I have finished with “Final positioning element values” (my recent topic) and now I get to get pictures for documentation. And of course it is no so easy.
We since “always” prefer to have elements (black) printed on the light gray copper. In my opinion seeing tracks helps a lot to find right element among others. The documentation is to be printed by B&W laser printer.
I have easily got what I wont in SVG for top:
But for bottom I get:
When you see ‘A’ there are 4 texts (references and values of 2 elements). The ref and value for 3 pin connector is also hidden.
I have tried to View - Flip Board View before exporting but it helps nothing.
Also making copper Opacity to 20 don’t helps.
When I was starting to design that PCB I was seriously considered to design it that way that most elements would be at bottom (as for the user front is the side with antenna). Now I’m happy that I didn’t did it that way.
Do you know the way around it?
If not do you think it is a bug?
I understand that looking from front back copper hides elements at bottom, but there should be the way to get picture looking from bottom (the Flip Board seems being for that).
Unfortunately, the order of the layering is fixed inside the SVG exporter. I was bitten by this same problem a while ago, and I ended up just hacking the code to reorder the layers. What I would suggest though is exporting the layers as separate files and then joining them together in an external program.
I will report a bug saying that if export is mirrored layer order should be reversed.
Better would be the option to choose the layer order but your suggestion could be at least a hotfix.
Or export as svg layers then the user can reorder them as needed in any svg editor.
I don’t have any skin in this game, but I would think that exporting as SVG layers would be the ideal solution. Then one could export all the layers into one file and in a proper SVG editor (like Inkscape) manipulate the layers onto separate pages as required.
I think that most people don’t export as picture the mix of top and bottom layers and need not to see that top layers hide any bottom layers. So if the layers would have the one not changed (when mirrored) order but with the same top/bottom layers one after another then probably would be enough.
I think of order: F.Fab, B.Fab, F.CrtYd, B.CrtYd, F.SilkS, B.SilkS, F.Cu, B.Cu and others between them or after them.
Two years ago I tried to learn to use Inkscape, but didn’t reach any acceptable skill level.
For example I found how I can change colour of element already drawn but didn’t found how I can set a colour to be used for next draw. As I remember there were something at top right which looked being for this but it didn’t worked for me.
I don’t know and don’t know how to check it if layers in KiCad exported SVG are separate objects to be possible just to reorder them (would be simpler then merging few files as relative positioning is already correct).
Exporting individual layers is possible.
In my previous PCB tool to get documentation files as I wonted I had to go through gerbers.
One of arguments to move to KiCad was to get this pictures simpler way. To reach it I have my footprints defined differently than standard KiCad footprints (because in SVG export I can’t exclude references or values from exporting).
With export SVG I get at once what I need for top side. I don’t know why bottom side is worse that I can’t get it the same way.
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