Move Via to a different Net

Hi all!
I am trying to move a via to a different net - disassociate it from her original one and associate it with another one. Typically, either double clicking on an element, or selecting, right clicking on it, and adjusting its properties would allow for changing the net for any object.
For vias, there’s nothing popping up when I try “properties” and just selecting it - although I see what net the old via still belongs to on the bottom of the screen - doesn’t allow me to change anything.
Probably my workflow is faulty - please advise on the right way to do this.

What version are you using?

In V6 I get this by double-clicking a via:

After unchecking “Automatically update via nets” I can change the net to whatever I want.

I was just going to post on this, as it’s an obvious question - my current version is 5.1.5-3

I’d upgrade, but there’s no guideline to upgrading a version I can find, and I’m apprehensive about breaking my libraries etc. Shall I just download v6 and install on top of v5 and it’s all going to be OK?

Depends on your platform.

On Windows they can coexist, although I’m not 100% sure what the library situation will be.

On Linux usually V6 will replace V5 unless the distribution does tricky packaging. There is also a flatpak for Linux that you can run in parallel.

You can probably expect some minor library issues, but by and large it should work and what doesn’t work is fixable with some patience. Ask questions if you get stuck. Back up projects before updating to be safe.

The main library things to keep in mind when updating:

  • on first run it will ask you what to do for library tables. Strongly recommend the default option which is to copy the default library table. You’ll have to add any of your custom libraries to the table yourself but that’s not too hard.
  • projects upgraded from V5 likely will not display their 3D models in the 3D viewer. If you care about that it’s not hard to fix

In my experience V6 is such a major upgrade over V5 that it’s worth any minor hassle, but if you’re in the middle of a project you may find it best to hold off.

Thank you, @gkeeth. I’ve just done a system restore point, not sure if it will be failsafe but it’s worth to have something else to try if anything goes sideways.

Funny thing is - I had this version running through a few projects without ever upgrading, but if you ask me if customized any library components, I’d be hard pressed to have a good answer to that. I simply don’t really recall, but I do know I’ve considered some tweaks but how far I got I’m not sure.

Is there a way to backup the library by itself, and just plaster it in the default location when done upgrading? I don’t think I’ve had many misgivings from the old library, and so really, all I’m looking for is to restore and/or enhance some functionality.

Assuming I’d hold off for a bit - I do have 2-3 live projects and it’s been hard enough to get the initial KiCad setup to work, and I’d rather do this between projects if I can help it - is there a known cure to the issue with the vias?

Maybe my workflow is incorrect.

Or maybe there an alternative way that may work for me and help me progress while holding off from upgrading.

Well, I think I’ve found a stopgap solution. If I place my via on an existing trace, it will adopt its net. This may occasionally limit my layout choices, or at least seems a bit awkward, but it will do for now.

I’d like to make my vias “properties” work (again?), but maybe that’s only possible by upgrading to v6.

Unfortunately I don’t recall what the v5 via behavior was, I don’t have v5 installed anymore and it’s been a while since I used it :frowning: Sorry I can’t help more.

I vaguely remember that v5 vias adopt the net of whatever they’re on top of, which seems to match what you see, but I don’t remember any nuances. In v6, you can choose for each via if they’re permanently assigned to a net (and you can select which net), or if they adopt the net of whatever they’re on top of.

Waiting to update until you’re between projects is probably a good idea.

Generally speaking, the default libraries are supposed to be installed in a read-only location to prevent the user from making any modifications that would be overwritten when they update the libraries. I’m not sure if that’s always been the case on all platforms for all versions, but it is true for v6. Best practice is to make any modifications you want in a custom copy of the library.

You can make a copy of the old library before updating, just in case. Offhand I don’t know where the v5 libraries are installed, but you can figure it out by looking in your library table. The paths will probably have a variable in them like $KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR. You can figure out what that variable is set to in Preferences → Configure Paths (the name might be slightly different on v5).

With that said, I’d recommend just using the newer libraries, though a backup first is never a bad idea. The library formats have been updated for v6 (footprints slightly for some new features, and symbols significantly). KiCad will convert the libraries to the new format when you make edits to them (old format is read-only). There have also been bug fixes and additions since the last time you updated.

V6 is also more robust to library issues because symbols are embedded in the schematic, so going forward this will be less of an issue than it used to be…

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