Applied Parameters: None
This command is used to place a Pad object onto the active document. A pad is a primitive design object. Pads are used to fix the component to the board and to create the interconnection points from the component pins to the routing on the board. Pads can exist on a single layer, for example, as a Surface Mount Device pad, or they can be a three-dimensional through-hole pad having a barrel-shaped body in the Z-plane (vertical), with a flat area on each (horizontal) copper layer. The barrel-shaped body of the pad is formed when the board is drilled and through-plated during fabrication. In the X and Y planes, pads can have a circular, rectangular, octagonal, or rounded rectangular shape. Pads can be used individually as free pads in a design, or more typically, they are used in the PCB Library editor where they are incorporated with other primitives into component footprints.
Pads are available for placement in both PCB and PCB Library Editors by:
- Choosing the Place » Pad command from the main menus.
- Locating and using the Pad command () on the Active Bar.
- Clicking the button on the Wiring toolbar (PCB Editor) or the PCB Lib Placement toolbar (PCB Library Editor).
- Right-clicking then choosing the Place » Pad command from the context menu.
After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair and you will enter pad placement mode. A pad will appear "floating" on the cursor:
- Position the cursor then click or press Enter to place a pad.
- Press the Tab key to open the Properties panel, from where properties for the pad 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.
- Continue placing further pads or right-click or press Esc to exit placement mode.
- A pad will adopt a net name if it is placed over an object that is already connected to a net.
- Each pad should be labeled with a designator, which is usually a component pin number. The designator can be up to 20 alphanumeric characters in length. Pad designators will auto-increment by one during placement if the initial pad has a designator ending with a numeric character. Press Tab to change the designator of the first pad prior to placement.
- To achieve alpha or numeric designator increments other than one, use the Paste Array feature. Controls for this feature are provided in the Setup Paste Array dialog, which is accessed by pressing the Paste Array button in the Paste Special dialog (click Edit » Paste Special).
- A selected pad template - in the PCB Pad Via Templates panel - can be reused in the current board as a new pad instance by dragging it onto the layout or by choosing Place from the panel's right-click context menu.
- A pad template that is stored as part of a Pad Via Library can also be placed in the PCB design directly from the PCB panel when configured in Pad & Via Templates mode. Choose the required template library, select the required pad template within that library then click the Place button (in the Templates region of the panel).