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PCB design schematic capture software

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Member level 3
Dec 30, 2006
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schematic capture program

Which schematics capture out of the following do you prefer? and why?

1) PADs Logic
2) DxDesigner - ViewDraw
3) OrCAD Capture
4) Zuken CADSTAR


I use PADS at work and I am happy with it. What I like about it is the way it handles part attributes and the flexibility it gives the user to perform a certain operation. Basically there are almost always three ways to do the same thing, so you will get there one way or another.
Plus, all components and footprints seem to get embedded in the schematic/ layout, as they were when the parts were placed. Any subsequent changes to the library will not affect an existing schematic.
There are other things you can do in PADS that affect only the current design. Thus, I can afford to change the footprint of a component for this design only and not affect the library. Should I ever need that modified component/ footrpint again in another design, I can just copy it from the design where it was modified.
However, PADS does not handle well the third dimension (height) of the components.

I have used Viewlogic in the past and I can say I liked it, but the way it was set up did not allow me control over all the attributes and the parts were kept in one big library on the network. While this is fine, whenever someone changed a part, such as the decal, or attributes, then all other schematics using that part would get changed. This created numerous problems when printing out the schematic. A simple example was that of changing the position of the GND pin on a component. If the original was created with the pin on one side and used that way in some schematics, then the day somebody decided to move that pin to the bottom of the part, to make look "prettier", it would affect all other schematics, which now looked wrong, with the connection "twisted".

I never liked OrCAD. It seemed awkward to use and there was a single undo level (or maybe I did not know how to increase it). Another annoying "feature" was that the connections would always get scrambled, as the program connected two wires when moved on top of one another (or perhaps I didn't know how to disable it).
Anyway, OrCAD is being discontinued by Allegro, so you better look for something else.

I have no experience with Zuken.

Orcad capture and PADS logic are good. I have never used Zuken CADSTAR.
I am not sure if cadence has discontinued Orcad schematic capture. I am sure that they are discontinuing Orcad layout.

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