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What's good about database parameters and XML import/export?

Comments(4)Filed under: PCB Layout and routing, PCB design, SPB, XML import/export, SPB16.01, Allegro PCB Editor, OrCAD PCB Editor

In the SPB16.01 release, you can now import/export database parameters from Allegro PCB Editor in the standard XML format using the File> Export/Import> Parameters menu option.

The export functionality creates the parameter file (with a .prm file extension). The parameter file contents can be the following options.

  • Design Setting ( Global values and grid settings)
  • Artwork (Artwork film, film block and film class)
  • Color (Color parameter and color table)
  • Text Size (Text size table)
  • Application or Command Parameters (All the other supported parameters)

Once you've exported parameters from an exiting board file, they an be imported into a new board file using the Board Wizard

In addition, you can use th batch mode for techfiles to read and write database parameter files.

Command syntax:
techfile -r|-w -p [-o <paramtype> -o <paramtype ...] [<paramfile >] [<in design>] [<out design> ]

Modes (one of the following is required):
  • -r - read a paramfile into a layout
  • -w - write a paramfile from a layout
  • -p - reader/writer performs on parameter file, otherwise techfile.
  • -o - parameters to output from a database. Default is to export all supported parameter records. It works with -w switch only.


The techfile executable can be used to read a parameter file into an existing board.
Command syntax:

techfile -r -p [<paramfile> <layout>] [new_layout]


The techfile executable can be used to export a parameter file from an existing board.
Command syntax:

techfile -w -p [-o <paramtype> -o <paramtype ...] [<layout><new_paramfile>]

So, how many PCB designers are taking advantage of importing/exporting XML database parameters to seed board files? While we stress that editing the XML files should be avoided, I'm curious if some adventurous individuals are doing something novel with exported XML files to inject special conditions.

I'd like to hear from you.

Jerry GenPart


By Eduardo Lopez Gil on November 16, 2011
I am looking for a definition file to see this XML file other than MS Word that can only display data.

By Jerry GenPart on November 16, 2011
Hi Eduardo,
Can you clarify what you require? Are you looking for an XML editor?
Jerry G.

By Randy Du on September 14, 2012
I failed to import a parameter file to my new design.
the parameter file came from an existing board.
I can send the file to you . please help.
pcb editor asked me to "select file to view" after importing and I don't know what file it wants.

By Jerry GenPart on September 26, 2012
Hi Randy,
Your best option to resolve the question you asked is to contact our Customer Support team by filing a new Service Request through http://support.cadence.com/
Jerry G.

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