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What you didn’t know about EAGLE: Customize Context Menu

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Customize-Context-Menu

In this series we’ve been showing you how to use some gem features in EAGLE that not all users may be aware of, this week we bring you “Customize Context Menu”. Knowing how to customize the EAGLE Context Menu aka Right Click Menu is a must learn. It will increase productivity by helping you quickly carry out your specific design routines. Now, the Context Menu gives you numerous options, changing depending on where you right-click on the EAGLE interface. In addition to these given options EAGLE allows you to extend the objects selection menus with the EAGLE command line, which we spoke about in a previous post. (Read about it here: EAGLE command Line (https://cadsoft.io/blog/what-didnt-you-know-about-eagle-command-line/).

Figure 1 shows our default object selectable menu.

Figure 1

The appropriate command for any modification to the context menu need to follow this syntax:

Context Menu: SET CONTEXT ObjectType text commands;

Let’s start it off by adding the ‘statistic-sch.ulp’ to our context menu (figure1). This is a very useful ULP that provides schematic design details. Our ObjectType is “INSTANCE” which applies only to schematics, the text that will appear on the menu is “STATS” and the command to execute is the ULP. Cut and paste the following command to your EAGLE Schematic command line SET CONTEXT instance STATS ‘run statistic-sch.ulp’; then press enter.
Hover over any component origin on your schematic and right click, you will notice that ‘Stats’ has been added to the context menu, see Figure 2.

Figure 2

Selecting the STATS menu option, will execute assigned ULP and provide you the results on the screen.  See Figure 3.

Figure 3

The added context menu item needs to be appropriately assigned to the editor.  In other words, a command or ULP that is designed for the schematic should not be assigned as a context option on the board editor.  For our second example we are going to assign the Board Statistics ULP to our context menu. Cut and paste the following to your command line: SET CONTEXT element STATS ‘run statistic-brd.ulp’; (notice that my ObjectType changed to Element). Now hover over any component on the board, click on the right mouse button and you will notice the STAT option appear as our first example.

All selectable ObjectType are supported. These are attribute, circle, dimension, element, frame, gate, hole, instance, junction, label, pad, pin, rectangle, SMD, text via and wire.  These entries are stored in the eaglerc file and it is possible to define an unlimited amount of context entries. To delete all context entries type the command Set Context; and press enter, this will delete all context assignments.

To access details regarding the context menu, type the command HELP SET on the command line, and scroll to the sub title called Context Menu.
Please tell us your thoughts on the series, comments and suggestions always welcome.
EAGLE Support Team
support@cadsoftusa.com

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