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 Post subject: Seperate Color of RefDes markings
PostPosted: 01 Mar 2017, 10:13 
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I have used Diptrace now for several projects and with each project I needed to solder a few prototypes by hand. For this it is very handy to have a printout of the component placement with the RefDes markings. For tighly packed PCB's the RefDes is not very readable anymore, so I would like to highlight the RefDes only with a bright contrasting color and the pads/traces and component shapes a grey color. Does anybody know a way to change only the printout color of the RefDes seperate of the Silkcolor?


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 Post subject: Re: Seperate Color of RefDes markings
PostPosted: 02 Mar 2017, 09:23 
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Joined: 20 Jun 2015, 14:39
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1) Click on File in the Main Menu of the PCB Layout editor and select Preview... in the drop-down menu.
2) In the Preview dialog window click on the Print Colors icon and then select the [Print Colors] tab in the Colors dialog window.


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 Post subject: Re: Seperate Color of RefDes markings
PostPosted: 02 Mar 2017, 12:59 
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Thanks for the answer. But it is not the answer I was looking for. I can change the color of the silkscreen but then also the component outlines are changed to that same color. My components are to close together to be able to put the refdes next to it, so they are on top of the components. I like to only make the refdes seperate of the silkouline another color.
I tried to activate the the refdes on the assembly layer and make that another color, but the silk is printed over the assembly layer instead.
Is there a way to do this?

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 Post subject: Re: Seperate Color of RefDes markings
PostPosted: 02 Mar 2017, 13:58 
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Joined: 20 Jun 2015, 14:39
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I have tried a few things without success. It doesn't look like DipTrace will allow the Silk layer RefDes markings to be suppressed without it also suppressing the Assembly layer RefDes markings. So far, the only work-around I can think of is to blend two different images in Photoshop; one of the Assembly layer RefDes in red, the other with the Silk layer in gray (Silk layer RefDes suppressed). Sorry about the impractical solution. Maybe someone else knows a way to make it happen in DipTrace. Is the illustration below representative of what you are trying to do?...


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 Post subject: Re: Seperate Color of RefDes markings
PostPosted: 02 Mar 2017, 14:42 
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Yes this is indeed what I am looking for. I was afraid that is was not possible at the moment. I hope it will be in a future release.
I have made an example what I need using your described method. So this is what I need.


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 Post subject: Re: Seperate Color of RefDes markings
PostPosted: 02 Mar 2017, 15:01 
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Joined: 20 Jun 2015, 14:39
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An all-DipTrace work-around
1) In the PCB Layout editor click on View, select Assembly Layers in the drop-down menu and enable [X] Component Markings in the fly-out menu.
2) Now click on File, select Export in the drop-down menu and choose Gerber... in the fly-out menu.
3) In the Export Gerber dialog window, select/highlight the Top Assy and Board Outline layers, click on the [Export] button, type in the file name "assembly" and save the file to a convenient location such as the desktop.
4) Close the Export Gerber dialog window.
5) Click on View, choose Component Markings in the drop-down menu, select Main in the fly-out menu and enable [X] None.
6) Click on File, choose Export in the drop-down menu and select Gerber... in the fly-out menu.
7) In the Export Gerber dialog window, select/highlight the Top Silk layer, click on the [Export] button, type in the name "silk" and save the file to a convenient location such as the desktop.
8) Close the Export Gerber dialog window.
9) Open a new, empty PCB without saving any changes.
10) In the PCB Layout editor, click on File, choose Import in the drop-down menu, select Gerber... in the fly-out menu, choose the file named "assembly.gbr" and click on the [Open] button.
11) In the Source Gerber File dialog window set Import Mode: Add, Convert to: Top Assy and click on the [Import] button.
12) Click on File, choose Import in the drop-down menu, select Gerber... in the fly-out menu, choose the file named "silk.gbr" and click on the [Open] button.
13) In the Source Gerber File dialog window set Import Mode: Add, Convert to: Top Silk and click on the [Import] button.
14) Click on File, choose Preview... in the drop-down menu, select your colors and print.

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 Post subject: Re: Seperate Color of RefDes markings
PostPosted: 05 Mar 2017, 06:03 
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Joined: 01 Mar 2017, 10:02
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Inspired by Tom's suggestion for a all diptrace workaround, I did some tryouts and came up with an even shorter version which works well for me.
I follow these steps:
1. Enable Component Markings on the Assmebly Layers
2. Export only the assembly layer to a Gerber (make sure the Use Design Origin is selected)
3. Create a additional non-signal layer
4. Import the exported gerber onto the newly created layer
5. Turn off the RefDes markings
6. Do the normal preview/color selection stuff

Tom, thanks for the advise. I have a workable solution now.

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Ron


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