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Things You Didn't Know About Virtuoso: Managing Your Real Estate - Part 1

Comments(1)Filed under: Custom IC Design, Virtuoso, assistants, real estate

Yeah, right...in this economy, don't talk to me about real estate.  But I'm not talking about home prices, I'm talking about that territory on the screen right in front of you where you spend your day drawing and clicking and arranging and rearranging in order to accomplish your job.  Cadence has given you lots of tools to help you develop your little plot of land.  Just recently in this blog, I've told you about 2 new ones, the Navigator Assistant and the Property Editor Assistant.  They can be very useful, but maybe you're starting to feel that having all of these tools lying around is making things a bit cluttered.  How am I supposed to build my house with this bulldozer in the way?

Well, that's what I'm here for.  I've got a few great tips for organizing those assistants so you're not tripping over them any more. 

Let's start with the basics.  Turning an assistant on or off can be done from the Window->Assistants banner menu, or using the right mouse button (RMB) menu somewhere in the area at the top of the window.  Once an assistant appears, what can you do with it (besides the task it was designed for, of course)? 

  • You can click and drag the edges to resize it (look for the cursor to turn into a pair of parallel lines--this is your drag handle)
  • You can click on the X in the upper right corner of the assistant to close it (I'll be you figured that out already, didn't you?)
  • You can click on the middle of the 3 icons in the upper right corner of the assistant (or simply double-click anywhere on the top bar of the assistant) to undock it.

Egads, now what?  It's floating free with a life of it's own.  Well, not really.  It's still integrally tied to the main window it came from.  You can still cross-select with the main canvas and the other assistants.  But now you can grab it by the little red title bar at the top and drag it off to the edge of the screen (or even onto your 2nd monitor if you're lucky enough to have a double-wide) where it will hover obediently, doing its job.  You can resize it just as you would any regular window, by grabbing and dragging its edges or corners so you can see all its contents without scroll bars.

If you double-click on the title bar of the assistant (or click the middle icon again), it will dock itself right back where it came from.

Now you may have noticed while you were dragging your little friend around that over some areas of the main window, a big gray blank area would suddenly appear near where you were moving the assistant.  This is to show you the different areas in the main window where the assistant will dock if you drop it there.  You can dock assistants around any of the edges of the central canvas. 

Bonus Tip: If you want an assistant to remain free-floating, hold down the Ctrl key while you drag it.

Extra Bonus Tip: Did you know that assistants can be tabbed on top of each other?  Simply undock an assistant, drag it by it's title bar and drop it when your mouse cursor is somewhere inside the body of another assistant.  Voila!  The 2 assistants (or 3 or 4 or...) are now overlapping with handy little tabs at the bottom so you can switch between them. 

And now for my last trick for today, I'm going to make them all disappear!  Do you have an F11 key on your keyboard?  Press it.  Uh-oh, where'd they all go?  Press it again.  Whew, that was a close one.  The F11 key will hide and show all the assistants you have activated at any given time so you can clear your working area with a single keystroke. 


For those of you whose function keys don't go to 11, you can do the same thing by selecting Window->Workspaces->Show/Hide Assistants or clicking the far right icon in the Workspace toolbar.  What are Workspaces, you ask?  Tune in next time to find out...

As always, please feel free to comment or share your own tips and tricks...

Stacy Whiteman





By deana on June 30, 2009
Until Stacy started her postings, I came to read the blogs when I thought of it.
I find the information she posts so useful that I now come to this site to read her informative and humorously written blogs about all the things I don't know.
Thanks Stacy!

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