Input BOM

If the product does not already contain an output BOM, then an input BOM should be opened and processed. This can be done in one of two ways:

  • Click on the Open file button and select the file to import as the Input BOM. An input BOM may be a spreadsheet or text file suitable for import into a tabular format. When importing a text file, a dialog box is first displayed in which the parameters for interpreting the text file may be specified.

  • Open the BOM in your spreadsheet program and copy all relevant cells to the clipboard. Then right-click on a cell in the Input BOM grid and choose Paste row(s) after.

Note: Only import of Excel 97-2003 .xls spreadsheet format is supported. Other spreadsheet formats (such as Excel .xml, Excel .xlsx or OpenOffice .ods) are not supported at this time.

If the product contains a file named AssyPartList.xls then this will automatically be imported as the Input BOM. If there is a file named AssyPartList (with any other filename extension) then it will automatically be loaded as a text file (if possible).

Input BOM guidelines

For best results when processing an input BOM, use the following guidelines:

  • Typically, a BOM should include columns for Designator, Quantity, Description, Value, Package (footprint), and Manufacturer's part number. Additional columns may also be useful.

  • Use appropriate column headers. Information in a column with header Comment will be passed to the output BOM but not be used when processing components. Information in a column with header Ignore will be completely ignored.

  • The designator column may either contain a single designator (with a row for each instance of a component) or a space-separated list of designators (with only one row per component). In the latter case, the quantity should match the number of designators listed.

  • Do not mix different kinds of information in the same column. For example, use separate columns for manufacturer name and manufacturer part number.

  • A Value column should contain only the component value (in ohms, farads, etc). Other component parameters (tolerance, voltage, etc) may either be grouped in a Description column, or listed in dedicated columns for each kind of parameter.

  • Within a column, use a space as the separator between different kinds of information. Do not use commas, slashes or other punctuation. Commas and periods will in most cases be interpreted as decimal points.

  • Avoid using non-English words. The BOM processor understands only English.

  • Components such as resistors and capacitors should specify the component's electrical value in the Value column. The Description column should specify the component type (resistor, capacitor, inductor, etc) together with all other parameters (such as tolerance, voltage/current rating, package style, etc) necessary to choose an acceptable component. In general, you should not list a manufacturer's part number unless that specific part is required.

  • Discrete semiconductor components (such as diodes and transistors) should have their part number listed in the Description column or in the Manuf part no column. The package style should also be listed in the Description column or in the Package column.

  • Other components should have their part number listed in the Manuf part no column. The component description and package style should be listed in the Description column.

  • Be as specific as necessary when describing components. Parameters which are unimportant for selecting a component should not be listed, as they may restrict component selection to more costly items. On the other hand, underspecified components will possibly lead to the selection of an inadequate component.

Preparing the Input BOM for processing

Once an input BOM has been loaded, an attempt will be made to guess the type of information in each column. These guesses will not always be successful, especially if a column contains a mix of different kinds of information, or if the first few rows of information should be ignored.

Right-click on the first row of valid data to ignore all preceding rows, or to mark the selected row as containing column headers. This should improve the column header guesses.

Right-click on a column header to change the type of information contained in that column. Columns of type Comment will not be used when processing the input BOM, but their contents will be copied to the output BOM. Columns of type Ignore will be ignored.

Select any cell and start typing to replace the contents of that cell. Click a second time in the cell to enter edit mode for that cell. Right-click on any row to add a new row below the selected row or paste in additional data in the row(s) following the selected row.

Processing the Input BOM

Click on the Process (Gears) button to process the Input BOM. For each row in the Input BOM an attempt will be made to identify the component type and parameters. Then the Macaos Component Database will be searched for matching components and the results displayed as the Output BOM.