Navigation: The graphical user interface >
The circuit window is the container of circuit objects. From the file menu you can load circuit objects from disk or simply create an empty window to start building a new circuit. Circuit objects include components (standard, user specified, MODELS and TACS), connections, texts, shapes, pictures and attachments (files).
See the Mouse operations page for mouse and keyboard summary.
The resolution of a circuit is 10000x10000 pixels (screen points); much higher than your screen normally would support. Consequently, the circuit window displays only a small portion of the circuit. To move around in the circuit you use the window scroll bars, or you drag the view rectangle of the map window to another position. You may also want to use the zoom options in the view menu in order to zoom in or out on objects. The default circuit world size can be set under View|Options (10-400% of 10.000 pixels).
From the components selection menu you select components to insert into the circuit. This menu pops up when you click the right mouse button in an empty space of the circuit window. To start drawing a new connection, click the left mouse button on a component node or the end-point of an existing connection. An inverted connection line will then follow the mouse cursor until you finish the drawing operation by clicking the left mouse button again, or cancelling clicking the right mouse button. Relations are drawn in much the same way, except that you have to select the TACS/Relation option in the components menu to start the relation drawing operation. You can then draw multiple relations until you click the right mouse button. Relations are used to visualize information flow into Fortran statements and are drawn as blue connections, but have no influence on component connectivity.
To select and move an object, simply press and hold down the left mouse button on the object while you move the mouse. Release the button and click in an empty space to unselect and confirm its new position. The object is then moved to the nearest grid point (known as gridsnapping). If two or more components overlap as a consequence of a move operation, you are given a warning and can choose to cancel the unselection.
If you select a single component and press the Crtl+F1 key combination, alternatively click the Help button, component specific help is displayed.
Selecting a group of objects for moving can be done in three ways: If you hold down the Shift key while you left-click an object, you add it to the selected objects group. Pressing and holding down the left mouse button in an empty space enables you to drag a rectangular outline around the objects you want selected. And finally, if you double-click the left mouse button in an empty space, you can define a polygon shaped region by repeatedly clicking the left mouse button in the circuit window. To close the region, click the right mouse button on the last polygon point you want to set. Objects that are defined to fall within the indicated region or rectangle are added to the selected objects group. For components this means that the center point of a component icon must lie within the defined region or rectangle. For connections and relations the region or rectangle must surround both end-points. To move the selected group of objects, press and hold down the left mouse button inside the group while you move the mouse. You unselect and confirm the new position by clicking in an empty space. Any overlapping components will produce a warning.
To move objects outside the visible part of the circuit, use the window scroll bars or the view rectangle in the map window. Any selected object or group will follow the window to its new position.
You rotate objects by clicking the right mouse button inside the selected object or group. Other object manipulation functions, such as undo/redo and clipboard options, are found in the edit menu. However, the most frequently used object manipulation functions can be accessed by holding down the Shift key while clicking with the right mouse button on an object or a selected group of objects. This will display and activate the circuit window shortcut menu.
Components and component nodes can be opened for editing. If you right-click or double-click an unselected component or node, either the Open Component, Open Probe or Open Node dialog box will show, allowing you to change component or node attributes and characteristics. If you double-click in a selected group of objects, the Open Group dialog box will show, allowing you to change attributes common to all components in that group, such as group number and hide and lock state. Default component attributes are stored in support files. Access to create and customize support files is provided by the library menu.
Components are connected if their nodes overlap or if a connection is drawn between the nodes. To draw a connection between nodes, click on a node with the left mouse button. A line is drawn between that node and the mouse cursor. Click the left mouse button again to place the connection (clicking the right button cancels the operation). The grid snap facility helps overlapping the nodes. Nodes connected together are given the same name by the Make Names and Make File options in the ATP menu. Nodes can be attached along a connection as well as at connection end-points. A connection should not unintentionally cross other nodes (what you see is what you get). A node naming warning appears during the ATP file creation if a connection exists between nodes of different names or if the same name has been given to unconnected nodes. Connections are selectable as any other object. To resize a connection, click on its end-point with the left mouse button, hold down and drag. If several connections share the same node, the desired connection to resize must be selected. Selected connection nodes appear as squares at both ends of the selection rectangle. The Rubber Band feature effects connections with one node in the selected group and one outside as they will become flexible. Multi-phase nodes were introduced from ATPDraw version 5.0. See also multi-phase node page.