Technical Support and
the Latest Information for VUTRAX Users
Issue Number 29
- VUTRAX VERSION 12.1-
Vutrax 12.1 is planned for release early in April 1999.
The primary content of this bulletin is an outline of
enhancements. Operational details of the changes are
embedded in the installed product.
A major area of change
has been in the on-line Help!
system. There is now an integrated browser, search
engine and completely new integrated tutorials. These
features will make the required hint, tip or detail easy
find and use.
When available, this issue of the
software can be supplied from
Downloads situated on our Web site (www.vutrax.co.uk) or on
either CD-ROM or Floppy
Those who have subscribed to the Software Maintenance
Agreement and require CD or Floppy media should
- Master Floppy Disks (if you have
any - do
not return the CD-ROM)
- Any Interface Disk(s) you have
- A note of your media
'Download' customers will need to contact us to arrange for
'Freeware' customers can update from downloaded materials
alone. The same limits and indefinite use apply.
Users who have not subscribed to
the Software Maintenance
Agreement and would like to know more details of the
involved, please telephone
or e-mail the
- Complete new HELP system including an
browser, search engine, and completely new integrated
- A system wide 'Recent Files' system
separately listing Vutrax Graphics and text files. Various
convenience/security disable features are available.
- A new tool for searching VUTRAX (and
other) text and
graphics files according to many criteria. Display uses a
viewer or editor appropriate to the file type. VUTRAX
graphics files are specifically steered to the found
Accessed from the menu as [Search] from (File).
- Windows Printer output now includes
which variously include file name/title, time/date
number. The feature includes
user controls for left/right
positioning, suppressing or rearranging fields, & font.
- Many users are annoyed by the way
boxes (simple text messages with Yes/No, OK,
OK/Cancel etc. buttons) are placed by Windows at the
centre of the desktop, sometimes over what they want to
view, or in a position unrelated to the window. Most
VUTRAX modules can override this default and adaptively
locate the box relative to the active window or dialogue
box. User options are available.
- Major revision of file names
handling, including user
preferences for inclusion of the directory paths (FNSTYLE).
- Provision for setting initial
environment variables, path etc.
en-masse or by program.
- Display of multiple drawings and
starting additional menu
threads from within DRAFT.
- Pausing over menu items
automatically generates 'Hints'.
- 'View only' and 'Practice' option. There are various
means of forcing the setting for use in view-only
footprint libraries are checked for duplicate or
updated entries, and provides options to deal with them.
warns you if the drawing you have just Opened is
too large for your configuration to SAVE.
- AUTONAME command introduced to simplify library
avoids moving to the next point if it is not on a
displayed layer. This avoids subsequently erasing things
you can't see.
setting option 'C' introduced to make
[Partial Layer...] setting intuitive.
- When a new file schematic file is
started the Script
orientation defaults to a 'remain readable' setting
- Combinations of the command repeats
(*<n> ...) and the
command generate a range of messages including
counting the number of commands completed.
- Pad listing can be controlled to
match subsets of their
name fields (e.g. to locate every 'Mounting Hole').
- Background library selection shows
any description of the
currently selected item in the dialogue box.
- Better control of character set
switching in dialogues. for
handling of Mu and similar characters.
- The contents of <string>
when searching Script, Data or
points discards trailing spaces in the command.
- Powerplane Isolation & Thermal Break pad sizes
associated with a pad are included in pad listings.
- The [Command History]
dialogue includes file browsing.
[Edit Options] browse
facilities includes file browsing,
automatically invoked when appropriate.
- New form PRIVILEGE+ command prefix
allows you to
switch to ANY mode temporarily.
- Project based menu systems can be
introduced and used
concurrently, and stored with the job.
- User based menu systems can be
different users of the same system different basic
- Pausing over menu items and
dialogue box controls
automatically generates 'Hints'.
- Many changes and extensions to
support VUTRAX 12.1
- After errors in libraries the
library is scanned for problems
arising from multiple updates or incompatible types. These
can be fixed on your selection. For non-library files
can automatically start the editor on the offending file.
- The new -Y option ([Extra Options] from Make Rats
allows selected aspects of the Layout (.LAY) file to
to their defaults (e.g. silk legend position or size,
gluespots and marker sizes).
- Undocumented files (BUILDLIB.BAT and
previously generated only when using the library index,
replaced by just BUILDLIB.BAT generated for all Rats-nest
builds ([Build from Rats
Nest] from (Tools > Library >
Make Job Library)).
- Make Job Library (BUILDLIB) lists missing
file LIBWARN.ASC as well as to screen, so that long
can be examined. The results file is also checked for
- The POWERPLANES dialog allows
more splits (up to 5)
per powerplane layer.
- Support for DXF import/export up to
- The LWPOLYGON entity is recognised
For compatibility, POLYGON is still used on
import accepts VERTEX entities with no layer
export avoids layer changes in Polygons
terminated because of layer changes in a VUTRAX
- FULLPATH generates environment variables for the full
path of a filename, plus drive, directory, name, &
parts. Given a wildcard it can loop in a command file
process files, including subdirectories and hidden files.
provides a variety of facilities for manipulating,
searching & comparing strings, and processing searched
lists of files.
- VTXDLG PASS allows hiding of passwords.
- The TABLE filter has options
for handling quoted fields.
- Provision for initial custom
settings of the path (use of
option /K in the Shortcut).
command introduced to process command in
another file 'in-line'.
- Run-time controls PAUSE and
VTXRUN are extended.
- 'SEE NEW' prompts for a proper name when the file is to
- Shift+F6, Ctrl+F6 & Ctrl+Shift +F6 provide
justification to right, centre
and left margin.
- Shift+F5 & Ctrl+F5 keys can set explicit upper/lower
- The -H option is invoked
automatically on very big files.
- A new utility (Checklib) to
duplicate or incompatible sets of footprints.
- Command sequence building and
execute facilities -
standard sequences of plots can be stored, edited, &
- Formal support of A3 paper size
on HP Inkjet printers,
and options on A4 and A3 HP Inkjet printers for forcing
paper size and ignoring margins.
- Extensive clarification of PLOT control
- A set of CNC and Photoplot
control files for 0.0001"
resolution is available.
- Support of reduced pad sizes for
solder paste is
enhanced by permitting the PLOT option form
- Options /W and /S can have
their numeric values as a
separate argument, optionally separating a - from the
(Supports simplification of Gerber 274X photoplotting.)
- GERB274X option /M<min aper>
specifies the minimum
dimension of aperture that can be created. Default is 1
- The GERB274X utility (used
separately or automatically
from PLOT), produces more confirmatory messages.
Computamation Systems Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0)1525 261 381
Vutrax is a registered
trademark of Computamation Systems Ltd.