New User Kicad Teething Problems


I just downloaded and installed Kicad 5-1.6-1 stable. It was my hope to follow some tutorials and learn Kicad. I have some problems.

1.) There is no visual indication that a symbol is selected, other than the status line. I tried it both with and without anti-aliasing. (On a GTX1080, modern drivers)

2.) Oh dear-(deity of your choice) we need a pan-key mouse modifier. Every other civilized 2d and 3d program has one.

3.) Zoom steps are much too course anyway. It’s not practical to change scroll zoom steps for each piece of software.

Hi, Brenda

I can offer a slight bit of help; I am sure that others can offer more.

  1. The nightly update versions do highlight selected schematic portions (and I think also selected pcb portions) but I do not recommend using the nightly version for a serious project. (Comical projects; OK!)

  2. Do not understand.

  3. Do you really think that F1 and F2 zoom steps are too coarse? I have seen that opinion elsewhere but I don’t feel that way. How much zoom are you getting per step?

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My projects cause a lot of hilarity and finger pointing when viewed by serious people. :wink:

Thank you for the replies : )

Oddly, the middle mouse button is panning both in the schematic view and component layout view. Strange. What made matters worse: there seemed to be a thread where it was poopoo’ed. A few bad mouse clicks and a block of text is all it took for me to believe that there was no panning.

I am sorry for my mistake.
I was wrong.

I’m using the stock Windows scroll-wheel speed, and I do wish we could change the zoom increment. Did Kicad implement mouse acceleration on the wheel?

I made my tutorial board. I can grab wires to move them, but I cannot grab components to grag them for even a linear translation. There is no contextual menu option. Still looking…
I can grab a schematic item just fine, though.

Check the tutorials in the FAQ section by @Rene_Poschl. Being that this is a user help site the FAQ may be more in tune with the user base. Sadly the official documentation lags because it has to be consistent across multiple languages.

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It sounds like you are into some serious stuff with which I am completely familiar, such as the Art Tablet. Maybe I should swallow a few such tablets with my morning beer and see if I can become an artist. But seriously; I use an old Logitech trackball which does not have a scroll wheel. My trackball does have major L & R buttons and also 2 minor buttons (4 button total) but I never use the minor buttons. (I am ignoring many possible options for using software to program the functionality. I could probably get a scroll wheel type function via software but have not bothered to do so.) So we are practically on different planets in terms of our input devices.

I will echo hermit’s comment that the FAQ on this forum is much more up-to-date than the help which is built into KiCad.

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Artists drink wine. Red and cheap.

Eeschema has indeed been weird because it doesn’t have a normal concept of selecting objects. You can see that when you click with LMB a place where selection clarification is needed. You need to choose from the clarification menu which object you meant. But when you then choose an action - say, you press M for moving - you’ll get that clarification menu again! The object wasn’t actually selected at all, it’s just acted upon when you initiate an action. I have never understood why I get the clarification menu in the first place when I actually can’t select anything.

Arguably the biggest change for the future v6 from the viewpoint of an end user will be that the UI concept of eeschema will be like in all other programs – you can actually select things and see what you selected. It will cause some headache if you have already been accustomed to the current behavior, but the new system is worth de-learning and re-learning.

There’s also more customizability for mouse, touchpad etc. which will probably make working with different kind of hardware easier.

As was already said, you can test these with the nightly builds, with the risk of crashes, data loss etc. If you can do it, the developers might appreciate feedback especially about working with exotic HCI hardware because they can’t test everything themselves.


Thank you for the replies, I am going to hit the tutorials again, this afternoon.

As a new user, I have not successfully dragged/grabbed an object with wires attached. I’ve read elsewhere that it has issues, but it looks like others have been able to do it, in some capacity, so I will keep trying. It works in the schematic editor, though.

I am glad Kicad exists, and am appreciative of all the effort to make this happen. The alternatives are not attractive. Hmm. I wonder if Qucs could be integrated.

[As a clarification, I am not working from a tablet. For some reason, middle-click to pan the work wasn’t working. I was so aghast to read that someone defended defended there not being a pan in the older version, that it affected my judgement, and kept me from seeing it in the new version.]

Beware of the distinction between commands “move” and “drag”. And:

  1. The way that wires are selected will be unfamiliar, at least based on other software I have used.

  2. When selecting (dragging the cursor) left to right, you must select the entire symbol in order to include it. But selecting right to left is “greedy” select. (This term made me laugh at first but it is actually appropriate and helpful). When selecting right to left, any symbol which is partially within the selection box will be included in the selection. This may all be counter-intuitive but is actually useful, unless one is having a bad day…