PCB layer parts useless?

I am making a number of parts including some Arduino shields. A question has come to light for some of these parts:

Nearly all Fritzing parts seem to have PCB view connectors. But when the part is a pre-made board itself, are these not useless? For example, lets say you want to create a small PCB circuit that is driven from an Arduino. You want the 'duino to appear in schematic and breadboard view (your building a prototype first). As soon as you add the Arduino you get a large number of PCB holes on a nice silkscreen image shape representing the Arduino added to your PCB view. However, you are not actually going to make that board; you obviously have it already. Also, every connection from a connector on your board to the Arduino then registers in PCB view as needing routing. Would it not be better to have the Arduino part NOT appear at all in PCB view?

Another such example is off-board connectors, e.g. female header connectors plugging onto male header pins. If the female connectors include PCB connector holes, you then have extra ones for every connector. Surely, just the male headers in this case should have the PCB holes.

Please let me know what you think.

Slide your part off the PCB, while in PCB view click on View in the menu bar at the top then uncheck “Ratsnest Layer”. third from the bottom.

Thanks steelgoose.
By trying what you suggested I think I have figured out my misunderstanding. Please correct me if I am wrong:

The purpose of the ‘useless’ holes for off-board parts is to allow Fritzing (and the designer) to check your to those parts and handle connections to them through pins, vias etc.

This is good for me because it makes a big difference to how I ma designing my parts.

Well, yes and no… they are not really useless holes. They are very “useful” holes, just not everyone is going to use them. i.e. Suppose you want the create your own Arduino Uno Shield. The first thing you would do is click on the PCB, then in the Inspector in the Shapes drop down list and select Arduino Shield, to give you the outline of the Uno PCB. Then drag the Arduino Uno part on the the PCB. Now in the PCB view you have the starting of an Arduino Shield with the footprint for your pins and headers along with silkscreen labels for all of your pins. This saves a lot of work from the alternative (creating each through hold and label one at a time)… Add your parts, run your traces and you have your very own custom Arduino Shield… Hooray!!!

The second use is what you are doing when the Arduino is connected to the circuit but not used on the PCB “off-board parts”. Just slide it our of the way and hid the ratsnest. And of course it does help to check your circuit. It would not be practical to have two versions of all parts… one for on board use and one off board use…

Fritzing was designed as a learning tool to fill in a gap in the Arduino revaluation for teaching, learning, and the understanding on how to get from the Breadboard, to the Schematic, to the finished product on a PCB. It is the only product on the web that does that and really kind of clever. Actually you should start with the Schematic then the Breadboard… What ever trips you trigger… But it really does work for teaching on how to read schematics, design circuits, and why your breadboard ratsnest really works…

OK this is frustrating. I thought I had this sorted. I am sure I managed to get Fritzing to consider a PCB routed even though it had air-wires ‘off-board’, using vias as connection points. This obviously made me happier to use off-board connections. I’ve just reloaded the project and it now shows the off-board connections as unrouted. Is there any way of telling Fritzing “it’s OK; this air-wire is routed via another medium (i.e. a wire)” ?

Murphy’s law… … I had a project that had a similar problem, but the schematic was all air-wires. After I wired up the schematic I no longer had that problem. Are all of your schematic connections all wired up?

They are wired up yes, and breadboard view too.

Bummer… I thought it was going to be an easy fix… Can you post the .fzz?

off-board test.fzz (17.0 KB)
Thanks for this…

I guess I miss understood your question… You are just talking about the View State of the layers (Ratsnest View: show or hide), I thought you meant it lost the wires. As far as I know Fritzing does not save the state of the layer views in the .fzz. When reloading a project, Fritzing defaults at “Show All Layers”. If you don’t want the air-wires to show, then you just need to un-check the Ratsnest layer again.

It’s the routing status at the bottom that is the problem - I thought it gave me ‘routing complete’ as a message rather than ‘X still to be routed’ and that it had figured that the connections did not need routing because they were off-board, which seemed very cool. But when I reloaded the project, I got ‘5 still to be routed’.

I don’t see where that causes a problem… that is just the way it works… there are no errors, no problems in exporting as gerber, and the gerber files check out. The gerber only exports what is on the PCB, not what is off board.