Net visibility in pcbnew

A feature I really miss from my old layout program is a simple way to show / hide rats nests.
Just a contextual-click on a pad and the ability to:
Hide other nets.
Hide this net.
Show this net.
Show all nets.

I just answered that same question a few hours ago:

I know.
That’s why I posted it the feature request.
The current system is just barely useful.

Have you thought about the fact that it is simply impossible to put all possible functions in all sort of menu’s? They would get very over crowded. I also don’t understand why you call it “barely useful”.

This is a feature that has a quite limited use. There is only a small part during the design of a PCB that it is useful to hide ratsnest lines. That menu already has some 30+ menu options.

I also looked in Preferences / Preferences / Hotkeys and searched for “net”. I see a function there, but it does not have a hotkey assigned by default. (KiCad has more hotkey options then fit on your keyboard).

I find it very useful.
If it ever gets implemented, I give you permission not to use it.

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You can already right-click a copper item and hide/show its ratsnest though?

The menu options for “hide other nets” and “show all nets” don’t exist, but those can be done from the appearance panel

Indeed, I checked and it is in: RMB Popup menu / Net Inspection Tools / Hide Net in Ratsnest and it works too.

Which means you have now 4 different ways to do this in KiCad.

But, the point is - when I’m routing a board (or placing components), I like to turn off all rat’s nest lines that are not connected to the component I’m working on. Being able to quickly turn off all rat’s nests, and then turn on only the ones I’m interested in is a big timesaver.
So, adding the ability to hide other nets would be a help. And, since this happens a lot during routing, I don’t want to have to go into some hidden property panel to do it, if possible.

Maybe there’s an easy way to do this now, but I’m not aware of it.

Yes, I already mentioned 4 methods, and all of them are quite simple.
I think KiCad also already has a 5th option to only show the ratsnest lines of the currently selected footprint.

But I suggest you take a look at your overall strategy for doing this part of the PCB design. Even if it’s just a single click (or hotkey, you did not even bother to respond to that). this still accumulates over a whole project. My usual strategy is sort of:

  1. Do an initial sorting of footprints (KiCad V7 has new tools for this in V7 that I have not used yet),
  2. Optionally hide GND and power to reduce ratsnest a bit (It’s called ratsnest for a reason, it’s always a mess).
  3. Make good use of the ratsnest mess to do the initial footprint placement.

After these steps the ratsnest is usually quite manageable. Learning to ignore the lines (you can experiment with colors, brightness) is difficult, as it requires a change of habit, but it will make you more productive after a while.

Features requests in the form of “I had this function in this old program and I want it in KiCad too” are usually answered with “This is KiCad, and it works a bit differently, get used to it.” But of course also a lot of good ideas get implemented in KiCad that already existed in other locations.

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The panel isn’t hidden unless you hide it.

But, ratsnest for the routed net or moved objects is always shown. So maybe it would be better for you to just turn off the default ratsnest? That way you’ll only get the ratsnest for things you’re interacting with.

You can also post a generic question about working effectively with footprint placement and the ratsnest. This is probably also a recurring topic so I assume there are already good ideas lurking in the depth of this forum.

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