Receiving Notifications through the Messages Panel in CircuitMaker

Created: July 30, 2020 | Updated: February 5, 2022

The Messages button is used to open the Messages panel. The button is accessed by choosing View | System | Messages from any editor.

The Messages panel is a centralized area for the warnings, errors and status messages that are generated by operations, such as validating a project, running a design rule check for the active PCB document, or using any other message-enabled features of the software. The panel provides a live stream of relevant message information that applies to the current operation. Where applicable, the lower section of the panel will provide further details about the offending object(s) associated with the currently selected message. 

Click here for information regarding possible violations when a project is automatically compiled. 

The panel includes the results of project validation and lists any warnings and/or errors that may have been found while checking the design for electrical and drafting integrity.

The design connectivity model is incrementally updated after each user operation through dynamic compilation. You do not need to manually compile the project, as this is done automatically. For a design project, the automatic compilation process performs three functions:

  1. Instantiates the design hierarchy.
  2. Establishes net connectivity between all the design sheets.
  3. Builds an internal Unified Data Model (UDM) of the design.

In order to check for logical, electrical, and drafting errors between the UDM and compiler settings, you must validate the project. This command is accessed by choosing Project | Validate from the main menus or by right-clicking over the entry for a project in the Projects panel then choosing Validate <project> from the context menu.  

Any violations that are detected by the Compiler will be listed as warnings and/or errors in the Messages panel. The Compiler uses the options defined on the Error Reporting and Connection Matrix tabs of the Project Options dialog (as applicable to the project type) when checking the source documents for violations.

The Messages panel also provides warning/error/status information for many other features in the software.

The information contained within a message can be broken down into several areas:

  • Class - essentially the type or category of message. The class of the message is dependent upon the Source. For example, messages regarding validation include InfoWarning, Error, and Fatal Error classes, while messages regarding the Autorouter include Routing Status.  
The error reporting levels for message classes are configured on the Error Reporting tab of the Project Options dialog, which is accessed by choosing Project | Content | Project Options.
  • Document - the source document where the cause of the warning/error/violation resides.
  • Source - the server or engine that performed the task when the warning/error/violation was encountered.
  • Message - the message itself.
Each message is also date and time-stamped and assigned a specific number within the list of messages.
  • Details - displays detailed information regarding the selected message, e.g., missing data.

Right-click Commands

The right-click menu provides the following commands:

  • Group By - select from the choices by which to sort the messages.
  • Cross Probe Next Message - use to cross probe to the next message in the panel.
  • Cross Probe Previous Message - use to cross probe to the previous message in the panel.
  • Clear All - use to clear all messages that are currently displayed in the panel.
  • Clear Selected - use to clear all selected messages from the panel.
  • Clear Class - use to clear all messages from the panel that are of the same class as the currently selected message.
  • Save - use to save the current list of messages in the panel to a file. After launching the command, the Save Message List To File dialog opens. Use this dialog to browse to a particular location in which to save the file and give the file a new name (if required).
  • Save Selection - use to save selected messages in the panel to a file. After launching the command, the Save Message List To File dialog opens. Use this dialog to browse to a particular location in which to save the file and give the file a new name (if required).
  • Export To Report - use to export all listed messages to a report. 
  • Copy - use to copy the selected messages to the Windows clipboard.
  • Print - use to preview and print a report containing all messages currently listed in the panel.

Tips

  • Not all messages can be cross probed. You can only cross probe from a message if it has a valid (existing) associated document specified in the Document field of the message.
  • When cross-probing to a PCB document, ensure that the relative PCB document is the active document in the design editor window, otherwise, cross probing will occur but you will not jump to it in the document.
  • When cross-probing to a schematic document:
    • The document will be made active if it is not already.
    • The filtering applied when cross probing from the Messages panel is temporary. Click inside the main design space to clear the filter so that you are not prevented from selecting or editing design objects that fall outside the scope of the filter.
  • Data may be sorted by any column by clicking on the header for that column. Click once to sort in ascending order; click again to sort in descending order.
  • You can change the order in which columns of data are displayed. To move a column, click on its header and drag it horizontally to the required position. A valid position is indicated by the appearance of two blue positional arrows.
  • Clearing messages does not necessarily mean the messages have been resolved. The same unresolved messages will be listed after performing the same command that led to the messages being generated initially. Message clearance is a visual aid when resolving errors in the design that allows you to manually remove messages as you feel they have been resolved. The initial command must be launched again to obtain an up-to-date picture of any violations that still exist.
  • Clearing all messages is particularly useful when you do not want any previous messages from any other sources to confuse warnings and errors that have been generated from the last command. In some cases, running a command will automatically clear the Messages panel prior to populating it with a fresh list of messages that are generated as a consequence of running that command.
  • With respect to PCB/Validation/Comparator-specific messages, if the associated document is closed, the corresponding message entries will be automatically cleared from the panel. For example, if you run a DRC Check on a PCB document, any violation messages listed in the Messages panel for that document will be cleared from the panel if the document is closed.
  • When a file or document has been removed from an opened project, a warning message will be displayed in the Messages panel to clarify the reason for the project modification. 
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