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The Properties Button: Property Editor Panel

The Properties button in the Edit Menu brings up the Property Editor containing commands for adding and modifying properties of objects. For the most part Xic does not use properties in physical layouts, but they provide important electrical information in schematic layouts, which is required when building a netlist or SPICE deck.

Clicking on a selected non-pcell instance with button 1 and the Ctrl key held will also bring up the Property Editor, if it is not already present.

When the Property Editor first appears, or upon pressing the Activate button in the panel, or if the Properties menu button is pressed with the Property Editor already visible but inactive, a command state begins where it is possible to list and edit the properties of selected objects. The command state is terminated by pressing the Activate button again, or pressing the Properties button in the Edit Menu, or pressing the Esc key, or by starting a different command. The Property Editor remains visible, but will go to an inactive state. The Dismiss button in the Property Editor will exit the command state if active, and retire the panel.

Unless stated otherwise, the descriptions of operations below apply only when the command state is active. When inactive, the presence of the Property Editor window has no effect, and other commands can be executed normally.

When the command mode becomes active, properties of one of the selected objects (if any) are shown in the text window of the panel. The objects are not generally shown as selected, but an internal list of objects that were selected before the command mode was started, or were clicked on with the command state active, is maintained. The object for which the properties are displayed is marked with a dotted outline around the object or a cross over the object. Clicking on the marked object will delete that object from the internal list, and another object's properties (if any in the list) will be shown. Clicking on an unmarked object will mark that object, add it to the list if it is not already there, and display its properties.

The desel button in the top button menu and other methods of deselection will clear the list of objects.

If the Global button in the panel is active, all objects in the list are shown as selected (blinking outline or symbol). The Global button allows manipulation of the properties of all objects in the list, not just the marked object.

When more than one device is in the list, the arrow keys can be used to cycle the marked object through the list.

When the Info button is active, clicking on an object will bring up or update the Property Info window, loaded with the properties of the object. This contains a listing identical to the Property Editor, however there are no buttons other than Dismiss. The object whose properties are listed in the Property Info window is marked on-screen similarly to the current object in the Property Editor, but with a different color.

When the Property Editor is active, clicking on an object with the Shift or Control key pressed will also bring up or update the Property Info window, whether or not the Info button is active.

The Property Editor and Property Info windows are drag/drop sources and receivers, meaning that one can drag properties from one window to another. This will apply the dragged property to the object associated with the drop window (the source object is not affected). Properties that must be unique, such as most electrical properties, will be replaced with the dropped property. Properties that are not unique will be added, without replacement. Only ordinary, user-modifiable properties can be copied in this manner. The prompt line, while in editing mode, is also a drop receiver for these windows.

The listing in either window shows the property number, a descriptive name in electrical mode, and the property string, for all properties attached to the current object. A property can be selected in the list by clicking on the text -- it will be shown highlighted when selected. The current selection is used as input by many of the command buttons in the panel.

In the properties listing, color is used to distinguish the types of properties. The colors can be modified by setting the Special GUI Colors (see A.8.3) listed below. This can be done in the technology file, or with the !setcolor command.

variable default purpose
  black internal properties
GUIcolorHl1 red user-set name property
GUIcolorHl2 dark blue physical mode pseudo-properties
GUIcolorHl4 sienna ordinary (user-modifiable) properties

The value of the electrical mode name property is shown in a different color when the property is set. This property always exists, and it would not otherwise be obvious when viewing the listing when the name property has been set by the user, or is simply showing the name assigned by Xic.

The command buttons in the Property Editor allow addition, modification, and deletion of properties both globally (on all selected objects) or on the marked object. Those properties in the list marked as ``internal'' can not be modified. The physical mode pseudo-properties can not be edited, but can be added (with the Add button). In this case, no property is added, but the operation will cause some aspect of the object to change.

next up previous contents index
Next: The Edit Button: Edit Up: The Edit Menu: Edit Previous: Advanced Examples   Contents   Index
Stephen R. Whiteley 2022-05-28