Look At Your Gerber Files With Gerbv


Tired of making kindergarten macaroni art PCBs? Check your Gerber files before you send them off to a fab house with a Gerber file viewer. Viewplot , GerbTool’s Viewer , and FAB 3000 Free DFM are all free versions of for-pay software to view your Gerber files. If you use Windows and demo software, these are nice options. If not, you can use gerbv. Allied with gEDA, Gerbv is free, open source software that you can use to view all of your RS-274X Gerber files and Excellon-type drill files. Still being worked on with an active development group, gerbv does not have all the bells and whistles, it does have the ability to delete objects. Check it out after the break.

“You should always check before shipping or you could wind up with holes in the wrong spots. While you’re at it, a little-known feature is that you can also delete stuff!” -[zach banks]

To start, make sure you have gerbv version 2.1.0 or later installed with cairo.

Copy and paste the following lines into a text document and save it however you like:


You will now have a simple Gerber file you can view and play with.  Open it in gerbv either through the command line or by starting gerbv and then choosing “Open Layer(s)…”
Gerbv with Loaded Gerber File

You should now see a rounded rectangle with a dot inside on the right side of the screen.

If it is not already highlighted, click on the arrow button at the top of the screen to enter object selection mode.

Gerbv with Selected Object

Click around, you should be able to select the various Gerber objects present. You should also be able to draw a selection window to select groups of objects. Pick an object, in this picture it shows the center flash (the dot) selected.  Hit the delete key, and you should get a window that pops up asking if you really want to delete that object. Go ahead and delete that object, that is why you have been provided the little Gerber file.

Gerbv with Deleted Object

You should now see the flash gone. If not, you should check to make sure you are in the correct layer. You can now save the revised Gerber file.

Of course, this is just a sample of what you can do with deleting objects in gerbv.  Hack away!

7 thoughts on “Look At Your Gerber Files With Gerbv

  1. c’mon hack-a-day. unless you’re using fritzing.org’s thing to make your idiotic arduino thing; if you ever get to the point where you’re having to proof gerbers, you already know about these viewers. here are more…

    gerbv is foss:


    others like viewmate and camtastic to name just a couple.

    then there are the online gerber viewers. here are just two off the top of google’s head…



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