Cross Probe


Cross-probing is used to point to a chosen object on the current document then "jump to" its corresponding counterpart in the target document. Between the PCB and schematic editors, full cross-probing support is provided for documents, components, buses, nets, and pins/pads(s). With a single click, you can select a supported object in either domain and see it highlighted in both. 

Working between the schematic and the PCB is an essential part of the board design process, and there are many instances where it helps to be able to choose an object in the schematic and then work on that object in the board design and vice versa. Being able to work between the schematic and PCB editors brings a higher level of visibility into the overall structure and implementation of the design.

A good way to work between the schematic and the PCB is to have both documents visible. On a single monitor system, this can be done by splitting the work area display. To do this, right-click on a document tab then select Split Vertical (or Split Horizontal). On a dual monitor system, use the right-click Open in New Window command or click and drag the document tab onto the second monitor. The images on this page show the split-screen mode.

Cross Probe Command

Cross-probing is a powerful searching tool to help locate objects in other editors by choosing the object in the current editor. Full cross-probing support is provided for components, buses, nets, and pins/pads. The cross-probing feature is accessed in the following ways:

  • From the schematic editor, choose Tools | Find and Replace | Cross Probe.

  • From the PCB editor, click Tools | Locate | Cross Probe.

Controlling the Zoom

You can set the zoom behavior when you cross probe by setting the Zoom Precision option on the System - General page of the System Preferences. Use the slider bar to set the zoom when cross-probing.

Cross Probe Modes

Note that the target document must already be open. Cross Probe will make the target document the active document if it is available in another view (on another monitor or in another view when the view is split). 

Once the Cross Probe feature has been launched, there are two cross-probing modes available:

  • Continuous Mode – in this mode, you remain in the source document while cross-probing to different objects on the target document. Position the cursor over the required object then click or press Enter. The corresponding object will be highlighted on the target document. Continue cross-probing further objects or right-click or press Esc to exit. For this mode, ensure that the schematic and PCB documents are open side-by-side in the main design window.
  • Jump To Mode – this mode allows cross-probing to a single object (think of it as single-shot cross-probing), making the target document the active document. Position the cursor over the required object then Ctrl+click or press Ctrl+Enter. The corresponding object will be highlighted on the target document with that document becoming the active document.

Cross-probing from the source (schematic) with the corresponding object highlighted on the PCB.

You can continue to cross-probe additional objects or right-click or press Esc to exit.

When using Continuous Mode, if you have not opened the schematic and PCB documents side-by-side, you will have to make the PCB document active to view the results of the cross-probe.
When using Continuous Mode repeatedly, the last object you choose is the one displayed/highlighted. Cross-probe filtering is not cumulative.

Cross-Probing from Other Locations in the Software

Cross-probing also can be accomplished in various additional places in the software. These additional locations enable you to use the cross-probe function even as you are building your design without the need to use the Tools | Cross Probe command.

Cross-Probing in the Engineering Change Order Dialog

You can cross probe from the Engineering Change Order dialog by right-clicking to access cross probe commands to locate the reference component in the schematic or the target component in the PCB.

Cross-Probing in the Differences Between Dialog

The Differences between dialog can be used to cross-probe to a selected component on the schematic or PCB. In the Differences between dialog, double-click on an entry to cross probe to that component on the schematic or PCB.  

Cross-Probing in the Variant Management Dialog

You can use the Variant Management dialog to cross probe to a chosen component on the schematic or the PCB. Double-click on the component in the Variant Management dialog or right-click then select Cross Probe from the menu.

Cross-Probing from the Differences Panel

To cross probe to the schematic or PCB from the Differences panel (click the Explore Differences button in the Differences between dialog to access the panel), double-click on an entry in the panel.

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