Signal Harness

Parent page: Schematic Objects

A placed Signal Harness


A Signal Harness is an electrical design primitive. It is an abstract connection that enables the logical grouping of different signals including buses, wires and other signal harnesses for increased flexibility and streamlined design. Signal Harnesses allow for the creation and manipulation of higher level abstract connections between subcircuits in your PCB Projects. They allow for a more complex design within the same schematic workspace, increasing readability of designs and building potential for re-use.


Signal Harnesses are available for placement in the Schematic Editor only by clicking Home | Circuit Elements |  from the main menus.


After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair and you will enter signal harness placement mode. Placement is made by performing the following sequence of actions:

  1. Click or press Enter to anchor the starting point for the signal harness.
  2. Position the cursor and click or press Enter to anchor a series of vertex points that define the shape of the signal harness.
  3. After placing the final vertex point, right-click or press Esc to complete placement of the signal harness.
  4. Continue placing further signal harness objects, or right-click or press Esc to exit placement mode.
  5. Use the Backspace or Delete keys to remove the last harness segment placed.

While attributes can be modified during placement (Tab to bring up associated properties dialog), keep in mind that these will become the default settings for further placement.

Placement Modes

When placing a signal harness there are three placement modes, two of which have Start and End sub-modes. The mode specifies how corners are created when placing signal harnesses and the angles at which signal harnesses can be placed. During placement:

  • Press Shift+Spacebar to cycle through the 90 Degree, 45 Degree and Any Angle modes.
  • While in the 90 Degree or 45 Degree mode (known as true orthogonal modes), press Spacebar to cycle between the Start and End sub-modes.
  • During placement, the current placement mode is displayed in the Status bar. You can change modes at any time during signal harness placement.
  • In modes other than Any Angle, the line segment attached to the cursor is a look ahead segment. The segment you are actually placing precedes this look ahead segment.

 45 degree mode

 90 degree mode

 Any angle mode

Press Shift+Spacebar to cycle through the different placement modes.

Guided wiring of a Signal Harness

Schematics have a definable electrical grid that makes it easy to define electrical connections between objects. As you are placing a Signal Harness, when the Signal Harness falls within the electrical grid range of another electrical object, the cursor will snap to the fixed object and a Hot Spot (red cross) will appear.

Hot Spot (red cross)

The Hot Spot guides you to where a valid connection can be made and automatically snaps the cursor to electrical connection points.

The electrical grid can be defined on the Sheet Options tab of the Document Options dialog (Project | Content | ). It is recommended that you set the electrical grid to be slightly smaller than the current snap grid or it becomes difficult to position electrical objects one snap grid apart.

Graphical Editing

This method of editing allows you to select a placed signal harness object directly in the workspace and change its size and/or shape graphically.

When a signal harness object is selected, the following editing handles are available:

Selected Signal Harness, ready for graphical editing

  • Click and drag A to reposition the end points of the signal harness.
  • Click and drag B to move a signal harness vertex. The end points will remain anchored.
  • Ctrl+click and drag on a segment to grab that segment and reposition it. The end points and other vertices will remain anchored.
  • Right-click on a vertex point and choose the Edit Signal Harness Vertex n command to access the Vertices tab of the Signal Harness dialog, with the entry for the nth vertex selected ready for editing.
  • Ctrl+click and hold on a segment, then press Insert on the keyboard to add a vertex at that point.
  • Click and hold on a vertex, then press Delete on the keyboard to remove that vertex.

To move an entire signal harness, click and hold on the un-selected signal harness (or click and hold on the selected signal harness, away from vertices) then move to the new location.

An object that has its Locked property enabled cannot be selected or graphically edited. Double-click on the locked object directly then disable the Locked property to graphically edit the object.

Non-Graphical Editing

The following methods of non-graphical editing are available:

Via an Associated Properties Dialog

Dialog page: Signal Harness

This method of editing uses the following dialog to modify the properties of a signal harness object.

Edit the properties of the Signal Harness in the Signal Harness dialog.

The dialog can be accessed during placement by pressing the Tab key.

After placement, the dialog can be accessed in one of the following ways:

  • Double-click on the placed Signal Harness object.
  • Place the cursor over the Signal Harness object, right-click then choose Properties from the context menu.
The Signal Harness dialog includes a Vertices tab, where you can edit the individual vertices of the currently selected signal harness object.

Via the SCH Inspector Panel

Panel page: SCH Inspector

The SCH Inspector panel enables you to interrogate and edit the properties of one or more design objects in the active document.


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