Edge Cuts Outline Versus Color Filled


This is my first board using KiCad 5.0.1 and Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS. I did a simple rectangle on the Edge.cuts layer using the polygon function. When finished the rectangle automatically filled with a yellow color. There isn’t anything in the “manual”/documentation about turning the color off so only the outline is showing, yet all the examples show only an outline. Someone please point me to correct place in the documentation.



You used the wrong tool. You would need to use the polyline tool not the polygon tool. (The polygon tool might even mess with filled zones and or DRC)


There are even two different polygon tools, “graphic polygon” and “filled zone”. You used the former. You should use neither of them but just graphic lines which together create a closed non-self-intersecting polygonal shape.


This situation seems to be discussed every few months here on the Forum. The Edge.Cuts contour must be exactly closed. Even for a simple rectangle it’s almost necessary to manually enter the coordinates for both ends of each line segment. For more complex outlines the most practical approach is to produce the outline in an external drawing program (where you have the benefits of, e.g., snap-to-end points, lines tangent to arcs, etc) and import the outline as a *.dxf file.

In my opinion this points to an area for improvement in KiCAD. “Polygon” would seem to be an easy way to create the outline contour. If the polygon tool can’t be used to create an acceptable outline contour, why is it even available on Edge.Cuts? Are there plans to add more advanced drafting capabilities in the future?



According to the devs there is a bit of tolerance. The tolerance is hardcoded to 0.01mm


Actually it’s not that difficult, at least for me. I have learned ways to cope with the difficulties. These help:

  • always limit angles to n*45 degrees if possible (with Ctrl or with the corresponding setting)
  • choose as big grid as possible
  • zoom in very close near the end points which must overlap, even so close that they fill the view if necessary (this may be the most important technique)
  • use M(ove) and arrows for editing
  • don’t change the Grid origin, or at least learn to change it productively (difficult!)
  • avoid arcs if possible, limit them to n*1/4 circle if possible

In the development version there is a new feature which helps, it shows a circle sight when you’re so close to an end point that the moved point snaps to it. And the CERN guys teased us with “improved drawing tools” in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhcMGQ32Xw0.


I just found a new (?) feature. Look at this.


(Edit: this forum software can’t show mp4 videos from google drive…)