Default text size

Each time I want to place a text, I have to set the height, width, and thickness. Is there a way to set the values permanently?

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The settings should carry over from each text to the next, but reset to default when the program is restarted as the “current” settings are not stored anywhere.
If they don’t, that is a bug.

Current nightly (and therefor the future v5.1.0) has the option to set project specific default values per layer. Found in the tool reacheb via file-> board setup (or similar I write this from memory.)

A bit off-topic : This thread gave me the opportunity to check the text dialog in 5.1rc. It looks possible to add text on Adhes and Paste layers, which sounds weird. For my information, what could be the use case for these two layers ?

Good question. You can’t certainly have text in real paste layer, KiCad’s letters can’t work in a stencil. KiCad happens to allow some weird things while disallowing reasonable things (edge cut in footprints).

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In ancient times - 3 or 4 years ago - the layer names were considered more like a “suggested usage” rather than having rigidly defined purposes. This gave the user some flexibility to use them for whatever purpose seemed reasonable to him - e.g., dedicate one of the layers to be a detailed, dimensioned, sketch of a panel layout; fill one of the layers with text describing the finished board’s test procedure; maintain a detailed Revision History; make detailed sketches to assist with the assembly process; etc.

I thought this was a useful quirk of KiCAD. If I wanted to include an extra layer, for communicating some special information, I couldn’t simply tell KiCAD to “add another layer”, but I COULD press an otherwise unused layer into service. E.g., on a through-hole board with components on only one side, the concept of “back-side paste” is meaningless, so why not use the layer for something useful? But to use this layer for some unanticipated purpose it is important for it to be unrestricted regarding the kinds of objects that can be placed on the layer.

The latest revisions to the libraries have taken steps to standardize applications and usage of the various layers. (Cheers for the Library Team!) The flexibility which allows users to apply the layers for non-standard purposes also allows users to do stupid things when using the layers in their defined purposes.


I would much prefer to be able to do supid / silly things on layers than not being able to do sensible things.

An example of this is to not being able to have SMD pads on internal layers. It may be far fetched but when laying out a board this might actually be a very usefull feature.
You could for example use internal layers to “temporarily save” some ideas for routing traces. (But this will be problematic because you would effectively duplicate Footprints). Having both variants on screen simultaneously lets you easily visually compare them. If it then turns out that your latest & greatest Idea does not work you can simply retieve the traces from that saved internal layer.
This would allow you to use those 32 copper layers as a simplified version control system, you may also call it a set of copy paste buffers.

Recently I discovered:

Pcbnew / Edit / Move and Swap Layers

It does Move and Swap layers, but unfortunately it can not copy a layer.
It also can not move from a copper to a non-copper layer or vice-versa, which is unfortunate.

Sometimes it is usefull for example to copy guardrings or Earth traces from a copper layer to the silkscreen or documentation layer.

I have also seen commercial single sided PCB’s where all the traces were copied to the silk screen. This is very handy for fault finding.

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This would need additions to the footprint file format. There are also hard questions to answer for this to be added. For example: “how should adding such a component behave if one of the pads layers does not exist in the project”.

To be honest your suggested usecase sounds more like a bodge than a well thought out feature. (Sounds like a good idea when first heard about. Possibly has massive unintended consequences that will make future development a lot harder. For an example see the bodge for how power symbols are implemented right now.)
Maybe a better way to implement something similar would be a good diff tool for comparing different versions of the project. Or maybe a way to add drafting information.

There is however a real usecase for wanting pads on “inner layers”. Rigid flex pcbs (Different number of layers on different areas) and embedded components come to mind (Components that are completely inside the pcb.)

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You can also turn this around.
Why would KiCad prevent putting text on a paste layer if a designer wants to put text there?

A legitmate use for putting text on a stencil layer is to put the project name or number in a corner outside the PCB area.

I am not a fan of putting such arbitrary restrictions on layers. It is for example also not possible to put pads on inner layers, but when designing a Rigid/flex board the inner flex layer sometimes had pads for connectors.

There are also efforts going on for making assembled PCB’s thinner by “countersinking” components into the PCB. A simplified version of this is making a sandwitch of 2 normal PCB’s:

The paste layer is a bit special, because it may not have islands.

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