Drag components in kicad

A few days ago, Thomas Pointhuber post on twitter (https://twitter.com/Chaos_Robotic/status/1233827582946271232) a capture of component dragging feature; this can be a big step forward in minimizing (re)routing time…

However, I cannot locate which nightly build include this feature…
Does know someone if this will be part of 5.1.6 stable version?

It also could be very nice to modify the track size for an already routed (non straight) track at once for entire route between 2 points…


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No, new features go to version 6 but probably its in the nightly soon
Copy posted here:

The stable version (meaning 5.1.x) never ever gets new features. This is a core principle of the KiCad release policy. Which means the feature will only be added to version 6 which is expected to come out in a year or so (possibly more as the new file format is not yet in)

You can take a look at development snapshots. (Also known as nightly builds, version number 5.99) These come with their own dangers. Possibly the most important being that nightlies do not produce files that are compatible with stable. And there is 0 documentation, anything can change over night, … Is it a good idea to use a nightly build version?

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Thanks guys for the feedback.

I’m asking because I notice 3 consecutive releases of V5.1.5(-1 to -3); this is only to fix certain bugs? …if yes, what should we expect in 5.1.6? I also notice that incremental versions include (cherry-pick features from other releases…) It’s a little bit confusing… or not?

Thanks and Most Appreciate your feedbacks…

Frankly, I’ve never needed such a feature in a PCB tool (and did many PCBs in my life…). Out of curiosity, can you give us some use cases where component dragging with traces is really beneficial?


yes, when you have to add additional parts in the schematic (or replace a certain block with a different design) then synchronize the PCB… you might need to move around components… if there are parts with big number of pins this feature might help…

I’ve used this in Altium for items with really tight mechanical integration.

When the mechanical engineer wants you to move a component 1mm so it doesn’t run in to an injection molded shell it is super annoying to rip up all of the traces to reroute them a tiny bit.

Obviously only fixes an annoyance, but I think you can say the same about the push and shove router then. :slight_smile:

All of these are the same source code. The -x releases are not releases they are just the same release compiled differently (to fix bugs with the compilation setup).
5.1.6 will be a bugfix release (so something with different code to 5.1.5) but it is not allowed to introduce anything new.

I need it all the time. If you wonder why anyone needs it, I wonder how anyone would not need it.

It may be because practically all my designs have strict space requirements. Often 0.05mm matters and I have to even modify footprints to make more room. It’s just impossible to place the footprints beforehand so that they wouldn’t need moving.

And then there’s my boss who changes the plans all the time and adds components while I’m doing the layout…

As I said, I’ve never needed it. I’m happy to hear people find it useful :wink:


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I was hoping for push’n’shove - although so that it wouldn’t push tracks beyond footprints, pads or vias - but I believe this “highlight collisions” version will be useful, too. Unfortunately 5.99 is still too unstable to do my work with it, so I can’t tell by experience yet.

Another very valid reason for dragging Footprints with tracks is if you’ve (seriously) goofed up in the initial component placement, and you have to make more room between some component to finish routing the design.

My boards usually are not very space constrained, but I also do not want to “waste” too much PCB area, which sometimes results in having to move parts on an already almost finished boards.

When a new revision is made of a board, and components are added, the drag feature can also help in speeding up the modification.

So, Yes, I also find this a nice feature to have.

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Unstable in the sense of changing fast? Well that is the point of development snapshots.

Unstable in the sense of buggy? Well that is why the snapshots exist. They are there to get a convenient way for users to help testing the software.

I do not expect either of these two to change until we get to feature freeze.

I’m not sure why you told me that. I know all that already. I just can’t use it for work yet, for many reasons.

Here’s one example. Good luck trying to place the footprints to their final locations in one go… (This one needed 4 layers to be able to route.)

Comments on a forum are not always only for the ones participating right now but also for future readers and of course lurkers.

Beside the boss, there are customers who change the requirements all the time. Its always true, if you have done anything you learned something by doing and afterward you are able to do it better. For this reason, always route your designs yourself and do not give this to a contract router. You spent important time looking to your design from another view why you probably see improvements you didnt recognize before. Thats why push n shoove is one of the most important PCB features. It lowers the inhibition threshold to improve something. No matter if this are additional signals or higher density of the board.

That’s possible already, press U or I on a track segment to get the whole track selected and open Properties from the context menu.


woooaaaa… AWESOME! thanks for the tip!

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