Netlist delete on PCBnew

Maybe a quick question.
After importing the netlist (PCBnew) and completing the PCB design, can I delete the netlist which will then enable me to add footprints (components) to the PCB design? For example, if I add another header (that was not on the original Schematic, it is now impossible to add tracks to the existing PCB design because of the netlist. How do I get rid of the netlist, to enable me to extend a PCB design?


You should be able to delete the netlist right after importing it. It is no longer used then.

And a heads up: In v5 there is a better tool available. Use the “update pcb from schematic” tool found in the tools menu. That one directly uses the kicad internal datastructures. Making it harder to screw up by forgetting to save something or by selecting the wrong netlist. (in nightly it even has all settings available that the import netlist tool had. But it still has better default settings than that tool.)


Thanks for the quick reply…

“You should be able to delete the netlist right after importing it. It is no longer used then.”

Well like any other file. Using the normal file browser that comes with your operating system.

But you do not really need to delete it to add further stuff. (I missed that part of the question)
You can simply overwrite it with a new netlist by exporting again.
Or as i suggested use the new tool and not worry about the netlist at all.

Deleted the file, but, because it was imported the PCBnew, it still reflects on the PCB design…

I’m using 4.0.7.
If I place another component, and add a track to the existing components, the track just goes round the pad I want to connect to - not joining the pad…

After exporting the new netlist you need to import it again into pcb new. This is why nothing happens when you delete it and why i originally said you can delete it without problems.


Original question was, on PCBnew, can I delete the netlist imported earlier, just to add a single component to the PCB design - without going back to the schematic to add the component, generate a new netlist and importing it to PCBnew.
Maybe the answer is no?

I think you are confused as to what the netlist is. Imagine that the schematic and pcb are done by different people. When the schematic person creates a netlist, they copy down into a note all the important bits for a pcb. (Part names, footprints, what pins are connected to what other pins, etc). Then the pcb person takes the note and copies into the board all the information in the netlist note. Once this is done the note may be thrown away.

There is no process where the pcb person can create a note that the schematic person will read to add or change any information in the schematic.

The pcb person is free to add parts to the design, but it is difficult to know how to connect it if he doesn’t get any notes from the schematic person. This is fine if the part is just a mounting hole or something similar that doesn’t have any electrical connections. The pcb person should also lock the added parts so the next time they get a note from the schematic person with changes they don’t accidentally delete the added part because it isn’t referenced on the note from the schematic person (because the schematic person doesn’t know about it).

I hope the analogy (while rough) is good enough to understand why deleting the .net file after loading it into PCBNew will make no difference to the PCB.


The questions are a little mangled here.
If you want to just add a single component, and then connect it, you do not need, or want, to delete the total netlist.

Focusing in this specific issue :
You cannot directly route a track and terminate with a valid net name on a unconnected pin.

You can edit any pin, and add a netname tag to the pin, and it is that net name tag that adds the rats nest and thus allows routes to connect.

Or, if you have a few manual edits to add (like a connector alternate footprint) you might want to look at the nifty plugin WireIT

This allows an on-the-fly PCB-design level, to add NET & split net & Swap Pins, to any existing design.
Using this, you can even make simple boards with no SCH side at all.


YES, yes, yes … that’s the way!

Thanks a million - Thanks to all the others as well - I agree that the real way is to go back to the schematic and change it there and update the netlist, etc.

Have a great Christmas! (to those who celebrate it)

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