Best practices: Pin-on-pin connection? Junctions dots?


That person should be forced to sit in the corner with a funnel hat on their head.


I can see where this could be a good option. One could accidently make a connection and create a 4-way junction and not see it. That is a good catch!

@hermit 's suggestion to make them just barely visible might be a good interim solution.


Catching 4-way junctions could be done in ERC if not disallowing them in the first place.


How would they know if it is a 4 way connection or a crossover without connection?

There must always be one way to show this. Right now we are aware of two options. (allow 4 way but use dots, do not allow 4 way with optional dots for added clarity)

I am sure people will come up with other options as well. (Well i am aware of a third option. The one used in eplan and similar tools where you define where the real connection is made. But that one is not really applicable on the circuit board level.) All of them will be some way to distinguish between a connection or no connection at a crossing point.

I however agree that kicad will not be able to support everyones favorite way of showing this sort of thing.


Well, the purpose that is served with junction dots can be achieved by 2 concurring approaches.
A) Without any special marker, we per default define crossing wires to be not connected. We use the “junction dot” marker to make them connected.
B) Without any special marker, we per default define crossing wires to be connected. We use the “bridge” marker to make them crossing. KiCAD uses method A). You could argue the B) is more intuitive, and better to catch by the eye, and I would agree with that. The first time I opened up KiCAD I wanted to make bridges, but then got to know, that KiCAD uses a different approach.



Well, I agree, but it is all about learning an convention, and the industry standard seems to be the connection dot. Any deviations from this would likely annoy more. There are a lot of CAD packages out there but the few that I have experience with all used the dot per default (Cadence/OrCad, Mentor, Altium, KiCad). It would be interesting to know if there are any exceptions from this convention in any widely used package.


I didn’t sow such shematic since about 1970 (when, as child, I read those times electronic books).
For me approach A looks like real life. Wires I have in my drawer are isolated. When they are crossed (lieing on table) they are not connected. To make them connected you have to remove isolation and put a dot made of tin. Both cases looks perfectly like approach A.
And I have never seen in real live wires shaped according to approach B :slight_smile:
But when, as student, I was so proud of oscilloscope I’ve done that I decided to send an article to electronic magazine someone copying my schematic (pencil painted on checkered paper) lost one dot. But nowadays no-one paints schematic to be printed that way but uses computer so such mistake seems being impossible.

So if there is any voting organised - count my vote for approach A :slight_smile:


Same here - the “bridge” (or “jumper”) arc may be slightly more obvious for communicating the design intent, but the practice has fallen out of favor since around the 1960’s. The “bridge” jumpers require more acreage on the drawing (think about a connection line that must cross over, say, half a dozen other lines) and they require more effort from the draftsman. Even so, I occasionally use the “bridge” convention on crude, hand-drawn sketches as an extra level of safety against misunderstanding my intent.



MIT instructor ask for not having 4-ways, but lucky accept the dot :sweat_smile:.


And it is very acceptable decision to me. Without the join, it is a nightmare for crossover nets drawing (which needed many times).


While the EDA packages may well use the “junction dot” for layout design, the final printed schematics for US military aircraft avionics, and defense contractors systems, do not incorporate the “junction dot”.

I do understand that some people seem to enjoy all the little green dots all over their schematic; and I have never asked for them to be completely removed from KiCad.

As an individual that has used countless schematics without junction dots, I find the green dots to be a significant unneeded distraction. The option to essentially eliminate them from my schematics in the future is a feature that I will be thankful for.

The weird thing about this topic is that there are always a few that want to force the junction dots onto every user. I don’t want to force every user to dot-less schematics, but I want the choice for myself and others. This concept gets especially weird when it is explained that there are more disadvantages to using the dots compared to not using them and these users still want to force them onto every user.

Drawing, and reading, a schematic are learned skills, and not everyone is equally as good at doing them. I would suspect that some of the comments regarding this topic are based upon this. Other factors, like age, experiences, and industry exposure, may also influence personal preferences. I think it is reasonable that KiCad should be flexible enough to create the schematics that are used today in significant industries. The option to get rid of the “junction dot” will be one more step closer in that direction.


Certainly wishlist it if you haven’t already. Unfortunately, it won’t be as simple as just turning them off until there is a hard-coded method to disallow 4-way junctions when the dots are off.

Personally, I like them, but probably because I’m used to them. But I am looking forward to being able to configure them a little smaller. I also agree with a point made above (I’m not bothering to look up the post to see who mentioned it) that the no-connection indicators should be larger, maybe best to be configurable in size.


LOL! That was me!

And, I think the color should be configurable as well.


I understand that you don’t need jumper arcs as oposite to junction dots. So if the dot size would be configurable you will be happy setting it to 0?


Colors are configurable since the first kicad version.


Related bug report I made a few months back:

And the main one:


Having one line crossing over another in a schematic that are not connected is visually ambiguous. I suggest using Net Labels or reposition your components.


I’ve read this thread with interest. When I started electronics in the 60s bridges were common in schematics, then at some stage dots started appearing. I can read a schematic with either without problem. If I drew a schematic I used bridges although it would be nice if lines never had to cross. When orcad sdt came about I thought it was heaven but it forced me to use dots.
I had a look at a recent kicad schematic I made and in the power supply section I’ve made a cross junction or two because I design digital controllers I make great use of labels because otherwise I would have too many wires. I also have a tendency to place junctions in places that I don’t have too to make sure I don’t have a hard to find unconnected in the final pcb.
What I wonder is: what will the junction be replaced with?
I am in favor of reduced size junctions by the way.
Somebody should alter the title of this thread.


Only good until you have to label everywhere. It then very hard to follow which net are the same, which are not when review it on paper.


Sounds like a good basis to start an obfuscated schematic competition entry… :wink: