You are here

How to edit a PCB symbol directly from OrCAD PCB Editor

Productivity Toolbox: Quick Symbol Edit

Productivity Toolbox: Quick Symbol Edit

Today the process of modifying a symbol definition in the context of a design requires several steps in PCB Editor

  • Libraries have to be exported for the whole design
  • The dra file needs to be opened separately with the symbol editor
  • After changes have been done Place – Update Symbols is necessary in order to update to footprint in the board database.

Quick Symbol Edit is an application which enables user to modify a symbol definition in a seamless way similar to Tools – Modify Design Padstack

Quick Symbol Edit can be started from Pulldown menu or by entering the command tbx quicksymedit in the console window.

Command options are available in Options panel


The symbol can be selected in two ways, either by selecting it from the list or by picking a symbol in the PCB Editor canvas. You might filter the symbol names list using wildcards Once the symbol has been selected the name and the type will be displayed in section Active Symbol


Three command options are available:


Edit same session

In this mode the current board database will be saved. The symbol definition (dra file) will be opened within the same session. After you have finished the changes you can choose the Pulldown menu File – Quick Symbol Edit – Return to Layout to jump back to the original board and update the symbol definition in the board.


Note: The pulldown menu is a dynamic menu which only appears if you have launched Quick Symbol Edit from a layout database previously.

Update options are provided which act in a similar way like the options from the standard commmand Place - Update Symbols. An additional switch Cleanup files after update let’s you cleanup the files (dra, psm, pad etc.) from the disk once the process has finished.


Edit new session

Choosing this mode will launch a new session of PCB Editor and open the dra file for editing or viewing purposes.

Export only

This mode exports the given symbol definition (including associated padstacks, shape and flash symbols) to a directory which can be specified by user.

Note: Edit new session and Edit same session will export the symbol data (dra, psm, pads etc.) for a given symbol definition always to the current working directory. It is required that padpath and psmpath have the current working directory (“ ”) in the first place. If not an error message appears