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Protel : miscellaneous work-arounds

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advice on learning PCB design

see ../pcbs.htm

customizing Protel

How do I customize the menus ?

Many people use Protel without any customization.

Q: How do I customize the menus ? [simple tutorial]

Q: check out ``Comprehensive applications note including a complete tutorial and code for all of the example macros.''

"Geoff Harland" on 2001-05-27 06:55:14 PM wrote:

You should never edit any of the .ins files, as these inform Protel of what Processes are provided by the corresponding Server.

However, if due care is exercised, it is possible to edit the (ASCII/text format) CLIENT99SE.rcs file, which is found in the Windows directory. It is customarily so large in size that Notepad can *not* be used to edit it, and when some other editor is used, it is important that the file be (re)saved in ASCII format (rather than some other format, such as those used by (for instance) Word or Write files).

For the most part though, it is generally better to let Protel itself make any changes to this file, and this will occur (as appropriate) if you customise the resources. If you double-click on the menu bar, a dialog box will be invoked, which will permit you to customise your menu resources. By double-clicking on the title bar (and/or non-button occupied area) of a Toolbar, it is similarly possible to invoke a dialog box which permits you to customise the Toolbar concerned. It is also possible to customise your Shortcut resources, though invoking the associated dialog box is not so straightforward (though this can be facilitated by defining a Shortcut key to invoke this dialog box, and as such, is a "bootstrap" means to facilitate *succeeding* changes to your Shortcut resources).

When a resource is added or edited, you always specify a Process, and optionally specify one or more parameters. (*When* these are provided (which is not always the case), the .HLP file for each Server lists which Processes are provided by each Server, and which parameters (if any) can be used with each of these Processes). In the case of menu resources, you also have to specify what text will be displayed by the menu entry; you can optionally use (no more than) one ampersand (&) character to stipulate that the *following* character will be underlined, e.g. Poly&gon will result in the 'g' character within Polygon being underlined in the resulting menu entry. In the case of Toolbar resources, you typically specify which .BMP file is to be used with the associated button, and the size of this file (# of pixels wide, and # of pixels high) must match that of the files used on existing Toolbar buttons. (I can't remember this size off-hand, but I do recall that the width and height are identical.) You can also optionally specify (by a parameter) what "bubble help" will be provided when the cursor is moved over the corresponding button (in the Toolbar). (It is also possible, by the use of an optional parameter, to specify what text will be displayed in the Status Bar when a particular menu item is being "navigated" over.) And in the case of Shortcut resources, you also have to specify which key combination is to be used with this, e.g. Alt-F12 or Ctrl-Q, etc. (It is also possible to specify that a shortcut key be invoked after *two* consecutive key combinations have been entered, but this is not an option which I have used myself, or at least not to any significant extent).

(Paintbrush can be used to prepare bitmap files for your customised buttons within Toolbars. But be sure that the dimensions of your .BMP files match the dimensions of the .BMP files used by the existing/provided buttons within Toolbars.)

You could do a lot worse then read the on-line help and written documentation provided on how to customise your resources. The above description is really just a summary of what is involved.

Memo to anyone preparing FAQ files for Protel: consider including the above material in a question on customising Protel's resources.

Geoff Harland.
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How do I customize the fonts or use accented letters ?

fonts on the PWB

  • Q: How do I get foreign characters on my PCB ? (such as the common engineering symbols ± µ Ω and the Deutch letters Ä Ë Ï Ö Ü ß ä ë ï ö ü and other foreign symbols like Å Ñ ñ ) -- (paraphrased from Tommy Åkesson)
    A: I put together a web page about this a while ago. Check it out at: /* was */ -- Paul Hutchinson 2001-06-07 [ Web page maintainers: there's a convenient list of symbols at ]

    fonts in the schematic

  • ``Font size is editable in the [schematic] editor. Pin fonts use the system font, which is selectable at Design/Options/ChangeSystemFont. Part Type and other such fields are directly editable to change the font.'' -- Abdulrahman Lomax


    bibliography for schematic editor ../hardware.htm

    bibliography for layout editor ../pcbs.htm

    related products

    Many other companies make products that complement Protel.

    [FIXME: move mailing list links to pcbs.htm#pwb_design_news ?]


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