Feature request: Window menu

This is not a schematic specific issue but I couldn’t figure out which category it fits into. This suggestion relates to the project viewer but also relates to schematic and pcb. I notice that there is no “window” menu. Some applications have a standard “window” menu. I have attached the window menu from Safari as an example here.

I think it would be helpful if this was added to KiCAD at some point.

Any suggestions as to what to put inside?

The reason I found this particular menu item was not there was because I wanted to bring the project window to the front to access another aspect of my project. I find the project window is often lost behind the schematic or pcb window because it is usually smaller. It is also easy to loose track of where some of the other dialog windows are such as the ERC or DRC dialog windows that are opened from time to time. So, my use case is to select one of the open windows (schematic, pcb, project, erc, drc, etc) and bring that window to the front. Thus, in answer to your question, I think a list of the open windows would be helpful. Maybe the minimize and bring all to front items would be useful as well.

Switching between already open windows is usually a function from the operating system. On my Linux box for example, I can press [Alt + Tab] to rotate through open windows, and then either hit [Tab] multiple times to rotate through them, or click one with my mouse’s left button.

I also have multiple “work spaces”. Each is a complete desktop, and can it’s own set of open program windows. It’s a quite nifty feature,but I use it rarely myself on my multi monitor setup.

Getting to the DRC window from it’s default location in the menu:
PcbNew / Inspect / Design Rules Checker or: “[Alt + i] + d” seems easier to me than duplicating this in yet another menu. I find duplication of functions in different menu’s often more annoying then useful. Especially if you do not know where a specific (seldom used) function is and you start searching through the menu’s.

Also: In the button bar in Pcbnew, there already is a button to directly open the schematic (even if it is not opened yet)
and similar for Eeschema, to directly open Pcbnew.
I’ve heard some rumors that KiCad V6 may get configurable toolbars, so you could add a button for switching directly to KiCad’s project manager.

Yet another nice thing that my Linux desktop does for me is grouping windows in the taskbar. For example, My main menu is on a 1920x1200 pixels monitor in portrait mode.

This is a screenshot of the top left corner:
The dark and light grey rectangles are representations of 2 complete desktops, then there is a menu with 3 KiCad programs. When I open it, it lists the current open KiCad windows (With tooltips)

Hi, to give some feedback about MacOS behavior (seems to be your OS Steves) the CMD+TAB circle only with last Kicad Window, there is no difference made by MacOS between EESchema/PCBnew/Procject manager, neither in the dock.
“App Exposé” 3 finger swipe down on the track pad let you choose between the different Kicad Windows.
I personally mostly use the buttons in the bar. For Macbook pro with touch bar, it would be nice to have the different windows there, just an idea not a request, I’m sure the implementation is far from easy.

Hi @paulvdh,

Thanks for the feedback. For some reason (see @OUTAN30 below), on macOS you do not see the individual windows in the dock nor can you tab through them.

Also, for clarity, I am not suggesting a new way to invoke the ERC or DRC functionality, rather, if the ERC or DRC window is open, I want to be able to bring the window to the foreground so I can see it.

Let my provide an example of my workflow. I often review the ERC / DRC messages interactively. So, I click on something in the ERC window to highlight the error in the schematic. Usually, the ERC window is blocking the view of the error. So, I click the schematic to bring it to the foreground to inspect the error. When I am done with reviewing the error, I want to go back to the ERC window. Now the ERC window is hidden behind the schematic. I cannot tab to get back to it. I usually resort to use macOS Expose (kind of a zoom out the desktop to see all the windows) to see all the windows. Usually I can find it here but sometimes even here it is hidden and not visible.

In my experience, the Window menu item is a fairly consistent UI element across all main stream OS’s (Windows, macOS and Linux). Similar in consistency to items like the File, Edit and View menus.

I’m a Linux guy, mostly KDE but other window managers at times. I’ve never needed such a feature. However, on the Mac my current client forces me to use, I have sometimes spent minutes fruitlessly moving windows around trying to find a hidden dialog box or window. So I can understand the utility of such a menu.

Seems to me that knowing a window will be behind another window, user could just move the windows while in front, then select as needed

Not magic and I did this on a Mac…


On the Mac just press F3 or go to Mission Control in the Dock or on a touchpad, a four finger swipe down should show all the windows of any open applications, but yes, a window menu (which is a standard Mac feature) would be additional help

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