Altium Designer Documentation

Cartesian Grid Editor

Modified by Susan Riege on Feb 22, 2018


The Cartesian Grid Editor dialog

Summary

This dialog allows you to view and modify properties for the selected Cartesian grid. This can be either the default global snap grid or a customized local grid. The latter is used for object placement and movement in a specific area of the board, while the former is used in any area of the board not covered by a dedicated local grid.

Access

The dialog can be accessed from either the PCB editor or PCB library editor in one of the following ways:

  • In the Properties panel in Board mode, click the Properties button in the Grid Manager region. 
  • In the Properties panel in Board mode, double-click an entry in the Grid Manager region. 
The dialog also can be accessed using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+G. This accesses the dialog with the default global snap grid definition loaded.

Options/Controls

For the default global snap grid, only the SettingsSteps and Display regions will be presented in the dialog.

Settings

  • Name - enter a meaningful name. For example, you might name the grid using a format that reflects its purpose (e.g., Grid for Component-Side Memory).
  • Unit - specifies the measurement units used for the grid either Imperial or Metric.
  • Rotation - specifies whether the grid is to be rotated (about the specified origin point) and by how much.

Steps

  • Step X - the distance between grid lines in the X plane. Enter the required step size directly or select from a range of common sizes available in the associated drop-down.
  • Step Y - the distance between grid lines in the Y plane. Enter the required step size directly or select from a range of common sizes available in the associated drop-down.
By default, the two fields are linked, as indicated by the continuous chain depicted on the button to the right of the fields - . In this state, whatever you specify for the Step X field will be copied and used for the Step Y field. To break this link and enter step sizes individually, click the "link". The link will display a broken chain -  - and the Step Y field is available for editing.

The following controls also are available that allow you to define the X and/or Y step sizes directly from within the PCB workspace. In each case, you will be taken to the workspace to specify two 'calculating' locations and the resulting step size will be calculated accordingly.

  • Set Step X in PCB View - the resulting size is taken as the hypotenuse of the triangle formed by the chosen points in the workspace.
  • Set Step Y in PCB View - the resulting size is taken as the hypotenuse of the triangle formed by the chosen points in the workspace.
  • Set Step X from Delta X - the resulting size is taken using just the difference in the X coordinate.
  • Set Step Y from Delta Y - the resulting size is taken using just the difference in the Y coordinate.
  • Set Both Steps from Delta - the resulting sizes are taken using just the differences in the X and Y coordinates.
Note that when Step Y is following Step X (with the chain "linked"), only the Set Step X in PCB View and Set Step X from Delta X controls are available.

Origin

  • Origin X - specifies the X coordinate for the center point of the grid in the workspace.
  • Origin Y - specifies the Y coordinate for the center point of the grid in the workspace.
  • Set Origin in PCB View - click to be taken to the PCB workspace, in which you can click to define the centerpoint for the grid's origin. The resulting coordinate values will be loaded into the Origin X and Origin Y fields.

Display

  • Fine - use the associated drop-down to define the markers used for the fine-level display of the grid in the workspace, either LinesDots, or Do Not Draw. Choose Do Not Draw if you do not want to use the fine-level display grid. The step size used for the markers is that defined in the Steps region. Click on the associated color swatch to access the standard Choose Color dialog from where you can specify the color to be used for the fine-level display grid in the workspace. You also can reset the color back to its default using the Reset to Default button.
  • Coarse - use the associated drop-down to define the markers used for the coarse-level display of the grid in the workspace, either LinesDots, or Do Not Draw. Choose Do Not Draw if you do not want to use the coarse-level display grid. The coarse-level display grid is simply the fine-level display grid with an increased step size, in accordance with the entry selected in the Multiplier field. Click on the associated color swatch to access the standard Choose Color dialog from where you can specify the color to be used for the coarse-level display grid in the workspace. You are free to choose a completely different color to that used for the fine-level display grid. You also can quickly lighten or darken the shade of the color currently used for the fine-level display grid by clicking the Lighter or Darker buttons.
The default display colors that are assigned to the Fine and Coarse display grids when the Reset to Default button is clicked are defined in the System Colors region of the View Configration panel (shortcut L). 
  • Multiplier - use this field to specify the required multiple of the grid's step size, either 2x Grid Step, 5x Grid Step, or 10x Grid Step.

Extents

  • Width - use this field to define the width of one quadrant of the grid.
  • Height - use this field to define the height of one quadrant of the grid.
By default, the two fields are linked, as indicated by the continuous chain depicted on the button to the right of the fields - . In this state, whatever you specify for the Width field will be copied and used for the Height field. To break this link and enter values individually, click this button. The button will now depict a broken chain -  - and the Height field is available for editing.

Controls are also available that allow you to define the width and/or height directly from within the PCB workspace. In each case, you will be taken to the workspace to specify two 'calculating' locations, and the resulting width and/or height will be calculated accordingly.

  • Set Width in PCB View - the resulting width is taken using just the difference in the X coordinate between the chosen points in the workspace.
  • Set Height in PCB View - the resulting height is taken using just the difference in the Y coordinate between the chosen points in the workspace.
  • Set Width and Height in PCB View - the resulting width and height are taken using just the differences in the X and Y coordinates.
Note that when Height is following Width (chain is linked), only the Set Width in PCB View control is available.

Quadrants

Use this region to specify which quadrants the grid is to occupy. The grid area is the same for all enabled quadrants, as defined by the setting for Width and Height in the Extents region of the dialog.

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