Triggers to start the autorouter. At any state the routing can be terminated with a click on the drawing. Already routed traced will stay in the drawing. The progess of the autorouter is shown in the status bar.
By pushing the Route button you get into the state for interactive routing. In this state you can start a new trace by picking an item belonging to a net, for example a pin. Then you can follow the displayed airline with the mouse until you have reached the target item at the other end of the airline. The trace will be connected automatically to the target, if it is on the same layer. If you want to change to a different layer during interactive routing, select change layer and then the name of the new layer in the popup menu under the right mouse button. Then a via will be inserted, if that is possible, and a new trace starts on the new layer. You can also change the layer by pressing a number key.
After you have started a new route in a basic state, the FreeRouting window will change to the Dynamic Route State or to the Stitching Route State depending on your selection for the route mode in the Route Parameter window. If rule selection is set to automatic, the routing rules such as trace width, trace clearance class and via rule are defined by the net class of the current net, if it is set to manual, the routing rules are defined by the settings in the Manual Rules window. If the new trace gets near to a not yet connected item of the same net on the same layer, the connection will be completed automatically. After completion the window will return to the state before routing.
If the window is in this route state, at each change of the cursor location a piece of trace will be inserted automatically from the previous cursor location to the current cursor location. The new trace piece will then immediately be optimized depending on the settings for the pull tight region in the Route Parameter window.
|The entries in the popup menu under the left mouse button in the Dynamic Route state:|
|change layer||To change to a different layer. The corresponding via will be selected from the selected via rule in the following way. The vias in the via rules will be tried from top to bottom, if they contain the old and the new layer, and if inserting would be possible without clearance violations. The first via found in this way will be inserted. Shortcuts are the number keys 1-9 and the keys "+" and "-". With "+" you can change to the next bigger layer and with "-" to the next smaller layer.|
|end route||The routing will be finished and the IDE changes back to the previous state. Shortcut is the left mouse button.|
|cancel route||The last routed trace will be discarded and the IDE changes back to the previous state Shortcut is the Esc-key.|
|generate snapshot||The program generates a snapshot, so that the current situation can be restored later on with Undo. Otherwise you could only restore the situation before starting the last trace with Undo.|
In this route state a piece of trace will be inserted from the previous click position to the current cursor position, when you click the left mouse key. The new trace piece will then be optimized depending on the settings for the pull tight region in the Route Parameter window. The entries in the popup menu under the left mouse button in the Stitching Route state:
|insert||A trace will be inserted from the previous insert position to the current position and then be optimized depending on the settings for the pull tight region in the Route Parameter window.|
|done||The program returns to the state before routing. Shortcut is the Esc-key.|
|change layer||To change to a different layer. The corresponding via will be selected from the selected via rule in the following way. The vias in the via rules will be tried from top to bottom, if they contain the old and the new layer, and if inserting would be possible without clearance violations. The first via found in this way will be inserted. Shortcuts are the number keys 1-9 and the keys + and -. With + you can change to the next bigger layer and with - to the next smaller layer.|
In this state you can select single board items by picking them with the left mouse button or select items in a rectangle by dragging the left mouse button. Only item types switched on in the select parameter sheet will be selected. After selecting some items the toolbar displays options for showing and manipulating these items. If you push the info button for example a window with text information about the selected items is displayed. After clicking a blue word in this text a new window with further information pops up. To return to the select state push the cancel button or click somewhere in the empty space of the board window.
|The Entries in the Popup Menu:|
|select item||To select the items under the cursor. Only items switched on in the Select Parameter window can be selected. After selecting some items the current interactive state will change to the Selected Item State. In the Select Menu State you can select items also with the left mouse button.|
|start route||A new trace will be started beginning at the item under the cursor. For the selection of the start item the settings in the Select Parameter window are evaluated . If a suitable item was found the interactive state will change to the Route State. In the Route Menu State you can do this also by clicking the left mouse button.|
|create keepout||To create a keepout on the current layer. You can create a circle, a polygons or a hole into an existing polygonal keepout.|
|swap pin||This menu entry appears only if the board contains swappable pins. If the pin under the cursor is swappable, you can change the net of this pin with a suitable other pin.|
The letters in brackets behind the Popup Menu entries describe the shortcuts for the corresponding actions. The Function of the Mouse Wheel: By rotating the mouse wheel you can zoom in or out and by dragging the mouse with the mouse wheel pressed you can change the displayed section of the board. After you have selected items in a basic state, the window will change to the Selected Item State. The selected items get highlighted and a new tool bar appears at the upper border. With the left button you can select more items or deselect already selected items.
|The toolbar in the Selected Item State|
|Cancel||The window returns to the interactive state before selecting. Shortcut is the Esc-key.|
|Info||Information about the selected items will be printed to a new window. The blue marked words in this window can be clicked for more information. Shortcut is i.|
|Delete||The selected items will be deleted, if they are not fixed. Shortcut is the Delete-key.|
|Cutout||By dragging the mouse with the left button pressed you can select a rectangle, from which the selected trace and vias will be cut out. Shortcut is d.|
|Fix||to fix the selected items, so that they cannot be pushed or deleted any more. Shortcut is f.|
|Unfix||To unfix the selected items. Shortcut is u.|
|Autoroute||To route the selected items automatically. Shortcut is a.|
|Pull Tight||To optimize the selected traces by pulling them tight. Shortcut is p.|
|Fanout||To autoroute the selected SMD-Pins until the next via.|
|Clearance||To assign a new clearance class to the selected items. Example: If you need in a special area of the board a different spacing, you can select all pins in a rectangle and assign to them a new clearance class.|
|Nets||To extend the selection to all items with the same net as an already selected item. Shortcut is n.|
|Conn. Sets||To extend the selection to all items, which belong to the same connected set as an already selected item. Shortcut is s.|
|Connections||To extend the selection to all traces and vias, which belong to the same connection as an already selected item. Shortcut is e. Example: You want to delete a whole connection. Select a trace of the connection, push the Connections button to extend the selection to the whole connection and push then the Delete button.|
|Components||To extend the selection to all items, which belong to the same component as an already selected item. Shortcut is b.|
The popup menu below the left mouse button:
After pushing the Drag button you get into the state for changing the location of vias, components or traces. In this state you can select vias or components and drag them with the left mouse button to a different location. The connected route is updated automatically. You can also move traces by pushing them from behind out of the empty space with the left mouse button pressed. That works on the current layer, which can be changed in the select parameter sheet. In this way you can make space for example to insert a new component.