# 'Unrouting' a ground plane on Eagle

I have been using Eagle for quite a while now but there is one thing that continues to bother me while I am using it. I have made the ground plane cover the shape of the board, however, when I am making minor and frequent changes to the design I have to keep clearing this layer and then making the changes, rats-nesting it again to make sure the ground plane goes through properly (especially for decoupling caps). If there is a problem I will need to 'ripup' the polygon that makes the ground plane in order to clear it and then make my adjustment and repeat.

This really bothers me because if I am making tiny adjustments, I will be fully zoomed in and have to zoom all the way out, find the board edge and clear the ground plane.

So my question is:
Is there a quick way to clear the ground plane flood, a tool like 'un-rats-nest' would be fun but I doubt that will exist.

Note: I do not want to delete the ground plane, just temporarily hide it if you will.

Another thing that bugs me is 'CTRL-Z' will not undo the flooding but that is pretty much the same issue.

• I'm not using Eagle myself but what I do in Cadence or in Altium when I need to do changes to a board where I've already have poured out a ground plane is that I move the entire ground plane out from the board. When I'm finished editing I move the ground plane back and updates the ground plane shape. – Mattias Johansson Apr 29 '15 at 9:28

According to the help system of eagle, you can use the command

RIPUP @;


to ripup all polygons. You can limit this to polygons of a list of signals by

RIPUP @ GND VCC MYSIGNAL;


You can define a keyboard shortcut for RIPUP @; and another for RATSNEST; to simply toggle between filled and non-filled polygons.

By the way: You can also en-/disable the filling of polygons by

SET POLYGON_RATSNEST ON / OFF;


but according to your question, you want to toggle between both modes.

(Just as note: It seems most people have no idea that EAGLE is command driven, and commands can be entered into the field directly above the drawing area. This text commands can be much more powerful than the graphical tools.)

If you want to modify the polygon in EAGLE you can click the "split" button, like here:

What this will do is exactlly what the name implies it will split a line into two parts. You can split a line into as much as parts as you want to shape the polygon.

To hide the polygon you will have to use the "ripup" function. Click the ripup button and then click on the edge (the dotted line) of the polygon to hide it. Or you can type this into the command line above "ripup polygon_name" (without the quotation marks ofcourse).

A side effect of the "ratsnest" button is that it recomputes polygons, so if your ground pour is set up to avoid other traces (as it should be by default), that should give you a quick overview.