Adding a (not new) Label. Why not select from a list


I want to label a pin to make a connection to an existing net. Say I want to connect pin 2 of U4 to an existing net MB_ADDRSEL (for example consider it to be a local label on the same sheet).

Currently I have to click L (shortcut for Label), then type in MB_ADDRSEL into the input field of the UI. Two things jump at me. One, the schematic editor already knows the list of existing labels. Wouldn’t it be easier for me to select MB_ADDRSEL from that list instead of typing it in (and making a typo error in the process)? (If it is a brand new label, of course I should be allowed to type it in).

Is there already a way to do this? If not, would it not be a nice UI feature to have?

Btw – new user alert! (Started using schematic editor today). Thanks in advance to the community here!


Hello, unfortunately I can not offer help. But this is similar to an earlier question of mine:
When I want to assign a visible Net-Name-Label there is no default name or list to chose from. I hope this will make it into future versions …


It’s already there in the latest source code. It will be part of 5.1.

Right now you can simply duplicate an existing visible net label with hovering over it with the mouse and pressing “c”.


OK, thats good news but using C does not help to create a Label using an existing Net-Name.


It works in the situation when

  1. You have created a label for a net earlier.
  2. That label is visible and reachable by moving the mouse.
  3. The new location of the label is visible and reachable by moving the mouse.

Pressing “c” on top of a label creates a copy of that label which follows the mouse. There’s no need to type or select anything.


Thanks! The ‘C’ method is useful when the two locations are nearby, so that moving the mouse is not prohibitive.

But when one has to repeat this a few times on various pins of U2, one has to constantly jump from near U2 to various other parts of the sheet, and that’s not a great user experience!

(I am yet to find out how to search for a label / net name in the schematic editor).

Since you mentioned that the ‘select from list’ feature will be in 5.1, I look forward to that!


You can copy paste blocks, even to different sheets.


Interesting, yes we can copy/paste blocks. I tried it out.

Blocks can be copy/pasted to different sheets!

However, a siingle symbol that I can easily “copy” using hotkey ‘C’ cannot be pasted into another sheet.
(It may appear to pasted inside the sheet visually speaking but it would still belong to the mother sheet, when you enter the sheet you would discover this fact).

Looks like there are two different mechanisms or implementations that are not playing in harmony. As a result the user experience is fragmented, not wholesome, not consistent.

I wish a simple selection could be also treated as a block containing just the selected item(s). But the developers might be horrified at the suggestion.


That smells like a bug.


Looks like a KiCad FEATURE to me!!!

“Copy” and “Copy Block” are two (2!) seperate functions; that have different operations.

If it is your opinion that KiCad is not a “wholesome” EDA software, then maybe you should change to a different EDA software to improve your health.

Definition of wholesome

1 : promoting health or well-being of mind or spirit

It never occured to me that some users might think KiCad was driving them to be of less well of the mind…

ON EDIT: It is very easy to use the mouse to “copy block” copy a single symbol. The mouse movement is very similar to selecting text in Windows and Linux OS systems; use the mouse to draw a box around the selected items. Ctrl+c and Ctrl+v aso operate in KiCad just like Windows and Linux OS systems.


I disagree here. When unexpected things happen, this is a bug. Either in the software, or in the manual, and the goal would be to get bugs fixed, not discourage people from reporting them.

We are aware that a lot of things in KiCad are weird, some of them by design, some not. Hovering over items and pressing keys on the keyboard is an uncommon UI paradigm, but makes a lot of sense in our context.

The copy/paste functionality is also “weird”. To some extent, that is useful, especially for copying single items quickly with the hover+key paradigm, but block selection is definitely not intuitive (other programs have different tools for “select” and “move”, with an automatic switch after selection, while we have a unified tool that decides on the first click which one it is).


In what way is this “unexpected” for the vast majority of users?

In OS programs/applications to “copy a block of text” the mouse must be used by the user to create a reasonable rectangle around the text that the user desires to be selected.

In a sense, Escheema in KiCad has the capability to select a single letter of text just by depressing the “c” hot-key for copy; while the mouse cursor is stationary over the single image of the character.


Then maybe you should change to a different EDA software to improve your health.

Will improve the spirit :grinning: first, health later! I have used KiCad for barely two days now but find the hierarchical sheets better than what PADs of yore offered, so I’m in no hurry to worry about health :smile:

And to come back to my point, I may be missing something; but – having learnt the use of hotkey ‘C’ for copy, I found that it didn’t work across sheets, so that was a little suprising. (The users who got used to the interface may find it less surprising over time, that is but natural).

Now say you realize you need to click and drag to explicitly select a symbol (a “block” of just one thing) and then you press ‘C’, EEschema does not copy it. You have to press Ctl-C instead (agreed it is in every other UI, no issues there). But a hotkey user would expect ‘C’ to copy the block which is already selected, and it didn’t, that’s the second surprise.

If hotkey ‘C’ would work consistently, that is the fastest and I would use that, but now I have to remember that I am going to copy across sheets, hotkey ‘C’ would not work there and therefore I should use the copy-block mechanism even when I am copying a single EDA symbol. And that blocks need Ctl-C and Ctl-V, and the hotkey ‘C’ does nothing for a block. These are in my opinion, not exactly consistent.

When you select text in any GUI word processor, you use the same operation whether it is a single character or a bunch of words, everything works consistently no matter what the extent of your selection, and no matter what the target to which you will paste it (later). I think users find that relatively more wholesome due to the consistency of the UI.


I’m afraid for your spirit, health, and general well being.

Maybe you have some advanced Monk like inner peace?

In general, KiCad has always had “uncommon quirks” that have seemed to inspire some users to end up throwing their computer into a lake of fire.

Oh, and WELCOME to the KiCad User Forum!


Haha… :smiley: I guess you speak from personal experience. My sympathies…

I am hoping to catch the attention of developers who care for the UX part. I kind of like the hotkeys… if they work naturally and with few exceptions.


No problem…

Even with as frustrated as I first was with KiCad, the subconscious part of my brain told me that it was a good idea to wrap my computer in asbestos tape before tossing into the lake of fire.


Now I just hope the WiFi antenna doesn’t melt…