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2.3. Using Property Grids

Property grids are commonly used for organizing and editing values in a design. The following sections document common use of the grids; your use may be customized. Property grids are used in the:

The property grid includes the following components:

2.3.1. Property Grid Toolbar

Property Grid toolbar buttons control the display and content of the property grid. Most property grids use the buttons described in the following sections. Buttons particular to specific property grids are described in those sections.

To display additional toolbar buttons, right-click on the toolbar and choose Show more buttons. To hide the additional buttons, right-click and choose Show fewer buttons. The following image shows the common toolbar buttons.

You can hover the cursor over each button to view a tooltip with the name of the button as shown in the following figure.

2.3.1.1. Button: Show the list filtered or unfiltered

This button toggles property grid filtering on or off. Click it to display a row of blank filtering text boxes under the column headers in the dialog box. Text that you type in the text box under a column filters the content of that column. See “Property Grid Filtering Text Boxes” for filtering details.

For example, typing "msub" in the filter row of the "Element" column provides the following result:

When filtering is off:

  • The row of blank filtering text boxes does not display.

  • Previous filtering results no longer display and the column shows all items (in this example, elements other than "msub" display again).

  • The additional filtering buttons to the right of this button are disabled.

2.3.1.2. Button: Clear the filters from all columns

This button clears any text typed in one or more filter text boxes. It is only enabled when the "Show the list filtered or unfiltered" button is active.

2.3.1.3. Button: Show values that match the text

This button is one of three that controls how filtered text is matched.

In this mode, the text you type must exactly match the text in the column below. For example, typing "msub" in the filter row of the "Element" column provides the following result:

Typing "msu" provides the following result since there are no exact matches in the "Element" column.

2.3.1.4. Button: Show values that start with matching text

This button is one of three that controls how filtered text is matched.

In this mode, the text you type must match the initial letter and subsequent letters in the column below; it does not have to match items exactly. For example, typing "msu" provides the following result since these letters match the first three letters of the "MSUB" items in the "Element" column.

2.3.1.5. Button: Show values that contain matching text

This button is one of three that controls how filtered text is matched.

In this mode, the text you type can match any part of the text in the column below; it does not have to match items starting with the first letter. For example, typing "sub" provides the following result since these letters are included in the "MSUB" items in the "Element" column.

2.3.1.6. Button: Match case

This button determines if the filter text is case sensitive.

In all of the previous examples the text you typed is lowercase ("msub", "msu" and "sub") so none of these would provide a matched result with the uppercase "MSUB" in the "Element" column.

2.3.1.7. Button: Size the columns to the width of the text

This button adjusts each column width to the longest string found in each column, which helps fit more columns in the visible area.

Click the button again to resize the columns to the width of the column header.

2.3.1.8. Button: Enable/Disable edit tool tips

This button toggles on or off the display of helpful tooltips for the filtering text boxes.

Click it to display popup filtering tooltips when you hover the cursor over the filter text boxes under each column.

2.3.1.9. Button: Show Help on using this window

This button opens the associated online Help for the property grid.

2.3.2. Property Grid Column Headers

Column headers describe the content of each column in the property grid. There are various ways to control how the columns and their contents display.

2.3.2.1. Changing Column Order

Click a column header and drag left or right across the property grid to move the column. For example, in the following figure the "Element" column is being dragged to the right.

After releasing the mouse button the column order is updated, with the "Element" column now to the right of the "ID" column.

2.3.2.2. Changing Column Size

To change the size of a column, click and drag on the bar between columns to increase or decrease column size. Notice that the cursor display changes while dragging.

2.3.2.3. Optimizing Column Size

Resize a column to the widest text in that column by holding the cursor over a column divider. When the cursor display changes, double-click to resize that column.

2.3.2.4. Sorting Rows of a Column

Click a column header to sort the property grid by that column. The first click sorts the column in ascending order. In the following figure, the chevron symbol at the top of the "Parameter" column indicates that items in this column are sorted in ascending order.

The second click sorts the column in descending order. In the following figure, the inverted chevron symbol at the top of the "Parameter" column indicates that items in this column are sorted in descending order.

Some columns support a third click which returns the column to the original, unsorted order.

2.3.2.5. Selecting All/Nothing in a Column

A column that contains check boxes may include a small check mark icon to the left of the column header. Click on this icon to toggle between selecting every item in that column or selecting no items in the column.

2.3.3. Property Grid Filtering Text Boxes

The row of blank filtering text boxes allows you to filter the property grid by columns. To filter on a column, click in the (empty) filter text box below that column header and type the text you want to filter for in that column. For example, to find all microstrip lines in your project you can type "MTRACE" in the filter text box below the "Element" column as shown in the following figure.

Filter text boxes also support regular expressions, which allow you to perform intelligent searches. The form and functionality of these regular expressions is modeled after the regular expression facility in the Perl 5 programming language. The following table shows some syntax examples:

Syntax Comment
. Match any single character.
* Match zero or more of the preceding characters.
+ Match one or more of the preceding characters.
? Match zero or one of the preceding characters.
! Filter out subsequent characters.
\d Match any digit (0-9).
[ch]at Match cat and hat.
W[1-3] Match W1, W2, and W3.
MBEND|MLIN Match MBEND or MLIN.
^M Match names that start with M.
^W\d+ Match names that start with W followed by one or more digits.
\$$ Match names that end in $.
ID=TL\d Match names that contain ID=TL followed by a digit.

You can apply a second filter to the results of the first search or filter on multiple columns by adding filter text for each column. Using the previous example, to see the width parameter for every microstrip line in a project you can type "MTRACE" in the filter text box in the "Element" column and then type "W" in the filter text box for the "Parameter" column. You can extend this filtering to any number of columns.

You can also filter on check boxes by typing "1", "T", or "C" for checked and conversely "0", "F", and "U" for unchecked check boxes.

2.3.4. Property Grid Values

Property grid values are the rest of the data/items in the grid. The following sections describe various means of working with data in the property grid.

2.3.4.1. Changing Values

Select any text or numerical item and begin typing to enter new values.

2.3.4.2. Selecting/Clearing Check Boxes

Select any check box to toggle the setting. Right-click on a check box to view the following options:

  • Uncheck All But This (item): Only that row is selected, all others are cleared. Alternatively, Alt-clicking the check box does the same thing.

  • Check All But This (item): All other rows except this row are selected.

You can also select or clear the check mark icon in the column header to select or clear the entire column.

2.3.4.3. Selecting Multiple

You can select multiple items in the same row by Ctrl-clicking each item to toggle its selection on or off. Shift-clicking items selects all the rows between the first row you select and the last row you select. Selected items display in a darker color while the entire row with the most recently selected item in it displays in a lighter color. In the following example the text "40" was first selected, then by Ctrl-clicking, the text "2" was selected in the "Value" column.

When multiple items are selected, changing the value of one of the items changes it for all of the selected items.

If you click on another column in the row in which you made your last selection, the same column item is selected in the previously selected row. For example, in the previous figure, if you click in the "Constrain" column in the last active row (where you selected the "2" in the "Value" column), the item in the "Constrain" column of the prior active row (where you selected "40" in the "Value" column) is also selected.

In addition, you can move a selection from one column to another using the left and right arrow keys, or press Ctrl+A to select all items in a column.

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