Creating Your First Pad

With time you'll find your own workflow for creating parts. I like to start with a part outline, and then add the pads on, but for convenience sake we'll start right away with some pads, and then worry about the rest later since we'll need to explain a few concepts before we can design the rest of the package.

You'll want to get familiar with the toolbar on the left-hand side of Eagle, since it contains icons for the most common commands (and some pretty uncommon ones as well):
Eagle is extremely keyboard and mouse heavy (in a good way!), and once you get efficient with Eagle you'll find yourself using keyboard commands for everything, or using your mouse shortcuts like the scroll-wheel to zoom, right-click to rotate, etc. What feels slow at first becomes second-nature when you learn the shorcuts.
You can place your mouse over the icons to see a label of what they do, but the most important icons for now are shown below:
The different tools will come with time, but for now click the red block marked 'Pad' above (it's actually called 'Smd'). This will cause your mouse to have a red surface-mount pad that you can place anywhere you want by clicking inside the package.
To stop using the 'Smd' function, just select a different icon in the left-hand toolbar, such as the 'move' command

Essential Eagle Skills

Some things to note working with pads and parts in Eagle:
  • Zooming in and out: If you have a scroll wheel on your mouse, scroll to zoom in and out. You'll do a lot of this in Eagle, so it's good to get used to it when placing and updating parts and working with PCBs, or zooming in on details regions where you need to do some work.
  • Rotating parts and pads: Right-click the active pad to rotate. You'll do a lot of this 'select-then-rotate' when placing parts on your PCB or designing your packages.
  • Use that grid: Notice that the pad moves based on the grid that we defined previously
  • Also notice that pads rotate and are place around their center point. This is important when placing parts, since you need to calculate and enter it's exact position, which is based on the center of your pad.
This guide was first published on Apr 22, 2013. It was last updated on Apr 22, 2013. This page (Creating Your First Pad) was last updated on May 04, 2015.