V4 symbol creation and library locations

PCB123 Schematic Questions and Discussion.

V4 symbol creation and library locations

    by Sal Hernandez » Mon May 14, 2012 9:30 am

The libraries are stored in the following locations:

Vista and Win 7-8: C:\ProgramData\PCB123\Lib\Custom

XP : C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\PCB123\Lib\Custom

You may not be able to see this folder until you show all of your hidden files. Here are the steps to show hidden files and folders for Vista.

1. Click the round blue Start thing in the left corner
2. Click Control Panel
3. Click Folder Options
4. Click the View tab
5. Click Show hidden files and folders
6. If you want to see system files as well, unclick Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)
7. Click OK

Here are the steps to show hidden files and folders for XP.

1. On the Tools menu in Windows Explorer, click Folder Options.
2. Click the View tab.
3. Under Hidden files and folders, click Show hidden files and folders.
4. Click OK

Note: To access Windows Explorer, click Start, point to All Programs, and then click Windows Explorer.

Once you have the folder visible, the libraries are stored in C:\ProgramData\PCB123\Lib\Custom.

Vista: After you have created your own libraries, they may be stored in Vista Virtual store. In the same folder C:\ProgramData\PCB123\Lib\Custom you will see Compatibility Files button on the Windows menu bar. Press it to see the files you have created or that have been created since you installed the software.

In XP the library files are stored here.

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\PCB123\Lib

How to create or edit a symbol

A. Create a new Symbol

1. Click on the Main Schematic tab below your board outline.
2. Choose ToolsSymbol Editor to create a new symbol.
3. Select the Add Polygon tool and draw the shape of your symbol
4. Click the Add Pins button and place them where they are needed
5. Change the Reference designator and/or Symbol name under their headings in the panel to the left of your symbol
6. Click the disk icon to save your new symbol
7. You can edit pin numbers and names in a table view by selecting the pins tab in the bottom left corner of the Symbol Editor.

B. Editing a symbol

1. Select Tools Symbol Editor.
2. If you want to load an existing symbol select the Open Symbol icon to search for the symbol.
3. Once you find the symbol you would like to edit select it in the list and press the Load Symbol button.
4. Now that the symbol is loaded you can use the tool bar options to add new information to the symbol.
5. After completing the symbol click the disk icon to save your modified symbol.

You may run into a know problem when updating an existing symbol. If the schematic symbol does not update after editing you can use the following work around. The original version of the edited symbol is stored with the board file. If you close your design and start a new layout you could add the modified part and you would see the updated symbol. If you are too far along in the current schematic to start over, you can use the updated symbol by creating a new entry in the taxonomy with a unique name. Then remove the original symbol from your schematic and replace it with the updated version.

You must now pair this symbol with a footprint and add to the taxonomy.

Add to the Schematic taxonomy:

Once both the footprint and symbol are created they can be attached to form a complete part.

This process will allow you to save the part to the taxonomy for future use:

1. Click on the Add Part button
2. Click Manage Parts.
3. Click Select Symbol
4. Type the name of the symbol you created then click GO.
5. Click on the symbol name in the Static field.
6. Click Assign Symbol.
7. Click Select Footprint
8. Find the footprint you wish to use using the search parameters.
9. Click Select to set the footprint.
10. Add a Manufacturers Part name
11. Click Create New Part and indicate the folder in the Taxonomy you want to store it in.

This will allow you to bind your symbol and footprint into a part for placement in your schematic or layout.


Sal Hernandez
Software Support Engineer I
Sunstone Circuits
13626 S. Freeman Road
Mulino, OR 97042
Phone: 503-829-9108 x226
Fax: 503-829-5482
Sal Hernandez
Posts: 381
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:00 am

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