Crossprobing: Layout <-> Schematic

Is cross-probing working, either layout to schematic or vice-versa? I remember it working a long time ago, but has not worked for me in any of the builds I have tried recently (currently kicad-product-r5596.ae57c46-x86_64).

There seems to be some confusion if there is a bug or not:

I use BZR5689 (linux).

  • Marking individual pads in pcbnew moves the cursor in eeschema to the corresponding pin.
  • Marking a pin in eeschema highlights the whole footprint in pcbnew, not just the corresponding pad.

So I guess it is more or less working.

So guess not working in Windows then?

Just tried it in an XP-VM with BZR5684 (see link below): it works.

1 Like

How do you “mark” a pin in EESCHEMA and how do you mark a pad in PCBNEW?

You click on it with the cursor.

Working both ways on 4.0.2 windows 64 bit Win7 for me.
Are you opening PCBNEW from the schematic icon, I believe this is necessary for the linkage to work?

1 Like

Yes that made it work. Kind of some hidden magic. I normally open the PCBNEW from the main KiCAD project manager.

On a similar topic, how do you highlight a net in PCBNew? I did it once, now I have been going through all the hotkeys, right clicking in many different contexts, and cant find it again. Its handy have GND highlighted.


To follow up, I worked out why it was not working: the Schematic and PCB file names have to be the same. This is a major deficiency for me, as the bare PCB and assembly (schematic) have different part numbers.

Yeah, we (my workplace) have unique filenames for schematic or layout or gerber files too. I simply do all my work with the file names the same to allow cross probing, then when I package them for server storage or sending out, I rename them then. For me, it’s usually easiest to start out with the schematic named correctly (sometimes 10+ files to rename there if you go about it the other way) and rename the single .kicad_pcb file.

1 Like

I guess the KiCad backend is assuming the filename is the same as the project name, just changing the extension. I suggest you raise a request to the developers. A workaround would be to have linked schematics on a dummy page, that are your actual files

Schematic subsheets already can have arbitrary names, I will try to test if cross-probing works beyond the master sheet.
I am not sure what happens with hierarchical trees

Seeing as you have to point the PCB at the relevant netlist file, then it would be sensible to use the schematic name that is included in the netlist file…

I suspect there is no universally acceptable solution to the problem. In some commercial Configuration Management systems, the schematic and the board have the same drawing title and part number but in other systems the schematic name and P/N are associated with the circuit card assembly - of which the board is one of many components, with a unique P/N of its own. In other systems, the board, circuit assembly, and schematic all have different part numbers.


It gets worse than this, KiCad is platform agnostic by design. Many companies internal drawing file names are not legal file names in one of Windows, OSX or Linux

The universally acceptable solution is to make it flexible.

Can that be done without burdening the end user with an overly complex “Options”, “Setup”, or “Configuration” task? Especially since the end users are likely to be more familiar with mechanical engineering, manufacturing, or graphics design rather than programming or IT systems.


Default is same name, so if don’t care then nothing to change.

As I said previously, you have to select the net list file, which is all that should be required.