Continuous routing, changing layers on the way

Is there a way to route a trace, changing layers on the way? The “other” software, which I am determined to leave behind allowed me to route long traces, while changing layers as needed on the go (vias were automatically inserted). Is there something similar in pcbnew?

Start a trace as usual on a layer. When you get to a point where you want to punch through to another layer, press the “V” hotkey. That creates a via, which is “attached” to the mouse cursor so you can push it around to position it. You need to do a left-click to park the via at a location. At that point, KiCAD has automagically changed the active layer to the opposite side of your board, and you may continue routing the trace. A double-click terminates the trace.



Works like a charm! Thank you!

But for more than two layers you need to set up the “Layer Pair” first. Then pressing ‘v’ toggles between those two layers.

Press ? for more useful hot keys.

Exactly - that would be my next thing to check - how would that behave with more than two copper layers.

There are the +/- shortcuts with which you can select which layer the trace will be drawn (after placing the via using the left mousbutton)

I just tried on a nightly from (I think) last week (Version: 5.0.0-rc2-dev-158-g52ab6216c) with the +/- shortcut when laying out a track. I did see the active layer select arrow change with the keyboard, but once I clicked for laying out the track the active layer would snap back to the layer I was laying out on.

But… I did discover that the “<” (less-than) keyboard shortcut worked much like “v” except a small window would pop up where I could arbitrarily choose one of the copper layers that the trace would be on once I placed the via.

According to the ? help, “Alt <” should do the same with blind/buried vias instead of through vias. Here is the relevant section of the ? help window:

I don’t see a way of blind/buried MicroVias, but I don’t know if those are even a thing…

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