I keep my toothpaste in my bathroom. I keep the paprika in the kitchen. I keep the band-aids in the bathroom near the living room. Two points here. First, I keep the tools I need near the place where I do the activity for which I might need them. Second, I try to always keep things in the same place so I know where they are when I need them. Sounds sensible, right? Dinner would never be ready on time if I had to keep walking over to the bathroom to get spices. And I certainly don't want to run around the house bleeding while I try to find the band-aids.
These are the same principles behind Workspaces in IC61. Now, if you're bleeding profusely, you'll still have to get up and go find a band-aid (or call 911), but for most of your daily work activities, using Workspaces in Virtuoso enables you to have the tools you need arranged where you like them for the tasks you're doing at any given time.
We've talked in this space about some of the new assistants available in IC61 (Navigator, Property Editor...others we haven't discussed yet). I'm sure you've also noticed the new toolbars at the top of the screen. All these elements can be enabled, disabled, resized and moved around to your heart's content. When you're working with a huge schematic, you might want the Navigator and the World View Assistant so you don't have to keep zooming in and out. When you're first drawing a schematic you might want the Property Editor Assistant on the left and the Create and Edit toolbars on the right for quick command entry.
To get started, turn on the Workspaces toolbar (Window->Toolbars->Workspaces). It usually shows up in the upper right corner of the window. Workspaces apply to a specific application type (schematics, layout, ADE XL) and Virtuoso comes with several predefined workspaces for each application. For example, the schematic editor has Basic, Classic, and Explore, among others. Just pull down on the cyclic to try out some of the different arrangements available out of the box.
This is where the fun begins. Rearrange some assistants and toolbars. You can even undock the assistants and have them floating outside the main window. Now click on the icon just to the right of the cyclic to save your own custom workspace. You can create as many different workspaces as you like in order to have the right tools for each task right where you want them.
So next time your boss comes in frantically talking about how the project is bleeding $$$, you'll know right where you put the band-aids.
More information on Workspaces, including how your CAD department can create custom workspaces to be shared with everyone in the project, refer to the Virtuoso Design Environment User Guide.
Thanks for trying out some of these great new features. Please leave your comments and let us know about your experiences (good or not-so-good).
Next time we'll talk about some commonly used functions that I'll bet you didn't know were hiding right under your fingertips...