My current issues with nightly 6.0

I tried out nightly again after a while. I absolutely loved it in the past, but I wasn’t allowed to use it at work because of project compatibility. I started using it again recently at home.

Seeing how the release is getting closer, I’m making a list with my current frustrations and bugs in the Layout Editor (some also apply to the Footprint Editor). I hope most of these are either a setting I missed, or a matter of time before it get fixed. It would be a shame if you push out the official 6.0 release with all these lingering issues.

  1. It’s a general frustration that I have to use a text editor a lot to edit a single parameter of many objects (this would instantly solve points 2 and 6 below). It would be a lot easier if I could select those objects, and if they’re all of the same type, that the Edit dialog opens, but fields that differ for those objects are empty. Many other programs do it like this. (Solved for all cases except pins/pads)

2. How do I cut something, and paste it back later at the same coordinate, without the workaround of creating a ‘reference’ graphic at a known location and deleting it afterwards? It used to be so simple with copy, then choosing a reference point, but in the new software it always uses a point closest to the cursor.

  1. How do I disable long-click disambiguation? I often select something, then drag it very slowly, which inadvertently invokes the popup. Other times I press down with the mouse and use the keyboard’s arrow keys to do the moving (I should use the M key but I have to re-learn that muscle memory).

4. If the point above is solved, how do I select between overlapping items? I won’t go as far as saying I want the old behavior back, because we should be looking forward, backward. But when redesigning something you’ll have to consider the inter-play with all use cases, and if it breaks something in one way or another then it should either be reverted or redesigned once more.

  1. It also seems it has become dumber in deciding what I want to click when it used to be easier. For example, when clicking on a reference text that overlaps a component, it used to select the text (when you aim correctly), but now it ALWAYS selects the footprint underneath and I have to use the popup to get to the text.

6. How do I mirror all selected copper graphics at the same time without also flipping them to the opposite layer, or mass-edit the layer after flipping to the other side?

  1. 3D viewer is either very smooth (max fps) or very slow (about 3 fps). It’s 50/50 which one I get every time I open it.

  2. When moving components with Ctrl+arrow keys, they always end up off-grid! (not the case with regular arrow-keying)

9. How do I disable that tools are activated as soon as I select them with a hotkey? I remember there being an option but I can’t find it anymore even in 5.1, but in 5.1 it actually works as expected for most tools.

  1. Why is creating or changing bevel corners on 90° copper tracks so much harder than it used to be? At this point I often give up after one try and just draw a new corner manually.

  2. The Min grid spacing can’t be set lower than 5 (which is actually 10 on HiDPI) Since the grid is so less visible on HiDPI, I need them closer together to see a grid at all at some zoom levels. I’m not going to increase the grid line thickness because that makes the grid ugly and thick compared to the thin geometry of objects (especially in Schematic Editor)

I’ve been editing this draft for the last week, and there hasn’t been a time that I used KiCad and not added a point here. So I suspect I’ll add more points in follow-up posts or other threads in the future.

so many points:) Here are my first answers:

  1. this is recognized. As far as I know property-editor is in work, but not ready for version 6.
    A little help could be the utilities Edit->edit text&graphics properties which work with selections.
  2. copy with reference:
    use the hotkey system: preferences->hotkeys->pcb-editor->copy with reference.
    I have assigned Shift+C for this command.
    3.) can’t help. I have no problem withdisambiguation.
    4.) as above
  3. make good use of:
  • enabling only important objects.
  • define yourself useful layer-sets
  • use the selection filter on the bottom right
  1. try:
    select some copper tracks. (be sure to select ONLY tracks. At best set the selectionfilter at the bottom rigth to “only tracks”)
    “E” for edit Track&Via properties
    change the layer-pulldown-menu to Top/Bottom
  2. can’t help
  3. maybe try the option pcbnew–>preferences–>Common–>Editing–>First hotkey selects tool (top rigth corner of dialog)
  4. do you mean first time create the corner (at routing tracks) or afterwards modifiying an already existing 90°corner?

I can’t address all of these but here are a few thoughts:
5. Are you using the selection filter at the bottom right? I’ve found this to be a huge workflow improvement for me.
6. Can you explain more what you’re trying to do? I’m having some trouble picturing this.
7. You should report a bug on gitlab with details of your project and your computer. I will say I haven’t experienced anything like that
9. I think the setting you’re looking for is Preferences -> Common -> Editing -> “First Hotkey selects tool”

You have found interesting use cases.

  1. The property editor a.k.a object inspector is indeed under work. It was already planned for v6 but was postponed. The “merge request” actually works (if it can be compiled with the latest “master” codebase). Meanwhile, Edit -> Edit Track & Via and Edit Text & Graphics does some of this. For tracks & vias you can select them and open a common Properties window. Do you have use cases which aren’t covered by these?

  2. “Cut and paste back” doesn’t sound a common use case because cut is meant to remove the item, so maybe you just need to use a different tool? Or did you actually mean copy and paste, in which case the item doesn’t need to be pasted back at all? Can you show a more exact use case, with a screencast? And does the already mentioned “Copy with reference” help?

  3. Long-clicked was adopted pretty late in the development cycle and hasn’t gathered so much testing. Maybe your use cases can be helped with small fixes, although you yourself admit you could use M for one case. “Dragging slowly” is IMO a good cause to file an issue. Quite many modifier keys were changed and long-click was part of that change. It was partly dictated by cross-platform problems, so not everything was done because the new setup would be better.

  4. and 5. It was thought that the new Selection filter would lessen the need for selection disambiguation. Choose only the item types you need to select. This doesn’t solve the problem totally, maybe not at all for some use cases. You are free to file an issue for exact use cases.

  5. EDIT: See 4 (sorry, the forum software renumbers points so that my 6 became 5 in the original version of this post)

  6. That’s easy for tracks on one layer at a time, although not if there are items from several layers in one selection, or for plain graphic items. First change the layer, then flip back, or first flip then change the layer. Remember that the Properties dialog works for several tracks. Honestly, mirroring on a copper layer is pretty rare use case – footprints or pads should never be mirrored on board, tracks maybe sometimes. If you, again, have an exact use case, please tell it. This could be a nice use case for a plugin if you need it for in the PCB editor, not in the footprint editor.

  7. This may be a bug or something with your system. This kind of thing may be very difficult to fix if it can’t be repeated on other platforms and hw/sw combinations.

  8. I don’t know what that is supposed to do in v6. How do you want it to work?

  9. Maybe Preferences -> Common -> First hotkey selects tool?

  10. I don’t know what is a bevel corner, and how it would be more difficult.

  11. You can file an issue. The HiDPI thing is still something which certainly has lots of problems for different use cases.


  1. Pads. My use case is editing e.g. properties of 32 pads at the same time, and I need an editor to e.g. mass change them all from Rectangle to Rounded rectangle with 20% corner radii.

  2. Solved.

  3. Long-click sounds useful for touch screens, and afaik you can query any OS if touch is active. Some programs provide a visual clue when long-press is active, like a circle filling up.

  4. This is the first time I’ve noticed the selection filter. Thanks for pointing it out.

  5. was solved by 1

  6. Ctrl+arrow should move 10 grid units. The amount it moves now differs per step and can be for example 0.9919 (with grid 0.1mm). It depends on the zoom level, indicating a bug with the pixel-to-IU conversion.

  7. Solved.

  8. A bevel is when you have two tracks meeting in a 90° corner and want to make it into two 45 degree corners using hotkey D.

I think the same thing happened to your post than mine: the forum software renumbers the points. You have to add the missing numbers so that the correct numbering is kept.

Works for me. I go over the corner, press D, disambiguate using either segment, drag.

It happens only on some tracks, and I haven’t figured out what exactly triggers it. I suspect it has to do with a trace making a U shape in free space (regardless of if other corners are beveled or not).

Besides, in the past you didn’t have to disambiguate if you precisely struck the corner with D.

I suppose you have some of the automatic-settings of the PNS-router enabled. (optimize track or something). Can you post a picture of the router-settings?

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Time to report a bug, then! Help -> Report Bug.

The router is incredibly difficult to get right. Whatever decision a developer who codes the router does, it is wrong for some use cases. It’s also sometimes very difficult to even understand what feels wrong when I as a user try to explain how I want it to behave. My general feeling has been that the router changes things I don’t want to change, it does too much and too far from where I’m editing, and this seems to be the case here. Maybe the router option “Optimize entire track” would help here? If not, please file another report. IMO the router shouldn’t at least suggest going on a pad, even when the highlight mode and “allow violations” is used. If I want to do something against DRC, then OK, but not automatically by the router.

I agree disambiguation shouldn’t be needed because the intention is clear. Please report an issue for this, too.

This is not technically possible without violating some of the other promises of the “highlight collisions” mode. It might be more clear if we renamed this mode to “full manual” or something.


But that name would be even less descriptive! At least it now does exactly what it promises, highlights the collision. But it certainly isn’t full manual. The problem isn’t of course allowing a collision, but moving the track to collision by doing another thing which isn’t wanted.

BTW, I can’t repeat the problem. It doesn’t try to optimize so aggressively.

For mass editing of pads you can edit one of them and then either Push Pad Properties to Other Pads… or Copy Pad Properties to Default followed by a Paste Default Pad Properties to Selected.

(All of these are on the RMB menu.)


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