Applied Parameters: Keepout=True|UpdateCaption=False
This command is used to place a Keepout Arc object onto the active document. A Keepout in PCB design is a user-defined area or perimeter placed in the layout that copper objects cannot intersect. Typically included to control the area used by automated copper placement actions, such as polygon pours and interactive routing, a Keepout also represents an invalid location when manually placing copper objects.
As specified ‘no go’ areas during design layout, Keepout objects use the existing Clearance Constraint Rules to control routing and detect placement violations, but unlike other placed objects, cannot be assigned to a Net and are not shown in generated Outputs or printouts. In its simplest sense, a Keepout acts as an ‘interference’ object that prevents other copper objects from intersecting its area as specified by the global Clearance Rule.
This command is accessed from the PCB Editor and the PCB Library Editor by:
- Choosing the Place » Keepout » Arc (Center) command from the main menus.
- Locating and using the Keepout Arc (Center) command () on the Active Bar.
If the command has been recently used from the Active Bar, it will become the active/visible button. Where other commands are available, this is indicated by a triangle at the bottom-right corner of the button. Click and hold on the active button to access a menu of all associated commands for that grouping.
- Right-clicking in the workspace and choosing the Place » Keepout » Arc (Center) command from the context menu (PCB Editor only).
Keepouts can be placed on all (copper) signal layers, excluding copper planes. When the currently active board layer is not compatible with Keepouts, the command is not available (grayed out).
After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair and you will enter keepout arc placement mode. Placement is made by performing the following sequence of actions:
- Click or press Enter to anchor the center point of the keepout arc.
- Move the cursor to adjust the radius of the keepout arc then click or press Enter to set it.
- Move the cursor to adjust the start point for the keepout arc then click or press Enter to anchor it.
- Move the cursor to change the position of the keepout arc's end point then click or press Enter to anchor it and complete placement of the keepout arc.
- Continue placing further keepout arcs or right-click or press Esc to exit placement mode.
Press the Tab
key to access the Properties panel
, from where properties for the keepout arc can be changed on-the-fly. Pressing Tab
pauses placement, allowing you to interact with the panel (or other area of the software) directly. To resume, click the pause symbol that appears over the workspace, or press Esc
Additional actions that can be performed during placement are:
- Press the Spacebar before defining the keepout arc's end point to render the keepout arc in the opposite direction.
- Press the L key to flip the keepout arc to the other side of the board – note that this is only possible prior to anchoring the keepout arc's center point.
- Press the + and - keys (on the numeric keypad) to cycle forward and backward through all visible layers in the design, respectively, to change placement layer quickly.
- To place an all-layer keepout, make the Keepout layer the active layer, then place the keepout arc on that layer. Alternatively, after placement, select the keepout arc and set its Restricted for Layer field (in the Properties section of the Properties panel) to Keep-Out Layer. Keepouts are indicated by the current Keep-Out layer color. Keepout objects set to a specific signal layer are outlined by the Keep-Out color, whereas Keepouts on the Keep-Out Layer show as solid color.
- When editing the properties of the placed keepout arc, the associated Keepout Restrictions options determine which object types will be restricted by the Keepout. Deselecting an object type will cause the Keepout to allow transgressions by that type of object (not kept out) by not imposing the applicable Clearance Rule.
- Keepouts are automatically restricted to the Layer on which they are placed, so Keepouts applied directly to the Keep-Out layer will become All Layer Keepouts. When the Keepout Layer is changed, the Keepout will be limited to, and appear on, the specified Layer. Note that a conventional (non Keepout) object cannot be placed on the Keep-Out Layer.
- While attributes can be modified during placement (Tab to bring up the Properties panel), keep in mind that these will become the default settings for further placement unless the Permanent option on the PCB Editor – Defaults page of the Preferences dialog is enabled. When this option is enabled, changes made will affect only the object being placed and subsequent objects placed during the same placement session.