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Regarding A.) there is no different coloring yet. But KLayout supports multiple extractions and displaying them (although not colored differently). Every time you extract a net it gets added to the list of extracted nets. You can delete them and even give them other names (double-click the entry in the net list). You can display multiples of them by using Shift+mouse click on the list of nets. That may provide a way to visualize multiple nets more efficiently.
Basically you can export nets to a new layout cell and save this cell as a separate layout. Using the layout overlay feature of KLayout offers you many options like specific coloring.
Regarding B.) the net tracer does not support device recognition but just extraction of a single net (resistors might be regarded as part of the net). So I wonder that roles the MIM caps are supposed to play. Connectivity wise they should be isolating. The MIM cap layouts I have encountered myself consisted of an upper and lower plate and some marker for the device. Given that you don't configure the marker layer as a conductive one, the net tracer should stop at one plate.
The use case I figured is that you'd basically select one net a time which is highlighted then. Since there is just one net I did not imagine the need for different coloring. The ability to select multiple nets at once is nice, but my reasoning was the one is primarily interested in one net. The workaround is just a suggestion which allows any kind of manipulation, no necessarily is solution for a specific use case. No use case was given, so I could just guess.
Could you describe some scenario in which different coloring is useful? In general I like to focus on a use case rather than a feature - there are so many features, maybe a solution is already there.
thank you for the explanation - that is a valid scenario.
I agree that multiple colors would make that easier. For a quick solution: how about toggling the nets in the list? My tip of the day here: you can configure the net browser such that it does not change the visible region - that way selecting a net does not interfere with your view. You could call that animation, which is another way of separating the nets ...
nets are not available by script (yet), so the scripting approach is not possible currently.
The "extract to layout" approach is also valid but I admit it's quite tedious.
Regarding the short detection - That is what the "Trace Path" function is for. You have to click at two points that should not be connected. If they are, KLayout will highlight one path between these points. That path is determined by the smallest number of shapes connected. That is not the path of least resistance, but usually short enough so it can be use to detect the short.
... and one last comment of mine: the next version will come with colors that you can assign individually to each net :-)
the colorization is just a visualization feature. Separating a layout into nets is doable, but not scope of the net tracer. Instead of separating the whole layout into individual nets, the net tracer's tagret is to extract a single (preferably small) net. So these are different applications and I'm afraid the net tracer is not suitable for that right now.
the net tracer is not accessible through scripts currently. It's an interactive feature only. I plan to provide script binding to the net tracer, but that will be a major feature.
Yes, understood :-)
The net tracer was intended as a GUI feature for layout debugging rather than a non-interactive tool but I see there are applications out there. I have to isolate the code in order to provide an API, so that won't be a quick task.
I am wondering if you have been working on the API for the net tracer feature? I would like to access this in Python. I have developed something similar to photonics (optical waveguides), namely netlist extraction, but there we are only using one layer. For multi-layer electrical connectivity, it would be nice to take advantage of what you already wrote.
yes, I have. I have just migrated the working repo to GitHub, so you can basically check out the latest state: https://github.com/klayoutmatthias/klayout.
There will then be a new class called "NetTracer".