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Eagle CAD Tips And Gotchas


Eagle CAD offers the best value for individuals and small businesses.   However some of its user interface features are different from what we normally expect.   For those of us who layout boards occasionally, it is an effort to relearn the Eagle CAD each time we come back to it. I have tried to document the Eagle CAD user interface idiosyncracies here to make it easier to do PCB layou with it.


  1. Grouping objects : To group objects choose the group command from the Edit menu or from the tool bar. When you want to move them to a new location press F7 and then use the Right mouse button to drag them to a new location. Usually left mouse button is used for individual objects and right mouse button for groups.

  2. Grouped objects stay grouped till you give another group command. So if you want to perform some operations on a group that you made, you do not have to issue another group command.

  3. Copying : When copying parts or symbols from one library to another, you have to select All Layers, group the parts using the group tool, and then use Cut. This does not Cut the part from the libray but simply makes a copy .   To use Cut one does not simply group and then click on Cut as one would do in a Windows program. It requires one more step – you have to click with your left mouse button on the group.

  4. Packages: Normally selected layers are

  • Top - 1

  • Bottom -16

  • Pads -17

  • Dimension - 20

  • tPlace – 21

  • tOrigins -23

  • tNames -25

  • tValues - 27

  • tDocu -51

  1. Multiple Symbols Being Placed: Sometimes when I place parts from a library on a schematic it seems that I inadvertently place multiple parts when all I intended was placing a single part. This usually happens on a schematic. The multiple parts show up when I go to layout the boards. The board layout tool does not allow these parts to be deleted – they have to be deleted in the schematic.Two tricks can be used to get rid of multiple parts:

  • Move the overlapping parts. Then delete one of them.

  • If you cannot find the part use the show command to look for them. You can look up the part value in the board layout and then use “Show”.

Useful short cuts:

  • F2 – Redraw

  • F7 – Move

  • Alt-Backspace - Undo

Also -

  1. To name a part, for example net names, use the Name command.   To label the net, wire or part use the Label command.

  2. Board outlines must be drawn in layer 20. You specify the layer of the the wire using the drop down menu in the top left hand corner. The layer button is only for specifying   which layer to display.

  3. Use “Mirror” command to send a part to the other layer.