4.0.7 is dead but still can not yet find replacement!


I known, I sound like a old hard headed guys. But I have try my design with 5.x and nightlight version. Every step of the way in the work flow are feel like I hitting so many speed bumps. And funny that, I have never have to spend a large amount of time for report bug before. But with 5.x version I speed way to much time for reporting bug. Work with 4.0.7 feel like everything make sense event with limited feature!. For example:

  • display local ratsnets make sense for doing component replacement (you can turn on/off per click on each PAD). Now is turn everything per component. So there is noway to isolate a set of net for doing the work.

  • silkscreen works make sense (turn off all the copper layer, but PADs still show). Now PAD do not show, and my silkscreen text cannot avoid PADs unless turn copper on. That make selection of silkscreen so hard. It harder that the Selection Filter do not allow me to select Text in group!.

I guest may be I’m just not understand the new work flow. But I don’t think I have to have any one educate me how to use 4.0.7. So what is the deal here!


turn off copper but keep mask layer on. In realty you want to avoid placing silk over exposed copper. So you really only need to care about the mask layer here.


This should be fixed in the nightlies.

You can turn off elements if you want some copper (pads but not tracks). The previous behavior did not make internal sense as pads are actually copper.


Assuming there are copper overlap that, isn’t it? :slight_smile: Some rare case, it may not be true. But at least this is another way to do it. Thank


this is what i’m worry… Internal logic should not over rule the common sense of user which may not logically sense!. I found this change of behavior, only when I feel there is some thing not make my work flow right. And when I switch back to 4.0.7, I found this. And immediately known developer try to make sense from the internal logic. This is the trap that cause many software out of touch with user… I hope I make a clear warning.


[quote=“Seth_h, post:3, topic:14590”]
This should be fixed in the nightlies.

Is this a fixed after New Year? I think I use ~Jan/1 version


For every user who complains about KiCad’s idiosyncrasies, there will be another who complains when the idiosyncrasies go away. :sigh:

We’ll always try to increase the useability of KiCad over time. That doesn’t always mean that the workflow will remain constant.


I did not ask for keep work flow constant. I ask for whatever change, it should be reflect user mental of using the software through out the whole design process (at least one that exist). Recent changes are more favorable to programming logic. Which broke work flow without any alternative. At least one work flow exist and actually work will be fine for me - this is what it should be call as stable version.

A stable version base on the coding/feature/code completeness it not reflect a user mental of using software. Therefore, user become out of touch.

I bet you may find my concern more valid if you try design board with 100+ parts from starch like 15+ opamp filter circuitry in dense.


The previous “pads are still shown if copper is hidden” stuff was a source of confusion to many users.

This is why this behavior was changed to something that makes more sense for new users.
There simply will never be a graphical interface that feels logical to everyone.

Worked in yesterdays nightly. But there are two buttons! one in the left and one in the right toolbar. The left toolbar button controls if all board ratsnest is shown. The right one controls how the local one works. (I never used the old local mode so i really can not tell how the new feature set compares to it.)

Copper that is covered by soldermask can be printed on with silkscreen. (otherwise you would need to take care that you never have silk on top of traces.) So why would you care about pads that are below the mask?


I’m not sure what you actually want, but here are some general remarks. Maybe they can help someone.

There are two features for seeing nets.

  1. Ratsnest
  2. Highlight a net

This is how they work in the latest nightlies:

Show/hide the ratsnest in general:

  1. Use the left side toolbar button “Show/Hide board ratsnest”. Click twice to see the ratsnest appear/disappear or vice versa.

Show the ratsnest for one component (all pads):

  1. Hide board ratsnest.
  2. Use the right side toolbar button “Display local ratsnest”.
  3. Click on a component. It shows the component’s ratsnest lines.
  4. Click on another component. The previous and this component’s ratsnest are visible.
  5. Click the second component again; its ratsnest disappear.
  6. Click and hold and drag to move the first component. Its ratsnest stays visible even after releasing it. Now you can select another tool and do some work. You can keep the ratsnest visible also by e.g.
  7. To hide ratsnests again, select the “Display local ratsnest” tool again and select/deselect something with it. Or click “Show/Hide board ratsnest” twice.

Highlight a net:

  1. Use the “Highlight net” tool button in the right side toolbar.
  2. Click on a pad or a track or a zone, anything which belongs to a net.
  3. The whole net, all of its items, is now highlighted and other parts of the board are darkened. This looks the same when you go to routing mode and draw tracks.
  4. Select another tool and do some work.
  5. To cancel highlighting, click on empty area when the “Highlight net” tool is active.
  6. Alternative to the tool button is to hold down Ctrl and click an item. Do the same on empty area to cancel highlighting.


So, you want to have Silk visible so that you can move silk text items around? And want also pads visible so that you can avoid placing silk items on top of pads? There are at least two solutions (in nightly builds; IIRC they work in 5.0).

  1. Make only Silk and Mask layers visible. Actually you probably want to avoid board areas which don’t have mask applied, including pads. And if you haven’t extra graphics in Mask layer, it’s only on pads anyways.

  2. Play with Items tab of the Layers Manager. Hide Tracks but show Pads. Show only Copper and Silk layers. Zones can’t be hidden altogether but they can be switched to outlines.

Sometimes the High contrast display mode (the left side toolbar button) is good if you want to group select something or show/hide certain things.

I think that mastering these three things, Layers visibility, Items visibility and High contrast mode, are one key to effective workflows in KiCad.


Reducing F.Cu opacity from the default 100% makes the silkscreen visible


I mean that when you internd to have custom mask box. But there is no copper on that areas. So why should I have to worry about not put in silkscreen there ?


I agree it confuse. But it is because they had not understand PAD and copper layer at two difference thing. And KiCad display them on the same color that make mentally the same as copper layer.


Nice for visibility. But still not nice to work on silkscreen. Pick on the text are interfered with many trace, and pad, and now component itself.


Feeling and Logical are the two opposite thing so what is it mean by logical feeling? Is person feeling have logic in it? …
Well I guest I take it as similar to: there is no one culture feels logical to everyone. But I do not agree that, one you live in that culture you should able to reasoning about it. One you step out of it, you may not able to reasoning about why people do such non-logical thing.


In this context “feels” means “seems” or “considers”.


@eelik: Your summary of feature is exactly what I “complaint” about. I cannot figure out what use case I will needed them!

For Highlight at net – My use cases are help identify all the PAD/trace on that net during routing, and verify.
For Ratsnets on/off – Make it look nicer! But for the real board work, I found no use without Ratsnets on/off per components or PAD.
For Ratsnets on/off per components – Seem to help while working on component placement. But no, it still very crowded --> what is the use case!
For Ratsnets on/off per PAD – My use case are help me concentrate on the subset of circuit/nets so the I can optimally place components for those net of interested.

So 5.x no longer have Ratsnets on/off per PAD --> Component placement for me is nightmare, and more like art without know if their positions will help me have better routing or not. Only until I route 90% of them to known. Then redo everything again!


Why silkscreen can not be printed on the masked areas that have no copper?


(EDIT: by the way, technically speaking “mask” is the physical substance applied to the board. When I say “maskless” I mean opening in that substance, e.g. on on pad. “Masked” would be everything else.)

I guess it can, but more often there are no extra maskless areas in the board. Therefore you can see where the pads are by looking at the Mask layer. And if there are extra areas, you most probably know them and can either avoid them (if you want) or not care. Do you have examples where you have so many small maskless areas that they could be mistaken for pads?

The reason I wrote the text above is that I thought you want to see where the pads are without seeing other copper, and usually that can be seen from the Mask layer. Actually the Mask layer may even be better for that. It’s possible to have solder mask defined pads where the copper area is larger than the exposed area. In that case silk can be printed on the non-exposed copper area and the mask opening is the place where silk must not be placed.