How to show only items on current side

Is there any way to do what I am trying to do with KiCad if anyone can please help. I have a fairly dense 6-layer design with components on both sides. I have Flipped Board View so I can route the bottom side. I have two problems:

  1. Blind vias that only go from front layer to Inner 1 or 2 are still showing (even selectable) and there seems to be no way of turning them off.

  2. I have some through hole components on the front layer and I expect to at least see the pins in any board view because they are through, but I can’t see them unless I turn the whole of the Front layer on which defeats the whole exercise.

Can anyone please help?

Working with dense multilayer boards can be pretty confusing.
I’ve had a look at the Olimexino64 featured on the KiCad-pcb site.

I have not made anything above 2 layers myself, which has different challenges because this makes it impossible to have a continuous GND plane, but that’s another story…

Are you familiar with layer transparency?
If you click on the colored rectangles in the layer manager you can pick a color for that layer, but also set transparency.

Just had an Idea that you could (temporarily) put mounting holes on your PCB in the same locations as your THT pads. These may serve as an orientation aid while making a board.
Layer transparency isstill in its infancy in KiCad and can be much improved. A few months ago there was also a discussion here about it, and apparently (at least) one of the desingers is working on improving it, but don’t expect any results soon for this.

Personally I very much dislike to flip the board view. It is disorienting to me, and I much prefer to look through the board while working on the bottom side. Looking through the board would keep all your reference points the same for top and bottom of the board.

Alternatively, you could make copies of (some of) the THT components, and assign them refdes numbers 1000-up and put them in a corner of the sheet (or separate sheet in a hierarchical sheet).
Then you can (temporarily) put those duplicates on the bottom of the board

Are you familiar with the (extra) production costs of blind and buried via’s?
Use of these can give a significant price increase for manufacturing the PCB, and are often also subject to limits what a manufacturer can manufacture.

Have you tried the high contrast mode? (shortcut H or button in the left toolbar)

I did try Ctrl-H. No help I’m afraid.

crtl+h opens help for me. It is only h without anything else. (kicad has single key hotkeys)

That mode should make all layers into gray except the one you are at. And it limits selection to the current layer.

Thanks paulvdh for your comments. Fortunately, I can work either way, flipped or not. However, I do agree with you un-flipped seems more natural. I only flipped because I thought it would be a way of hiding all those blind vias that have nothing to do with the underside components.

Good news is I have managed to hide them all. It turns out that I need to switch off all of the inner layers used by the blind vias as well. And I don’t even need to flip board.

I have not found a simple solution to my through-hole pads not showing though. I’m working around that by simply switching on front layer occasionally to make any needed connection before switching it off again.

To our KiCad developer friends: I think we need an option here to leave through-hole pads on when layers and items are been switched off.

At first it OP’s request seemed to make sense. 6 layer boards can be pretty confusing.

Then I re-read this, and tried to interpret it (again):

So what is exactly: "but I can’t see them unless I turn the whole of the Front layer "
When you turn off the F.Cu layer, then the copper on the front layer (SMD pads and tracks) disapear from the view, but all THT pads still show.

Then you can turn off the F.SilkS and F.CrtYd and F.Fab layers, and all the THT pads still show.

Then in the “Layers Manager” / “Items” tab, there is a setting for the Through hole pads, and indeed. If you turn off the Through Hole Pads, you do not see them anymore.

However, I also did a little experiment and changed some dummy board to 6 layers.
All THT holes are shown as long as at least one of the copper layers is active.

Here a screenshot with all layers turned off except “In3.Cu” and all through holes are shown just fine.

And this is of course as expected, because in KiCad the THT components have pads on all layers, also the inner ones:

So now I’m curious:
How do you turn the THT pads of is it is not with the “Turn pads off” button on the Items tab of the layers manager?

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What you described is exactly what I would expect but it is not what I am getting. First off, I do not have “Turn pads off” [check-box] on my on the Items tab of the Layers Manager and nothing there seems to do what you describe (see below):

Now see the same view below simply by unticking Footprints Front. All THT pads are gone even though two layers are still active.:

This is the expected behaviour. The footprints are not shown and non-pad copper is shown for the “ticked” layers.

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Really? Why should this be the expected behaviour when all I’ve turned off is “Footprints Front” and the THT pads are set to be present on every layer?:

More important for now, Can paulvdh please give us more details how he managed to get the correct answer and clarify “Turn pads off”?

If you turn off footprints front, the whole footprint is hidden.
The pad property “all copper layers” means F.Cu and B.Cu since the soldering pad is defined here and a component can be soldered only on top and bottom, not on inner layers.

You may want try also the combination of “layer on/off”, “footprints front” and “pads front” - “pads back” to get what you need. Or at least, something you can get by with.

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Thanks Pedro. With due respect this is just making less sense to me. I am trying to make sense of it though by drawing a distinction between “designed behaviour” (which I think you’re talking about i.e. that is what KiCad does) and “expected behaviour” which I am talking about. Even by your explanation above, the bottom copper layer is still active and solderable, so I should be able to see those THT pads. That I can’t see them at the bottom simply because the top is disabled tells me something is wrong.

Many thanks for your help though.

Have you tried unticking pads front instead of footprints front? It will hide the smd pads on top, leaving tht pads shown.

Hiding completely the footprint is my expected behaviour when I untick footprints front, even though it may have tht pads.

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I thought you wanted the pad on an inner layer too, when routing an inner layer. I misunderstood what you meant.

Sure. I have tried everything. I need to turn off Footprints Front not just the pads. There are a lot of components on the front and their footprints (even without the pads) is a lot of clutter whilst I’m trying to route the bottom.

To minimise pain, try also untick all the F.xx layers on the other tab.

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I’m struggling to understand what the problem actually is. Here’s my normal view on one board:

The green bottom layer is visible at front, so are THT pads. The red top layer is in backround and doesn’t block my view to the green bottom layer. The bottom layer is selected as the active layer. No need to tweak Items visibility.

Is there anything wrong with that? How would that prevent routing in the bottom layer?

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Hi Eeli, though I agree with you, I think the problem is only Peter’s personal taste. He feels uncomfortable with some configurations.

But I’m reading his original post and trying to find out what problem he has. Maybe I didn’t write clearly. I have no problem with hiding the top layer, either. THT pads are visible all the time anyways. I’m using v5.1.2 ATM.

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