Gerber Viewers

You're making hardware! You want to send out for PCBs, but you also want to make sure the files are right before sending - thus you need a Gerber Viewer. I use two viewers for my Gerber'in.

GC Prevue

GC Prevue is not Open Source, but it is Free. You may need to download it every few months as it seems to 'expire'

Download it from http://www.graphicode.com/GC-Prevue#download

You'll need to type in a valid email address to download

Download and uncompress the installation zip

Once installed, you can run GC-Prevue and Import Files. One nice thing is you can import a full zip files of gerbs.

It can for-the-most-part autodetect what it is you're importing

With all the layers imported it can be a little difficult to see whats going on. Click on the files in the left side of the screen and hit h to 'hide' that layer. You can then drag-and-drop to reorder the layers so, say, you silkscreen is on top

You can also double-click on the files in the left pane to launch the explorer & change the layer colors and appearance

Zofz 3D Gerber Viewer

This tool is not as precise for viewing Gerbers, but it is great for proofing your PCB look, especially silkscreen, mask, and coloring. You can see the PCB in 3D which is handy for visualizing the design.

It's available from https://www.zofzpcb.com/

Once you've downloaded and installed it, you can run the Auto Import tool

And navigate to a folder with gerber files in it. If you use the default exporter, then Zofz will do its best to match the file types (last three letters) to determine what layer it is

And sort them into the proper layers and 'types'

it will then render it. You an click and drag to rotate the board around

There are various color-styles that are pre-progammed in, so you know what mask and silk will look like. or you can make your own (like my 'adafruit blue with ENIG' look above!)

This guide was first published on May 05, 2016. It was last updated on May 05, 2016. This page (Gerber Viewers) was last updated on Sep 19, 2019.