How many there are user layers in V6?

I’d like to know how many layers I will have if I will use V6. I don’t have Win10 so I don’t try to install V6 now.

Following is the explanation from where my layers question comes - you can omit reading it.
After a few changes to my decisions and reworking all my footprints according to them, I was happy until … a few days ago we got 100 PCBs from a new contract manufacturer who used wave soldering to assemble some THT components (previously they were assembled manually).
My current use of 4 user layers (Dwgs, Cmts, Eco1, Eco2).
1 - not to be printed in PCB documentation, to be copied to another PCBs (case picture),
2 - not to be printed in PCB documentation, connected with footprints (like ‘no trace zone’)
3 - to be printed in documentation (PCB dimensions)
4 - I moved here the mechanical element dimensions from Fab layer (accepting that top and bottom elements I will not be able to separate)
Fab - now I have here the ‘like CrtYd’ picture + polarity marking used in documentation
CrtYd - rectangle around element.

My last change was to move big rectangle + polarity marking from CrtYd to Fab because DRC didn’t like it in CrtYd and mechanical from Fab to one user layer.

As contract manufacturer said according to some ISO… I should mark where PCB should be protected against solder for wave soldering. So I need the layer to add that marking for my PDI (serial programming) footprint to not have to clear manually all that holes from solder to be able to use them.

Now I am starting to search in my backups to get back my footprints from before last change.
And from now on I will always have in DRC to switch off CrtYd checking.

If in V6 there are more user layers then I will have to change my decisions once more.

First: There is no KiCad V6. (yet).

Here a comparison screenshot with V5.1.9 on the left (With Lady Bug Icon) and today’s nightly V5.99 (Yesterday’s had all icons missing) on the right side.

The list in V5.99 appears shorter, but it’s just the vertical spacing is a bit denser.
the 4 user layer names have been renamed from: Xxxx.User to User.Yyyy

Other layers have also been renamed. fro example from F.SilkS -> F.Silkscreen

A difference in V5.99 is that now all layers can be renamed in Pcbnew / File / Board Setup / Board Stackup / Board Editor Layers:


But why do you ask?
You can easily install both KiCad V5.1.x and V5.99 at the same time. The first screenshot I posted was no graphical voodoo, I just opened both versions of Pcbnew and drew a single screenshot rectangle around it.

I do find the number of just 4 auxillary layers a bit limiting. Some time ago you wrote that you wanted to have separate user layers for notes on Front and Back and …
Oops, I see a button:
In the top right corner of the Board Setup:

Clickety click:

It Verks!

The only thing missing is a selection to make a user layer a “Back” layer, so texts are mirrored by default on such layers.

I’ve got maximum of additional 9 user layer

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I thought I answered that question in advance:

I have read some days ago that from now on 5.99 need at least Win10 so I decided to not even try to install it at Win7.

Looking through your pictures I found that I totally forgot of Margin layer. So we have 5 user layers.
But I am in half the way of changing my footprints back (except getting them from backup I check all changes made from 2020.08.27 when I had done that last change).

Thanks. That was what I wonted to know.

Have you checked if added to footprint layer flips when footprint is flipped?
Before using such user defined layer I will also check how with it in Plot and Export.

Now because (thanks to you) I ‘discovered’ forgotten extra one (Margin) layer I have to decide if continue what I am doing or to get back to yesterday state.
I think I will get back to yesterday as I’m not sure if in V6 I will be able to define layers behaving like Fab (means flipping with footprint).

The other subject is that I really don’t need the feature of checking by DRC CrtYd overlapping. In my last PCB I had a 'floating element (over others) so I switched that check off. In current PCB I have a shield (BMIS210) and to not have many errors I also switch that check off.
I think I will continue my work and use CrtYd for documentation with DRC checking of it switched off. That way I save two layers.

I think I know why - it is grayed in Footprint Editor, and I need something I will use in footprint. I think I will use Margin for some of my previous 4 tasks and other layer for that Wave soldering protection.

I do not use windows myself, and tend to not think about that subject…

If I knew you would or could not install V5.99, I would not have done that Protel PCB in 5.99. But I wanted to get some more hands-on experience with V5.99.

I find it hard to believe that KiCad V5.99 would only work on windows10. KiCad normally supports all versions that are still maintained by the OS manufacturer.

I selected a Footprint in above project and opened it in the Footprint Editor. I do not see the “New_Layer_For_Piotr”, but I do see 9 extra user layers. The whole list looks like:

I would be very suspicious of using the “Margin” layer for anything. It undoubtly has some special meaning in KiCad, and even if it is not used now, it may break your PCB in future versions of KiCad.
The Margin layer is however not greyed-out in KiCad V5.99 and I can draw graphics on them, and saved changes are placed on the PCB as usual.

The margin layer is used for creating custom clearance between the board edge and copper features.


Did windoze jump from 7 straight to 10, or did they have some intermediate versions. Maybe called by name or based on the year number of some random calendar?

I seem to remember that some forum users stick to KiCad V5.1.6 because newer versions don’t run well with Windoze 7.

There is also Windows 8, but for various reasons it’s way less popular than Windows 7 and 10. KiCad doesn’t officially support Windows 8, but it may work there anyway.

So I can expect side effects of using it. Ok, that means I am coming back to my work with my footprints to get one of 4 user layers free by mowing from it (my) contents back to Fab, and Fab (also my) back to CrtYd.

This is about all that the documentation has about Margin:

There is a common workaround of using thick lines on Edge.Cuts to create some extra margin from the PCB edge. The rest of Pcbnew treats lines on Edge.Cuts as tracks for calculating clearances, and this works good enough for me. I never bothered to look into the Margin layer.

We’ll fix this for the v6 documentation

When I have read KiCad documentation (before even first installation of KiCad) I understood that it is some margin out of PCB but I didn’t understood what for.

I was used to Protel 3 where you don’t have graphic lines - you only have tracks and at copper layer they are just tracks and on any other layer they are just lines. I typically use 1mils tracks width at non copper layers.

And MicroSoft has stopped maintenance of Win7. As mentioned above there is a Win8, but wasn’t as popular as 7. MS completely skipped 9 for some reason.

You will believe this a joke, but they could not call it Windows 9 because there is a TON of code out there in third party apps that checks if Windows version begins with “Windows 9” to handle 95, 98, 98SE, and Me. So if they had done Windows 9, many apps would have switched back to a prehistoric compatibility mode.

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