PCBNew "Sketch Mode", what is it?

I’ve noticed on the pcbnew “Preferences -> Display Option” menu window, there are items referring to “sketch mode”.

…but I haven’t found much information on what “sketch mode” might be about, either in the pcbnew manual, on the web, or in this forum. Since my search skills are probably deficient, could someone kindly point out where I might find out what sketch mode is, and how and when you would use it.



Well activate it and see what happens.
I would guess that this will activate the outline view mode.

The text in sketch and outlines in sketch mode seems to only work in legacy/default canvas.
The options for tracks, vias and pads in outline mode are also in the left toolbar.

Ah, so it just shows the outline of whatever. Probably could use a different name. Thanks.


Multi lingual development team. Something is going to be lost in the translation. :wink:


This is exactly what it does.
The menu uses the term “sketch mode” while the left toolbar uses the term “outline mode”.

It should probably be the same for consistency; but I’m certainly not going to complain about it.

The term Outline is better than Sketch, in graphics this used to be called wireframe

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So in the Footprints section it would have:
“Show outlines in outline mode”

Is this what we want?

Edit to add: the relevant file is dialog_display_options_base.fbp

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@HiGreg In the movie industry, the term wireframe tends to mean a 3D model without the surface effects attached to it.

I think the term “outline” is more suited to the 2D tasks in KiCad PcbNew.

In American English, the term “sketch” is usually applied to an artistic rendering that is not fully clearly defined. It is my opinion that this term is not well suited for the intent of operation within KiCad PcbNew.

@Sprig, I agree, I was just pointing out the possible bizarre-ness of “Show outlines in outline mode”. Might lead to the semi-nonsensical question “What other mode would you show outlines?”

I do like outline better than sketch, I’m just not sure I like the ambiguity of the double outline in that sentence.

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I believe I have a newer nightly build then the OP.

However, it appears that the intent is that a Footprint “outline” also will be shown in “outline mode”.

I will test outlines in outline mode … LOL !

Quick test done.

Should read, “Show Silkscreen in outline mode”.