Pad shape name - oval vs. obround, stadion, discorectangle etc

In pad properties, a commonly used pad shape, as seen on the right of the screenshot below, is called “oval”.
Now, the word oval can have a quite broad meaning and this shape can be thought of as a special case of oval if the broad definition is assumed, but usually oval is primarily thought of as a shape more like the 2D-projection of an egg perpendicular to its long axis; that is, it has curved “long sides” and not parallell, like in this case.

In english there are more specific terms for this precise pad shape, for example “stadion shape”, “pill shape” (I suppose colloquial), “obround” or “discorectangle”.

Stadion of course draws on the shapes of sports arenas even as far back as in the roman and greek empires. These are characteristic of having parallell tracks along the long sides which are connected by half circular shaped tracks at both ends, just like the shape of our pad in the screenshot.

Obround: This is a term used for this particular shape, for example in manufacturing. One example can be found in this link (remove the spaces): https :// vista-industrial .com/obround.php

Discorectangle: Probably because the shape can be drawn by shoving a circular disc along a straight line.

  1. It would be interesting to hear a sample of how members of the forum understand and possibly prefer the above terms.

  2. What would be the process to get a more precise term into the source code? (Perhaps some developer can answer, or someone who knows and / or has experience of similar cases from earlier.)

I could go with the use “obround”, it seems to be a term already used in another field of manufacturing, and is at the same time a shorter and simpler term than discorectangle and not as loaded with a different specific meaning in sports as stadion. But I am not a native English-speaker, so let me hear your preferences above.

Or perhaps, if there is some to me unknown very strong reason to keep the current term even if it is imprecise, please let me know and explain the reason.

And here the screenshot to illustrate the shape and context:

Thanks in advance!

Me too . . . if that shape were a hole you would call it a slot not an oval hole, but Stadium might be the more correct term. Stadium

Obround or stadium sounds interesting. Unfortunately, I’m too old to change my ways after using the term oval for this shaped pad for the last 50 years.

Here’s another interesting dilemma.

At what width does a wire or track or graphic line in Kicad become an obround or stadium (oval)?

I’m now imagining all the future new members to the Kicad forum having WTF moments when reading current members discussions about “stadium pads”. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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I can understand that point of view, I’m not far behind you, but I do like precise terminology . . . however, on the other hand It doesn’t really matter much if a true oval pad is not on offer and if the majority of users understand what is meant by “oval”.

It probably wouldn’t be as simple a change as it might seem . . . how many languages is KiCad offered in, over 20 I think.

To be honest, I don’t really care if the name of the pad is changed or not. Very occasionally (over the 50 odd years) I’ve thought “it’s not really oval” but I’ve never bothered to find out the name for this shape.

If the name was to be changed, and I had a choice of the three, it would be stadium.

Sausage. …ööööööö20char

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Sausage body sometimes comes up in this context, as does pill shape, and even capsule.
But the correct meaning of capsule is a 3D shape, a stadium of rotation.
I would say that both pill shape and sausage spontaneously are very easily associated with the 3D capsule rather than the 2D shape stadium / obround, which is the projection of the 3D capsule onto a 2D plane.

Why pill shape comes up with the 2D shape stadium in wikipedia and not with the 3D shape which is an exact match to actual pills, I don’t know…

Because of the possible ambiguity, I would try to avoid sausage, pill shape if possible.

But thanks for the input nonetheless, @eelik and more input is welcome from you and others.

But I really want to see sausage in KiCad’s UI, and I want to see novice users’ faces when they try to google “sausage pad”.

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Have you seen Ismo when he is vegan?

I think ‘Disco Rectangle’ because its Rectangle with a party at each end and its shaped like a ‘Pill’ but given the choice I like ‘Sausage Pad’ as us Brits often refer to things as being ‘Sausage shaped’ like a dachshund aka ‘The Sausage Dog’ or we might say “I’ve got sausage fingers” or worse “you’ve got sausage fingers” :crazy_face:

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I’ve often found that jargon in a particular industry may pick up and “misuse” a term from outside the industry. I think “oval” pads might be such a case. I haven’t done the research to see what oval pads are called across the EDA industry. Does anyone have access to other EDA packages to see what they call what KiCad calls “oval” pads? What are they called in IPC documents?

Hmm… a quick internet search netted this thread in the forums from 2014 where the participants are using “oblong”:
Rounded Rectangle Pad Shape - PCB Libraries Forum

Classic case: “OR” in boolean math doesn’t mean the same thing as the colloquial English usage of “or”. The colloquial English usage of “or” is actually the “XOR” operator in boolean math.

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I worry about the use of the description “sausage”.

The extremely high use of this term while designing PCBs may well eventually be responsible for huge numbers of cases of obesity amongst Kicad users due to its powers of suggestion.

There could also be a considerable drop in productivity while members attempt to satisfy their now overenthusiastic appetite.

Excessive keyboard pollution is another possible problem.


“Oblong” seems, from various dictionary definitions, to be a more general term. In the case it is defined specifically, like for example at https ://www .twinkl .com .se/teaching-wiki/oblong, it seems to be defined as a rectangle with sharp corners.
In the more general case, it includes rectangle, ellips, oval etc. In one case the dictionary (WordNet 3.0) picks up “with approximately parallel sides”, but usually this is not the case.

So while an obround, stadion shape, is oblong in the wider definition of the word, it is only a special case of oblong, and in the narrower definition it is not (rectangle with sharp corners).

Thank’s for your input so far!

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In Viennese slang Wurs(ch)t - basically the German word for sausage - also means: irrelevant.

As in “Däs is ma Wurscht” meaning “I do not care at all” .

Of course that does not apply to the discussion :innocent:


The similarity is striking: in Viennese slang those are “Würschtelfinger”.

Ok, I’ll stop now before some grown up calls me to order … …

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A moderator started the whole sausage thing so I think you are safe :wink:


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