Seeking Guidance: Replicating XJTAG Board in KiCad – Backside Component Placement and Mirroring Challenges

Hello members of the KiCad Info Forums,

As I’ve mentioned in my last two posts, I am still navigating the ins and outs of KiCad and feeling a bit uncertain. However, practice is the key to mastery. My current objective is to replicate an XJTAG Board, and you can find the original plan at [] . This project requires multiple layers. I’ve already placed my components on the front side and now aim to insert and route the remaining elements on the backside.

What would be a strategic approach for this? I intend to position many 0402 resistors and capacitors, along with numerous test points on the back, similar to the attached image.

My current method involves selecting a component, right-clicking to access “Properties,” and under “Position,” choosing “Backside.” Does this successfully move the component to the back, or is there a more efficient way to accomplish this?

Now, I notice that the component on my current board appears mirrored. How can I configure it so that I only see the backside of the board in my current workspace, with the front side mirrored? Is such a configuration possible?

I am eager to receive your insights and appreciate your guidance!

Best regards,

For a number of footprints:
Move all the footprints you wish to be on the other side into one area. Create a selection box around them OR hold Ctrl key down, while clicking on each footprint with mouse, then: hotkey F, or Right Mouse click to open selection box then Change Side / Flip.
For individual footprints; highlight footprint > hotkey F.

To view the other side of the board:
View > Flip Board View or at the bottom of the layers in the Appearance Manager on the RHS of your workspace in Layer Display Options; you also have a Flip board view. A hotkey may also be assigned for this function. Preferences > Preferences > Hotkeys > type the word “flip” up top.

Also in the Appearance Manager in Layers there is an “Eye” between the color example and the layer name. This toggles that layer on of off. Toggling other layers off can sometimes help to avoid distraction when working on a particular layer.
Take note of what is also available in the “Objects” list in the Appearance Manager.

I should also mention “Presets”, “Viewports” & “Selection Filter” all towards the bottom of the Appearance Manager.

Hotkey E does that job of opening the properties.
View > Show Properties Manager will show a properties panel on the Left of your workspace. A left mouse click on anything will show the basic properties in this panel. Many items are editable from this panel.

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As jmk already mentioned, the f hotkey for Flip flips a footprint or selection to the other side of the PCB. If there is any doubt, you can see it on the color of the (SMT) pads. Default red for the front, and blue for the back layer. One thing to be aware of is that flipping footprints (or especially a selection) to the other side is likely to move things off the grid. So first put them on the right side of the PCB before you do the final placement. For THT parts you can see it from the color (layer) of the silkscreen text, and texts on the bottom of the PCB look mirrored when viewed “through” the PCB which is the normal view. You can also use PCB Editor / View / Flip Board View. This does not change anything on the PCB itself, but it makes you look at the PCB from the backside of the PCB.

PCB Editor / View / 3D viewer [Alt + 3] is also a great tool for inspecting the PCB.

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Hello “paulcdh” and “jmk”, thank you very much for your responses. Designing my board is really easy with your tips. Thanks a lot and have a super nice weekend! best regards, Sven

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