F.Silkscreen color question

Hi there,

Just starting to get familiar with KiCAD (7.0.1) I have worked mostly with OrCAD and Eagle, but so far my impression is positive.
I experience a strange thing, even though I don’t change anything in the default settings.

Here’s what I find in the PCB editor and the Footprint editor, the F.silk and B.silk color settings are different, in fact they are swapped.

This causes, many gerber viewers and the KiCAD 3D viewer itself to behave strangely
which is understandable, it’s like not having a front silk in some gerber viewer, but since the f.silk output file is correct many other applications handle these layers well, like Eagle, KiCAD gerber view or GerberLogix3, etc.

Dear experienced colleagues :slight_smile: , please give me some guidance before I take any inappropriate steps. (I tend to :slight_smile: )
BTW: the google search on this theme gave nothing…

I’ve taken some screenshots I can’t upload because I’m new here, so I have a MEGA sharing link if you’d like to take a look thank you.

VirusTotal from linked ZIP:

Thanks in advance.
Sedon D.

This are two practically separate applications so everything is possible. I really don’t remember what was the colors when I first time run KiCad in 2017. Then I have setup my colors in PCB editor as it is important for me. I’m not sure if I have the same colors in footprint editor and even if I have changed there anything. In my opinion there is not rationale to have them the same. At PCB you have to control more layers than in footprint editor so you need to approach the choice of colors more strategically which is not the case with the footprint editor where you typically can use only few layers. You care about Silk layers. I don’t remember ever using B.Silk in footprint editor so I don’t care what color it has. And similarly - I have never added anything at B.Mask in footprint editor.
My settings were preserved when updating from V4 to V5 then to V6 and V7 so I don’t remember wat was the default in V4 and I have never seen the default of V5, V6 and V7. I suppose most users who used V6 didn’t sow V7 default colors.


Thank you for your reply.
I agree with what you wrote and I don’t really care about the colours :slight_smile: , for me it could be any color.
F.cu and B.cu I’m used to red and blue the rest is not relevant for me.

My problem is that for example I entered as footprint like (Add graphics and logos to PCBs in KiCAD - YouTube) the Devil’s Advocate logo (this can be seen on the PCB as logo) , when editing it the footprint editor saved it as yellow layer to F.silk and on the PCB it was therefore on the bottom page in inverse letter view because the yellow layer (orig colur code: #F2EDA1FF) in the PCB editor was associated with B.silk.

I’ve edited it to display the logo in the right place in the PCB editor (F.silk original colour code: #E8B2A7FF), but then it still shows up wrong in the 3D viewer, and in some gerber viewers, and for example on the JLCPCB site when I upload this PCB for fabrication…

Hmmm, it’s not clear to me and it’s confusing, many component footprints are also wrongly transferred because of this, for example DIP IC sockets drawings, TVS diodes and many other things

I will not spend time watching any youtube videos.

I have never seen anyone giving here color codes of anything. Original colors tells me nothing.
I don’t understand what you are doing that you expect 3D viewer will change and it doesn’t.
There is a FAQ telling you how you can promote yourself at forum:

If you add screenshots and describe what is in your opinion wrong it should be easier to understand.

Hello @SedonD

The youtube video you are trying to follow is over two years old and relates to a Kicad 5 version.
Kicad is currently up to 7.0.1 so a lot of that information is obsolete.

7.0.1 now has an “Add Bitmap Image” Icon on the RHS just above “Add Text”.


Yes, and I wrote that I use 7.0.1, but still the video mentioned is relevant and works fine in 7 as well :slight_smile:
It’s just a simple graphic placement on the F.silk layer to make the PCB looks better, if you open the MEGA link you can see it.

This solution is good because you can pre-place it as a footprint and use it on every PCB, because it’s pre-edited, you don’t have to deal with it (and edit) with it every time, as for adding the bitmap with button…

I will reply to @Piotr above, and I move beyond this colour question, if you find it interesting I look forward to your insight, THX.

my problem, as you can see in the screenshot, is that all the designators are in the wrong place, the logo was just an example…

I’ll show you if…
(this is the back side of the PCB and the labels have been added here, because the F and B.silk have been replaced in the footprint and PCB editor)

Finally I can insert a picture here :slight_smile: , I love this forum software, I have installed it about 100 times, hahahaha ( on-premises on our VPSs)

This didn’t help much, I’ve described the problem up a notch (for @jmk) if you’re interested.
New users (members) are not allowed to post pictures and such first, I think I have installed this Discours forum software more than you think, and I am currently running it more

@Piotr “I will not spend time watching any youtube videos.”
it was just a grip since I couldn’t insert pictures, but anyway no one is forcing anyone to use Youtube, I personally don’t like it… - IT people are like that :slight_smile:

so, if you’re still paying attention to the original problem, i’ll try again, the two editors have the F and B.silk reversed, which is causing the problem, please forget the colors, it was the wrong way to put the problem here, sorry…

See how well the gerber works here…

and wrong here (JLCPCB):

I don’t understand what you are writing about. I have never installed any Discours forum software.

At my KiCad 7.0.1 at Windows 10 I don’t see them reversed. Here is how layers are listed in footprint editor:

And here is how they are listed in PcbEditor:

In both editors F.Silk is first than B.Silk is below it.

I have never used JLCPCB (even not looked at their www). I don’t know why it wrongly assigned silk layers. I completely don’t understand why you are saying about their order. I have never supposed anyone interpret layers based on their order. Where from such idea? Each gerber file describes one layer but order of files has nothing to assigning each file to layer, I think. Until now I was sure that assigning files to layers are done by file names. JLCPCB should somewhere defined how each layer file should be named and if you name files as they want there should be no problems.

Often it helps us to understand the problem and the roots of it if you can strip down an example project to a minimum which shows just the problem, and attach it here (zipped project folder). Or if your design isn’t confidential you can just zip the whole project and attach it here.

@SedonD : add the complete zipped project-archive as eelik said (Kicad-manager–>File–>Archive project), all other work is guesswork.

But because I sometimes also like guessing:

  • flip-mode enabled in board-editor/footprint-editor? (appearance manager–>layer display options–>Flip checkbox)
  • footprints false build because of false colors?
  • color-settings (theme) in footprint-editor <–>pcb-editor different? (look at Preferences–>board-editor->colors and compare color-theme with Preferences–>footprint-editor->colors)


Thanks for the help, I show…


@mf_ibfeew " * color-settings (theme) in footprint-editor <–>pcb-editor different? (look at Preferences–>board-editor->colors and compare color-theme with Preferences–>footprint-editor->colors)"

immediately started with this and I see this in the default settings, I really didn’t touch it

@Piotr - I show you this also, in response to your PRTSCs

below in two replies, because I still can’t add more pictures :slight_smile:

Footprint editor

PCB editor


A part of the drawing (.sch) is the work of a colleague, I’ll ask him if I can pass it here (xyz.kicad.pro),
until then I show you the gerber (a non-final version, but shows everything)

damn it I can’t even upload ZIP compression - ):

only works like this, sorry

and clean

In the last picture (from board editor) it’s remarkable that “F.Silkscreen” / “B.Silkscreen” are reversed at the appearance-panel layer listing. I have never seen such layer-swap before. Maybe there is something wrong with the layer/stackup-definition. I still recommend to attach the complete archived and zipped project.

Also try to create a completely new project from scratch and simply add some footprints from the standard libraries.

the gerbers-files (or the schematic or the board) alone are not helpful. We need the complete project. You could strip it down:

  • delete all elements from schematic (most probably not important in this case)
  • delete secret footprints on the board
  • but than Kicad-manager–>File–>Archive project. The project-settings are important.

Me too. I’m very surprised seeing it. I was not sure if when you write about different order you write of order of showing (what layer is more in front) or order on the list.
I was trying if flipping PCB have such effect - but not.
So who knows may be you only have the wrong names in the layer list and they work like they had the names as we have it and what you think is B.Silk then when gerbers are generated gots the name for F.Silk.
I think it have to be a bug somewhere behind it. V7 is enough young to have some bugs.

What I also noticed.
In PCB editor my top toolbar is shorter. I don’t have the last set of icons and I don’t see a way to edit toolbar (right-click at toolbar - nothing, in preferences also don’t see how to edit toolbar).
May be I just don’t know something ar you have different version (I have 7.0.1 Windows).

This is EXACTLY what I was talking about from the beginning :slight_smile:

it’s a clean 3 - 4 week old KiCAD install, 7.0 I started with and upgraded to 7.0.1 a few days ago, but from the beginning these two layers are reversed…

I’m working on several projects at the same time and the situation is similar for all of them, so starting with the clean slate is not relevant, unfortunately…

Maybe try an uninstall and reinstall KiCAD…???

or if anyone else has any ideas or has seen this before, I don’t know ?

or put it under Ubuntu and see what’s going on there…? :upside_down_face:

but you can see that for example gerber output files are ok watch their size, I don’t use B.silk and it is small and F.silk is bigger

In PCB editor my top toolbar is shorter. I don’t have the last set of icons

These are plugins in the picture.
I currently have no installed (as there was a severe issue with plugins in january), so I can’t say which plugins exactly.

Yes, it’s very difficult to explain anything that you can’t post pictures or files properly…
(Discours is the software that runs this forum, above I just wanted to say that I know it because I run and administer and deploy many of our forums on it)

The point is that you already know what I’m talking about :slight_smile:

I’m currently running win10 22H2 with KiCAD and as I mentioned 7.0.1, but now it’s time to put it on a virtual machine running Ubuntu 22.04 and see what’s going on there…