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

PCB Panel

The PCB panel allows you to browse the current PCB design using a range of filter modes to determine which object types or design elements are listed, highlighted, or selected. The panel also has editing modes for specific object types or design elements that provide dedicated controls for editing procedures. You also can access the properties for any element listed in the panel.

Panels can be configured to be floating in the editor space or docked to sides of the screen. If the PCB panel is currently in the group of docked panels on the left, use the PCB tab located at the bottom of the panels to bring it to the front.

Setting the Visual Filtering

The visual result of the applied filtering on the document in the design editor window is determined by a series of highlighting controls toward the top of the panel. The effect that is imposed in the editor view can be set to NormalMask, or Dim; in practice, Mask has the most obvious highlighting effect.

The Normal/Mask/Dim drop-down list provides options for visibly contrasting filtered and unfiltered objects within the design editor window.

Confirm any changed settings by clicking the Apply button. Click the Clear button to return to the default settings.

Display Control

In Mask view mode, unfiltered (not selected) objects are monochrome. To set the contrast of the background (un-highlighted) objects, use the Mask Level slider control available in the Highlight & Edit Mask section from the PCB Editor's View tab.

Similarly, in Dim view mode, unfiltered objects retain their colors but are shaded. Set the balance between filtered and unfiltered objects using the Dim Level slider available in the Highlight & Edit Mask group under the View tab, as shown above.

Filter Options

Use the panel's checkboxes to apply the filter actions. Any combination of the options can be enabled. For example, you might want to have all filtered objects zoomed, centered, and selected in the design editor window. Click Clear to disable the currently-applied filter. All objects in the design space will become fully visible and available for selection/editing. If you want to reapply the filter, click Apply.

Panel Mini-viewer

The bottom section of the PCB panel provides a mini-viewer for the current document with an image of the current board design central to its window. A white viewing box is imposed on the image to show the area currently displayed in the design editor window. As the editor display automatically pans and zooms in response to the PCB panel filter selections, the box moves and expands accordingly to indicate the board viewing area.

As you manually pan around the document in the design editor window using the editor's horizontal and vertical scroll bars or the right-click panning hand, the viewing box in the panel will also move accordingly. Conversely, if you click inside the viewing box and drag it around the board image, the document in the design editor window will pan accordingly and at the current zoom level.

As you zoom in or out in the design editor window, the viewing box will be resized accordingly in the panel. Conversely, resizing the viewing box in the panel by clicking and dragging on any of its vertices will cause the zoom level to change in the design editor window. The smaller the size of the viewing box, the more the actual document has been zoomed-in.

Panel Modes

The PCB panel's functionality can change, depending on which mode is used. The different panel modes can be accessed and selected by clicking on the drop-down at the top of the panel. 

A specific mode can also be accessed from the ribbon by choosing it from the View | PCB | PCB menu.

In any of the modes, as you click on an entry in a subsequent region of the panel a filter is applied essentially using the entry as its scope.

Right-click Menu

The following key options are on the right-click menu of the PCB panel. The actual content of the menu varies depending on the current mode of the panel and the particular region of the panel from where the menu is accessed:

  • Report - generate a report in context with the section of the panel the menu is accessed from. After launching the command, the Report Preview dialog will open from where you can peruse, print, and export the report in various file formats.
  • Properties - access the corresponding panel for the chosen object, from where you can view/modify the properties for that object. For example, with a component entry selected, using this command will access the Component mode of the Inspector panel.


  • Ctrl+Click over a selected entry to deselect it. If the entry is the only one selected for that region, performing this action will clear the filter.
  • In sections of the panel where multiple columns of data exist, the data can be sorted by any column by clicking on the header for that column. Clicking once will sort in ascending order; click again to sort by descending order.
  • You can change the order in which columns of data are displayed. To move a column, click on its header then drag it horizontally to the required position. A valid position is indicated by the appearance of two green positional arrows.
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