Get email delivery of the Cadence blog featured here
A critical step in any design flow is review. Your peers are your best resource when you have questions about implementation decisions. Senior designers and managers will review your proposed layout, looking for possible quality issues and manufacturing concerns.
The SiP Layout tool offers you a host of features to facilitate this process. A large collection of reports provide contextual information. The database diary records decisions that you made, so that you can refer back to this during the review. The DRC Browser, MCAD Collaboration tools, Layer Compare, Design Compare, and Techfile compare give you validation of your substrate relative to various data sources. PDF generation to Artwork generation; you can export many formats for others to look at.
But, what about just asking a simple question? How do you quickly show another developer an issue that concerns you? Do you need to send them the entire design, start a screen sharing session, or bring up the Symphony server and allow them to connect? All of these are GREAT review mechanisms; however, they aren’t always viable or convenient.
Enter the 'canvas capture' tool.
Originally available in the 16.x release, then removed for a time in 17.2 for rework to more modern standards, it has now made its triumphant return! The canvas tool gives you push-button access to take a snapshot of your graphical canvas that can be immediately saved to a file on disk and/or pasted into an email or second tool.
You will find this command in the File menu (see below). The command’s interface is very simple. Upon launching the command, the current canvas display is copied into the clipboard buffer. You’ll get a file browser, allowing you to save the image to a disk in a variety of formats. This is NOT a requirement, however; whether you save a file or press escape to close the save window, the image remains in your clipboard buffer and can be pasted into any application of your choosing.
If you’re wondering about the difference between this command and those tools available straight from the operating system, an example might be very illustrative. Running SiP in full-screen mode, if I use print screen, this is what will be placed into the clipboard:
Not bad, but not ideal. The find filter, command history, toolbars, and icon strips rarely add value to what information you need to share with your coworker. Compare this, then, to what is saved with capture canvas:
Here, we see only the graphical canvas of the tool, nothing else. A smaller image, more focused on the area you want to look at, and ready for annotation results. The image can be pasted, unedited and unmanipulated. Without the need to trim the image (or use another screen capture tool, which would involve switching applications away from SiP to collect the image before switching to a third application to paste it), you are able to document your situation with far fewer clicks.
Being a menu command inside of SiP, rather than an external tool, gives you some additional benefits. The command entry, capture image, can be aliased to a function key (including a cancel of the browser if you only want the data in the clipboard). You needn’t click into the file menu at all. Save the image at any point as you work. A single app switch to paste, and you’re done.
Do you have a creative way you use the capture tool? Share it with us. And, should you have a recommendation for improving this or any command, please let us know!