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Below is a guide to getting started with PADS Maker, including Creating a Mentor Account, Activating, Installing, and Rehosting.

For a quick overview on how to download and install PADS Maker products, see the Quick Installation Guide. For a more detailed explanation of the installation process, you can consult the Step-by-Step Installation Guide.

For information on upgrading from Designer 1.0 or 1.1 to PADS Maker or PADS MakerPro, see PADS Maker FAQ.

Once you get your PADS Maker products installed and activated, you may consult the following guides to help you get started on working with PADS Maker Schematic or Layout:

Searching PADS Maker Edition


Creating a Mentor Account

 A Mentor account is used by PartQuest and allows you to use our parts accessing capabilities to browse through thousands of Digi-Key footprints and symbols. This account will help streamline your ordering and designing process. If you don't already have one, the sections below will walk you through this process.

Support resources are also available via these accounts.  Communities for Maker Support and MakerPro Support MakerPro Support will use these accounts 

Creating a Mentor Graphics Account

  1. Go to and click on the Create Account link next to the Sign In link at the top of the page. 
  2. Next you will be taken to a page wherein you will enter an email address and password. 
  3. Once you have filled out your information in the Register form, click Create Account.
  4. You will then be taken to the Mentor Graphics home page where you are currently signed in. You have successfully created a Mentor Graphics account. 

Installing PADS Maker 

For a quick overview on how to download and install PADS Maker products, see the Quick Installation Guide. For a more detailed explanation of the installation process, you can consult the Step-by-Step Installation GuideSee Uninstall PADS Maker  in the Appendix to uninstall PADS Maker.

Quick Installation Guide

  1. You will receive an email from Digi-Key.
  2. Extract the files from the archive by selecting PADS Maker 2.0_mib.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete installation.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

  1.  You will receive an email with the subject line, "PADS Maker Products”. Open this email.
  2. Download the software by following the link provided in the email. 
  3.  Double-click PADS Maker 2.0_mib to start installation. 

     4. Click Next. Now you will specify the directory for the installation. You may select Browse to select another directory. Once you have chosen a directory, click Next.

         5. Now you will select which products to install. The default is to install SchematicLayout, and PartQuestPartQuest is a free web-site affiliated with Digi-Key data that allows users to research and select parts as well as download symbols and footprints (where available) or construct symbols and footprints. Go to the PartQuest wiki for addtional information. 

      6. After reading the End-User License Agreement, click Agree. The installation may take several minutes to complete.  Schematic and Layout are both installed so you will see some screens twice.

    7. This window will show that the installation is complete.

   8. You will see PADS Maker in the Start Menu under All Programs.


 From the Start Menu, All Programs>PADS Maker Products start PADS Maker Schematic or PADS Maker Layout. For the first time, you will be prompted to activate your software. To activate your products, you will need the 16-digit activation key provided in the “PADS Maker Products” email received after purchase.
  1. Open your PADS Maker application. A prompt will appear. 
  2. Copy and paste the 16-digit activation key from the "PADS Maker Products" email into the field. Be sure to select the schematic activation code for Schematic and the Layout activation code for Layout.
  3. Select Activate 

    1. You will receive an email from Digi-Key with the subject line, “PADS Maker Products”. Find and click the provided link to download the archive file.
    2. Extract the files from the archive by selecting PADS Maker 2.0_mib.
    3. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete activation. 

 Rehosting a License

If you need to change the machine that you run your PADS Maker application on, you can rehost your license two times per license year. Rehosting will disable PADS Maker Schematic or Layout on your existing machine.

To rehost your license online, use the following procedure:

  1. Go to Help > About PADS Maker Schematic. (Or Help > About PADS Maker Layout

  2. Click the Rehost button located at the bottom right of the About window. Note: You may want to write down your Activation Key, as you will need it to activate the license on the new PC.

  3. Confirm the rehost by clicking OK. The application will close, and your license will be ready to apply to a new machine. Simply follow the instructions under Activating a License

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