A. Create a footprint:
If you want to start with an existing footprint select Design > Edit
Footprint from the PCB123 layout screen to search our library for the desired footprint. Here you can load the part in the footprint editor verify the footprint and edit if needed.
1. Start in the Layout tab overlooking your board outline. If you do not have a board outline
in view you can still create a new footprint by selecting File > New Footprint.
2. Next, choose Design>New Footprint.
3. Here, set your grid by pressing the “G” key on your keyboard then enter the part pitch
(center of pin to center of next pin) distance between your pins.
4. Next, click on the Add Pin icon and choose your pin properties. You should have the
Edit Panel open for this step. If you do not see the Edit Panel on the left side of your
screen select View > Toolbars > Edit Panel. The pin properties field is located in the top
section of the Edit Panel.
5. Place your pins and save your footprint. We recommend that you save your footprint to
a new library to ensure that your parts are never overwritten by newer versions.
You can then search for the footprint by name and place directly on your layout via the Insert
Footprint icon or by selecting Insert > Add Footprint.
B. Create a symbol:
1. Click on the Main Schematic tab below your board outline.
2. Choose Tools > Symbol Editor to create a new symbol. If you want to edit an existing
symbol select the Open Symbol button from the toolbar. Before you begin to edit your
symbol you will want to maximize the Symbol Editor so you can see all of the toolbar
3. Select the Add Polygon tool or one of the other drawing tools to draw the shape of your
4. Click the Add Pins button and place pins where needed. You can left click a pin to edit
pin properties in the Symbol Panel. Holding down Ctrl and clicking on the pin will select
the pin leaving it in place. You may also want to visit the Pins tab located at the very
bottom left corner of the Symbol Panel. You can view some of the pins properties in a
matrix and modify them there as well. Remember to switch back to the Symbol tab for
the next step.
5. Change the Reference designator and/or Symbol name under their headings in the
Symbol Panel to the left of your symbol.
6. Click the disk icon to save your new symbol.
C. Add to the Schematic taxonomy:
Once both the footprint and symbol are created they can be paired in Manage Parts to form a
complete part. This process will allow you to save the part to the taxonomy for future use.
1. From the schematic select Tools > Manage Parts.
2. Click Select Symbol.
3. Type the name of the symbol in Step 1: Search then click Go. If you know which library
your symbol is stored in you can select the library in the active library section. This will
load the available symbols in the Step 2 field.
4. Click on the symbol name in Step 2: Select and a preview of the symbol will display to
5. Click Assign Symbol at the bottom of the window in the Step 3: Insert section.
6. Click Select Footprint.
7. Enter the footprint name in the Step 1: Search section then select Go to search for the
footprint. A list of footprints will be displayed in Step 2: Select. Select the footprint you
would like to use. Then go to Step 3: Insert and click the Select button.
Note: If you would like to manually search for the footprint you can do so using the
Libraries included in search filter section. If you do not see Libraries included in search
filter select the Advanced Search button and the Select Footprint window will expand
showing new fields. You can expand the displayed folders by clicking on the + to the left
of each folder. Selecting a library within a folder will display the libraries contents in Step
2: Select. If the box for a folder or library is left unchecked that item will not be included
when you initiate a search.
8. In the Manage Parts window you can fill in the part properties. The only required field is
the Manufacturer’s Part Number. If you added properties to your symbol you will need to
fill in the properties value using the Properties table located in the bottom left corner or
the Manage Parts window. Select the first empty row then, under the Name column, use
the drop down list to locate and select the property. Next move to the Value column and
double click the open field next to the property and enter the value.
9. Click Create New Part and indicate the folder in the Taxonomy you want to store the part
in. You can create a subfolder in the taxonomy. Right click on any item in the taxonomy
and select Create Subfolder. After selecting the folder you want to store your new part
in you can select OK to save the part.
We do have some visual and video tutorials that you may find very helpful as you learn to use PCB123.
Sunstone Custom Cad Software