Cadence Allegro PCB Tips & Tricks

Cadence Allegro is a very powerfull PCB design software. However, it is not very intuitive. Here are some Cadence Allegro PCB Tips & Tricks that I wrote down for myself to remember. I will update them to include new items as soon as I would like to memorize more.


  • Updating/replacing footprints –>Top menu “Place”–>Update Symbols –> select symbols to update and appropriate options –> Refresh.
  • DRC rectangle at the bottom right corner of design window has red color (meaning that you have DRC errors), while you think that you fixed all.  Go to –> Top menu “Tools” –> Update DRC. If DRC rectangle changed its color to green-you are done. If it still red, you can run “Design Rule Check Report” from –> Top menu “Tools” –> Reports (or Quick Reports) –> Design Rule Check Report and figure out what rules are violated.
  • Displaying drill legend in your board files –> Top menu “Manufacture” –> NC –> Drill legend.
  • Changing padstack or drilling for your design without affecting library part –> Top menu “Tools” –> Modify Design Padctack –> Select original padstack from Options section of right side menu –> double click on this padstack –>Edit padstack in popped-up “Padstack Designer” –> After editing is complete go to “File” menu of Padstack Designer and “Update to Design”.
  • Changing parameters of Ref Designator Text to make it visible on silkscreen film. Reference designator text has 0 thickness property by default. It makes it visible on design, but suppressed when silkscreen film is created. To add reference designator information to silkscreen film go to  –>Top menu “Setup” –>Design Parameters –>Text –>”Setup Text Sizes” button –> and enter appropriate number in “Photo Width” field of corresponding “Text Blk”.
  • Verify your design before generating Gerber files, or you may be surprised. Top menu “Display” –>Status.


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