Drill & slot editor at Eurocircuits TV

We are proud to announce another free but important tool of PCB Visualizer, the drill & slot editor.

In the past we already introduced the outline & milling editor. This proved to be a big success as the tool helped our designer customers to sort out any outline or milling issue in minutes.

This avoided production data mistakes that could have led to exceptions or even faulty produced board, thus introducing costs and loss of valuable time to us and our customer.

With the introduction of the drill & slot editor we promise ourselves an even bigger success. Why?

Your CAD system should contain the correct information about:

  • drill diameters
  • slot definitions
  • whether a drill hole is a via hole or component hole
  • whether a drill hole or slot is plated or none plated
  • and so on

Some of this information is lost during the transfer of your data from CAD to CAM. Our automated input processes try to retrieve as much information as possible from the customers’ data. Not only by reading the drill files, but also by combining them with the other available data to determine for example whether a drill hole is plated or not. Yet, it is not always possible to reconstruct all the original information.

Drill & slot editor is the solution, to verify and correct the drill & slot information.

Basic changes to the board data are also possible with the drill & slot editor but should be done on the CAD system as much as possible.

How does it work?

Uploading data to your shopping basket initiates the automatic data analyser. The result is shown in PCB Visualizer where we can use all its tools, now also the drill & slot editor. First we need to check if all drill and slot information is correctly identified with the correct data file. This we do by opening the buildup editor. All imported layers and their function are visible here and can be changed should they not be correct.

The buildup editor also presents a quick overview of which drill & slot information is detected as plated or none plated.

Once the source for drill & slot information is correctly defined, you can open the drill & slot editor in the same menu by pushing the button.

Each drill or slot object can be classified and colour coded as follows:

  • Unplated drill or slot – shown in green
  • Plated component hole or slot excluding via holes – shown in red
  • Via holes, excluding filled via’s, which are of course plated – shown in blue
  • Filled via which is plated and filled – shown in pink
  • Ignored objects can be used to mark objects which are embedded in other objects (e.g. predrills) or objects that are defined more than once – shown in orange


Using the Legend at the bottom left, you can change the visibility of each of the categories using the checkboxes. The legend also gives an overview of how many objects are defined in each category and how many of them are selected.

There are various tools available for selecting groups or individual drill holes or slots. Once selected it become possible to change their function to the previously described 5 classes or even change the end diameter of a hole or slot.


Now that it is crystal clear which information stands for drill & slot data and which drill hole or slot has which functionality, your data can be safely checked out from basket to order for further processing by our front-end engineering department making the data production ready.

Let’s look at some practical examples.

Define a slot

Your data contains slots, but the automated system did not detect it.

Open the Buildup editor, in the list of imported layers locate the layer which contains the slot definitions and change its assignment to drill/slot. PCB Visualizer will try to recognise the slot. Now select the “Detected Plated drills/slots” or the “Detected Unplated drills/slots” to verify if the slots have been detected.

Open the drill & slot editor by clicking the button. You can now select the slots you wish and correct their category to one of the 5 previously mentioned or change the slot diameter.

Click apply and you are all set with your slot.

Force a drill hole to be unplated

If drill holes have a copper pad on top and bottom which by convention makes them plated although in your design they should be none plated, these will come out as plated from the automated analyses process.

Open the drill & slot editor via the Buildup Editor.

Plated drill holes are shown in red.

Select the hole(s) that need to be defined as unplated. This will add a yellow outline around the selected hole.

Click the “Set” button in the Define menu next to the entry “unplated”.

The colour of the hole will now change to green to indicate the hole is unplated.

Save your changes by clicking the Apply button.

Drill & Slot editor a new free to use PCB Visualizer tool to help you solve all issues that might be unclear after transferring your PCB data from CAD to CAM.

Since these actions are performed before ordering they will avoid any anomaly that might lead to production delays or mistakes due to faulty data.

Your board will be with you “on time” and “right first time” helping you bring your product to the market on time and “on budget“.

A small investment of your time using our free online PCB Visualizer tools is your best insurance for success.

Bye for now and see you soon on Eurocircuits TV.

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