The Edit tool allows the user to rearrange existing components and to add
wires. Exactly what the tool does depends on where the user presses the mouse
on the canvas.
When the mouse is over a wiring point for an existing component,
or if it is atop a current wire, the Edit Tool will display a small green circle
around the mouse's location. Pressing the button there initiates the addition of
a new wire. But if the user doesn't drag the mouse far enough to initiate a
wire before releasing the button, the press is treated as a mouse click, and so
the wire is simply added into the current selection.
The bit width of an added wire is inferred from the components to which it
is connected. If it is not attached to any components, the wire will be drawn
gray to indicate that its bit width is unknown; if the components at the
locations that the wire helps to connect disagree on the bit width, then the
wire will be drawn orange to indicate the conflict, and the wire will in fact
refuse to carry any values at all until the user resolves the conflict.
All wires in Logisim are either horizontal or vertical, never diagonal.
Wires are non-directional; that is, they carry values from
either endpoint to the other. Indeed, a wire can carry values
in both directions simultaneously: In the below example, a bit flows from the
upper input at left through the center wire, then it circles back through the
center wire, and then it circles forward again through the center wire before
reaching the output at lower right.
A single drag of the mouse can create multiple wire segments. The
precise process is a little confusing in its description; but it works
quite intuitively in practice: If you request a particular wire segment
using the Wiring Tool, that segment will be split apart wherever it hits
a pin for an existing component, or wherever it hits the endpoint of an
existing wire segment. Also, if an endpoint of any of the new wire
segments hit somewhere in the middle of an existing wire, then that wire
will be split into multiple segments itself.
You can also shorten or delete an existing wire segment by initiating a drag
at the terminus of the segment and then drawing backwards across the segment.
During the drag, the shortening is indicated by drawing a white line over of the
portion of the wire that will be removed.
Some components draw short stubs to which wires can connect, such as the
OR gate and controlled buffer. Logisim will
silently correct attempts to create wires that slightly overshoot the
If, however, the user presses the Alt key at a point in the middle of
the wire, then the green circle will disappear. A mouse press selects the wire,
and a mouse drag moves it.
Pressing the mouse button while it is within a currently selected
component begins a drag moving all elements of the selection.
Dragging a selection can lead to unexpected behavior from wires: If
you drag a selection including some wires on top of some other wires,
all wires are merged, and the merged wires are placed into the
selection. As a result, if you drag the selection a second time, the
wires previously at the location will not be left behind. This behavior
is necessary to keep with the intuitive behavior of wires in Logisim, where
wires never overlap. And
it does not normally constitute a major problem: Logisim will draw the
full selection in the midst of dropping, and you should not drop it
until you are sure it is in the correct location.
Pressing the mouse within an unselected component (but not at one of
the component's wiring points) drops all components from the current selection
and selects instead the component(s) containing the clicked location.
Shift-clicking the mouse within a component toggles that component's
presence within the selection. If multiple components include the same
location, all components' presence will be toggled.
Dragging the mouse starting at a location not contained within any
components drops all components from the current selection and
initiates a rectangular selection.
All component(s) contained by the rectangle will be placed into the
Shift-dragging the mouse starting at a location not contained
within any components initiates a rectangular selection.
The presence in the selection of all component(s) contained by the
rectangle will be toggled.
However, if the Alt key is pressed at a location not contained within
any components, this initiates the addition of a new wire. A small green circle
is drawn in such a circumstance to indicate this.
After selecting the desired items in the selection, you can of course
cut/copy/paste/delete/duplicate all the items via the
Some keys have an effect with the Edit Tool.
The arrow keys change the Facing attribute for all components in the
selection that have such an attribute.
The Delete and Backspace keys will delete everything in the selection
from the circuit.
The Insert and MenuKey-D keys will create a duplicate of the currently
Logisim's behavior when duplicating a selection or pasting the clipboard into
a circuit is somewhat peculiar: It will not immediately place the components into the
circuit; instead, the selection will be a collection of "ghosts," which
will be dropped into the circuit as soon as they are either dragged to
another location or removed from the selection. (This peculiar behavior
is necessary because pasting will otherwise merge the wires of the
selection into the current circuit at once, and the wires there
previously will be dragged with the pasted clipboard if the user wants
to move the pasted components somewhere else.)
None. Selecting a component, though, will display its attributes.
With multiple components selected, attributes shared by all are shown,
blank if they have different values and otherwise with the value they
all have in common. (Wires are ignored if there are any non-wires in
the selection.) Changes to the attribute value affect all selected
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