KiCad 5 – How to align and distribute multiple footprints in Pcbnew 

 March 12, 2019

By  Peter


A question that I received from a student of KiCad Like a Pro Second Edition, is how to align components, or I should say, footprints in Pcbnew so that they all aligned nicely to the left, to the right, to the middle and so on.

So in this quick video I'd like to show you a quick example of how to do just that.

First, make sure you are not using legacy tools mode. The alignment and distribution feature will not work if you do.

So, I've got a blank canvas here and I'm going to drop a few resistors (exactly the same thing that you can do with anything else with any other footprint).

Copy this just select it, and do Control-C...

I'll drop a couple more. I'm going to put them in just weird positions, not aligned.

Put one more say right here.

And now, let's say that I want to align them all so that all of them are aligned to the left.

And the alignment is going to work by KiCad looking at what is the left-most edge of all the components that I have selected and then move the rest at that location.

So first I need to select them all and I'm going to do a right click and then select all of them like this.

So they are all highlighted.

Then I'm going to pick one of them.

Let's say this one here right click and in the menu that appears, go to Align/Distribute and I've got choices to make.

Let's say a line to the left. There you go.

All of them will be moved towards the left most edge of the existing footprints.

And there will be aligned as such.

While I've got them here another thing that I can do is...

That's good, Google Home. Sorry about that.

So, let's say that I want to distribute them now nicely vertically.

So while I've got them at this location, at this position, I'm going to do right click and they're still all selected, and I'm going to go align, distribute vertically.

And that will space them nicely here.

And you can experiment in the same way to do all sorts of other types of alignments and arrangements.

So I hope this was helpful.

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