Automatically draw wires between net labels

Is it to possible to automatically draw wires between net labels with the same name?.

What would be the use for that?
Normally I use either wires or labels, but never both.

This is for reverse engineering.
I can create net labels from pcb with ‘wire it’ plugin.
Afterwords i want to have the corresponding wires on the schematics…


Ok, that clarifies it and I understand now.
It is an interesting workaround as an intermediate step in reverse-engineering.
A better / real solution that I hope is going to be implemented at some future time, is to draw tracks in the PCB editor, port the netlist to the schematic, and then draw ratsnest lines between schematic symbols. But at the moment, neither is implemented.

On a sidenote, are you aware you can use PCB Editor / Place / Add Image to add a background image for reverse-engineering purposes?

Yes i am. That’s how i create the traces using ‘wire-it’ plugin. This is easy and intuitive.
When it comes to schematics the only thing i can get out off it is net labels.
ratsnest lines would be very helpful…

Because this is a recurring topic on this user forum I created a feature request for it on gitlab. So anyone interested in it can give it an upvote.

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I have thought about the idea of ratsnest lines in the schematic editor too, but you beat me to writing an issue about it.

I also am annoyed by the tendency for the schematic editor to make up new connections between components and wires all by its own imagination while dragging symbols or sections of the schematic, or rotating symbols for that matter. It reduces the usability of the dragging and rotating functionality, and can easily cause unwanted errors in the drawing process.

As I wrote, it’s an recurring topic. :slight_smile:

Shameless hijack! :slight_smile:

KiCad does not really imagine these up. There is no netlist at all in the schematic editor (and that makes those ratsnest lines also more complicated to implement). In the current implementation, connections are purely derived from the coordinates of wires and the attachment points of pins. And as a result of that implementation, KiCad has no other choice but to stretch the connections once you made them. KiCad can not know that you did not intend to make those connections. It does help a bit if you use a big paper area and use lots of space between parts.

Overall, I think this auto wire is a good thing, although it is far from perfect. So I’ll conclude with a screen capture of how to make a big mess in your schematic very quicly. (But undo works ! )


In this case I have no shame… :wink:

I am of the quite strong opinion, that the schematic editor would be better off having some level of awareness of a netlist, especially when it comes to dragging. It is usually not a normal operation to create new connections by dragging around already connected components, and in that operation I would clearly prefer that the schematic editor not do that.

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There is certainly room for improvement here :slight_smile: and it is related, as drawing a ratsnest in the schematic would also require the awareness of a netlist too.

But I guess it would be a quite big endeavor into the internals in KiCad to change it. But we can always wish and dream. And sometimes wishes come true.

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This is a deathtrap.

That autoconnecting like in your video once got to me. I happen to found the mistake when I got suspiscious during PCB routing. But during schematic designing I did not notice it. This can easily cost one a good amount of money on a bad day.

Can you not turn this ‘feature’ off? It is really nice and all that kicad makes connection if you drag components on top of eachother. I use that alot. But when dragging or rotating components when wires are attached. It can quickly turn into one big cluster**** when those green little connection dots spawn out of nowhere… :smiling_face_with_tear:



There once was a user who complained about this in hostile tone, it’s a pretty infamous thread. It ended with nobody creating a wishlist issue for the problem and the person went to another forum to rant about KiCad’s incompetence. Maybe it’s now time to discuss about this in a civilized manner. Basically I share your opinion: KiCad should not blindly accept new “inter-net” connections while dragging/moving/rotating. But how to do it for all use cases: the user may want to cancel, or to continue to different position, or to fix the problems later, or create new connections on purpose. Should KiCad have push’n’shove in the schematic? Different modes for different needs, like Shove, Highlight Collisions, Allow new connections?


I think there is potential to take concepts already implemented in the board editor interactive router and apply them in the schematic editor.

I could imagine that some kind of collision highlighting could work practically.
But it is probably necessary, that the editor be aware of that two wires that cross or coincide due to the dragging operation are separate.

The concepts of “creating netlist” and “organizing already drawn schematic into an aesthetically pelasing form without altering the netlist” probably need to be somehow separated, at least internally.

@bask185 / @eelik : regarding the “unwanted connections”: there was a recently added feature request on gitlab.

stupid: forgot the link: Visually indicate connectivity changes when dragging in schematic (feature request) (#15394) · Issues · KiCad / KiCad Source Code / kicad · GitLab

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The warning or indication of unwanted connections would be a first minimal step, but to make the dragging and rotating functionality more usable, something would need to be done in order to make the schematic editor understand it should not make unwanted connections in the first place.

I am aware that this might be a bigger change, but the goal needs to be articulated nevertheless.

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