If you hide footprint values, are they reflected into Gerber files when you plot? Also, how can we make visible the hidden footprint values after plotting gerber files

I hereby certify that I am not simply asking someone else to design a footprint for me.

This is an auto-generated message that is in place on the “footprints” section of the KiCad.info forum. If I remove it and ask for a footprint to be designed anyway, I understand that I will be subject to forum members telling me to go design my own footprint or referring me to a 3rd party footprint site.

Hi, I want to know if you hide footprint values, are they reflected into Gerber files when you plot? Also, how can we make visible the hidden footprint values after plotting gerber files.

Also if anyone knows, please let me know if there is a PCB prototype manufacturer in India just like PCBWay china. I can’t find something as easy as PCBway who can do mounting also.

Also, a PCB manufacturer who doesn’t do mounting has asked me for my BOM. Why is that? Shouldn’t he just need the gerber files (Which he has also asked for but not the drill files). Why has he not asked for the drill files at the quotation stage?


Gerber files control the plotting of each layer. They do not contain references or values.
The silkscreen layers contain a rendering of the references as an image, not actually as text.
There is no concept of a “footprint” in a Gerber file

so if I keep them unhidden, the silkscreen would print those values as is displayed in 3D viewer, and if I hide them then nothing would be printed in silkscreen? Is that it?
Could you also please answer my other questions?
Thank You.

Why not just test it yourself?
It’s much quicker then waiting for forum answers.

Just generate a set of Gerber files and load them in KiCad’s Gerber viewer.

You can have both the PCB Editor and the Gerber viewer open at the same time and simply press Gerber Viewer / File / Reload All Layers if you made a change and generated a new set of gerber files.

The PCB editor has a quite powerful function to manipulate tekst in: PCB Editor/ Edit / Edit Text and Graphic Properties You can hide texts, set them to different layers, change font size and it has various features to select a sub set of text.

Another approach is to make a custom library and put your footprints in there.
That way you can edit the library symbols themselves, and all instances derived from that library will inherit those as defaults.

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Thanks budd, you are right, easier and quicker. And Gerber files look so cool, just discovered them for the first time.

The days when a PCB price depended on the number of vias, went away decades ago.
It’s all about board size, number of layers and any special processes these days

I don’t understand why a PCB only service needs a BOM


I just checked in 6.0.5 and if I make a reference invisible using properties, it is hidden in the 3D viewer and not plotted in the Gerber file, so the 3D viewer is showing what you will get.
To restore them in the Gerber, you have to go back to PCB and make the reference visible and then replot the Gerber

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look at the sample of the file i have shared. I f i print this file for the gerber files, their will be no writings on it or even any lettering because gerber files control what should be printed and not the wording.

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We never send BOM to PCB only manufacturer.


This is strange. Were you dealing with a web form, or with a customer rep who (doesn’t know what they are doing / was trying to upsell you PCBA services / was thinking something else)? Have you asked them?

This was actually the owner of the firm, was supposed to know his job.
No I didn’t ask, but just sent the gerber files, intending to wait for the guy to ask for the BOM again and then see. The request hasn’t come yet, but the quote has, so maybe he doesn’t want it anymore.

Thanks. How to make the reference visible again. Can’t find that functionality.

Ah well these days it’s hard to hire good help. :wink:

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Select the footprint and Update the footprint from the library, with the Update/reset text layers and visibilities box checked

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I do not know why he would want the BOM. Here are two speculations.

  • It is simply a mistake, or misundersanding.
  • With the BOM one can get a good idea of the cost of the finished PCB, and thus how critical the cost of the bare board is in the greater picture. This could ‘help’ in making a quote.

Or the worst case - to steal the design

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Yeah, but in any case that guy is off the project. At his quoted price I could get the PCB made, mounted and shipped from china, DHL cost included.

KiCad can produce gerbers in X2 format. I do not claim to understand much about it but these gerbers contain some intelligence. It is not just a dumb image; with X2 format and the right gerber viewer, the viewer can find reference designations for example. This is not true for older gerber formats. I do not know whether this functionality will work if ref designations are not plotted, but I would not bet against it.


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Gerber X2 indeed can contain the reference designators, but it does not have to. AFAIK the fabricator does not need these. Without BOM the refdes do not reveal much IP.
However X2 contains many things the fabricator needs to know: what the file represents, e.g. top copper, what holes are plated or non-plated, where the via’s are, the BGAs etc. And it can contain the netlist, which is unfortunately often missing.

Change that into: It can contain the netlist in textual format, with the same net labels as used in the schematic.

Gerber files always contain the netlist, because it is implicitly defined by the layout of the tracks.
I’ve recreated some KiCad projects from a schematic in PDF and a set of Gerber files:

If mistakes are made during schematic entry then the PCB will end up with DRC errors, and you have to examine and fix the differences.

Maybe it is just a misunderstanding. You wrote that manufacturer was quite expensive, maybe he quoted you for a price inclusive assembly, which of course needs the BOM.