PCB Editor unstack footprint


Hello All, I’m using Kicad 4.0.7 and searching in forums I don’t find the way to unstack after reading the Netlist all components imported (I can understand why the software works like this ?) on previous release they are function by right click to expend automatically all footprint for a better easy placement on the board, any ideas ? Thanks.


Right click -> Align/Distribute if I recall correctly.


I think in KiCad 4.0.x this might only be available in the legacy (default) canvas

It also requires kicad to be in the correct footprint mode if i remember correctly (top toolbar, one of the rightmost buttons. A footprint with two arrows in it)


Thanks, that I’m expecting but not


In my 4.0.7 version under linux, in opengl mode F11, under “Créer matrice”


Hum, strange result
BTW how to swith to Opengl ? Thanks.


You could click the link i already provided above. (tip: the view menu holds the key) Here again the same link (This time with the full title): Pcb_new: What is a canvas? (default [legacy], open-gl [accelerated] and cairo [fallback]) Is there a difference?

But open gl does not have the global spread and distribute function.

So again: stay in default (now legacy) canvas. activate the footprint mode (top toolbar somewhere on the right)
left click somewhere on the canvas. In the context menu that opens open the submenu for “global spread and place”->“spread out all footprints”. (If that entry is not in the context menu toggle the footprint mode button and try again)

More details (including screenshots) see relevant section of the kicad docu: http://docs.kicad-pcb.org/4.0.7/en/pcbnew.html#_automatic_footprint_distribution


Ok, thanks Rene.
So it works now, in fact different usage available by using F9, F11 or F12 then
press image and finally

Many thanks for your support !!!


Oops! I mixed align/distribute horizontally/vertically with spread and distribute!


No problem, finaly I solve my problem, what the purpose of Align/Distribute ?
This is just for my knoledge … Thanks.


Some time ago I read something about a Python script to place components (next to the PCB outline) in roughly the same order as they are in the schematic.
Haven’t tried it myself, but it seems like a really good idea and is certainly an improvement over the default of putting all footprints on top of each other.


Kicad nightly already does this. If you import the netlist (or use the new update pcb from schematic tool) the footprints are spread out and organized similarly to how their corresponding symbols are organized in the schematic.