Foot assignment feature request

I’m new, and I forgot to select the symbol and then double click on the footprint on the right. I found it in the documentation eventually but it would have been nice if a tooltip had popped up somewhere along the line to remind me how to do this. A lot of interfaces of this kind are structured with a conveying arrow and as well the right click drop-down is tantalizingly suggestive of something to do but I never saw anything giving me a hint and I might even forget again if I don’t use kicad for a year. It’s kind of like MATLAB in the sense that every time I use it I have to use the help extensively. The best GUI doesn’t require a manual and I know that is a high bar for a PCB designer GUI but the infrastructure is likely already there. Please have a fooltip :slight_smile:

Be more specific what window you are talking about. There many ways to assign a footprint.
Better yet add a screenshot and maybe some annotations to show where you expect a tooltip.

maybe when hovering over the selected area?

I don’t think any software should have tooltips to that degree (if you have too many tooltips/messages then users stop reading them. I see this a lot with heavy windows users who click OK on any dialog before even reading it because they have been trained that the information in them is anyway unimportant).

To be honest it is common usage in every system i ever used that a single click selects and a double click starts an action (take for example your operating systems file browser where a single click just selects for later action and a double click opens the file).

Doesn’t the fact that the middle list (the one with the assignments) not update if you only single click on the right-hand list (the one with the footprint names) give you enough clues that no assignment was made?

There will be weirdos out there like me who won’t figure it out. You might for instance think that you would have to grab the footprint and drag it over on top of the symbol. Every GUI designer has to confront the fact that things that seem obvious to that designer are not necessarily obvious to everybody. I don’t agree with the decision but I also don’t feel like arguing about it and I like Kicad a lot so I’m moving on.

I’ve stopped using CvPcb at all for assigning footprints.

For a single component I just hover over the schematic symbol and press f for footprint:
And then with [Select] you get into the symbol library browser to assign a footprint.
If you do this for the first resistor in a schematic, and then make copies of it, they all get the same footprint.

For more involved Footprint management I use
Eeschema / Tools / Edit Symbol Fields" (Also accessible via spreadsheet icon in the menu bar).

With the grouping option it’s easy to copy and paste one footprint to multiple others.

And again, you get to the same footprint library browser by clicking on the book shelf icon.

The biggest disadvantage with these methods is that there is no search possibility. You have to manually scroll through the libraries and select a footprint.

In Pcbnew, you can add a fooprint to the board with the “o” shortcut key.
This brings you to the “Choose Footprint” dialog which does have a search function.

If you enter there “1x06 5.08” you get an assortment of six pin connectors, screw-and other terminals to choose from.

From there I unfortunately have to manually copy the name to Eeschema.

The footprint chooser has some regular expression like properties. You can search for multiple strings if they are separated by a space.
It is not as powerful as CvPcb, but I find it easier to use, which is a big plus if you do not use KiCad enough to rember all such details.

The “Choose Symbol” dialog in Eeschema (“a” or “p” shortcut keys) has the same regular expression like searching which I like very much.

About the “Feature Request” part…
I would like it very much if the same search option was added to the “Footprint LIbrary Browser”.

It could even make KiCad simpler, the “Footprint Chooser” could be completely removed and be just the same as the “Footprint Browser”.

The same search function is also implemented in the “Footprint Editor”:

Thanks paulvdh for your suggestions :slight_smile: One more or less unavoidable UI element that I am not fond of is keyboard/mouse interaction. This is because I like to setup in a reclining chair with a big monitor. I have not mastered no-look typing so I have to sit up and look down to see where a key is, or choose the cumbersome drop-down to select a mode (first-world problems i know!). I am thinking about using voice recognition so I can say “move” and it will key that in for me. Then I can get to the point of having the whole experience be like a console game.There used to be a “modal is bad” line of thinking in UI design but some applications are just too complex for that.

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