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Step-by-step tutorial of how to start OrCAD Layout.
The Connexions version of the OrCAD tutorial is still in development. Please click here for the original and complete tutorial. You may also browse this complete tutorial within Connexions by using the Mozilla browser and accessing the main Connexions page at (External Link) . Click on the 'Contents' tab and select Rice University ELEC 424/427 under the 'Courses' tab.

Creating a new board

You have everything that you need to import your design into Layout. We need to do one thing before we begin. Layout will try to match the names of the footprints in your netlist with those stored in the Library Manager . Your library must be at the top of the list in Library Manager or the import will not work. Open Library Manager and make sure that your library appears at the top of the list like in the figure below.

Now start Layout and select File-->New . You will first be prompted for the template file you created. It should be located in your board directory. Second, you will be asked for your netlist. This should be located in your sch directory. Third, you will be asked to give your board file a name. Name this file Elec424Tutorial and place it in the board directory.

If all the footprint names in your design match those in your library, then you should get no errors and you will see a screen in layout like the one below.

If you got one or more errors, then it probably means that you have a misspelled footprint name. Sometimes, you can also accidentally assign a footprint that doesn’t have the same number of pins as your schematic symbol. If your import is unable to complete, then you will have to find the problem and start the process again.

One useful tool for finding an error is the lis file. When Layout performed the import, it generated a file called Elec424Tutorial.lis in your board directory. Open this file in a text editor like Notepad to see what it looks like. This file will tell you everything that occurred during the import: what footprints were added or deleted, what components were added or deleted, and what nets were added or deleted (you will see later how footprints, components and nets get deleted). If an error occurred, you will see it here, probably towards the end of the file.

Getting around&Placing parts

All of your parts from schematics should be line up on the left side of the board. Before we start placing them, let’s do a few things to make our job a little easier. First, turn off DRC (Design Rule Checking).

We will use it later when routing, but not now. When you do this, the box with the dashed line border will disappear. Second, I like to turn off a few layers at this point, just to make the screen a little easier to look at. You will notice a drop down box with the TOP layer listed. This box lets you select the active layer.

Layout has many shortcut keys to help you move around the program. They are extremely useful, and I encourage you to be familiar with them. For a complete description, search the help file for keyboard shortcuts .

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Source:  OpenStax, High-speed and embedded systems design (under construction). OpenStax CNX. Feb 18, 2004 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10212/1.12
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