Drawing Traces is the process of adding circuit traces to your board design in order to complete the desired electronic connections. You can draw traces as straight lines, polylines, rectangles, polygons, circles and arcs. Although traces generally go on a copper layer you can use traces on the Silk Screen layer to show the shape of a component.
- If you created electrical nets prior to drawing traces (strongly recommended), activate display of the nets as a guide to ensure you connect the correct pins: Click left toolbar | Change Layer Properties | Net Layer | Visible.
- On the left toolbar select Trace tool, strong>Circle tool, or Arc tool.
- In the left toolbar enable Snap To Angle or hold the Ctrl key if you want to constrain traces to multiples of 45 degrees (generally recommended).
- On the Property Bar select the layer where you want the trace to appear.
- Click at the start of the trace, at each corner if needed and at the end point. To change traces's, layer press "L" button.
- Right click when finished.
Often there is no way to draw a trace on one side of the board due to other traces or footprints in the way. When this occurs, add a Via and continue the trace on the other side of the board. You can use additional vias along the route to the end destination.
Note that traces on one layer can pass directly across surface mount pads on another layer without concern of electrical connection.
To reshape a trace, select it and drag one of its line segments or elbow nodes (where two traces meet).
To add a node to a trace, double click the trace where the node to be added.