PCB object group properties

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ReverseEMF
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Joined: 02 Jun 2012, 12:51
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PCB object group properties

#1 Post by ReverseEMF » 06 Feb 2019, 19:13

So, after painstakingly laying out a pair of buttons, with indicator lights, and a bevvy of supporting graphics, I discovered that they are transposed! So, hoping that by grouping them, I could precisely reposition each cluster of objects in relation to their grouping, thus preserving all that work, I tried to find a tool for positioning a Group. But NO! There doesn't seem to be a way to summon up something like "Group Properties". When I Right-Click on one of the Groups, I'm only offered [in the Popup Menu], properties for whatever object I clicked on, within the group! For instance, each of my button groups has an unfilled circle object [on the Bottom Silk layer]. If I roll my mouse pointer over one of the circles, to highlight it, and then Right-Click, the Popup menu offers "Properties" as one of the selections. BUT, if I select that, hoping to be able to enter coordinates to position the entire group, what I get, instead, are "Shape Properties" for the Silkscreen Circle object! YET, if I select "Rotate", it rotates the whole group!

I need more Group related manipulation features. Something like "Group Properties", or "Group Move". And also, what about Group alignment tools [because, currently, the alignment tool ignores the group relationship--but, ironically, doesn't ungroup them?!? So, what I get is a squished group, and a mind that boggles over the value of that--how is that any different than just selecting ungrouped objects, and aligning them!?!]?

As it is, the ability go group objects, has limited value. So much more could be done, to make grouping the awesome feature it could be!!
If left to evolution, would this PCB ever design itself, and what would the lead time be on that?

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KevinA
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Re: PCB object group properties

#2 Post by KevinA » 07 Feb 2019, 01:55

In all the DipTrace tools is a dimension tool, the submenu shows 5 tools, the tool to the far right is called a 'Pointer' tool. Using that tool you can precision move anything to an exact location simply using the arrow key and setting the grid to the precision needed. I do big moves at 1mm grid then change to 0.001mm to snug it up.

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ReverseEMF
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Re: PCB object group properties

#3 Post by ReverseEMF » 07 Feb 2019, 02:20

I wasn't able to find what you're describing, but, I do something similar, using the "Grid Size" feature. BUT, are you able to do this thing that you're describing, on a grouping? In other words, if I select a number of objects, then Ctrl-G, to Group them, can I then position the whole group, using the method you described? And, if so, can you give me a step-by-step for finding this "Pointer Tool"? Or a screenshot, or three?

But, what I really want, is a way to edit the x and y coordinates on a Group. And for Grouped objects to behave like a single object when acted upon by things like the Alignment tools. There could even be an option to act on individual objects, within a group OR to treat the group as a single object.

Hint: This is also a Feature Request ;)
If left to evolution, would this PCB ever design itself, and what would the lead time be on that?

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KevinA
Posts: 373
Joined: 18 Dec 2015, 15:35

Re: PCB object group properties

#4 Post by KevinA » 07 Feb 2019, 11:25

If I have two parts that are 'Grouped' together the display shows an X in a calculated center of those two parts, what good is the 'calculated' center of that grouping? If I'm positioning parts the relationship between the parts is the numbers I needed hence the 'Pointer' tool:
pointer1.jpg
Build your 'Custom' Grids, I am learning metric so I needed to build several grid numbers that matched 99% of the metric parts being built "today".
pointer2.jpg
HINT for DipTrace: Help should be Help, in Help what is in the fly-out when you click the Dimension ICON is not covered. Why you have a Vertical and Horizontal Dimension tool is not explained in the help and when you mouse over the dimension tools there is no text names.
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ReverseEMF
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Re: PCB object group properties

#5 Post by ReverseEMF » 12 Feb 2019, 15:05

Cute, but a hack. Would be nice if Grouped Objects would just behave like single objects, when using tools like Align Objects, or Properties, etc.
If left to evolution, would this PCB ever design itself, and what would the lead time be on that?

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