Select / Move ONLY Silk?

I have a layout that is very tight - so tight that I need to move the reference designators off to the side.
Is there a way to select all of the top silk (without selecting the entire footprints or anything else) and move it?
Bonus points if there is a way to COPY the silk outlines only (so I can use those as part of the new mapping).
Thanks -

  1. Make the pcb bigger.Cramped boards are a huge pain to repair.

  2. Backup the entire project, not just pcb.

  3. On the right side there are 2tabs, turn off things that could be moved by mistake.

  4. Draw a box around the entire pcb. Right click and use Select, check text and graphics. I’m not at my pc, but this should give you some ideas.

Remember you can use Ctrl Z to undo.

Way less complicated, leave the ref designators alone.
When you make the gerbers, disable including the ref desg.

Why not simply make them invisible? That way you still have them near the parts should you ever get more space. This can be done with the edit text and graphics properties tool found in the edit menu.

Not sure what you want to do here. Maybe a bit more detail would help.

I don’t think that can be done from the GUI, value and reference are attributes of a footprint and it seems they can be selected as an independent group. Ref/value can be moved individually but not in a group, AFAIK.

This would be easy to do with a script, if you had the script…

I am guessing you want to create a fabrication drawing to assist assembly/repair etc. The silk layer of a footprint is inherent to a footprint, it can not be selected separately. In this case, a script could get the silk outline and copy it to a set of standalone graphics.

If I was writing a script for this, I would copy the required items (reference, outline etc) into text or graphics objects, then place them on a separate layer (like ECO2). It would then be easy to refresh that layer. If required, the new items could be offset to the side of the PCB.

Silk is the wrong layer to have such info on. Use the fab layer as is done in the official library. I would do this in the library not in the project to be honest.

With respect, I’ll put it wherever the hell I want :slight_smile:

It was not necessarily an answer to you but an extension to your answer. (yes i could have worded it differently.)

The eco layers have the massive disadvantage of there not being an equivalent for top and bottom like there is for the fab layers. Which makes me wonder why one would use that layer in a footprint. (I understand its use for manual annotations but really not for footprint data)

Maybe we should ask for more documentation layers that exist as top and bottom variants if the fab layer is not enough for users or if they are generally unhappy with what is on them and want to avoid redoing the library. (Or to have an additional layer with more detailed drawings of components such that users can choose the level of detail by selecting which layers to print)

iabarry -
thank you, that’s exactly what I needed. I didn’t know there was a “filter” option.
On this board I decided to put ref designators on the bottom of the board. Never done that or seen it before, but looks pretty good on the 3D view.

From time to time I have wanted additional layers for various reasons. A few I recall are:

  • Trying out alternative component placements or routing, without completely losing the current version.

  • A place to hold mechanical information, such as a front panel layout or enclosure outline, “for reference”.

  • A place to keep assembly or troubleshooting notes such as expected voltages at various locations, or “Mount these parts before installing the heatsink.”.

  • A place to put an image of the layout from another board that does NOT have a PCBNew file (e.g., a photo of the board, or screenshot from another layout program) so it can be replicated in PCBNew.

  • A place to hold documentation information such as revision history, test procedures, or even a detailed parts list.

Some of these uses could benefit from being specifically associated with “Top” or “Bottom” (or even an internal layer) while others are best left undesignated. I suppose the most versatile approach would be allowing the user to create new layers and specify their association - Top, Bottom, etc - at the “Project” level, but just having a few more “User” or “ECO” layers would be helpful.


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Would be good.
My first Idea was to have Ref at Silk and Value at CrtYd and have the same pictures at both layers and export 2 SVGs (one with Ref and one with Value) directly form KiCad (for documentation) and not have Silk at PCB. After 2 PCBs I changed my idea to have Ref and Value at CrtYd and not get my pictures directly from KiCad but to add the additional step to put together pictures with Inkscape. This allows to have Silk at PCB (I practically never used - P&P robot needs not it)
I spend 2 days redefining all footprints in my libraries (changing the picture at Silk).
If there will be more layers I would not have to decide if I wont direct documentation or silk at PCB.
The other solution would be if Export SVG would allow to on/off Ref and Value.

I hope you confused layers here. The courtyard layer has one purpose: Define the area taken up by a component plus whatever is needed to successfully place and solder it. It is used by the DRC and can not contain text elements.

Correction: it can.----

What does DRC make of this?

Looks like it doesn’t care.
Edit: I tested with just one footprint on a board; I didn’t try if it cares about overlapping texts etc. But at least it’s possible to write text there.

No. I not confused.
I am always using in documentation the references and values on rectangles representing the areas of each element. I wont to have as much space for texts like Ref and Value as possible to be readable. Picture at CrtYd has the most space inside from all others and even so, with reasonable text size, there is not enough space for it at elements like 0402. I don’t use description near the element but always at element. It is because there are regions at PCB where elements are placed close together in something like matrix.
How to make documentation was first thing I was thinking about when started to analyse KiCad. I wonted to generate it directly from KiCad - so my idea to use to it CrtYd and Silk (having not option to on/off Ref and Value in Export not allows to use for it one layer).
Fab layer contains the real element dimensions so collide with text.
At Silk I had the same picture as at CrtYd but what I was doing two days it was to move Ref from Silk to CrtYd and draw something different than rectangle at Silk with wider lines (0.1 versus 0.05 at CrtYd) and inside CrtYd.

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