.ULP File Extension

EAGLE User Language Program

Developer Autodesk
4.3  |  3 Votes

What is a ULP file?

A ULP file is a program created to extend the functionality of Autodesk EAGLE, a printed circuit board (PCB) design program. It contains code written in EAGLE's C-like User Programming Language, as well as metadata that describes the program's function and author. You can open and edit a ULP file's text in any text editor, and you can run the program the file contains in EAGLE's Schematic Editor or Layout Editor.

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Screenshot of a .ulp file in Autodesk EAGLE 9
ULP file open in Autodesk EAGLE 9

Hobbyists and professional engineers use Autodesk EAGLE to create circuit schematics and PCB designs. If a user who is proficient with programming wants to add a custom feature to Autodesk EAGLE, they can do so by writing and running a custom program that contains that feature. Users write these programs using EAGLE's User Programming Language, which is a variant of the C language. They then save the programs as ULP files.

EAGLE users who are not proficient with programming can still use ULP files to install custom EAGLE features. By default, EAGLE includes a number of useful ULP files, and Autodesk has made a number of additional ULP files available on EAGLE's website. EAGLE's default ULP files are stored in the program's examples/​ulps/​examples directory, which you can access from EAGLE's Control Panel.

NOTE: Prior to 2016, Autodesk EAGLE was known as CadSoft EAGLE. EAGLE stands for "Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor."

How do I create a ULP file?

From EAGLE's Control Panel, select File → New → ULP. EAGLE's ULP text editor will then appear, allowing you to create a program and save it to the default directory in which EAGLE stores user-created ULP files. Typically, EAGLE stores users' ULP files in the Documents/​EAGLE/​ulps directory.

You can also create your own ULP file in any source code or text editor. Just make sure to use EAGLE's User Programming Language to write your program, and to save your file with the .ulp extension. After you finish creating your program, you will have to manually place your ULP file in EAGLE's ulps directory.

How to open a ULP file

You can open and edit a ULP file in Autodesk EAGLE (cross-platform) by selecting File → Open → ULP... from EAGLE's Control Panel. You can also open and edit a ULP file in any text or source code editor. Some editors, such as Notepad++ (Windows), offer extensions you can use to highlight ULP syntax correctly.

To run the program a ULP file contains, first open EAGLE's Schematic Editor or Layout Editor (whichever the program is meant to apply to). Then, select File → Run ULP....

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