No drag footprint in modern canvases

Bug #1743099 reported by Jeff Young
This bug affects 34 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone

Bug Description

Present in Legacy Canvas, but not GAL.

(I think Tomasz has this on his TODO list, but I couldn't find a record for it so I filed this to track it.)

Application: kicad
Version: (2018-01-12 revision 0761a0bae)-master, debug build
    wxWidgets 3.0.3
    libcurl/7.54.0 LibreSSL/2.0.20 zlib/1.2.11 nghttp2/1.24.0
Platform: Mac OS X (Darwin 17.3.0 x86_64), 64 bit, Little endian, wxMac
Build Info:
    wxWidgets: 3.0.3 (UTF-8,STL containers,compatible with 2.8)
    Boost: 1.65.1
    Curl: 7.57.0
    Compiler: Clang 9.0.0 with C++ ABI 1002

Build settings:

Jeff Young (jeyjey)
tags: added: missing-gal-tool
description: updated
Changed in kicad:
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Jeff Young (jeyjey) wrote :

Since this is a Legacy regression I'm marking it as Medium. If we decide we want to drop support for it then we can mark it as Won't Fix, but we need to start making these decisions in preparation for dropping Legacy support.

Changed in kicad:
importance: Undecided → Medium
Revision history for this message
eelik (eelik) wrote :

There's no reason to implement it as it's done in the legacy tools. It just isn't useful at all, except for some rare cases (where you drag to the opposite direction compared to where every track points to - i.e. almost never). It just creates new segments which require severe fixing, it's easier to draw new tracks.

But real PnS footprint drag which drags tracks along it is really needed. If we consider the whole amount of work to design a board, moving footprints take often very much of it because you have to estimate, take measurements, drag existing lines or redraw them etc. All the work previously done is wasted.

Jon Evans (craftyjon)
Changed in kicad:
assignee: nobody → Tomasz Wlostowski (twlostow)
Revision history for this message
Jeff Young (jeyjey) wrote :

From "bson" on the forums:

And, I’d LOVE to be able to nudge footprints and have the traces auto adjust; while I wouldn’t expect it to allow me to move a complex part across a board, it would be great to just shift it a little to pick up empty board space and shorten traces without having to manually update 24, 48, 80 or 144 traces… It can simply refuse to adjust any trace that won’t fit. This would make it much easier to do a “loose” layout and then “pack it” as an optimization later.

summary: - No drag footprint in GAL
+ No drag footprint in modern canvases
Revision history for this message
forsakenrider (forsakenrider) wrote :

I'm going to agree with Jeff here. I use Kicad mainly for single sided, etch at home boards. Being able to "nudge" and fine tune part/track placement at once is very useful for gaining a little extra breathing room for etching the board.

Revision history for this message
Jon Watte (jwatte) wrote :

Currently, when I start a new board, and import all of the schematics, it's very hard to click on a footprint and drag it to separate it out, because there's a 75% chance I accidentally clicked a label or value or pad or something. Especially given that the automatic spread overlaps label text with other footprint outlines.

Additionally, it was useful to be able to click-drag without having to click twice. On bad mouse surfaces, touchpads, and tablets with pens, having the first click be the only click is important, because the second click may not be in the exact same spot.

I vote for bringing "mode: footprint" back in some form. Additionally, I vote for the new "spread" function to give a little more breathing room around footprints, or at least make sure it clears labels.

Revision history for this message
forsakenrider (forsakenrider) wrote :

After using the new canvas more I have gotten more used to the new clicking twice on an object/trace and using the D and G keys for moving traces. I wish they still worked when move parts as they did before. I have found using a track pad with the new set up is VERY hard. I usually get frustrated and find the mouse quickly, which is't great for quick edits or when working on a project for short lengths of time.

I have only ever used Eagle and Kicad, and I found they both worked similar in the passed when laying out PCB's. When doing Home etched PCB's its very important to get enough space between the parts to get successful etches, and this is where the ability to nudge parts and traces around really shines.

Revision history for this message
eelik (eelik) wrote :

@jwatte: your comments don't seem to be related to this bug report.

You can open the "Items" tab in the Layers Manager and hide values and references. Then they don't get in the way when you grab and move components. And there's Preferences->Pcbnew->Prefer selection to dragging checkbox which should be unchecked if you want to click&drag.

Changed in kicad:
status: Confirmed → Triaged
milestone: none → 6.0.0-rc1
Revision history for this message
eelik (eelik) wrote :

I'm glad to see this has been milestoned. About the way it's planned to work: I don't know what would be the simpliest way to implement this or how to integrate it with the existing code, but from the user's point of view the way it behaves could be a bit different and simpler than the normal pushing and shoving traces. The above mentioned "nudging" would probably be good provided that it doesn't move traces around objects. I can't say for sure before the feature is implemented and testable, but most probably I would use it to make the design to fit into smaller space or to make space for new components. In these cases I would prefer it to make as small changes to the overall design as possible.

Revision history for this message
ALAIN MOUETTE (alainm789) wrote :

I am also glad that this has been milestoned.
Please consider this important, it is really missing and makes laying out a complex board much more dificult.

Revision history for this message
Peter Montgomery (pmon) wrote :

The lack of this feature is a massive oversite. It’s such a fundamental feature, I’m always amazed KiCAD doesn’t have it in the modern canvas. I still switch back to leagscy just to nudge things. The fact that the legacy implantation is so awkward is also frustrating. I sincerely hope this is high on someone’s list to address. The very first version of Protel for Windows I bought (that ran on Windows 3.1) had this feature from the very start. Please add this feature and make it useful. If the developers could add push and shove routing to KiCAD, surely this should be a walk in the park.

Revision history for this message
Anton (antonpupkov) wrote :

Yes. Adding drag/grab footpring is a good idea. Dragging is a good feature. In some situations it saves time.

tags: added: pcbnew
Revision history for this message
KiCad Janitor (kicad-janitor) wrote :

KiCad bug tracker has moved to Gitlab. This report is now available here:

Changed in kicad:
status: Triaged → Expired
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