What are the most useful keyboard shortcuts in Cadence? With these bindkeys, you will be more productive and will work faster
Cadence Virtuoso is already a very complex EDA tool, so you will need months (and even years) to master and control it properly. If you know (and use) the keyboard shortcuts, you move one big step forward in the steep Cadence learning curve!!
In this list, I summarized the most useful keyboard shortcuts or hotkeys to use Cadence Virtuoso and Layout. I divided it into Schematic and layout, basic and advanced.
Learning bindkeys is the best way to be productive on this complex tool.
Shortcuts for Cadence Virtuoso (Schematic)
f –> Fit to screen. Autozoom the schematic to the size of your window
i –> insert an instance from the library
w –> add a wire
m –> move tool
c –> copy (also by holding SHIFT and dragging a component)
q –> edit parameters of the selected instance
l –> label a wire
ESC (or Cntrl+D) –> unselect the actual tool (unselect the currently selected device)
u –> undo an action
Shift+x –> Check + Save the schematic (important! after you “check + save” you can not undo to a previous state)
x –> schematic check
If you “check+ save” you see a prompt window which shows you the warnings, but you can not undo anymore. If want to check the warnings but maybe undo, but you may press only x.
Shift+mouse scroll –> scroll the schematic horizontally
Ctrl+mouse scroll –> scroll the schematic vertically
Z or select a region with right mouse button –> zoom into a box with the mouse
Shift +E –> descend to an inner level (e –> descend to an inner level only read)
Cntrl +E –> ascend or exit to a upper level
Cntrl + TAB or Cntrl + Shift + Tab –> Move between tabs (same as in windows)
Cntrl + w –> close tab
Shift + Delete –> Comment out/uncomment a block
Shift + click –> Add component to selection
Ctril + click –> Delete component from selection
Comment the schematics
Shift+N –> insert a text note
N –> insert a shape
P –> add a pin
(space bar) –> having selected a pin or an instance. It generates wires attached to the pins with the label
–>Remove a component from the wires
By pressing Control key, you can move a component when it is attached to wires. You remove a component from the connected wires, without moving the wires.
Note: if you do the same but with the shift key, you will make a copy.
Many actions, can be done directly with your mouse buttons.
For that, pay attention to the top of the status bar (down of the window) and look for mouse shortcuts.
L: Left mouse button
M: middle button or press the roulette
R: Right mouse button
Using the plots or graphs
Ctrl+R –> reload or update the plots with new data
h –> new Horizontal marker
v –> new Vertical marker
m –> new point marker
Ctrl+E –> delete all the markers
Ctrl+mouse scroll –> Y-scale zoom
Shift+mouse scroll –> Time-scale zoom
K(and Shift +K) –> add rules to measure distance ( delete all the rules)
F4 –> change between selecting edges or polygons
e –> options
r –> add a rectangle
p–> add a path
a –> align
Ctrl+F or Shift+F –> switch between visible and invisible instance layouts
Shift + G –> add a Guard Ring
Ctrl +Z or Shift +Z (also mouse wheel) –> zoom in/out
X –> descend view (or double click)
Shift +B –> return or ascend view
Shift + M –> Merge two shapes
Shift + C –> Chop. Make a hole in a layout shape
How to create your own user-defined shortcuts
In Cadence, it is not so straightforward to create your user-defined key shortcuts like in another tools. At least on the current Cadence Virtuoso 6.17-64b Version
Every action made in Cadence corresponds to a text function call or command.
First of all, we need to know the command. But we don’t know by heart the function that Cadence uses to do the action we want to make the shortcut.
But… generally, the functions calls are filtered out from the CIW window. Yes, life is not easy!!!
To activate them:
In the CIW window –> Go to Options>>Log Filter
Then select to display everything (you can unselect all later).
From now on every action, menu or button you touch in Cadence, is kept registered. Wowww!!
Example for a custom Shortcut
In this example, I want to make the bindkey of “Create via” in the layout editor and attach it to the key ‘o’.
create via –> ‘o’
In this case, I open the Cadence Layout editor and go to the menu Create>>via. After that I go to the CIW log and read the function:
Now we go to Options>>Bindkeys…
In the layout section with a right mouse click you can create a ‘new bindkey’.
Later, add the key you want to bind and copy&paste the function.
Disclaimer: It is normal that the key you want to assign, is already defined by default to another function. As it can be seen in the next figure. Just remove or redefine the previous key assignation and press OK.
To save your Shortcuts and use it later or in another machine…
You always can store your own Bindkeys to export (or share) to other machine or system. You can save them into a *.il file and then load it from the .cdsinit file when starting up Cadence.
The .cdsinit file is used typically to define application bindkeys and to load customer-specific SKILL utilities.
The .cdsinit file looks like:
I hope this post was useful for You. Share it with your people who may need it!! 🙂