Purpose of selecting pads as a default?

I’m puzzled as to the use of selecting individual pads in PCB. Shouldn’t editing of these pads be done in a footprint editor? Even if this is indeed a useful option, shouldn’t it be an option-click or alt-click or right-click item. Making this the default behavior when clicking on a footprint seems odd.

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There’s a setting in 6.0 for this which disables editing them on the PCB.

FWIW, many ageing authors who grew up with through-hole components are used to being able to edit pads on the board for alternate spacings; SMD guys less-so for obvious reasons.

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I find PAD, rather than footprint, selection to quite annoying.

Seems like this should be turned off by default then in V6 instead of enabled.

It is off by default in 6.0.

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I regularly put molex pins on my boards. By default, pin 1 is “square” the others are round. Once I’ve put the footprint on my board, I might decide to make pin 1 round, and make one or more other pins square (because they are 0v, for example). The last thing I want is all combinations of 5,6,7,8,9,10 pin footprints with different pins set as square!

Another example is that I am using a transistor TO-92 pinout, but would like to, for this particular instance, make the pads slightly bigger.

Yes, the “correct” way to do this is to create a custom footprint, but it’s simpler to just edit it on the PCB for a one-off.

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Another good reason for having quick access to pad properties is to change the thermal relief settings for a single pad.

Moving a single pad i a footprint is a useful feature too, altough it is rarely needed. One example could be a banana jack in a front panel that is connected with a short wire directly to the PCB.

PCB’s can be really crowded sometimes. and editing single pads of a footprint is rarely needed. Maybe it is a better option to move this functionality a bit.

How about the idea that when a pad is clicked, it always selects the whole footprint, and then move the editing of individual pads to a tab of the footprint properties?

Perhaps pad selection should upgrade to footprint selection if the Allow Free Pads setting is off?

Not sure we can actually implement this for V6 though, as it’s more complicated than it might seem – selection is used for all kinds of things where this should not apply: for example, you must still be able to select pads to begin routing tracks from them, or to highlight their net. So, there is a lot of risk for bugs here and it’s not the right time to make this kind of change.

Yeah, I suspect that one’s going to have a really long tail…

Thats right.
PLEASE keep this possibility !

but what do you mean with “ageing” ? :unamused:

agree; one-off changes are expedient but long term create more errors and work. And along the way it makes footprint selection frustrating.

This (or something close enough for me) is already implemented.
If you un-check the Pads from the selection filter, then selection “upgrades” to the whole footprint:

(Unless footprints are also excluded from the selection filter of course.)

KiCad-nightly V5.99 has extended capabilities of changing properties of individual pads. You can for example change the net of the netlist that a pad is a member off. And all the other (mostly quick & dirty) pad editing options are nice to have too. So there are plenty of reasons to keep access to selecting an individual pad simple. And with the new filter it’s also easy to turn off. So (contrary to what I wrote earlier). It looks like the best of both worlds. With the Selection Filter it just works great.


All of the Pad selection arguments are for cases which are MUCH less common than selecting components for movements.

I reluctantly suggest interface options as they distract from the main point.

I can’t recite all the shortcuts, but defaulting to Component could be modified with Shift/Alt/Cntl to select Pad.

Click and hold?
Double click for pad?

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