Autolinking is a process of mapping files to the correct layers of the board. The import module is designed to support Gerber and Drill files from a wide variety of CAD system; while each CAD system has its own approach to naming its output files. In order to accommodate flexibility and accuracy, there are two different autolink strategies available: filename detection and link filters.

Use the Autolink menu to enable or disable autolinking. The menu items are:

  • Autolinking off – disables autolinking
  • Link by filename – enables autolinking with filename detection
  • Link by filter – enables autolinking with link filters
  • Create filter from current mapping – creates a link filter based on the current link status
  • Link filters... - opens the link filter manager

If, during autolinking, two files appear to belong to the same layer, both files are displayed graphically and the user may choose which file to link to the layer. The other file will be left unlinked, and may be manually linked to its correct layer after autolinking has finished. This situation typically arises when there are several mechanical files and the autolinker is unable to determine which one contains the board contour.

Autolinking is usually able to map most or all of the image files properly. But it might also make wrong assumptions. The user is strongly advised to review the file mappings carefully.

Autolinking is only automatically applied the first time files are added to a product. The autolink process may be repeated by right-clicking on the file list and choosing Re-link files.

If, for some reason, a file is improperly linked during autolinking, this may be corrected by relinking the file to the correct layer.

If, during autolinking, a file has been linked to the Board layer, then an attempt will be made to automatically define the outer and inner (if any) contour objects. This operation may be disabled by selecting the Autolink|Automatically define contour (if possible) menu item, so that the check mark is removed.