Polygons are not really polygons?

New to KiCad, coming from PADS PowerPCB & Orcad Capture. I can get used to the inverted Y axis thing easily enough, though I think the excuse for it is lame and wonder why the same does not apply to X. And the lack of dashed/dotted lines seems like a dumb oversight. But I’m about to give up in frustration about polygons. I hope I’m just doing something stupid.

In creating a new footprint, I want to draw a silkscreen or Assy Dwg box for a component outline. And I can do that. But when I go to edit the dimensions to make sure they are exactly where they should be, all of a sudden the rectangle I drew is now a bunch of individual lines. So to move a vertex, I have to do it twice - one for each intersecting line. Setting an edge in X or Y does not move the intersecting lines of the polygon. The same is true of some arrows I drew.
It really seems as if you can draw a polygon, but it becomes just a bunch of lines. I’m used to being able to select a shape to move it around, but that seems like a pipe unless I’m lucky enough to have nothing else that I don’t want to select around the pieces that I do.

So my question is whether this is just the way KiCad is, or am I missing something? If this is the way that it is, I’ll need to greatly increase my estimate of how long it will take to move or recreate my custom libraries.

1 Like

This is normal behaviour. Even if you draw a poly-line (on PCB or footprint) each segment will be saved as simple line. AFAIK only Bitmap2Component can create special footprint from pixel graphics using unbreakable poly-line(s).

1 Like

you may have a look at

If you have existing libraries, in ASCII format, did you look at translating them ?

This is something of a missing piece in kiCAD.
The PCB traces also store as segment elements, but there you can drag one segment, and the joined ones behave like a true polyline.
ie the Code exists to allow segments to behave like polylines, it just has not (yet) been applied to outline editing.

Although this is the current behavior it’s not very good. There is work being done on the geometry library and I hope in the future that we will be able to use polylines to represent polygons and filled zones - but if that happens it will be a long time in the future; there are many more urgent features/changes that people are working on.

As a user, I have also found this behavior to be unexpected. One way to slightly mitigate it is to select all the lines (easier if nothing else visible is contained in the minimum surrounding box) and use Move Exact (Ctrl-m on Windows).