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Thing You Didn't Know About Virtuoso: Redux

Comments(3)Filed under: Custom IC Design, Virtuoso, IC 6.1, Schematic-driven Layout, IC 6.1.5, Virtuoso IC6.1.5, Search Assistant, Property Editor, Navigator, schematic

After a long break, I'm going to try to venture back into the blogosphere, starting off nice and easy--by cheating...

You see, Virtuoso IC 6.1.5 came out at the end of January, and one of the changes made to the Schematic Editor is that many of the handy dockable assistants featured in IC 6.1 are now available at the basic L tier of software.  If you don't know what that means, don't worry, because what I'm trying to say is that now, everybody can use these features!

And since I have already blogged about these assistants, I get to write a new article that pretty much consists of nothing but a bunch of links to those previous posts.  So here goes...

The assistants that are now available in VSE L are:

Navigator Assistant

Since I wrote the initial post, the Navigator now enables you to add probes using the RMB (remember that "right mouse button"?) on instances, nets or nets and connected instances.  You can choose what color probe to create and the probes get highlighted with that color in the schematic and the Navigator all the way down the hierarchy.  There is also a search field at the top of the assistant and a new filter to display only probed objects.

Property Editor Assistant

I am still surprised when I sit and work with customers and they are constantly popping up that gigantic bindkey "q" property editor form over and over again.  Especially now in IC 6.1.5.   You've selected the instance(s).  Just look in the lower left corner of your window.  The information you're looking for is already displayed right there in front of you.  Get your finger off of that "q" key!

Search Assistant

Now you can also use the Search Assistant to find bindkey definitions and CDS environment variables.

World View Assistant

Another woefully underused assistant.  With this assistant, coupled with the new Magnifier in IC 6.1.5, you need never zoom in or out again.  Yes, I said "Magnifier".  Try "View->Magnifier" (or bindkey ".") in the schematic window (use Options->Magnifer to adjust).

Also check out the articles on the general usage of Assistants and Workspaces.

So before you straightaway go for the little "x" button to close those assistants, do a little homework and maybe you'll find something you like!

Stacy Whiteman


By Jamie Boelter on April 29, 2011
Also, if you just want to temporarily hide the assistants to make more room, you can hit the "F11" key and that will toggle the visibility for the assistants.   No need to close them permanently.   Give it a try!

By Kari on May 16, 2011
I just tried out the magnifier. Really cool! The F11 assistant toggle is also a great tip. Thanks!

By terry newsom on May 13, 2014
Thanks for the info on the magnifier, been wondering what that bind key " property guy was pointing to. I've found that the magnifier's value is increased with a simple bit of scripting... by adding to my greater than  bind key a function utilizing this bit of code : hiScaleMagnifier(1.5) ..   and to my  lesser than  bind key this code: hiScaleMagnifier(.8) , it allows me to zoom the magnifier in and out of the areas. I also added to a bind key the toggle to turn on and off the magnifier...     "hiToggleMagnifier() - between this trio of bind keys, that magnifier has become a new favorite tool. I use it for schematic and layout windows. Thanks again for giving me a heads up on it.

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