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In KiCad PCB Layout Editor, I'm trying to arrange and place the various footprints. But when I click on the component, instead of selecting the entire component/footprint, it selects the closest element of the footprint, like a label, pad, throughhole etc. Is there a setting that allows me to default to select the entire component? This has potential to ruin my design without me realising it if one of the pads is moved accidentally.

I can't find anything in the preferences or settings, so any help is appreciated!

EDIT: Here is a screenshot of a resistor. When I click on the pad, I want the whole component to be selected and not just the pad. You can see that right now, it only selects the pad.

enter image description here

EDIT2: As @dylanweber mentioned, I was mistaken about the pads. But it's still a problem when I hit the M key over a piece of text then it doesn't select the whole footprint, but just the text.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you share a screenshot of the footprint? \$\endgroup\$ – dylanweber Apr 28 at 3:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Added screenshot with explanation. \$\endgroup\$ – Plasty Grove Apr 28 at 4:07
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I personally use the fab or courtyard outlines as the place to select the full footprint. Works quite reliably.

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If you are using KiCad v5.1.x, you can hold down the Alt key while clicking to get the disambiguation menu for everything under your cursor.

Here is an example of performing this action in pcbnew. Note that when clicking without the Alt key held down, we get just the pad as it is considered the "most likely" target if you are directly over it. But with Alt key depressed while clicking, we get all items directly under the mouse cursor.

Disambiguate with Alt+Left Click

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Problem is that it doesn't give me the disambiguation menu if it is sure that I'm clicking only on the pad or the throughhole or the label. If I click on the label or the pad, I want it to select the entire component. \$\endgroup\$ – Plasty Grove Apr 28 at 4:08
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An entire footprint moves together as one unit, so no matter what pad is selected, moving the pad should also move all other pads (and drill holes) for the component.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah you're right about the pads. So it seems that it's okay to move it if it the mouse is over the pads. But it's still a problem if it's over the label or the text of the footprint. Then it only moves the label or text and not the whole component. \$\endgroup\$ – Plasty Grove Apr 28 at 4:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PlastyGrove The problem with grouping silkscreen & pads together makes it hard to adjust labels for components, and for this reason, it's not a feature. Groups are not available in pcbnew either but I suggest moving your footprint around if you also want to move the label around. \$\endgroup\$ – dylanweber Apr 28 at 5:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ The problem with this suggestion is that the anchor for the move (or rotate) operation is now centered on the pad instead of the anchor set in the footprint editor. \$\endgroup\$ – Rene Pöschl Apr 28 at 21:16

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