Bring Back CvPcb with Advanced Features!


From @dchisholm post there seems to be a great starting point:

Why are not all of a schematic elements defined and changed in all three programs?

Recently I decided that I would like to use a physically smaller part in PcbNew. After looking for options that I could “add-to cart” I found a similar part in a smaller housing with the same minimal ratings.

Why must everyone go back into Escheema to manually alter the data fields?

The schematic did not change; except for maybe the pin numbers.

The part number changed; but would it not be cool if the fields in both Escheema and PcbNew changed based upon that part number?

In the end, the bottom line is that I currently think that having an Atomic part with all fields available to every application could really make KiCad shine.

Note: I do take notice that KiCad is also developing SPICE simulation. Keeping this sort of flexibility in design should be encouraged.


For review/working/analyze on the design with a set of configurations from many possible configurations.


I’m typically don’t use value on PCBNew, and import netlist would update them if you concern out of sync. I’m actual using the value for “Connectors” to naming them - And Partnumber is a separate field in schematic (most of the time hidden, except for connectors).


I may only have all of fields define after I done my BOM work for part selections (back port them back if needed). Otherwise, I use minimal amount of field to specify my need for each part in the design and routing phase.

This way, it give me a way to have multiple configuration (cheap, expensive, optimize for A, B or C) that control from BOM - Which is also can be self document using BOM csv or excel sheet files…


Current CvPCB only mean to solve mapping sybmol to footprint using value, and pin counts. If more advanced… is may be confuse what is the purpose! But I usually avoid using it completely because I found it faster to manually doing on the BOM that grouped, and use my bom2sch script to back port back. Back import custom fields


CvPcb has never left. It’s still here under:
Eeschema / Tools / Assign Footprints.

I do not undestand ???

KiCad works with single componenents, which are combining from different parts totgether such as a schematic symbol, Footprint, datasheet link and other meta data.

Combining these parts in the Schematics part, and then ex/im -porting them to the PCB part has always been the “traditional” ways for 30+ years, long before KiCad existed.

I think I’ve also changed Footprints in Pcbnew, but I think I first copied a library footrpint to a custom footprint, and only after that went from Pcbnew to the footprint editor.
( To go to the Footprint editor from within Pcbnew, hover over a footprint and press [Ctrl+e] ).

In KiCad there are often multiple ways to do something. There are at least 3 different ways to change a footprint in Eeschema:
Eeschema / Tools / Assign Footprints.
Eeschema / Tools / Edit Symbol Fields.
Hover above a symbol and press “e” / Footprint / [ Browse Footprints].
Hover above a symbol and press “f” / [Select].

Having multiple ways of doing things is a sort of tradition in Linux software and in Open Source software. It can be a bit confusing if you’re not familiar with the software, but it is also very practicle.
Take for instance the 3 different canvasses with [F9], [F11], F12] (In the menu under : Pcbnes / Preferences [x] … Toolset.
In KiCad 4 this was a “Display” option, but have been renamed to “Toolset” because they change much more than only the screen rendereing. The Interactive Router for example is not availabe under the old / legacy toolset.
This allows people who want a stable environment to use the old stuff, while development can be done on the new way, and people who want to, can try the “new” way early, while it is still buggy and give feedback to the developers.
Also, if you get stuck with something, you can often use the alternatives to work around it.

Please explain: What is a “Part number” Is it the schematic symbol, is it the Footprint, is it the ResDef (reference designator) ?
Maybe you can do something with:
Eeschema / Tools / Edit Symbol Library Preferences
In this last spreadsheet you can change a schematic symbol from another from one of the library symbols by copying it’s name from somewhere and pasting it. But this seems to be a part which is not finished yet.

[Edit] Rewrote the Cairo / OpenGL part [/Edit]


This is a bit of an misunderstanding. Both the cairo and opengl canvas are what we now call modern toolset. (open gl is the accelerated version of it)

The old default canvas is what is now called legacy toolset.


In this case, it was a manufacturer’s part number that assigned to a symbol.

At this point in time, to make this simple part change one must go back to the schematic editor. If it could be edited using CvPCB with the something similar to the field editing tool in Escheema then it seems like that would be an easier workflow.

The primary reason for suggesting duplicating the field editing tool in Escheema is that it is a stand alone program and it does not require closing to work in Escheema.


All this stuff is in motion, and from what I know streamlining the schematic drawing is relatively high on the ToDo list of the KiCad developers at this moment.
Just sit back and relax, and good things will come :slight_smile:

You also watched those other (database) threads, and you’e probably noticed that lot’s of people have their own Ideas. I’m just patient and happy & content with the speed KiCad is improving.

I’ve been toying with KiCad as a hobby for some years now. There is a good chance that I can make some money with a PCB design and if that project goes through I’ll shift some of the money to the Cern team for their wonderfull work.