Copy Drawn Objects From One Layer to One or More Other Layers

This function works on all kinds of obstructs, planes, plane shapes, conductive areas, solder mask shapes, and rule areas.

Select one or more objects to copy. Then press “Copy Selected Objects” button. The objects will be listed in the window/box underneath the button.

In the Destination Layers box, enter the layers you want the source shape to be copied to. You can enter any combination of numbers with commas, spaces, or dashes to indicate the destination layers. For example:

  • 1 2 9-11 15: This will copy to layers 1, 2, 9, 10, 11, and 15
  • 2-7, 12-15: This will copy to layers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 15
  • 4, 5, 6, 12-16: This will copy to layers 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

Press the copy objects button. (Read and acknowledge warning pop-up. Please be aware, all these shapes will be copied with DRC off. It’s easy to create DRC errors when doing this, so check for DRC errors afterwards.) Note: check status line at bottom of Shapester window for results.

Shape Creation Parameters

Hug Pad Slider

The hug pad slider determines how tightly the resulting shape matches the source shapes. You can think of this like a sheet draped over some furniture, or a vacuum-sealed plastic wrapper. The farther to the right the slider is, the more it is like a loosely draped sheet. The more to the left it is, the more the resulting shape will be like a vacuum-wrapped object. 

If the source objects you select for shape creation are too far apart, Shapester may not be able to make a shape that connects them. If the shape creation fails, the first thing to do is try moving the slider farther to the right. 

Oversize Amount

The over-size amount box lets you specify an amount (in the current design units) to increase the size of the resulting shape over the size of the source shapes.

Note: Use the Hug Pad Slider and Oversize amount together to manipulate the size and shape of the resulting object.

Fix Created Objects: Check to fix the created shape.

Lock Created Objects: Check to lock the created shape.


The corners of created shapes can be made in several ways: Square, Round, Chamfered, and Mixed Square / Round.  

They are fairly self-explanatory, but it’s worth noting that the Mixed Square / Round mode will create round inside corners and square outside corners. For example, when adding a plane shape to connect the belly pad of an IC with ground pins around the perimeter, you might want the outside corners squared off but the inside corners to have a radius. This mode will achieve that. 

The Mixed Square/Round mode has another modifier, Round Again. If this checkbox is checked, the shape will be generally similar to Mixed Square/Round mode, but the outside corners will be rounded.  


Keep Selection: This checkbox is on by default. When checked, it maintains the previous selection set of objects after the Undo button is pressed, so that you don’t have to reselect everything you just had selected if you want to undo and change the parameters. 

Enable Plane Selection for Shape Creation: This option is defined separately so that existing plane shapes can be included or excluded from the creation of new plane shapes. When plane shapes are used as source objects, they are incorporated into the new shape and the old one is deleted. 

Reselect Last: When trying various setups to get a shape to come out the way you want, you may inadvertently unselect the objects you want to use as source objects. This button will reselect the last items used as source objects so you can use them again. 

Shape Creation: 

The following functions use existing objects to create other shapes. The source objects can be pin pads, via pads, traces, plane shapes, conductive shapes, and in some cases, polygons or other shapes on user layers. 

Make Plane Shape

Make a plane shape out of existing objects.

Select all desired source objects, set the desired parameters, and press the “Make Plane Shape” button.


Bury pins: when plane parameters specify thermal reliefs on pin pads and vias, checking this box will create an override that will flood those pins and/or vias.

Make plane shapes trace keepouts: this option sets the parameter on the plane shape that turns it into a trace keepout.

Make Plane Obstruct

If a plane clearance for specific objects needs to be larger than the default spacing rule, the over-size amount can be set to a higher value than the existing plane clearance, and a plane obstruct can be made for those objects with the larger clearance.

Select objects, set oversize amount to the desired clearance, and press the “Make Plane Obstruct” button.

Make Plane Clearance on Adjacent Layers Under Other Objects

Select the pads, set the oversize amount if the clearance needs to be larger than the pads, and press the “Make Plane Clearance on Adjacent Layers Under Other Objects” button.


Process pads individually: to make clearances under multiple pads that are far away from each other, select this option so that Shapester does not try to combine resulting shape from all pads.

Make Solder Mask Clearance

On some boards, it may be necessary to remove solder mask from an entire surface layer. This is done with a large shape on the appropriate solder mask layer in Xpedition. If there are components installed on that layer, it will be necessary to make a hole in that solder mask shape around the components. This function creates a solder mask shape, which can be removed from a larger solder mask shape, to produce the hole, resulting in solder mask being applied to the area around the components when the board is fabricated.

Set the over-size amount to provide adequate solder mask area, select pads (in route mode), then press the Make Solder Mask Clearance button. 

Full Layer Solder Mask Clearance

This function automates the process of making a solder mask clearance on an entire surface layer and then making holes in that shape around all the components on that layer. When executed, this function raises another dialog with its own controls. 

The select layer drop down is used to select the top or bottom layer of the board. 

Press the GO button to begin the process.

When using this function, a dialog will appear that indicates optimal settings for the hug pads slider and the over-size amount. Typically, the hug pad slider should be all the way to the right, and the over-size amount should be set to a minimum of 10 mil or .25 mm to produce an adequate solder mask area around component pads. The over-size amount may be adjusted according to fabrication process capability.

Depending on the size of the board and number of components, this process could take several minutes.

Convert Plane to Area/Area to Plane

This functions turns planes into conductive shapes or conductive shapes into planes. Net assignment does not change. Select any plane or conductive shape and press the Convert Plane to Area/Area to Plane button to execute the function.

Report Area of Selected Objects

Select an object and press the Report Area of Selected Objects button. The area of the object is reported in a pop-up window.

Fill Empty Spaces With a Plane

(And we don’t mean the kind with wings.)

This function floods open areas on the active layer with a plane shape of the net specified in the Fill Space drop-down box. After you click the Fill Empty Spaces button, click in an empty area of the board area to fill the space with a plane shape.

Round Corner / Chamfer Corner:

This function is used to convert sharp corner vertices in existing shapes to chamfered or rounded. This function does the same thing as the built in shape vertex type control in the Properties dialog in Xpedition, but it’s much easier and faster to use.  You set the chamfer / radius value, the press either the Round Corner or Chamfer Corner buttons to initiate the command.  After pressing the button, move your cursor into the Xpedition window and hover over the vertex you want to change.  A red diamond snap marker will appear, indicating which vertex the action will happen on. Click near the vertex to select it.  The vertex will then be changed. 

If you want to add chamfers or radii to all the vertices in a shape at once, check the Chamfer / Round Entire Shape checkbox, and do the same as above.  Pick any vertex in the shape.  All the vertices in the shape will be changed if the adjacent line segments are long enough to accommodate the radius or chamfer. 

Trim Planes to Route Border

If plane shapes extend beyond the route border, this function can be used to trim them back to the route border. The net assignment and plane parameters of the plane are maintained. Select one or more plane shapes, then press the Trim Planes to Route Border button. The plane shapes will be automatically trimmed.