What is the use case for this?
Panel mounted components.
Great new feature, so I don’t need to create and insert pictures of the front panel components as up to now.
Is it me, or are the Distribute Horizontally/Vertically icons completely counterintuitive?
I never even use that menu. Am I missing something? I just position stuff by the grid.
No? I’ve used them and they seem fine.
So do I mostly, but the align/distribute options are useful for spreading out long lines of components, making sure the use the entire board space. Placed 20 resistors and have a cm left at the bottom? Move the bottom one, distribute, and done. I would still like an option for re-aligning everything to the nearest gridpoint afterwards, for neater routing.
Yeah I’m not sure. To me, the “Distribute vertically” icon seems to signifiy components being spread horizontally. Part of the problem is that the icon shows just two components, for which “distribute” does not apply.
Make the board smaller!
(Seriously, I wouldn’t redistribute them. I don’t like putting parts off-grid.* An “option for re-aligning everything to the nearest gridpoint afterwards” would leave you with clumps of two or three resistors at the original spacing with larger gaps between, having nothing to do with any logical organization of the resistors. I’d rather space them manually so I could put the gaps in places that make sense, but if most of the spacings are unchanged with only a few gaps added, it may not be worth bothering.)
* @d42kn355 would dislike the results for different reasons, of course
This is what happens when you decide there should always be an icon to communicate wordlessly what the selection does, even when it’s a concept that can’t be communicated with an icon of that size.
Inkscape uses similar icons for a larger variety of distribute choices, with even worse results:
Noo! I want my real estate!
I tend to work on grids smaller than the components, usually 1 or 0.5 mm. So that would hardly be noticable I think, but the traces will align nicer.
The freaking madman.
Photoshop doesn’t do a much better job either:
So far, I like powerpoint’s option the best:
I sort of do but I work in a metric grid because decimal imperial grid makes even less sense to me than 182/1353nds of a freedom unit.
The problem then is many components are in multiples of 0.1 decimal freedom units so of course half of what you’ve rotated won’t line the fudge up. So the align tool is handy when that happens, which is apparently at random.
Also if I have > 4ish in a row I’ll place the first and then align stuff as it’s faster (for me).
I’m not a fan of Imperial units but it’s what’s standard for most lead spacings, and since you don’t need to convert to feet or yards or furlongs or rods or chains or whatever, the inanity of Imperial isn’t really important. It’s just a grid, what does it matter if it’s a grid of this or that units? So I place most components on a 0.05" grid. It just makes things so much easier than trying to place them by metric units.
But I switch to a metric grid for board edges and panel components placement.
The few times I’ve tried to use the align tool I’ve gotten frustrated because I could never figure out which component was going to stay put and which was going to get aligned to it. There’s probably some simple rule but I could never be sure.
Swapping to metric for “I need human readable” and imperial for “just line up already” isn’t a bad idea. Once panel stuff is in place I rarely move it again anyway.
Add more components?
Add useless doodles on the silkscreen.
this seems to have stopped working for me
Did you check the first option in the Update PCB dialog?
The behavior is confusing but one way (unchecked) it tries to go by an internal identifier and the other way (checked) it tries to go by the reference. One is good if you’ve kept the same symbols but changed the references and the other is good if you’ve changed the symbols but kept the references.
I think my earlier description was incorrect: If you use “Keep existing reference designators…” you get new symbols with new internal identifiers but the same references. You’d then want that “Re-link” option checked, after deleting the old symbols of course.
Yes!! Checking that hook worked! Thank you!!
This, I believe, will be a game changer. I spend a significant amount of time grouping components like this.
KiCad 7 discussion continued here: