Kicad 7 changes(?)

First of all congrats to the developers, Kicad is a masterful piece of software.

In taking the plunge from 6.0.10 release to 7.0.0 release I’ve noticed some minor annoyances which I am hoping I have misunderstood, like there are some hidden settings options somewhere, or are still to be implemented.

  1. In Kicad 6 there were some marvelous menu options to enter a ‘group’ and edit /move items inside that group. In Kicad 7 that seems to have disappeared. I now have to remove the grouping and play mouse gymnastics to re-group the items again after.

  2. In the ‘Board Setup’ dialog ‘Net Classes’ option, I can no longer select a Net and change the class. The display seems limited (in my case) to the ‘Power’ net class, with no easy option to select a Net.

  3. Some of the symbols (may) have changed their names (connectors male/female now connectors pin/socked) which I only really noticed when copying and pasting from another schematic. (This may be because I broke the re-installation of my libraries, so I am least concerned about this.)

I really hope these are just options I have not configured correctly. Also, things seem just a tad slower on my fairly ancient system, which is a pretty subjective evaluation and may have any number of causes… but I have to ask: Are some debug settings still in place?

The Enter Group menu has been moved from the grouping sub menu to the “main popup” menu:

Net Class definitions have changed significantly in KiCad V7. Previously it was done by selecting net names, and now it is done by defining filters. It seems less intuitive, and I do not now yet how it works now.

About connectors, I had not noticed it yet, but it looks like connector sex was deemed too pornographic. Apparently someone gave in to the silly push of newspeak and an attempt to remove words from the dictionary. I don’t see any need to change legacy projects. If you want to be “modern” you could update the library links with any of KiCad’s methods.


I don’t know about this. Took a quick look through the connectors.
It seems the descriptions are about as standardized as the connectors themselves.

There are pin headers, male headers, female headers, pin sockets, female sockets, sockets, vertical males, horizontal females, vertical females, horizontal males, even a few hermaphroditics thrown in (see samtec)!

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Thank you! A brilliant display of my lack of power of observation with the group’s question. I think that was my biggest bugbear, so I am well pleased!

Net classes can now either be set in the schematic editor using this icon on the right
or by entering wildcard patterns for net names (you can of course also enter netnames directly there):

Unfortunately it doesn’t give you a list with all the nets anymore, but once you understand it, it’s much easier, for example you can give all nets with “12V” in their name the 12V netclass without selecting all 12V nets manually.


Ok, thanks. Much better than what I thought was going on. Believe it or not but I had tried exactly that, but my wildcard ‘Pad*’ failed to match anything. I can see why they might have done it this way. I am not sure it works for me, as I now need to remember the name of the net to be able to find it, rather than select from a list.

A combination of both would be ideal. (This could be done I guess by defaulting to ‘*’ wildcard when adding a pattern and having the option to remove or add a Net to the list, which I guess would no longer make it a pattern.)

I think conceptually though, confusing a pattern with a list might be creating more frustration than necessary here. IMHO The pattern should only be used for selecting items in a list - not actually ‘be’ the list.

I’m also new to the Net Class Label Directives and can’t comment much about them yet. They do seem to clutter the schematic a bit and was therefore looking for a switch to show or hide these as a separate group. Something like Schematic Editor / View / Show Net Class Labels but it’s not there.

It does enable other tricks though. You can easily duplicate these labels with [Ctrl + d] to duplicate them, and when you set: Schematic Editor / File / Schematic Setup / Project / Net Classes / Default to the color red, then all nets which have not yet got a net assigned show up red in the schematic. You can also set some net classes (such as Power and GND) to a thicker wire.

Auto generated net names start with Net-( and you can also use that in a pattern.


Saving the pattern has the huge advantage, that when you’re creating a new net with a suitable name, that it will match the netclasses automatically without additional manual assignments.

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This system is new in KiCad V7, so expect it to have the basic functionality, but also expect refinements and improvements to be added over time, as people add issues with feature requests over time and good Ideas will get implemented.


In the ‘Board Setup’ dialog ‘Net Classes’ option, I can no longer select a Net and change the class. The display seems limited (in my case) to the ‘Power’ net class, with no easy option to select a Net.

In addition to @Jonathan_Haas : you can now set the netclass also inside of the normal label-dialog. This can reduce the schematic-clutter mentioned by paul.

Be aware that by using both these new netclass-methods the netclass-assignment will not appear in the netclass-dialog of schematic-setup/board-setup! I currently try to use either one or the method (netclass with classic netclass-dialog or netclass with the new graphic labels. I think mixing the methods is not so good.

I don’t understand why it is possible to have the same label with a different net_class and in this way the color associated with the two net_classes is randomly put on the labels.

In my opinion, when I change the net_class of a label, all labels with the same name should take on this property.

Or there is a reason for this way of operating the program?

It’s not so much about sex analogy but about clarity and standardization. And it’s messy. Here’s a great write up by lead librarian


@Fabio_De_Bernardi :
I think (just a guess) the reason is the typical Kicad flexibility: at first allowing all things for the user. This allows for instance intermediate situations on copy/pasting labels, change some label-names and label-netclasses.
On the other hand this creates potential undesired drawings (like your example). But this is also the case for many other kicad situations in the Kicad workflow.

I admit that the netclass-handling with the new netclasses (either with labels or with the special netclass-flag) needs more refinement. Modifying multiple label is tedious and error-prone. Changing a netclass-name (the string in the netclass-definition) creates much work on the whole schematic - the search&replace doesn’t works for netclass-fields in labels.

At least the case “two different netclasses on a label” is discovered by the ERC, I have set the priority to “error”. The ERC also catches situations were one netclass is assigned with the schematic-setup-dialog and another (different) netclass is assigned directly with the label (maybe bug?).

Ok ,
I had seen that the error was being detected.

But because if I assign a net_class with this system in the properties window of the tab in the net_class assignment subsection these are not displayed?

I still don’t know very clearly this new method associated with net_class.

Yep because I can absolutely still stick my pin in a socket. In fact I think it’s just as porngraphic but more inclusive because now you can stick your pin in other sockets without being judged. Heh.


This is going off topic a bit, but I want to push back on that language a little. I appreciate that it is intended as a joke, but I don’t personally think that’s a good description of the changes. One goal of the pin-socket language transition really is to minimize the sex- and gender-related connotations (along with just being more clear in general). Labeling pins and sockets as pornographic seems to me to be missing the point.


IMHO Using something like side A and side B would have far more sterile and appropriate than pins and sockets hehehe

Perhaps that’s just a distinction in our different connotations of the words pin and socket then, to me they are neutral terms. Anyways, I appreciate your reply!

Does that mean you are a proponent of newspeak?

I’m not entirely sure what you mean by that. I saw you used the term at the top of thread though, seemingly to minimize the need for inclusive language. (I could be wrong though!) For whatever it is worth, I mostly agree with the blog post qu1ck linked to earlier in the thread. I think the arguments in it are strong and I personally feel that the male/female system is silly and confusing.

In general I try to give people the benefit of the doubt that their use of language is different from mine (so the same word may have different connotations). I’m not proposing to deliberately make terms ambiguous, instead I think that an inherent part of communicating is clarifying in detail when something bothers me to see how it was originally intended.

The detailed clarification does take up a lot of thread space though, so perhaps this thread is more appropriately aimed at netclass changes rather than linguistic discussion. (sorry!)

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