Can keystroke count for multi-layer routing be reduced?


I haven’t seen any posts about changing layers with auto via placement for a year or more, and I can’t tell what the state is.

I just moved to Ubuntu 20.04 and kicad 5.1.5 as my development system, and have been trying to figure out how to make the new interface efficient.

One of the concerns is always efficiency, and in multi-layer boards the ability to select the next layer when doing continuous routing was awesome in kicad 4 - just select the layer with the hotkey (at least with 6 layers) and a via would be added and routing could continue.

Now it seems there is a requirement to select the ‘v’ key to place the via, and then do a separate step to select the next layer - or set up layer pairs before hand.

Sometimes layer pairs work well, but sometimes free handing requires just finding the right layer to work with, and that leads to the added steps.

I was persuaded to move from Altium to kicad because of the fantastic hotkeys, and now the hotkeys are not as ‘hot’ anymore.

How many layer changes happen while routing where a via is not needed? If I am laying a trace and change layers, shouldn’t that be an automatic via?
I get the need to be able to place vias independently, but there should also be some consideration for seamless workflow. One key is a lot better than having to use multiple keys and even two different hand commands.


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