Applied Parameters: Tab = Grid Manager
This command is used to access the Grid Manager dialog, which provides a centralized location from which to define and manage all grids for the active PCB document. The dialog provides all controls necessary to facilitate creation of your own customized, local placement grids. Supporting Cartesian and Polar grid 'flavors', you can define any number of grids for use in a document, which can even be nested as required.
This command is accessed from the PCB Editor, and PCB Library Editor, by using the O keyboard shortcut, then choosing the Grid Manager entry on the subsequent pop-up menu - or using the O, G keyboard sequence.
After launching the command, the Grid Manager dialog will appear. Use the dialog to define Cartesian or Polar-based local grids by which to place design objects – especially components – with greater precision:
- Cartesian Grid - to create a new Cartesian-type grid use the Add Cartesian Grid command – available from the dialog's main menu or right-click menu – or press the R key. A new grid entry will appear in the list, initially with the default name
New Cartesian Grid. A Cartesian grid is distinguished by the letter
C, to the left of the grid name field. To edit the grid, simply double-click on its entry, or select its entry and use the Properties command accessible through the dialog's menus. The Cartesian Grid Editor dialog will appear presenting options with which to define the grid.
- Polar Grid - to create a new Polar-type grid use the Add Polar Grid command – available from the dialog's main menu or right-click menu – or press the P key. A new grid entry will appear in the list, initially with the default name
New Polar Grid. A Polar grid is distinguished by the letter
P, to the left of the grid name field. To edit the grid, simply double-click on its entry, or select its entry and use the Properties command accessible through the dialog's menus. The Polar Grid Editor dialog will appear presenting options with which to define the grid.
Each grid-type is fully customizable using a dedicated editing dialog. Define where in the workspace the grid is to be located, the step size of the grid, the extent of the grid and two levels for visual display of the grid.
These localized grids can be nested, allowing you to essentially stack grids over each other and therefore build grid hierarchy. Where, in a particular region of the workspace, you have defined a number of local placement grids in a nested fashion, you can assign a priority level – ensuring the grid you need is the one actually used.
- A predefined, default snap grid is available –
Global Board Snap Grid – which is the grid used in all areas of the board where a specific custom grid has not been defined. The snapping priority of this grid is lower than any of the custom grids you define. In other words, a custom grid will always be snapped to first, where defined.
- If required, you can create a cartesian or polar grid that is for component placement only. The grid is created and configured in exactly the same way as any other cartesian or polar grid, the only difference is that you enable check boxes (in the Grid Manager dialog) to configure it as component-only.
- The default display colors – assigned to Fine and Coarse display grids when the Reset to Default link is clicked in a grid editor, or the Reset All To System Grid Colors command is issued from the Grid Manager dialog – are defined in the System Colors region, on the Board Layers And Colors tab of the View Configurations dialog. Specifically, the default fine-level display grid color is specified using the Default Grid Color - Small option, and the default coarse-level display grid color is specified using the Default Grid Color - Large option.
- Each local placement grid you create and define is given a numbered priority. By default, each new grid is given the highest priority of
1, with all existing grids moved down in priority accordingly. The
Global Board Snap Grid is an exception. As it is the default grid that is used in all areas of the board that are not 'covered' by defined custom grids, it is given the priority setting of
Default. It has the lowest 'snapping priority' of all defined grids. In the workspace, priority is distinguished by drawing order. The highest priority grid (priority
1) will be drawn in front of all other grids, then the grid with priority level
2, and so on, down to the default
Global Board Snap Grid, which is drawn behind all other custom grids.
- Rather than deleting the grid – you may well use it again later, in the same or different area of the board – you can simply 'hide' it from the workspace. This can be achieved by unchecking the grid's associated Enabled attribute in the Grid Manager dialog.
- Custom grids can be exported from a board and imported into another board, if required, through a PCB Grid file (*.PCBGrid). When you define a custom grid in the PCB Library Editor it only applies to the current component, to use it for other components Export it from the current component and Import it to any other components requiring the same grid.
- The cursor will only snap to a defined grid (including the default snap grid), provided the option Snap To Grids is enabled, in the Snap Options region of the Board Options dialog.