Alignment Tools

Parent page: Commands


The Alignment tools being used to align and space reference designators (hold Ctrl while dragging a selection rectangle to select designators).

Summary

Components are positioned on the board to not only satisfy the electrical requirements defined by the connective and signal integrity requirements, they must also be placed during the assembly process, and readily located during test and repair. To help fulfill all of these requirements there is value in positioning the components so that they are on a sensible placement grid, and suitably spaced and aligned wherever possible. As well as components, it can also be important to align other objects, such as reference designators and other text strings.

To help achieve these goals there are a number of positioning and alignment tools that can be used for all type of design objects.

Details

To align a set of selected objects, click Tools | Arrange | and select the required command from the dropdown menu that appears.

Unless otherwise noted, the Alignment commands will:

  • Move objects on the Current Grid - set the grid to a suitable value before applying one of the alignment commands. The grid is set by typing or selecting a value in the dropdown in Home | Grids and Units | .
  • Be applied to Selected Objects - select the objects before selecting the required alignment command.
Command Behavior
Align Opens the Align Objects dialog, where you can select one of five Horizontal and Vertical alignment options. Note that enabling both Horizontal and Vertical options at the same time may result in a conflict, with the selected objects becoming stacked on top of one another.
Position Component Text Opens the Component Text Position dialog, where you can select and apply an Autoposition location to the Designator and/or Comment strings for the currently selected components. Note that the chosen Autoposition option will remain applied to those components until the string is manually repositioned, or the Autoposition option is changed in either the String or Component dialogs.

Align To Grid

Move the reference point of each of the selected objects onto the current Snap Grid. Note that many components are designed with their reference point at the geometric center, which can result in their pads being off grid. After running this command the pads will remain off grid.
Move All Components Origin To Grid Move the reference point of each selected component onto the current Snap Grid. Note that many components are designed with their reference point at the geometric center, which can result in their pads being off grid. After running this command the pads will remain off grid.
Align Left Align selected objects so the outer edge of their left-most primitives have the same X location. The object with the left-most primitive is used as the reference.
Align Right Align selected objects so the outer edge of their right-most primitives have the same X location. The object with the right-most primitive is used as the reference.
Align Left (maintain spacing) Align selected objects so the outer edge of their left-most primitives have the same X location. Objects are not moved to a location that would violate the applicable design rule. The object with the left-most primitive is used as the reference.
Align Right (maintain spacing) Align selected objects so the outer edge of their right-most primitives have the same X location. Objects are not moved to a location that would violate the applicable design rule. The object with the right-most primitive is used as the reference.
Align Horizontal Centers Move objects horizontally so their centers are aligned. After selecting the command you are prompted to click to choose the reference object.
Distribute Horizontally Selected objects are equally spaced in the horizontally direction, between the left-most and right-most objects (which do not move). Note that this can result in the moving objects being off grid.
Increase Horizontal Spacing Each object, apart from the left-most object, is moved right so that it is one more grid spacing apart from the next nearest object.
Decrease Horizontal Spacing Each object, apart from the left-most object, is moved left so that it is one less grid spacing apart from the next nearest object.
Align Top Align selected objects so the outer edge of their upper-most primitives have the same Y location. The object with the upper-most primitive is used as the reference.
Align Bottom Align selected objects so the outer edge of their lower-most primitives have the same Y location. The object with the lower-most primitive is used as the reference.
Align Top (maintain spacing) Align selected objects so the outer edge of their upper-most primitives have the same Y location. Objects are not moved to a location that would violate the applicable design rule. The object with the upper-most primitive is used as the reference.
Align Bottom (maintain spacing) Align selected objects so the outer edge of their lower-most primitives have the same Y location. Objects are not moved to a location that would violate the applicable design rule. The object with the lower-most primitive is used as the reference.
Align Vertical Centers Move objects vertically so their centers are aligned. After selecting the command you are prompted to click to choose the reference object.
Distribute Vertically Selected objects are equally spaced apart in the vertical direction, between the upper-most and lower-most objects (which do not move). Note that this can result in the moving objects being off grid.
Increase Vertical Spacing Each object, apart from the bottom-most object, is moved up so that it is one more grid spacing apart from the next nearest object.
Decrease Vertical Spacing Each object, apart from the bottom-most object, is moved down that it is one less grid spacing apart from the next nearest object.

 

 

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