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Questions relating to designing PCBs
By MrPerfectionest
#137327
Is it just me is Eagle (and KiCad after playing with it for a few minutes) just kind of garbage when it comes to an intuitive user interface? Simple things I've just become used to as a Windows user just doesn't exist. Doesn't it make since that you could just select a part out of one libary, ctrl-c to copy it and ctrl-v to put it in some other library you have selected?

So it takes 10 minutes for me to get a part out of one library with a to-220-5 package into my own library. Now, should be easy enough to change that part name right? HAHAH. No really, something so basic as this and it's obfuscated beyond belief.

So I select my Library, then I select the Library menu, Rename. Hmm, nothing appears to happen. Oh now I see, in small text at the bottom it says type in the device to rename. WTF? You can't populate a little list with all the Devices in the currently selected library?

I realize the tool is uber powerful and once I learn all these little things I won't be so frustrated but for the time being I can't figure out why CadSoft has made such a crap user interface?

Are other tools like Altium this un-intuitive from a UI perspective? I'd claim "you get what you pay for" since I am using the Freeware but the UI is the same for the same tool they are charging $1000+ for (but I guess maybe that is cheap in the EDA world, huh?)
By lyndon
#137343
Well, I could say that there is nothing inherently intuitive about ctrl-C/ctrl-V, but the real reason is probably that Eagle (and, I think, Kicad) started out as Linux software.

All CAD programs have their peculiarities. Nothing to do but learn them.
By MichaelN
#137358
MrPerfectionest wrote:Is it just me is Eagle ... just kind of garbage when it comes to an intuitive user interface?
Totally agree. I come from a Protel / Altium background, and found Eagle infuriating and almost impossible to use. I really wanted to learn to use it, but ended up giving up.

FYI, Altium has the standard Windows type of commands (Ctrl C, Ctrl V etc), but you can still use the "old style" Protel commands too if you prefer.
By westfw
#137365
So it takes 10 minutes
No, it doesn't. You just haven't figured out how to do it yet!
(open the destination library. Find the part you want to copy in the main "Control Panel" browser. Right click on the device or package you want to copy, and select "Copy to Library." Poof!)

I've never heard anyone say that ANY CAD package is "intuitive." I'm pretty convinced that this is because the things that they need to do to work well are pretty much beyond most peoples' intuition. (Ok, I take that back. "Fritzing" is said to have an intuitive UI. Trying to do anything 'real' in Fritzing is EXTREMELY PAINFUL, though.)

(God forbid that software be complex enough these days that you have to look at the manual before you can use it!)
By macegr
#137421
^^^ THIS 100 times.

If you buy an expensive CAD package expecting it to do everything for you with a seamless integration between thought and action, you will be sorely disappointed. And, you'll still have to use that expensive CAD package, since you already bought it. This is at least part of the reason I see for brand loyalty...the other is that there are millions of ways to skin these particular cats, and each approach requires a different interface paradigm. Once you learn and become proficient in any tool, then you will loathe having to learn another.

However, I won't listen if you loathe having to learn the FIRST tool you try...

Also, the OP's username is REALLY funny.
By westfw
#137454
The Pulsonix software I use is very intuitive
PADS layout is quite intuitive and easy to use.
For you as experienced users, or for beginners?

FWIW, I don't find EAGLE particularly difficult, now that I'm used to it and generally know where to look for things, or where to ask questions. Once you stop expecting it to behave like a standard windows program, or an artistic drawing app, it's pretty logical. I LOVE some of the uncommon things it does (like allowing you to mix GUI and CLI parameters to a single command.)
By AndyC_772
#137493
IMHO, all these tools have a significant learning curve and will require a significant investment in your time to learn and to build up parts libraries. Evaluating several is a very time consuming process, and few designers can (in my experience) claim detailed knowledge of more than one or two.

Arguably you're better off working out which tool best meets your requirements for price, capability and compatibility, then making the decision to go with it and spending the time and effort.

In my case I chose OrCAD PCB Designer, because it does everything I need and (crucially) is file compatible with Allegro, the industry standard, high end tool which many of my customers use. The entry level version is about £2000 and includes some training - but it's aimed very much at professional engineers.
By Philba
#137539
I've been using eagle for a long time. For the first month I felt the same way you do. I have since come to actually appreciate the power of the interface. People that use windows or mac always have a very hard time at first. It's made worse because you are clearly fighting the interface. Eagle's UI is modal - you select a mode and then apply it multiple times. This is actually really fast. In windows, you select an object and then apply an operation. For example, trace ripup is really fast this way - select ripup mode and then one click per trace segment.. It would be a lot slower if you had to select a trace and then apply ripup.

So, my recommendation to you is don't fight the interface. To rename a component - place it first. Then select the name symbol mode and click on the component you placed. quick and easy. If you are renaming a number of components, it is really fast. In general in Eagle there is a way to do it - if you find yourself frustrated, you are looking in the wrong place.

Another point. A lot of people think they can just sit down and start using it. That's a recipe for frustration because most people fall back on what they know - windows or mac. Best to go through a tutorial first.
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By leon_heller
#137548
Pulsonix is modal, as well. You can either select an object and then perform an operation on it, or select an operation, and then apply it as many times as you want. I think it's a standard Windows feature.

Where I used to work, they decided to buy Eagle. I refused to use it and insisted on using my own copy of Pulsonix because the additional key strokes required by Eagle were aggravating an RSI problem. It also kept crashing on me.

A colleague of mine, who knew Eagle well, once spent about a week designing a PCB that I could have done in a day with Pulsonix.
By macegr
#137574
Well, yeah, but innate ability may have accounted for a lot of that, too :) Give yourself some credit too
By SpikedCola
#137789
Philba wrote:I have since come to actually appreciate the power of the interface. People that use windows or mac always have a very hard time at first. It's made worse because you are clearly fighting the interface. Eagle's UI is modal - you select a mode and then apply it multiple times. This is actually really fast.
This. I felt the same way until I came to understand how to use Eagle properly