Working with a Power Port Object on a Schematic Sheet in CircuitMaker

Created: July 30, 2020 | Updated: February 8, 2022

A placed Power Port A placed Power Port

A power port is an electrical design primitive. It is a special schematic object that is used to define a power or ground net. Power ports allow you to conveniently indicate a power net at any location in the design, which can then be connected to pins or wires. Power nets of the same name automatically connect throughout the design, except in the following two situations.

  • If a Power Port is specifically wired to a Port object, that power net becomes local to that sheet. Net connections beyond the sheet must then be defined by the wiring of the Port/Sheet Entry combination.
  • When the Net Identifier Scope on the Options tab of the Project Options dialog is set to Strict Hierarchical, all power nets are set to local within each sheet. 

Availability

Power ports are available for placement in the Schematic Editor in the following ways:

  • Choose Home | Circuit Elements | Power Port from the main menus then choose the required style of Power Port from the drop-down.

  • Right-click in the design space then choose Place » Power Port from the context menu. This method of access places a GND power port. To change the style of power port, use the Style drop-down in the Inspector panel.

Placement

After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair and you will enter power port placement mode. A power port symbol will appear floating on the cursor.

  1. Position the object then click or press Enter to effect placement.
  2. Continue placing further power ports or right-click or press Esc to exit placement mode.

Additional actions that can be performed during placement while the power port is still floating on the cursor are:

  • Press the Tab key to pause the placement and open the Power Port mode of the Inspector panel from where its properties can be changed on the fly. Click the design space pause button overlay () to resume placement.
  • Press the Alt key to constrain the direction of movement to the horizontal or vertical axis depending on the initial direction of movement.
  • Press the Spacebar to rotate the power port counterclockwise or Shift+Spacebar for clockwise rotation. Rotation is in increments of 90°.
  • Press the X or Y keys to mirror the power port along the X-axis or Y-axis.
Graphical Editing

This method of editing allows you to select a placed power port object directly in the design space then change its location graphically. Power ports are fixed with respect to their size and shape. As such, editing handles are not available when the power port object is selected:

A selected Power Port
A selected Power Port

  • Click anywhere inside the dashed box then drag to reposition the power port as required. While dragging, the power port can be rotated (Spacebar/Shift+Spacebar) or mirrored (X or Y keys to flip along the X-axis or Y-axis).
  • The assigned net for a power port object can be edited in place by:
    1. Single-clicking the power port to select it.
    2. Single-clicking again (or press Enter) to enter the in-place editing mode. Sufficient time between each click should be given to ensure that the software does not interpret the two single-clicks as one double-click (which would open the Inspector panel).
    3. To finish editing in-place text, press Enter or use the mouse to click away from the power port.
To clear the selection of (or de-select) the object, use the Esc key. 
Non-Graphical Editing

This method of editing uses the Inspector panel mode to modify the properties of a power port object.

  During placement, the Power Port mode of the Inspector panel can be accessed by pressing the Tab key. Once the power port is placed, all options appear.

After placement, the Power Port mode of the Inspector panel can be accessed in one of the following ways:

  • If the Inspector panel is already open, select the power port object, right-click then choose Properties from the context menu.
  • With the power port selected, choose View | Schematic | Inspector from the main menus.

Editing Multiple objects

The Inspector panel supports multiple object editing, where the property settings that are identical in all currently selected objects may be modified. When multiples of the same object type are selected manually, an Inspector panel field entry that is not shown as an asterisk (*) can be edited for all selected objects.

Power Port Styles

The following graphical styles of power port are available and can be set by editing the Style property in the Inspector panel.

The graphical symbol selected for a power port does not determine the net to which it is assigned. The net name must be explicitly set.

Schematic Editor object properties are definable options that specify the visual style, content and behavior of the placed object. 

Post-placement Settings

All Power Port object properties are available for editing in the Inspector panel when a placed Power Port is selected in the design space.

                 

Location

  • (X/Y)
    • X (first field) - the current X (horizontal) coordinate of the reference point of the object, relative to the current design space origin. Edit to change the X position of the object. The value can be entered in either metric or imperial; include the units when entering a value whose units are not the current default. 
    • Y (second field) - The current Y (vertical) coordinate of the reference point of the object, relative to the current origin. Edit to change the Y position of the object. The value can be entered in either metric or imperial;  include the units when entering a value whose units are not the current default. 
  • Rotation - use the drop-down to select the rotation. 

Properties

  • Name - the name of the power port. Use  or ​ to show/hide the name.
  • Style - use the drop-down to select the style of the power port object. The preview image updates according to your choice. Click the color box to choose the color of the power port.
  • Font - use the controls to select the desired font, font size, color, and attributes to bold, italicize, etc., if desired.
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