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Cross-Select Components in OrCAD X

Key Takeaways

  • Cross-probing in OrCAD X streamlines the navigation between schematics and PCB layouts.

  • Easily modify net constraints using the cross-probe feature within the Constraint Manager for improved design integrity.

  • Cross-probe between the Live BOM and schematic to ensure design synchronization and efficient component tracking.

In OrCAD X  Presto PCB Editor > Select component(s) >  right click > cross probe]

In OrCAD X  Presto PCB Editor > Select component(s) > Right-click > Cross Probe

Finding parts and nets in a schematic is generally much easier than locating them in the layout. One of the significant challenges designers face in PCB design is the difficulty in locating specific parts and nets within the board layout.

During the design process, you might often be working on a symbol or a net in the PCB board and need to check something on the same object in the schematic. This back-and-forth navigation between the schematic and the board layout can be time-consuming, requiring the ability to cross-select components, also known as cross-probing, between schematic and layout.

In the workflow example below, the engineer modifies specific nets to meet design constraints. By leveraging the cross-probe feature, they ensure efficient navigation and precise adjustments within the Constraint Manager in OrCAD X, improving overall design integrity.

A Cross-Select Component Workflow Example in OrCAD X 



Step 1: Identify the Net to Modify

Identify the net you want to modify. In the video, the engineer identifies net N46598 must be adjusted.

Step 2: Open Constraint Manager

Go to Tools > Constraint Manager to open the Constraint Manager.

Step 3: Enable Net Selection

Turn on net selection in the Constraint Manager to allow for easy selection of specific nets.

Step 4: Select the Net

Select the N46598 net on the canvas.

Step 5: Cross-Probe the Net

Right-click on the selected net and choose Cross-Probe. This action automatically highlights the selected net in the active worksheet within the Constraint Manager.

Step 6: Modify Constraints

Change the constraint set of the highlighted net to the desired setting, such as modifying it to a power net constraint set.

Step 7: Refresh DRCs

After making the necessary changes, refresh the DRCs to see the updated results and apply the changes.

Automatic cross-probe feature in the bottom left, found in OrCAD X Presto PCB Editor

Automatic cross-probe feature in the bottom left, found in OrCAD X Presto PCB Editor

Automatic Cross-Probing

For an even more seamless experience, OrCAD X provides an "automatic cross probe" option. When enabled, this feature automatically cross-probes elements as soon as they are selected on the canvas, eliminating the need for manual right-clicks. This can be particularly useful when making frequent adjustments or when changes across different views need to be constantly verified.

Applications for Cross-Selecting Components 

Practical Application


Adjusting Constraints

Cross-probing can be used to quickly adjust constraints for specific nets or components. For example, if a net needs to be classified as a power net, users can select the net, cross-probe to the constraint manager, and make the necessary changes.

Error Checking and Debugging

When dealing with design rule check (DRC) errors, cross-probing helps identify and correct issues efficiently. By selecting a DRC error marker, users can cross-probe to see the affected elements and make the necessary adjustments in the layout or schematic.

Schematic and Layout Synchronization

Ensuring that the schematic and layout are in sync is critical for accurate PCB design. Cross-probing helps maintain this synchronization by allowing designers to verify that changes made in the layout are correctly represented in the schematic and vice versa.

Cross-probing between schematic and BOM

Cross-probing between schematic and BOM 

Cross-Select Components Between BOM and Schematic 

OrCAD X Capture provides a valuable feature that allows users to cross-probe between  the Live BOM (Bill of Materials) and the schematic canvas. This is especially useful for designs stored in your Cloud Workspace. When a component is selected within Live BOM, it is immediately highlighted in OrCAD X Capture and also zoomed into the layout in the PCB Editor. 

How to Cross-Select Components Between BOM and Schematic in OrCAD X





Save the Design

Ensure your design is saved.


Access Live BOM

Navigate to the menu and choose Tools > Live BOM.


Select Component for Cross-Probing

Right-click on the component in the Live BOM and select Cross-Probe.


Component Highlighted

The selected component will be highlighted on the schematic canvas and in the Allegro PCB Editor layout.

Now that you know how to cross-select components in OrCAD X, try it out for yourself here!

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