Select footprint for (positioning using "properties")

My e-load has four TO220 transistors up against one heatsink plane. The X position is not so critical but the Y position of all four should be the same.

Somehow I accidentally moved one of them. I think the easiest way for me to correct it is to select the footprint, view the properties, and set the Y position to agree with the others. The problem is that when I clicked on the pad for pin 1, selected properties and specified the position, I ended up moving only that pad.

Not what I want! Time to Undo or “Update PCB from Schematic”.to retrieve a fresh footprint from the library.

So…OK I was able to first find Q14 and then go into properties and that worked OK so I am not stuck. But I was already nicely zoomed into that transistor, and I did not really need to find it. What is the best way to select the footprint to move the whole thing?

Click on a footprint and not on a pad to select the footprint. Press E once it is selected.
It’s a bit trickier for single pad footrpints but even then you can usually find a spot that selects whole footprint and not just a pad.


Thank you. But it is necessary to click on some part of the footprint. What part of the footprint do you click on? I think of a pad as being part of the footprint. If I select the silkscreen image will it move only the silkscreen or the whole thing? I think that not all of my parts have silkscreen images, but if that is the case I guess that is my problem.

Update…Clicking on the silkscreen does seem to work where I have one. Thanks again.

Basically anywhere within the bounding box of the footprint that isn’t a pad or a drawing.

OK thanks. Without directly clicking on a pad or a silkscreen line (for example) I figured that pcbnew would select the ground plane (for example). I find that if I click on a trace which is within the footprint boundary that pcbnew will select the trace. But if I click on the middle of a plane that is within a footprint boundary, it seems to select the footprint. This is workable. Thanks again.

Zones are selected by clicking the polygon that defines them.
You can click on outlines of footprints as these are not separately editable. I personally click on the courtyard outline or the fab outline when i want to select a footprint.

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If you select a Footprint, and hit ‘e’ -dit, then in the middle of the popup properties there is a:

For your TO220 the radiobutton is probably set to “Free”.
Normally it’s set to “Lock Pads”, (Which is relative to the Footprint) and if you then highlight a single pad and hit ‘m’ for move, Pcbnew selects the whole footprint and moves it.

If you’ve accidentally moved a single pad in a footprint and Undo [Ctrl + Z] does not work for you, then simply select the footprint, ‘e’-dit and:

That is helpful. Thank you, Rene

Hi, Paulvdh

Your comments are helpful…however I am puzzled because my footprint is set to “Lock Pads”. I have checked both my latest file as well as the previous version.

On that subject…for some time now…at the beginning of my session, I copy and rename the folder containing my .pro and .pcb files, Within the new folder I also rename all of the files; all to the same (name ahead of the dot extension). At the end of my session I zip the folder and copy it to a CD-RW. My files are not large. This takes 1-2 minutes and has been working well for me.

Before posting I did 5 to 10 minutes of experiments in My KiCad V5.1.0, and I verified:

1). Select a pad of a Footprint (only pad hights).
2). Press ‘e’-dit and you edit the properties of that pad Hit [Esc] / Cancel to go back.
3). Select a pad of another Footprint.
4). Press ‘m’-ove and the whole Footprint gets selected and can be moved.

x). Experiment with the “move and Place” / Free setting, and confirm that then a single pad is moved.

From your last post it seems you rename whole projects.
I’ve also done so in the past, but it may get you into some trouble because some of those names are also used in the files.
There have been some threads here on the user forum about renaming projects, and also on launchpad, but I have no time at the moment to add some links here.

(If you find the links, then add them for others who search the forum for answers).

Thanks, Paulvdh

Sorry I previously neglected to report my KiCad version:

Yes your observations appear to be correct. However I did not want to use “move” command. Rather I wanted to use properties to specify precise Y position, and that ended up pad properties (and re-positioned only the pad as a result.)

Yes altogether when I am editing any sort of data file (including Word, Excel or anything else I can think of) I like to include/change the date and/or revision designation in the file name. I have not experimented so carefully but KiCad seems to want the .pro, .pcb, .sch, etc. files all to have the same name. This is a little extra work but assures that I have a schematic which (at least is the “target”) for every version of my pcb file. For the way I work, it is actually a bit more rigor. I just need to avoid rigor mortis.

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