Pre-Sale - PADS Importing

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Joined: 07 Aug 2017, 10:35

Pre-Sale - PADS Importing

#1 Post by Hawker » 07 Aug 2017, 11:17


I am considering moving to DipTrace as it is more affordable for me and my clients. I will need a couple of seats of a mid range package. However I have been using PADS for over 20 years. One of the reasons I am considering DipTrace is that it says it can import PADS and Altium which are the two standards in my industries. Can anyone give me a better idea if/how these import features work?

I have downloaded the free version to try before purchasing. I have been unable to get PADS files to import.
For Schematic it imports the border and text but no parts or traces. For the PCB it gets in all the 2d drawings no parts or nets.
The component editor will not import. I get a " is not an valid integer value when I try to load the .c or .p files.
I am able to get the pattern editor to load my *.d decal libraries however but this is the only import function that works.

Also how does the licensing work? I assume there is no dongle. Is it tied to a the PC's NIC? How portable is the license if I wish to move to different computers? What is required?

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Joined: 20 Jun 2015, 14:39

Re: Pre-Sale - PADS Importing

#2 Post by Tomg » 08 Aug 2017, 06:30

There is no dongle and there is no internet connection required after the program has been installed. As for portability, according to their FAQ page (, " can install DipTrace on several computers with the same license key. But only one copy should be running at a time. For example, it means: one user has DipTrace on two computers or several users work on one computer with installed DipTrace..."

As far as importing PADS and Altium files, I don't know since I have never attempted it. You'll have to wait for someone else who has the experience to chime in here. (For Altium importing/exporting, I suggest that you PM user "DerekG" who I believe has lots of experience doing this.) I do recommend that you keep testing all aspects of DipTrace before making a decision. Some features may not be as complete or developed enough to meet your requirements and other features will either meet or exceed expectations. Be sure to take some time to read through the many pages on both the Feature requests and Bug reports forums. That should give you a pretty good idea of whether or not DipTrace is going to be worth the effort.

Also, feel free to email the developers about your concerns (their support address is listed) and ask them for solid examples of how to import PADS and Altium files. They are usually pretty good at responding in fairly short order. If you don't receive timely and credible answers to your questions then by all means try other packages to find one that best matches your requirements. I saw one post about a month ago where someone asked a question about importing Altium libraries (, but for unknown reasons a public response from the developers has not yet materialized. This is not typical since they are actually fairly reliable at answering questions and attempting to hammer out bugs.

Remember that DipTrace is only a mid-level product so don't expect top tier capabilities. On the other hand, all of DipTrace's features and tools should be expected to work properly and thoroughly as their mere existence implies.

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Re: Pre-Sale - PADS Importing

#3 Post by Alex » 08 Aug 2017, 09:16

DipTrace can import PADS ASCII files format 2005. Other formats may or may not be imported. If you saved PADS ASCII files in correct format and still have the problem please send the files for verification to support at diptrace dot com.

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