PatchCAD’s toolbar is designed to present all the necessary tools and commonly used functions in one are for easy access and arranged in a logical order. In addition to the sectional separation of common tasks, the toolbar provides a quick feedback as to the state of the selected patchbay cell or cells.
PatchCAD’s toolbar, divided into sections by function and task.
Click here to start a new empty project. Patchbays must be added to a project. Most toolbar buttons will not be enabled while a new project hasn’t been created or an existing one hasn’t been opened.
When pressed, a window will appear asking for optional description of the project including client’s name, contact details, revision and notes.
Opens a window with the project’s properties. Here you can enter the project’s name, location, client’s contact details, revision and notes.
When at least one patchbay is present in the project, the Print button is enabled. Pressing it will open the print preview and settings window where you can choose which pages to print, choose which cutting guides to print and which printer to print to.
Opens PatchCAD’s global settings including units of measure for custom patchbay designs (mm/inches) and default preview window colours.
Open, Save and Save As
Open an existing project
Save current project. If current project is an existing file, pressing save will overwrite it.
Save current project to a different file than the current one and make the new file the current open project file.
Copy, Cut, Paste and Paste Without Formatting
Copy existing selection to the clipboard.
Copy existing selection to the clipboard and erase current selection from the patchbay.
Paste current clipboard content to the currently selected area. If the clipboard area is larger than the current selection or would overflow the patchbay size, an error message will appear and the paste operation will be cancelled.
Paste current clipboard content without the original formatting (just the content of the cell) to the currently selected area. If the clipboard area is larger than the current selection or would overflow the patchbay size, an error message will appear and the paste operation will be cancelled.
Change the font and size of the selected cell by selecting a font name from the dropdown list, and either selecting the font size from the dropdown line or pressing the Plus and Minus buttons to enlarge or reduce the font size respectively. You can also use the shortcuts Ctrl+] and Ctrl+[ to enlarge and reduce the font size respectively.
Use the H, a > A and A > a buttons to capitalise the text, change all the letters to upper case and change all the letters to lower case respectively.
Use the B, I, U and S buttons to make the selected cells’ text bold, italic, underlined and/or struck out. For bold, italic and underline, you can also use the shortcuts Ctrl+B, Ctrl+I and Ctrl+U respectively.
Auto Content, Colours and Normalling
Available only when a selection span no more than one row, pressing the Auto Number button will automatically fill the content of the selected cells with numbers from 1 until however many cells are selected, incrementing by one.
Available only when a selection span no more than one row, pressing the Auto Letter button will automatically fill the content of the selected cells with letters from A to Z filling all the selected cells. When Z is reached but more letters are required, PatchCAD will continue filling the cells with double-letter content from AA to ZZ and so on.
When more than one cell is selected across one row, the Auto Parallel button becomes available. Pressing it will mark the selected cell with a traditional markings of a parallel split. Often used in audio patchbays, the marks suggest that feeding a signal to any one of the marked sockets will split the same signal across all the marked sockets in the group.
Pressing the Special Symbol button will bring up a window with a list of common special symbols that are not present on the keyboard but are often used for special markings. Selecting any symbol will insert it into the cell overwriting its existing content.
When a selection is made across a single row of cells, the Auto Complete button becomes available. Pressing it will automatically continue the numbering or lettering of the first cell in the selection range but will preserve any prefix labelling. For example, if eight cells in a row are selected, and the first cell contains “Mic A”, pressing Auto Complete will fill in the remaining cells with the labels “Mic B”, “Mic C” and so on.
Unlike the Auto Numbering and Auto Lettering buttons, Auto Complete will not start from the number 1 or the letter A but will rather continue from the number or letter in the first cell. This is useful for continuing a numeration that might have been interrupted or starts from the middle.
Set the colour of the selected cells’ text.
Set the colour of the selected cells’ background.
Set the colour of the border. Selecting a colour from the drop down list will affect all newly created borders. Pressing the colour button will change the colour of all existing borders in the current selection to the chosen colour.
When a patchbay has more than one row, a special mark can be made in between the first two rows to indicate the columns normalling setting. Pressing the Fully Normalled button will draw an up and down arrow between the rows of the “columns” of the selected cells to indicate that the top end bottom sockets are fully normalled.
When a patchbay has more than one row, a special mark can be made in between the first two rows to indicate the columns normalling setting. Pressing the Half Normalled button will draw a down arrow between the rows of the “columns” of the selected cells to indicate that the top row is half normalled to the bottom row.
When a patchbay has more than one row, a special mark can be made in between the first two rows to indicate the columns normalling setting. Pressing the Parallel Normalled button will draw two parallel lines between the rows of the “columns” of the selected cells to indicate that the top and bottom sockets of said column are parallel normalled.
When a patchbay has more than one row, a special mark can be made in between the first two rows to indicate the columns normalling setting. Pressing the Not Normalled button will remove any normalling markings between the rows of the “columns” of the selected cells to indicate that the top and bottom sockets have no normalling relationship.
Pressing the Clear Formatting button will reset any text or style formatting of the selected cells but will preserve their content. The cells’ text will be returned to the plain unformatted text, colours will be cleared and borders removed.
Borders and Cells
Pressing the Merge Cells button will join the selected cells into one consecutive cell like in a spreadsheet.
Pressing the Unmerge Cells button will disjoin the selected cell or cells into their original individual member cells.
Pressing the All Borders button will toggle between enabling and removing an outer solid black border around the selected cells on all sides.
Pressing the individual border buttons will toggle their respective borders around the outside of the selected cell range.
Preview and Export
Reset the preview window zoom to default 1:1. In this state, the size of the preview on the screen should match the designation strip size in real life.
Zoom out the preview window by 10%
Zoom in the preview window by 10%
Export as Image
Export the preview as an image. Pressing the Export as Image button will present a list of all patchbays in the project. Uncheck the pachbays you do not wish to include in the exported image. You can export the image in PNG, JPEG, GIF, BMP or TIFF format.
Please note: The image size of the exported image will be the same as the size of the preview. Use the zoom buttons to enlarge or reduce the export image size.
Export as Excel
Export the patchbay or patchbays to an Excel format file. Pressing the Export as Excel button will present a list of all patchbays in the project. Uncheck the pachbays you do not wish to include in the exported Excel file.
Please note: Because each patchbay in the project could be of different dimensions and layout, each patchbay will appear in a separate worksheet in the Excel workbook. Also, due to the nature of Excel’s handling of size, it is not possible to export the patchbays into Excel and preserve the real-world dimensions.
Export as PDF
Export the patchbay or patchbays as a PDF file. Pressing the Export as PDF button will present a list of all patchbays in the project. Uncheck the pachbays you do not wish to include in the PDF file.
Please note: The image size of the exported image will be the same as the size of the preview. Use the zoom buttons to enlarge or reduce the export image size. This export is not meant for printing purposes. The resolution of the PDF export is not adequate for printing but is rather meant for online publishing or sharing.
Toggles preview panel on/off. Turn preview off if you are using a laptop with a smaller screen for a larger editor area real-estate.
Check for Updates
Check for updates online. If a new version of PatchCAD is available, you will be asked if you’d like to download the new version. When the new version has finished downloading, PatchCAD will close and the downloaded installer will be shown in Windows Explorer. Please launch the installer to install the new version of PatchCAD.
Please note: PatchCAD checks for an available version at launch if an Internet connection is available.
Toggles shortcuts window on and off. When pressed, a list of PatchCAD keyboard shortcuts will hover above the main PatchCAD window.
Shows the About PatchCAD window which includes the version details and change log information.
Help and Support
Opens the PatchCAD website’s support page in the default browser.
Opens the PatchCAD website in the default browser.
Exit PatchCAD. If a project is open, a confirmation window will open before closing.