Insert new schematic into existing PCB design

Newbie question, please. I am creating a PCB layout without “importing” the netlist schematic. I am placing the PCB traces by looking at a paper schematic. So far so good. However, I need power and ground nets and apparently can only define these in the schematic editor. First, is this true or is there a way to create a ground net directly in the PCB editor?

An alternative is to define just the power and ground nets in the KiCad schematic editor and import this only into an existing, in progress, PCB design. Is there a simple way to do this? Is there a video tutorial on this topic that you can recommend? Thanks!

It’s possible to create nets in the PCB editor through Inspect → Net Inspector. When the net exists you can change the Net property of some items to that new net.

Mixing schematic and non-schematic workflows is something which I would recommend against, it can hardly succeed and is confusing. Either use schematicless workflow or draw a full schematic. The latter is recommended anyways, even if you only create a simple PCB for your own purposes using a paper schematic.

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Very nice. Good advice. I tried to add a new “Gnd” net using Net Inspector. See image. I created the Net but cant edit/change any params like track length so there is no net shown on the PCB.

I would normally enter the schematic using KiCad but it I have a clean paper copy. I agree with your advice re schematics. - Al


The inspector shows calculated values, for example track length means there are tracks on the board with total length of that much. You have to select a copper item, open its Properties and change the net.

Got it, thanks, appreciated! Al

One more Q please. I added a track and associated it with the Net = Gnd. See the image, it shows a single wire on pin 6 of the connector. This is a Gnd wire and not terminated on the right side. My intent is to connect this to the Ground plane. How do I do this? Is there a Gnd symbol in the PCB editor (as in the schematic editor)? This is the last link in the chain to get Gnd connected to the ground plane. THANKS! Al

See How to create a power plane (using zones).

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Wonderful, this is exactly what I need. It clears up things nicely. Al


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