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DXP, drag footprint outline?

Discussion in 'CAD' started by brett_h, Jul 20, 2007.

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  1. brett_h

    brett_h Guest

    Hello all- I have been making progress learning Altium's schematic and
    library editors - although I haven't yet attempted PCB layout - but there is
    one nagging issue with PCB footprints that I can't seem to conquer. It is so
    basic, but I can't find anything printed or a video to touch it, and it just
    bugs the crap out of me.

    Lets say I have a two pin header and want to stretch it 100mils. I can not
    figure out how to drag the outline without its breaking into about five
    different pieces. The best way I have come up with is to <Cut> the end I
    want to stretch, move the pad over, <paste> the end at it's new location,
    and then drag the top and bottom to fill the perimeter. This is really sort
    of clunky; can't be right; so could somebody please tell me the right way to
    do a group move with an Altium footprint outline?? Better still would be to
    tell me where in the voluminous PDF files I can read about this most
    humbling of features.

    Results returned with a "Help, Search" seem to skip mention of this, so
    please help.
    Thanks a bunch!

    Best regards, bretth2oatbellsouthdotnet
     
  2. Brett,
    Are you in the Library editor or the PCB editor? Library editor you
    would use selection (click while holding the shift key, or drag the cursor
    completely around all the parts you want selected), then use 'M'ove,
    "S"elected. If you are in PCB editor, you really shouldn't be modifying part
    footprints as though you are in the library editor. It can be done but it is
    not normally the place for such actions. once you have strecthed a part, you
    do not have another copy of that particular part to use for your next
    connector. Likewise if you were to do something that updated the design, the
    original library part could be reloaded and change your stretched part back
    to the unstretched version. Does that make sense?
    PCB designers usually don't stretch designs, the thought process is very
    different. You make different library parts and symbols for different
    purposes, then you interconnect them, not stretch them until you have
    another different part.
     
  3. brett_h

    brett_h Guest

    Hello, Brad!
    You wrote on Fri, 20 Jul 2007 05:43:54 GMT:

    BV> Brett,
    BV> Are you in the Library editor or the PCB editor? Library editor you
    BV> would use selection (click while holding the shift key, or drag the
    BV> cursor completely around all the parts you want selected), then use
    BV> 'M'ove, "S"elected. If you are in PCB editor, you really shouldn't be
    BV> modifying part footprints as though you are in the library editor. It
    BV> can be done but it is not normally the place for such actions. once you
    BV> have strecthed a part, you do not have another copy of that particular
    BV> part to use for your next connector. Likewise if you were to do
    BV> something that updated the design, the original library part could be
    BV> reloaded and change your stretched part back to the unstretched
    BV> version. Does that make sense?
    BV> PCB designers usually don't stretch designs, the thought process is
    BV> very different. You make different library parts and symbols for
    BV> different purposes, then you interconnect them, not stretch them until
    BV> you have another different part.



    Thanks for your input Brad.

    My question may not have been concisely worded. I am working with footprints
    in the library editor. I have not touched the PCB editor, although I can
    hardly wait. My hair is not all turning gray quickly enough.

    I don't really expect that there is a satisfactory resolution to my
    issue/problem, except for me to accept that dragging is not supported in the
    DXP footprint editor,(gasp). I must accept that fact - but I will try and
    explain my squack:

    I am acustomed to using Eagle and creating my own parts and libraries. My
    circuits will be hand soldered. [The Altium supplied footprints may be
    great for dense packaging and automated assembly, but are not so good for
    home assembly. And god help the person doing de-soldering. Pads too small.
    Same thing applies with Eagle - I'll have wider pads, please.]

    Here I go: Let's say I've started with two newly created libraries, called
    "resistor.pcblib", and, "connect.pcblib", and a single footprint in each
    library - created through the "(PCB) Component Wizard". (Of course, I work
    with only ONE library at a time.) After specifying the pads and body, I name
    the component. The newly created footprint name appears in the library
    "browser" pane and the new footprint's image is in the "edit" pane.

    I will make an exact duplicate of the footprint like this: in the browser
    pane, right click the component's name, select <copy>, right click <Paste 1
    components>. Done, Finished. I then double click the new "Name-duplicate"
    for text editing. It has happened THAT fast.

    The 'duplicate' footprint will be turned into, either a longer jumper, or a
    longer-leaded resistor. It would be great if I could (in the editor pane)
    just -stretch- the footprint a little bit, say, about 100~200mil. But it's
    not quite so easy.

    Instead, after I decide and select whichever end to move, here's what
    happens: either an 'end-cap' line will bend at a vertex, or, a component
    body outline segment will break off from somewhere, or, a segment replica
    forms and becomes attached to the mouse pointer, or, EVERYTHING bends, or...
    or my mouse swipe may come up totally empty, -but, never never NEVER can I
    drag the end of a footprint outline with the rest of the body still attached
    to it. I am not making this up. I have tried alt, shift, and ctl, (+ mouse
    click) combinations. Everything I can think of. Sometimes the results seem
    random, but I know that's probably just MY random nature, and not DXP's.
    But, it wears me out trying to figure out the ground rules. "Vertex" is
    something I need to get a better grasp on, but that is a different (but
    related) issue.

    So anyway, unless somebody can explain what I'm doing wrong, I will just do
    this (<cut>end), (<drag>pad),(<paste>end), then (<drag>end-of-top),
    (<drag>end-of-bottom) to close the body perimeter. That seems infinately
    faster that futzing around trying to drag an intact body outline. I probably
    couldn't find the instruction for body outline dragging because the function
    is undocumented because it's unsupported!!

    With best regards, bretth2o.
     
  4. Hi Brett,
    Okay your explanation tells a lot more of what you are trying to
    accomplish.

    To make your stretched or longer jumper here is how I would do it. Let
    me expalin also that I use P99SE not DXP so I may be a little out of touch
    with some of the newer possiblities but the older manners do work in DXP.

    Using the selection process on your starting footprint to select one pad and
    on Top overlay end line. Once selected I would set my grid to a known
    multiple of how far I want to move the pieces (usually 100 mils for things
    like jumpers or thru-hole parts). Enter "M"ove, "S"elect, click on a grid
    point as a starting point (or possibly the pad center), Then move the pad
    and end overlay line to the desired new location. You now have a broken
    overlay but your pads are where you wanted them for the new part. Now I
    would double click the moved end overlay line and note either it's X or Y
    grid location, then I double click both the side overlay lines that were
    detached and enter the new X or Y grid location to join them back to the end
    overlay line I had moved. You can join the two broken lines by dragging
    their vertices also, I just do a lot of work with the vertices because I
    find it more accurate and it doesn't matter which layer is my current layer
    to allow the snap function to work or changing grids all the time to make
    sure lines, etc., always meet properly.

    Generally.
    Trying to move by vertices or simple dragging is usually limited in DXP
    (or P99SE) to only conducting the operation on one item at a time. (Not to
    be confused with schematic editting where "M"ove, d"R"ag, can be used to
    drag multiple selected wires or objects. Or within PCB editting where
    multiple connections to a component may be dragged when the component is
    moved.) Thus it won't work for an operation like above where you are trying
    to move multiple items at a time. That is unless you are talking of line
    vertices that drawn to meet precisely and they have joined, then moving the
    end vertice of one line will drag it's joined partner line's vertice along
    with it. Generally to move vertices the item must not be "Locked". Clicking
    on a item sets the focus on that item, small square vertice marks appear at
    either end of a line and one in the center. Once you have the focus on the
    item you can then move or revise the vertice points by clicking on them to
    move them. Note: a quick click should attach the vertice to the cursor and
    move just that vertice. Click and hold the cursor button for a brief period
    and the line should attach itself to the cursor and the whole line moves.
    Click quickly on the lines center vertice and you can essentially move the
    center vertice breaking the line into two.

    Similarly but different, if a line is not focussed and not locked, you
    can click and hold the cursor button on the line, then drag. The line should
    move with your cursor.

    --
    Sincerely,
    Brad Velander.


     
  5. brett_h

    brett_h Guest

    Hello, Brad!
    Thanks for your help.
    There are some distractions working but I'll sit down with your text and
    work through it. By the way, I got a five watt size resistor package to
    rubberband the other day. I was absolutely agog, but way too tired to really
    enjoy it. Maybe I'll get lucky with scaled down packages.

    As you have hinted, I'm sure the secret is in having the right grid setting,
    knowing the right spot to click (and ones to avoid), and managing vertices.
    A large part of my problem was that I would inadvertently create vertices,
    and hadn't learned how to get rid of them. This weakness would get magnified
    on small parts. There weere a bunch of line segments needing to be
    (re)joined before they would behave. "Keyboard shortcuts", "vertices", and
    managing grid settings are on my list of -training- objectives.

    I'll be drawing some heatsink outlines in a day or so and try out your
    ideas. Thanks again!


    E-mail: move the ut to spell south
     
  6. Boris Mohar

    Boris Mohar Guest

    Snip...

    Wow..

    For comparison in Orcad PCB386 (DOS) you just execute:
    Block > Drag ,
    Encompass the objects that you want dragged (stretched) in block and drag
    them to a new location.
     
  7. Leon

    Leon Guest

    It's a doddle in Pulsonix, as well!

    Leon
     
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