Selection Tools

Parent page: Commands

Quickly select all copper connected at the point where you click.


Selection is a core capability of all design software, commonly used for everyday editing tasks such as quickly identify objects of interest, moving objects, or deleting objects. It can also be used to define a set of objects that can then be edited simultaneously, via the Object Inspector panel.


Selection can be performed at any time using the mouse in combination with keyboard keys, using the following techniques:

  • Left mouse click on an object to select it. With each new click any objects that were previously selected are de-selected.
  • Click and drag a rectangle to select all objects that are completely enclosed by the rectangle.
  • Shift+click to select an object while retaining previous selections.
  • Ctrl+click and drag to sub-select primitive objects that belong to a group object, for example to select pads or strings in a component.

Alternatively, the following selection commands are available. To access these commands:

  • click Home | Select |  to display the following menu:
Command Behavior
Find Similar Objects Rather than editing many objects individually, it is possible to edit many objects simultaneously using the Object Inspector panel (View Tab). To do this, the objects must first be selected. The selection can be built up interactively, or the Find Similar Objects dialog can be used via this command. After launching the command the Status bar will prompt to choose a reference object, click on one of the object's of interest to open the Find Similar Objects dialog, which will load displaying the properties of that object. The concept with this dialog is to define what properties of the reference object will be used to find similar objects of the same kind. For more information refer to the Find Similar Objects page.
Cross Select Mode When Cross Select Mode is enabled, each time a component is selected in the PCB editor, the matching component is selected in the Schematic editor. This is a toggle command, select it once to enable, again to disable.
Inside Area Select design objects inside a user-defined area. After launching the command the Status bar will prompt to define a selection rectangle. Click to define the first corner, move the mouse to size the selection rectangle and click to define the second corner. All objects that fall completely within the defined area will be selected.
All Select all design objects in the current document, including the Board Shape.
Net Select all objects whose Net property is the same. After launching the command the Status bar will prompt to choose an electrical object, click on an object to select that object and all other objects with the same Net property.
Connected Copper Select all objects on signal layers that are in contact with each other. Use this command to select routing across and through the board. After launching the command the Status bar will prompt to choose an object on a signal layer, when you click on an object all objects that are connected to the chosen object will also be selected. Note that pads and vias allow this command to select connected objects on other signal layers.
Physical Connection Select all connected copper between 2 nodes in a net (a connection). After launching the command the Status bar will prompt to choose an object, click on any object within a connection to select only the routing objects that create the connection. Note that pads are not selected, and if a pad that joins two connections is chosen, both connections are selected. Note also that vias allow this command to select objects on other signal layers that are part of the connection.
All on Layer Select all objects on the current (active) layer.
Toggle Selection Interactively select objects one by one, without loosing the previous selection. After launching the command the Status bar will prompt to change any object, click on an object to change it from not-selected, to selected. Click a second time on the same object to toggle it back to not selected. Continue to click on other objects to add them to the selection set.

Selection Color

To change the default selection color, click on View | View | Switch to 3D » View Configuration on the ribbon. The View Configurations dialog will open, select the Board Layers and Colors tab where the Selections color can be changed by clicking the color box.

Polygon Selection

To make the selection process more efficient, polygons can only be selected if they are on the current layer.

Selecting Pads within a Component Footprint

A component footprint is a group object (an object made up of primitive objects). The standard behavior when a group object is clicked on, is to select the entire group object. To help with working with the pads in a component footprint, the following selection techniques are available:

  • Click to select - click directly on the pad to select just that pad, use Shift+Click to select a number of pads.
  • Ctrl+Click and drag - hold Ctrl as you click and drag a selection rectangle to select only the pads that fall inside that selection rectangle.


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