Eagle QuickTip: Finding that missing airwire!

I’m basically married to Eagle until the end of days, simply because I’m so hopelessly used to it that it would take a pretty darn amazing package at a pretty darn amazing price to convince me to change.  That said … there are some things that annoy me (though that’s true of any complex SW package).  One of my biggest pet peaves is how hard it can be to find teeny tiny little unrouted airwires.  Is Eagle taunting you with 1 remaining airwire and zoom as you might you can’t find it?  I used to turn every layer off except 19, but that’s annoying since I sometimes don’t remember what to turn back on.  While Eagle SHOULD have a feature to highlight these airwires … I found a better solution tonight searching for a mystery wire.  Zoom back … WAAAaaay back … until your board is teeny tiny.  Then select the Route tool and click just about anywhere on your PCB.  This should grab the airware, and you can at least get an idea of where it is.  Glamourous?  Nope.  Functional? Yes!

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  1. The way I’ve found to do this is to download and use “zoom-unrouted.ulp” from cadsoft’s website: (ftp://ftp.cadsoft.de/eagle/userfiles/ulp/zoom-unrouted.ulp) and run it using the “run” command. It’ll zoom the screen to focus on the airwire. Really nice for the tiny airwires inside pads.

  2. Great tip. I run “display none unrouted” to hide all layers except the unrouted. Then run “display last” to restore the last view. This way you don’t have to remember what layers were previously on.

  3. Great tip, thanks Kevin! I always have done the hide other layers and zoom in and out thing, but I don’t need to tell you, that gets old. Quick.

    Now if we could just figure out a way, while routing, to switch between layers 1 and 16 quickly. With a Magic Trackpad on a Mac.. It would make about 4-5 hours of my day much happier.

  4. Harry/Nabil: Both great tips. Didn’t realize you could do display last, very useful, and the ULP also works as promised.

    Jeremy: I have a Mac here that I bought just for testing stuff on, but the single-button mouse doesn’t do a lot for me (though I do like the capacitive touch swiping to go back a page, scroll, etc.). I’m constantly clicking on the central scroll bar in Eagle in Windows to switch layers, and wouldn’t survive without that shortcut. There may be a Mac or single-mouse button equivalent but I definitely don’t know about it.

  5. Good news! I stopped complaining!

    And while doing so, I found a solution for the above mentioned problem. 🙂
    BatterTouchTool is a piece of software that runs in the background in OSX giving you more custom options for your pointing device, whatever it may be.

    I configured a 3 finger tap to be a ‘middle mouse click’ and it works like a charm! This really works well for me because I did not want a mouse in any way, shape, or form.

    I can’t believe I didn’t think of this earlier! Why? Because I’ve been running BetterTouchTool for at lease 3 years..

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