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I would not recommend Eagle although I bought the professional version for the following reasons:
1. The interface is really shitty. For example, if you want to copy a group of symbols, then you have to:
a. Select the group tool
b. Select the symbols by drag and drop. All ths symbols within the drag & drop rectangle will be selected
c. Right-click on the selection
d. Choose copy group in the popup menu.
e. Drop your copied selection where you want.
All the user interface commands are made on a very unusual scheme. (for example click + ctrl-c + ctrl-v
to copy & paste an object, or the same preceded with a selection rectangle for a group).
2. The libraries structure is really silly.
Example: if you want to make a new library for a chip in TSSOP format, then you have to redefine the TSSOP
format although it is already defined in myriads of other libraries. Therefore if there is a slight change to be
done, it has to be done in all the dependent libraries... That's not what I would call a smart design.
Now if you want to create a QFP100 package, one could expect that you have to define the width and height of the
pads, their pitch, the row spacements, and that should be about it. With eagle, no! You have to place 100 pads
manually. Beside this, the pin names are P$1, P$2, etc, In the docs, I haven't found any way to name pins by
default with numbers and only numbers. Maybe there is a trick... But anyway the "P$" just adds some mess
to the schematics.
Well, I didn't use it for 2 months now, but there are myriads of other drawbacks, mostly due to a very
unusual way of processing graphics.
That said, I haven't used yet the last version (6.x) because I have to pay an extra to get the new license, and I
am seriously considering buying something else.
Apparently there is a fully free tool called Kicad that started at a french university. I'm looking at it from time to
time for a few years, and right now it looks quite mature. I will try it as soon as I have enough time (this may
take a while).
The industry standard piece of software is called Altium and it is really really good, possibly a little over complicated if you haven't used layout software before, second to that I would say that the next best piece of software would be Proteus ISIS and ARES for circuit design and PCB layout respectively. Although comparatively Altium is in a league of its own!
although there are so many difference between each, you need to learn and master just one. i think ORCAD/ALLEGRO is better, because it's all manual in each stage, which means that you know what you are doing.