Thursday, January 1, 2015

Creating user-defined macros

There is no difference between drawing a macro and drawing any other layout. Use the copper layer (C1,C2) for pads and tracks and the silk screen layer (S1, S2) for component outlines. Outlines are simply drawn with ordinary layout elements (circles, tracks, etc.) on the silk screen layer.
Please take care that your component is lying on the board-side 1, when creating a macro.
This means layers should be used as follows for macros: The silk-screen-layer should always be S1 (component is lying on board-side 1). Then the copper-layer should be C1 for SMD-components or C2 for "normal" components.
Let´s say you want to create a simple macro for a DIL 14-pin-IC.

(This is only an example. Of course, a 14-pin DIL-IC is already included in the macro-library.)

1. Draw the Macro
Place the 14 pads on the layer C2 (copper-bottom) in the right grid distance. You may create a square-pad for the pin1, to identify this pas as "Pin 1".
The component outline should be lying on the board-side 1 (S1). This means that the pads, which are on the other board-side, must be placed on layer C2.
Select C2 as the active layer and add 14 pads in the correct arangement.
Change the active layer to S1 and draw a rectangle around the pads, using the normal track-function.
Mark the "nose" or the pin 1 of the IC to define the orientation.
Just use a track or the rectangle-mode to draw this frame. You may draw an additional mark to identify the notch of the IC.
That's it, your macro is ready. You will now have to save it and add it to the macro-library.
 2. Select the macro-elements
 Change to the edit-mode and select the elements by drawing a frame around all elements.
Change to the edit-mode and select the elements by drawing a frame around all elements.
All elements are now selected.
All elements are now selected.

3. Save the Macro

The function SAVE AS MACRO from the FILE menu saves the current layout (or the current selection) to a macro file to disk. You can also click the correspondig button in the macro-library. The following dialog allows you to enter a filename for the macro, and to select the directory, where the macro will be saved. The default extension *.LMK (which is the default suffix for all macros) for macros is added automatically.
You may save the whole layout or parts of it as a macro. If parts of the current layout are selected, only the selected parts are saved to the macro file. If nothing is selected the whole layout is saved as a macro (after confirmation). 

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