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 Post subject: Add set of additional fields to all components in a library?
PostPosted: 29 Sep 2017, 12:54 
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Joined: 28 Sep 2017, 14:08
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Location: Seattle, WA area
I'm a brand-new user, so be gentle with me...

I would like to add a set of Additional Fields to all components in a library, so the fields end up in the BOM. Things like mfr part number, distributor, distributor part number, etc. Is there a way to do this?

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 Post subject: Re: Add set of additional fields to all components in a libr
PostPosted: 29 Sep 2017, 15:07 
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Joined: 20 Jun 2015, 14:39
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1) Launch the Component Editor and open the desired custom component library.
2) In the Main Menu select Component and choose Default Additional Fields... in the drop-down menu.
3) In the Default Additional Fields dialog window enter all of the needed additional fields. Be warned that every field listed in this dialog window will be added, so delete any pre-existing fields if you don't need them.
4) Once you have finished entering all of the new fields, click on the [Add to All] button and then click on the [Close] button. All of the new fields should now be appended to all of the components in the currently-open library. You can click on the [Additional Fields] button in the Component Properties dialog window to view and/or edit them on a component-by-component basis.
5) Resave your custom library (Ctrl + S).

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 Post subject: Re: Add set of additional fields to all components in a libr
PostPosted: 30 Sep 2017, 12:40 
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Joined: 28 Sep 2017, 14:08
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Location: Seattle, WA area
Thanks, Tom, that does it.

I also worked out another way, suitable when you're starting a library from scratch. I made a component and named it "Component Template" with all the fields I wanted in there, and nothing else. I just duplicate the template component and make modifications for each new component rather than starting from scratch.

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 Post subject: Re: Add set of additional fields to all components in a libr
PostPosted: 30 Sep 2017, 17:27 
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Yes, templates definitely speed up the task of adding more components to a library. That's one reason I created a custom component library named "templates" that contains common symbols with electrical pins and additional, pertinent fields. Any of these templates can be inserted into another library when needed. This keeps the symbols and their field types somewhat "standardized" in order to maintain visual consistency in schematics and to provide common search parameters and BOM categories for similar devices.

For BOMs, all of the "Additional Fields" will be available to use as you see fit. However, when it comes to component searches you will find that the only truly-defined search fields are Name, RefDes, Value, Pattern, Manufacturer and Datasheet. All user-added fields will be lumped together under the category "Additional Fields", which means you cannot specify the exact "Additional Field" to search for; you can only search for a value that may be present in one or more of a component's "Additional Fields". Including other instances of "Additional Fields" is possible when setting up the search filter, but they will be ignored by DipTrace's limited search engine. Too bad that these other "Additional Fields" can't be automatically detected and included in the search filter by name.

Not being able to remember a component's exact "Additional Fields" value can lead to disappointing search results. Because of this I make sure to include the unit identifier in the value section of as many "Additional Fields" as possible for each component in my custom libraries. When one of my custom components has an "Additional Field" named "Voltage", I'll append a "V" to its value (e.g. Voltage ... 15V) during component creation. Now, if I don't know the specific voltage rating of a component, I can set up the search filter to look for the value "V" in the "Additional Fields" category. (This of course would be included with other standard fields to help narrow the search.) When the resultant list of components is presented by the search filter, hovering the mouse over each component in that list will display the value of any "Additional Field" of the component containing a "V". This makes it possible to see the different voltage ratings of each component in the list. Again, more Additional Fields included in the filter following the first instance will be ignored by DipTrace.

I hope I'm not sounding too negative here, as I really do think DipTrace has a lot to offer. If the developers could just fix a few minor usability issues Diptrace would be elevated from a very good mid-level PCB design program to an excellent mid-level PCB design program. Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox for now. I wish you well with your software evaluations. As I'm sure you have discovered long ago this can be a tedious process, but as long as it has the features you need I believe DipTrace is worth the effort and consideration.

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Last edited by Tomg on 01 Oct 2017, 06:36, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Add set of additional fields to all components in a libr
PostPosted: 30 Sep 2017, 18:02 
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Joined: 28 Sep 2017, 14:08
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Location: Seattle, WA area
Thanks for the benefit of your experience, Tom, and for taking the time to go through all this. I'll certainly keep this in mind as I build up components -- the limited search is very good to know.

I've been using Altium for many years (since it was Protel), and it's gotten so bloated, expensive, and difficult to use I'm ready to throw it out. DipTrace has some good reviews and so far (halfway through my first schematic) I've been able to do nearly everything I want to. The component and pattern libraries are good, help and support are good, and so far it looks like a nice alternative. DipTrace will actually import Altium component libraries, but when I try to export from Altium in the format DipTrace wants, it throws an invalid memory exception. Figures...

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 Post subject: Re: Add set of additional fields to all components in a libr
PostPosted: 30 Sep 2017, 18:32 
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Hi Gerrit,
You might want to try to PM user "DerekG" and ask him about Altium conversions. He occasionally posts here and on EEVblog's PCB forums http://www.eevblog.com/forum/eda/?PHPSESSID=fabfq6n28onhi0ofgi9lcli8h5. Going by what I've read in his posts, he seems to have extensive experience successfully porting between Diptrace and Altium for various professional work assignments. Apparently, he also started way back with Protel and recently wound up preferring to use DipTrace over Altium. It sounds like he may be a good resource for the answers you're seeking. If I remember correctly, he's located in Norfolk Island (a territory of Australia) which may be around 20 hours ahead of Seattle.

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 Post subject: Re: Add set of additional fields to all components in a libr
PostPosted: 01 Oct 2017, 00:15 
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Joined: 28 Sep 2017, 14:08
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Thanks again, Tom. I just pinged him.

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 Post subject: Re: Add set of additional fields to all components in a libr
PostPosted: 02 Oct 2017, 22:37 
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Joined: 02 Oct 2017, 21:03
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If you get a response, could you post it here? I'm also interested in getting the export to Altium working


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