Eagle doesn’t always get a lot of love since it’s a proprietary SW package, etc., but having tried a variety of packages (both OS and pricey commercial ones), Eagle has a lot of little details that make it feel like a very mature package to me.
Eagle definately has it’s quirks, but once you get over them there’s an attention to detail that makes it far easier (personally speaking!) to be efficient than in some other packages I’ve tried, like being able to use the mouse scroll wheel on combo boxes to shift between layers or trace width, etc., without having to first click on the combo box. It’s a small detail, but the kind that makes a huge difference since you can focus on schematic capture and not clicking unecessarily on UI elements. Similarly, you can just start typing a command even if the command input box doesn’t have the focus. Love Eagle or hate it, that kind of attention to detail takes time to get right, and I appreciate a lot of little additions to the code like this.
I came across another little detail like that today that I hadn’t noticed before. With common parts that I use again and again in schematics (resistors, caps, GND/VCC symbols, etc.), I usually just place the part once via the ‘Add’ button, and then copy and paste it … but you can also right-click the ‘Add’ button to get a list of the last parts that you added to your schematics (any schematic, not just the current one). Have any interesting little tips yourself? Feel free to post them in the blog. I’ll have some more posts on this topic later this week as well!