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The most common operations in any tool are probably adding, moving, deleting… plus copying and pasting. The fact that we all are familiar with Control-C and Control-V being shortcuts to these actions speaks to their applicability across tools we use every day, whether we are working with documents, spreadsheets, or IC package layouts.
At Cadence, we always attempt to stay attuned to the flows that you use in your other work tools and apply those to your experience within Allegro Package Designer Plus (APD+). That’s the reason why in Allegro 17.4-2019 you’ll notice some streamlining improvements to the copy-and-paste methodology.
Before you can paste, you must copy. That is, select the items that you want to replicate elsewhere in the design. Work that began in the last major update to 17.2 goes the next step in Allegro 17.4. The copy command is now responsible only for gathering the objects that you want to make available for pasting.
You will see a much simpler options tab while in the copy command:
The only must-define attribute within copy (beyond the objects themselves) is the reference position for the copy buffer elements. Choices remain the same from past releases. If you select multiple objects, or you specify user pick as the origin, once you finish selecting elements, you will be asked to set the reference point.
Now, you are ready to go. You’ll be placed into the paste command automatically. With the new releases, however, you can perform other actions between pastes. The buffer you’ve defined will be remembered for referencing until cleared.
When the paste command is active, you’ll see the other options you might be more familiar with seeing in the copy tool:
There’s still one new option that you’ll see making its premiere here in Allegro 17.4 – the "Retain net of shapes" option near the bottom of the screenshot above. This is separate from the "via net retention" option, allowing you tighter control over the net logic of the items being replicated across the landscape of your design.
Other items, from the paste mode to the quantity and spacing, are unchanged from earlier releases.
You’ve defined a copy buffer - a template if you will. But, at times, you’ll notice that the paste command in the menu gets disabled. Why? There are a few actions you can perform that will clear the buffered elements. Some of them include:
Moving the original (reference) items. If you do this, then to prevent confusion when you paste and get the old arrangement instead of the new configuration, we clear the buffer.
Deleting the source items. Similar to moving, if you delete the base items, they will no longer be applicable for pasting.
Cut and paste in the layout is really a move operation because of the additional options when moving in a layout – whether you want to stretch connections, rip-up connectivity, unplace symbols, etc. These relationships don’t have a parallel in a typical MS Office document.
Changing designs. If you open a different design, the copy buffer will be cleared.
This is a concept that would be very useful for some of you, and it is something we are researching but don’t have answers to all the different use models that would work for everyone. Some of you would like a copy buffer that carries across all running copies of APD+; others, one that persists when you open a new design in the current tool (but has a separate buffer for each separate APD+ running); and some of you would love to be able to copy and paste into an MS Word document or presentation slide.
Good question! We talked about scripting changes in a previous blog when we introduced Allegro 17.4. That applies here as well. If you previously used to set up the paste parameters before selecting the items in the copy command, your script will fail because those Options tab fields aren’t available until you are pasting.
This should normally not require you to record the script anew. You only need to move the lines that change these fields down in the script to where the paste command itself is active. Once done, the specific lines can remain unchanged – of course, you might want to toggle the new shape net option!