Eagle CAD Tips and Tricks

Most hobbyists and many professionals use Eagle CAD as a daily tool in designing schematics and laying out PCB. I’m going to share with you the most important tips and tricks for using Eagle CAD, which make my work much easier and faster.
Eagle CAD Tips and Tricks

Tip #1: Keep One Hand on the Keyboard, One on the Mouse

I see a lot of friends and colleagues use the mouse as their main tool for routing and selecting tools in the sidebar, but it’s much easier and faster to use the command line whenever you can.

By using your keyboard, you will omit the time you spend searching for the desired icon and moving mouse pointer back and forth.

My advice is to keep one hand on the mouse to do wiring, etc. inside the editor workspace and use the other hand on the keyboard to write commands and select tools. My advice of using the keyboard is not only for selecting tools. You will see the other benefits of using the keyboard in Eagle CAD in the rest of this series.

It can be difficult to remember the spelling and the name of every tool. The good news that the command line only needs the smallest accepted spelling to select the tool for you, so you don’t have to write down the complete word.

The table below shows the most-used tools and their corresponding shortest commands. To avoid duplication, the common tools between the schematic and board will not be listed twice:

Schematic Editor 
Tool Name Command (All accepted for command editor)
Add element to schematic a,ad,add
Net ne,Net
Move Mov,move
Copy Cop,copy
Name n,na,nam,name
Value v,va,value
Label l,la,lab,labe,label
Text T,tex,text
Board Editor  
Tool Name Command (All accepted for command editor)
Route rou,rout,route
Ripup ri,rip,ripu,ripup
Via Vi,via
Ratsnest r,ra,rat,rasts,ratsn,ratsne,ratsnest

Other useful and exclusive uses of the keyboard can be mapped as below (just two examples for now):

1- Text Tool:

When you select the text tool, you write your sentence in the pop-up window and then drop it wherever you want. But what if you want to add more?

In this case, just write down your sentence and hit enter without needing to select the text tool icon again.

2- Show Tool:

This tool is used exclusively with the keyboard. You need to enter the element name using the command line to highlight it. For example:

>Show R1

Or

>Show R1* (to show all elements start with R1)

This applies also for signal names.

Read more: Eagle CAD Tips and Tricks


About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer with a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan University. I have written for various industries, mainly home automation, and engineering. I have a clear and simple writing style and am skilled in using infographics and diagrams. I am a great researcher and is able to present information in a well-organized and logical manner.

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