Lock position of mechnical footprints

Newbie question re Pcbnew version (5.1.5)-3 release build

I have a complex board shape on which I need to position mounting holes and several headers that will engage with other stacked boards in a very tight-fitting enclosure. It is essential that I position them exactly and then don’t accidently move them. Googling, I find people describing how to lock footprints in older versions (for just the reason I want to do it) but I can find no way to do so in the above referenced release. Is locking not the right approach? Is the terminology changed? How can I ensure my mechanical components stay locked in position with respect to the cut edges?

Locking is the correct thing and this is done by selecting a part and pressing “L” or right-click

there is a shortcoming in 5.1.x where it only toggles not OFF or ON

Thank you for that Naib. Unfortunately L doesn’t seem to lock anything for me and there is no option to lock in the right-click context menu. Perhaps I should try reverting to an older version. Have you any idea how far back before 5.1 I would have to go?

make sure the part is selected NOT a pad (annoying quirk)

Ahah! “Make sure the part is selected.” Thank you; that was the secret. I feel less of a newbie all of a sudden.

The concept of locking seems to be confusing to some. There have been some requests to be able to easily override the lock on the part. There is also no feedback when a part gets locked nor is there a way to show which parts are locked.

Currently if you have a selection in KiCad V5.1 with locked parts and you want to move it, you get a popup with which to (temporarily) override the lock.

Result is that you still have to be careful to not override the lock.

In KiCad-nightly V5.99 there is a “selection filter” in the lower right corner, and if you unselect the checkbox for “Locked Items”, then you can’t even select locked parts, so accidental editing won’t happen so easily.


Paul, this is great news for me. Locking in the current version is pretty useless, I believe. This dialog is one of the most annoying things in KiCad. For me, locking has to be:

  1. Locked parts should not be selected by a mouse click or by drawing a window. I think this is the essential function of locking a part: leave it where it is and do not bother me. There must be a way to unlock it so a special select like “shift+click” or a menu action “unlock” would have to be introduced. Of course, the selection filter can also achieve this. As a consequence the “move locked parts?” dialog has to be eliminated.
  2. The lock flag should be extended to graphic lines as well. I frequently have e.g. drawings of housings in my Dwgs.User consisting of dozens of lines and you accidentally move some of them from time to time especially if the color is low vis… There should be a possibility to select all lines in a window and lock them.

Maybe I am still missing something (for which, apologies in advance). With a nudge from Naib I can now lock my parts but it seems I cannot lock the edge cuts. The parts can be kept in proper relation to each other but not the board (and therefore not the enclosure and not the rest of the world). I do hope I’m making another silly error. In a similar vein, my board has a complex keepout area in the middle of it and I’d like to lock that with respect to the edge cuts too.

I’m starting to think maybe I am just thinking about this all wrong…

locking in the present version is extremely painful and there were a couple of occasions where I had to use sed on the RAW pcb file to remove the “locked” word to just blanket unlock everything and then lock.

5.1.x pretty much only has the concept of toggle so if you want to bulk unlock or bulk lock you just cannot because if there is a partially locks board and you select everything, you cannot just set locked.

5.99 has included a much needed filter that is an absolute godsend and lockedItems are by default not selected. As a result graphics can be deselected from the selection filter thus mitigating this.

The only way around the likes of edge cut not being lockable was to turn off the edge.cuts layer in 5.1.x

so @Robert_Loos I feel your frustration and the only way to manage it with v5.1.x is due diligence and liberal use of undo’s and git. v6 either solves or lays the foundation for mitigating these things - shame I dare not commit to a v6 project :slight_smile: luckily I doubt i will be laying out a new design for at least 3months since my present designs are being delivered now

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