KiCad enhancement recommendations - schematic + pcb


I'm a newbie here so, not exactly sure where to post these kinds of requests but,

here goes…Maybe the existing rev or newer Rev 6 may already have these features and someone can direct me on how to implement them.

  1. Hierarchical schematics - enable the user to effectively “switch” between the component values specified in the primary hierarchy schematic block or, allow user specified values for specific instances.
    An example of use would be an LED block with multiple LED’s where the user wants different LED colors in specific LED blocks and, probably, different series R values for those same LEDs.

  2. PCB - allow outlined text in a copper fill to help identify what the fill area represents - e.g. VCC, +5V, GND, etc.

  3. Schematic and/or pcb revision comparison - allows a user to see where the changes between schematic or pcb are…maybe highlighted by layer?

So, are any or all of these “doable” in the current revision of KiCad?

Thanks for any help provided.


This is possible in the unstable development version:

Can you show some kind of an example?

This has been discussed and is in the wishlist. Basically this is easy to do with plotted graphics and graphical comparison. Some demonstrations have been shown but nothing integrated into KiCad itself.

Do you mean like remove some copper to display text? You can however put text in the soldermask layer. That will reveal copper in the shape of the text so it will show whatever finish the copper was given, e.g. HASL.

Diff comparison is not directly supported within KiCad yet, but there are a few external projects that might be of interest.


This project will render views of schematic revisions and can be used to show differences between them.



This project renders pcbnew layouts as svg layers and uses a svg filter to overlay images and highlight differences in the pcb layout.



This project is a combination of the two previous projects that allows you to switch between schematic and layout views and compares both of them.

There is a short video of this final tool on YouTube


Text in fill example:



Does the example you show require that the "unstable development version - 5.99??) be downloaded?
Thanks for your other inputs.

Thanks retiredfeline and John_Pateman for the feedback.
Much appreciated.

Yes. The projects edited with 5.99 can’t be opened anymore with 5.1, so be careful.

Ah you’re using milling, so no soldermask. You’d need a different workflow, but it’s outside scope for me.

You can add text and assign it to a layer. Because the text won’t be assigned a net there will be clearance around the text. NOTE: if you use large zone clearance it won’t look as neat as you have - 5.99 constraints should make this more manageable.

I do this all the time as I am old fashioned and put a layer number on each layer - mitigate old problems with GERBERS and early fabhouse fabrication flows

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You can just add text on the copper layer and place it over a copper zone, the copper zone is not filled where the text is after you refill the zone (Edit -> Fill all zones). Example text_in_zone.kicad_pcb (2.9 KB) .

What i don’t know is how to draw any negative text or primitive on the copper, means a text where the copper isn’t filled but everything else.

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