Copy/Paste in PCB Editor?

My first circuit board in LibrePCB is a bit repetitive, and I was wondering if there is any way to help make it look consistent.
I have about 14 components in a circuit, and this is repeated six times on the same PCB. Each group is connected to the next group by a couple of tracks. I’ve placed the first 14, and I’m wondering how to go about placing the next five groups so they look neat.
In the Schematic Editor I was able to draw the circuit, then copy it and paste it out a further 5 times, so each of the six sections look the same. Is there any way to do something similar in the PCB Editor? If I place them all by hand then they’re going to look different unless I’m very careful…


Unfortunately this is currently not possible. Copy&paste in the board editor is not trivial since LibrePCB doesn’t know to which component in the schematic a pasted device shall correspond to. But I also hope some day we find a solution to make repetitive designs easier :slight_smile:

A couple of things come to mind, I’m sure they’ve come to your mind as well… :slight_smile:
A tool to space things out evenly would be good. Also a way to line things up. Perhaps a special guideline?
Or even allow placement by X and Y coordinates. Then I could calculate my coordinates, then place them based on what I calculated.

Yep, there’s even an issue open for this: Board Editor: Alignment & distribution tools · Issue #595 · LibrePCB/LibrePCB · GitHub

The initial placement can only be done by mouse, but afterwards you can enter exact coordinates manually in the device properties dialog (double-click on device) if you’re not yet aware of this.

I thought there should be a properties dialog, but I hadn’t been able to find it.
Once I read your statement, I went and tried harder to find it. Previously I’d tried clicking, double-clicking, right-clicking, but nothing gave me any options. Finally I found that I need to double-click on one of the text labels (name or property). If the device doesn’t have a label I don’t think you can get the properties?
The most intuitive place I looked for properties was right-clicking, as I was used to doing this in the Schematic Editor. But there was no right-click menu in the PCB Editor.

No, I was wrong. That only gets the properties of the text label. I think I need to double-click on the faint cross on the device. This is also the way to select the device - something else I’d had trouble doing. I’d previously been frustrated trying to grab a device to move it - I ended up selecting a rectangle around the device to select it. But now I know about that cross, I think it will make things easier.

Correct. Note that in LibrePCB 0.1.7 there’s a little bug which sometimes prevents double-clicking or right-clicking from working correctly. This should work better in the next release.