Junction Dots Revisited

Continuing the discussion from No contact crossing wires:

I found the above as the first part of my search, and I agree with it completely.

However, I would like to discuss a couple of possible feature requests regarding this topic.

1)I’d like to be able to toggle the visibility of the junction dot; either “on/off”. Modern schematics have not used junction dots for quite some time now.

2)The junction dot is HUGE in comparison to the “not-connected square”. I would like to be able to change the size and boldness of this item. I would not suggest being able to change the visibility of this feature to “off”.

3)Move the junction dot menu button icon from the current right side menu bar to the left side menu button.

4)The current non-connect symbol is a round circle at the ends of parts, and is a square on the ends of wires. Is there any reason why these are different?


One could argue it is all about readability and giving the user more control helps toward that end. What if I print out something for a meeting and want to emphasize a few things. Should a schematic editor be less capability than a word editor in terms of expression? Why can’t I colorize certain items for emphasis? I want some junctions to be red to emphasize possible danger points.

I have simple designs that don’t require lines crossing so really shouldn’t need dots at all, let alone overly large dots so they just become clutter.

Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster. :wink:

No. But, the text editor should not add things automatically by itself that the user does not want.

A recent bug fix is now going to add a junction dot to every connection in the schematic (if I understood the bug report correctly). There are going to be unnecessary junction dots everywhere.

The “not-connected” symbol is must-have item, the junction dot is a personal preference.

It just seems to me that the recent bug-fix was not as well thought out as it could be. I certainly will complain when I get a download with dots everywhere that I can’t turn of the visibility.

[quote=“Sprig, post:3, topic:9027”]
No. But, the text editor should not add things automatically by itself that the user does not want.
[/quote]Well, that was my intention in that statement. User choice. You only need a junction at a cross and having two different wires leading into the same place on a wire isn’t that common in my simple designs. If it is easier to use them everywhere for coding purposes, I’d vote to at least make them a lot smaller than they currently are.

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Good call.
1 2 3 4 … 20

Somewhat surprised by that statement too. Junction dots are really important, especially when you work with people who will happily put a junction at a crossover rather than offsetting one of the lines to make two three-way junctions rather than one single 4-way. Without the dots I’d not know whether they were doing something annoying or something really stupid.

I guess Andy and Dave, you are talking about the junction dot (force 2 wires to be connected) and the non-connected “x”.

While Jim calls junction dot the little circle of a pin and non-connected the little square at the end of a wire that vanish after pin and wire are connected.

Sorry if I’m wrong. In that case I don’t understand this thread at all…

My personal experience is not good enough?
I joined the USAF in 1986 and all the older drawings had junction dots; all the more recent ones did not.

I recently worked for a defense contractor, all the older schematics had junction dots, the newest ones did not; as in documents created as little as of 6 years ago. I’d have happily provided proof to everyone here had an NDA not been part of the agreement.

Crossing Your Wires

Were it to be me in charge, I’d get rid of the junction dot altogether. I’d have KiCad not allow 4 way crosses to ever connect together. In a complete schematic it is very easy to read.

The one junction dot in the KiCad image above is not needed. The power port is at a “Tee” junction; which implies connectivity.

If I were in charge (of the whole world), people who make software limit the user’s options like this would be tarred and feathered. Make it behave how you want by default, sure, but it is not the place of the software to outright force what the developers consider good practice. This is coming from someone who thinks four-ways should always be avoided in schematics.

If my text editor forced me to write code in what the authors considered a good coding style, I’d throw it away because it’d be garbage. Even if I like that style too.


I don’t know.
Now that you ask, I think it may have been that the board layout team used a different EDA program then the CAD program that the schematic development team used. When we got the first spin of boards there were cuts and jumpers needed to get the board to match the schematic; which should not have happened had both teams used the same software.

I guess it all depends on what one is used to seeing. I did not work on simple things like computers where it is all circuit boards connected together like an Aurduino with a shield.

In many drawings dots were used to indicate a physical property of the signal line. It could be a test point, or a wire tied to another module.

Not having junction dots really made the schematics easier to read overall.

Can I get feathers with LED lighting?

[quote=“c4757p, post:13, topic:9027”]
it is not the place of the software to outright force what the developers consider good practice. [/quote]

Which was the point of the thread in the first place. It is my understanding that now all joints will have a junction dot. This appears to be exactly the opposite of what you expect the software to do to a user.

That’s not new though. With a couple weird exceptions (e.g. pins are misleading) eeschema has never considered a wire endpoint overlapping a non-endpoint to be a connection, you need the junction to tell it otherwise. I’d argue that’s not forcing good practice, that’s just how junctions work in eeschema.

Now, I’m not debating whether the new behavior is good or not. Honestly, I haven’t had a close enough look at it to have an opinion. But I don’t think it makes any changes in terms of whether you’re forced to use good practice in your schematic.

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Thanks, Jim. Now I understand what you meant.

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If one is intellectually honest, it can be seen that by following the newer convention, in the most recommend ways, that the junction dot becomes redundant and unnecessary.

There are also some additional merits to not having them. One example is when working with paper schematics subject to non-library environments. Debris can be added to make a connection appear, or wear can make connection disappear.

If Eeschema must have extra junction dots for whatever reason then I would prefer that I could choose the size of the dot (hopefully extremely small).

USA Standard Drafting Practices .pdf

Pages 11, and 21-27, contain the relevant content.

That one is hardly recent…
And most of the examples show dots.
Anyone have access to ISO standard “01.100.25 - Electrical and electronics engineering drawings” ?

@Andy_P, any chance you can tone down the personal attacks towards me? It is unlikely that you have been involved in my very specific line of work to see what I have seen. I provided a link to you, while old, does contain several pages of schematics drawn without junction dots to US standards. It is in no way my fault that you have never seen such drawing style before. Due to NDA requirements I will not provide the documents to prove that this style is still in current daily use in certain industry elements.

I would hope engineers are familiar with batch sampling, and required sample sizes to get a meaningful result. I guess there are hundreds of thousands of companies creating schematics, extrapolating from a sample of a handful to industry wide practice is simply absurd. You barely have a big enough sample size to establish a coincidence.

Reference documents are largely irrelevant to industry practice, in such discretionary areas as appearance. IME when an engineer talks about “best practice” they usually mean “local practice”. Since we are trading anecdotal evidence, I can say I never seen a policy of not using junction dots in all the companies I’ve worked for.

Obviously personal attacks should be avoided, but you do seem to have some ideas that are 180 degrees different to my experience, I think this is one of them. This is also one of the threads heading in a futile and pointless direction that I will not be returning to.


I would argue that as ECAD now adds the dot automatically, unlike the old manual days of the extra operation with the drawing stencil and pen, that the dot makes more sense than ever.