.
Adding multiple tracks to increase 'thickness'
Sometimes you need to add multiple tracks between the same pads, for example to increase the current-carrying capacity.
Controlling default track widths
Many users feel that the default track width in Easy-PC is 'stuck' at a single value, and cannot be changed. This is not correct, but the mechanism for controlling the default width is complex. This document attempts to unravel this complexity.
ManufacturingHow to produce an assembly drawing
A description of how to create an assembly drawing printout showing component outlines and pads
How do I create a bill of materials (BOM) for my design?
One of the key manufacturing outputs is a Bill Of Materials (BOM). There is no predefined standard for what this contains, so you will need to decide what your BOM actually needs in it.
PanelsWhat are Panels?
How to create and use panel designs
Poured CopperGetting best results from Pour Copper
The Pour Copper option can be used to automatically add copper shapes to
Can I create split plane layers?
Split planes allow you to define more than one copper plane on a single layer.
What controls the size of the gaps around poured copper?
When a copper pour area is poured, gaps are left around items that are on different nets to the copper itself.
How do I remove poured copper?
If you find that some poured copper is no longer required, it should not be removed by simply deleting it.
Copper Pour Management
How to get the best results when pouring copper
Finding isolated poured copper
After a copper pour, it is quite possible for there to be areas of copper which are isolated from the main pour.
Using Copper Areas after pouring
Copper areas are used to define the boundary for Pour Copper to work in, but we recommend that they are not deleted after Pouring.
Autorouting with poured copper
How to handle poured copper when using automatic routing
Pre-manufacture ChecksWhat checks should be done on my finished design?
Before proceeding to manufacture, there are some checks that should be done to help ensure the successful production of your boards.
Seeing what your powerplane looks like
Easy-PC contains a feature that allows you to preview the actual appearance of your powerplane before it is plotted. This can be useful in helping you to check that you have everything set up correctly.
SchematicDisplayHow do I display the logic names for my component on the schematic?
A component definition can contain logic (terminal) names describing the function of each pin on the device.
General Design EditingCan changes made in the Schematic design be sent to the PCB?
Sometimes you may find it necessary to make changes to the 'connectivity' of the circuit partway through the design. These changes should always be made in the Schematic and forwarded to the PCB.
Where do I find power and ground symbols in the library?
The standard library includes many of the commonly-used symbols for power and ground connections.
Methods of making connections in a Schematic
There are three levels of connectivity in a Schematic design: ‘normal’ drawn/shown connections, implied connections (two pins connected but not all the connection drawn to declutter the design) and implied connections based on net name only.
ProjectsHow can I create a multi-page Schematic?
Creating a multi-page schematic requires extra steps that a simple single-page design does not need.
SpiceCan I run a Spice simulation?
Overview of considerations when linking to third party simulators

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