I’m a complete newbie to KiCad, but have a lot of PCB design experience (mostly Altium). One thing that I am having trouble with is selecting multiple components but not selecting other components that are in the midst of my target components. Many other programs (CAD, vector graphics, etc) allow you to build up the “selected” objects by holding a key and clicking on each component that you want to select (usually the ctrl key). So, if you want to select several parts, you can just hold ctrl and click on each one, then do whatever it is that you want with them (move, delete, copy, etc). Is there a similar selection mechanism in eeschema? If so, I can’t seem to find it!
But, don’t give up yet. KiCad is going to make you question nearly everything you thought you knew about EDA and MCAD software.
Using Symbols with pins that line up on the 100mill grid will make your tasks much easier; however, many KiCad library Symbols are on the 50mill grid.
Most everyone agrees that Eeschema is still a little bit clunky. Push onward to check out the Push and Shove Router in PcbNew.
Welcome to the Forum!
Being able to make more complicaded selections is a plus, but as a more general rule it is often also adviseable to leave a bit more room between sections so it is not needed to use more complicated selection methods.
Very recently I came across a little power supply with sort of enhances both arguments.
Everything is crammed together on a small sheet, which makes it difficult to change anything, adding a single opamp anywhere on the schematic would almost need reorganisation of the whole schematic.
Note also that almost any sub circuit is selectable with a single rectanggular window.
mini_psu_sch.pdf (138.8 KB)
(The schematic is not mine, I just found it together with some code on github).
In KiCad / EEschem / PCBnew it is also perfectly alright to completely ignore the paper size and draw all your circuits next to or around the “paper” area. and only put them within the boundary near the end of completion for archiving purposes.
Also agree with Sprig. KiCad has come a long way from barely usable a bunch of years back to an almost fully profressional schematic and pcb package. EEschem has been left a bit behind in this regard and it still hase some rough edges.
Have a look at the “made with KiCad” section for some ideas of KiCad’s capability:http://kicad-pcb.org/made-with-kicad/
I have only used versions upto V4.0.7 (short dab at some “nightlies”) V5.0 is now … near to release, and I think that a further cleanup for EEschem is planned in the roadmap for V6.
Have you found the “getting started with KiCad” tutorial?
It is a good way to get acquainted with the workflow in KiCad in a few hours.
It really does not take that much time to learn about Hierarchical sheets.
It does not deserve a YACK!
The schematic is quiete well organized and a lot of thought has been put in it.
Signal flow from left to right Voltages from top to bottom.
(Only the current measurement / feedback is drawn in “reverse” but that kind of fits)
Power supplies in the top left corner.
Output on the bottom right.
Each section nicely labeled with fat text.
All sub sections are easy to understand.
I have seen schematics that are a lot worse.
But cramming everything together so closely costs a lot of extra time.
You also have to do a text search to find some labels.
Hierarchical schematic can probably improve this, but having everything together on one sheet also has it’s charm.
It seems to have several problems/issues.
My first response was, as above, “YACK!”
Yeah, I still continue to like to use CAPS…sorry.
The example schematic deserves commendation for “doing the best you can with the available resources”. As mentioned, components are grouped according to their function in the larger system, labeling is straightforward and consistent, etc. But it is still very crowded on that sheet size.
And . . . where are the drawing notes? The ones that tell me the last reference designator used, and any missing designators. The ones that remind me whether these are 50mW or 100 mW resistors. Or the default voltage rating on capacitors. Or which capacitors are polarized. And, of course, a summary of the revision history.
In my mind it makes sense to extend some drawings onto additional sheets. I know the stock response to this suggestion is “use hierarchical drawings”. The example I cited - putting notes, tables, etc on a separate page - simply doesn’t fit my idea of a “hierarchy”. Other common practices, such as putting the power conditioning and bypassing components on a separate page, aren’t really hierarchical partitions either. Suppose you already have a hierarchy with two (or more) drawings, and each of those drawings has its “Notes” on a separate hierarchical sheet. Can you keep those separate sheets associated with their respective schematics without adding an additional layer (and additional complexity) to the hierarchy? Some schematics simply contain too much information to fit on a single page, but artificially partitioning them into a hierarchy tends to obfuscate, rather than illuminate, the designer’s original attention.
“YACK!” is an acceptable response. I don’t entirely agree with it, but you are entitled to your own opinions (no matter how misguided ).
I opened up the file, and … what I wrote above was my first thought.
Kinda like, “Yea, this is pretty cool” then, “ACK”! it’s making my brain hurt.
At least I didn’t mention that it was “wonky”.
Not giving up at all I’m quite happy with it so far, but this seemed to be a fairly glaring omission.
Thanks for the pointer to the tutorial; will definitely check it out.
I do a lot of complex PCB development, so I know about leaving space, etc. Pretty much every other cad package (pcb or otherwise) out there has a “build up selected objects” functionality followed by “edit selected objects” (see Schematic Inspector in Altium). I was surprised to see it omitted in KiCad.