Grab areas in board editor issues

I am having trouble with grab areas in footprints, sometimes they work and sometimes not.

some of the packages/footprints I have made are grabbale, some not and some seem to work sometimes but not always. I’ve checked the library footprints many times and they usually seem fine. ie they relevant polygon has grab area checked.

So far I can’t see any pattern to it.

some questions to help me understand how they are supposed to work:

  • should circular grab areas work?

  • If there are overlapping grab areas can they ever cancel out?

  • should an unfilled polygon that is part of the top plament layer be grabbable if the checkbox is set?

  • does it make any difference if a grab area is filled or not?

there might be more problems with hidden grab areas, and circular ones.

rectangular grab areas in the placement layer seem more reliable. but i’m not 100% sure yet.

Yeah there are some issues indeed. To be honest, so far we try to avoid grab areas in footprints and simply grab them by their origin :see_no_evil:

But there are good news: I just did a refactoring a few days ago, which fixes at least some of these issues in the next release:

Yes, but these things might also require the refactoring until they work as intended.


Note that whether a device can be grabbed or not in the board editor also depends on the enabled layers. At least the “Top|Bottom References” needs to be enabled. Maybe also the layer of the polygon which is set as grab area, but I’m not 100% sure anymore.

thanks! maybe I should try the current master from github. How soon do you expect to make the next release?

Grabbing by origin can be tricky too - sometimes the mouse drops the footprint if I move it too fast. also sometimes there is a name on top of the origin.

The master should really not be used for any productive work since it uses an intermediate file format which will not be upgradable to any future release.

There are no concrete plans, but probably it will take quite some time until the next release is ready.

Is there more info about this intermediate file format somewhere?

Is it a temporary thing until a new file format is finished?

for now I am making my grab areas work by making a polygon (not circle) grab area on the top placement layer with line thickness 0. that mostly seems to work.

Yes it is. See here and here.