Transform to Grid (aka Align/Distribute, aka Create Array)

Hello Kicad Community,

Kicad ROCKS! Thanks so much for everything the Kicad team does. It’s amazing what I’m able to do with this software. I would have never thought I would posess the power that this software gives me.

I run into this design task almost every board I’ve created. I have a set of resistors that I’ve blocked into a loose square, but I want to “transform to grid/array”.



Of course, you can use the Align/Distribute options. But you must do a ton of stuff to get it done.

  1. Align left side to left
  2. Align right side to right
  3. Align top to top
  4. Align bottom to bottom
  5. Distribute left column vertically
  6. Distribute right column vertically.
  7. Distribute Top row horizontally
  8. Distribute Bottom right horizontally.
  9. Distribute each row/column horizontally or veritcally (for each).

But wouldn’t it be much easier to “create grid from objects” aka “square up objects”?

  1. Highlight a square of objects.
  2. Select “Align/Distribute>Transform selected items to Grid/Array”
  3. Apply and done.

If there is an existing way to do this please let me know!

Thank you,

I show using the Array feature in this post (see my video)

I’m aware of the Array function. I’ve always found it to be somewhat pointless, because it creates new components and does not link those components to the schematic. (although I’m learning more about update PCB from schematic).

What about objects that come from a schematic, and are already on the board? I guess if the schematic numbered the components in order, maybe I could start with n=1 component and then array the 4 copies of it assuming that the numbers will count up. It’s messy.

Thank you for your time. I don’t think that the array function is the answer.

I guess you haven’t looked into it enough… You could, for starters, open the Array panel and see at least part of the answer.

The other part of answer (re Schematic) well, even if there was an Array to do what you want, you’d still need to individually Wire them in schematic - I can’t think of any App that can wire circuit without some fore-knowledge of what gets hooked up to what… Perhaps I’ve grown too old for modern times…

If they’re already on the PCB, just use the Distribute/Align tool (and, re-number tool)