Struggling with Schematic Layout Editor

It is very difficult to use the Schematic Layout Editor. When I used version 4 I did not have so many problems, mainly adding Wires and deleting through the hotkey shortcuts.
Let me cite an example:
Creating a wire between two connectors initially is very difficult to centralize the begin and end of the wire at the points of the connectors. Normally if it is not exactly in the center and it is stay disconnected.
Then when I try to delete the wire using the hotkey “D” I can not delete it, it just does not delete!
Is this related to some setting of my preferences? It’s a Bug? Would be the Grid?
Already happened in previous versions 5. I expected to the released 5.1.0 but it’s the same.
Have anyone experiencing something like this?

try grid 50 or 100mils.

grid-settings seems to be ‘hidden’ under right-click in 5.1

Hi Anders,
Many thanks for your quickly answer.

Putting the grid in 50 or 100 mils made the situation worse. It seems that I have something wrong in my settings because it can not be so bad working with Kicad!!

You need to have your grid on that setting from the very beginning including when creating personal libraries for this to be a viable solution.

Right now your only chance is to select the smaller grid that you used sometime in the past and either connect your stuff on that grid or move everything onto the larger grid that you do intent to use. (making helping markers on the large grid can be of great help when doing the later.)

And yes the devs are aware that snap to grid is a workflow that would be best left in the past. But there has simply not been enough time (or manpower) to get around fixing this.

For the official library we guarantee that everything can be connected on 50mil grid. Most things will even be on 100 mil grid.

Dear Rene,

Thank you very much for your tips and considerations.
About the size of the Grid I have already managed to fit my designs.
But now I’m struggling a lot to be able to edit the changes follows some of the difficulties:

  • I can not delete a wire using the “D” shortcut or DELETE. From what I tested, it is only possible to use the shortcut “D” when the wire is connected at both ends, otherwise the only way I found to delete is dragging the mouse to select it as a group of objects and then use the shortcut “D”. It seems to me that this is very stressful to work with.
    In previous versions, I simply placed the mouse over the object to be deleted, dragged, etc, using the hotkey functionality, Kicad performed very well.
  • To drag some component or wire also got very bad, in previous versions, it worked perfectly. In version 5.1.0 is very bad.
  • The Grid is not working as in previous versions.
    Honestly I’m pretty worried because considering version 5.2.0 it seems to me that it has regressed compared to previous versions.
    I have been working for a few months and have directed all my projects to KICAD, including I have contributed financially to the project because I believe in KICAD.
    My questions:
    Is the version 5.0.2, a version that I can continue developing my projects? Will not I have compatibility issues for the next versions of KICAD?

I’m sorry but I’m a little bit worried about the future of what I’m considering as a platform to develop my projects.

Sorry to hear you’re experiencing troubles. Could you share your schematic & libraries it uses? It would be much easier for us to understand what “To drag some component or wire also got very bad” if we could play around with your project. Maybe it’s something related to grid settings, but I can’t say for sure.


1 Like

It might be a grid issue to be honest. eeschema is a bit finicky if the current grid is different to the grid at which the element you try to edit is drawn.

Very little detail to go on here.

Again too little detail to say anything

all version 5.x.y will be file compatible. Version 6 will be the one that will again be allowed to change things regarding file format.

Hi Tom,

Thank you very much for your attention. No problem, I’m willing to help improve.

I did a very simple test. I put two RJ45 connectors from the KICAD standard library.
Yes, I agree with Rene that they are small things, but it is unworkble when we are wont with a tool.

Maybe I have something wrong on my Operational System, but I do not believe it because version 5.0.2 works normally. There may also be a mismatch between versions for projects that were created with earlier versions of KICAD.
I will wait another time to use version 5.1.0. It may have some fixes in the coming releases.

I’m sorry if I’m being too straightforward, but I understand that I’m trying to contribute to KICAD’s improvement and showing what disturbs me. I think it’s disturbing other people, too.

Thank you for now.

Hi Jonas,

Please attach this simple schematic and I’ll check what could be wrong. There might be tiny details that someone overlooked and are causing you trouble.


In the attached file, using version 5.2.0 I can not use the Hotkeys to delete, drag, etc in the wires. It works only on components. This test is part of a project that I originally created version 4.
When I create a new project using version 5.2.0 it works normally.

I have a project in progress and is not possible to recreate it completely in version 5.2.0 (if I want to migrate to the recent version).
Can you confirm if it is possible for you, for example to delete the wires(with Hotkey “D”)?

For me it does not work, just selecting as a block then Hotkey “D” works.

Jonas (3.8 KB)

As i suspected above: Your wires are off grid. If you either move them onto the grid or set the grid low enough then delete works normally.


Were you able to delete the wires using Hotkey? If yes, it has something different from my version 5.2.0.
I decrease the grid to 1 mils and in my KICAD 5.2.0 I can not delete using the Hotkey.

I still understand that there is some incompatibility in version 5.2.0 with projects created in previous versions.
Anyway as I said I will wait for the next releases. It does not solve anything that I remain here punching at the point of a knife.
I want to thank you for the effort until now. I will continue testing and if I find anything that can clarify this detail. I’ll let you know.

I also had a look at your schematic, and agree with Rene.

EEschema is very dependent on everything being on grid, this is a known limitation of Eeschema (and wil probably get fixed in V6 or so). In the meantime the easiest workaround is to never ever change the grid and let it be at the default of 1.27mm (50 mills).

The whole schematic is clearly drawn on a much smaller grid, which makes it almost impossible to work with.
Fixing such a “damaged” schematic is also not so easy.
Schematic symbols are easy to move with the “m” shortcut. so I moved all components on grid.
Note that the endpoints of the diodes now line up with the grid points, and the left diode is moved a different distance than the right.

I do not even know if there is an easy way to fix the green connection lines to get them on grid. The only way I know is to delete them with block select options (first move all components far away), or set the grid to a fine enough selectrion to be able to select the line segments individually.

Yes when selecting the smallest available grid. Not if i leave the grid as 50 mil. (For reference i have 5.1.0 under ubuntu 16.04)

Also: What is your KiCad version?
V5.2.0 does not exist. It’s either V5.0.2 or V5.1.0 ( or an old V4… or a nightly).
I also noted that your schematic needed “resqueing” because you apparently use V4 lib’s in KiCad V5.

Note that if your grid size is smaller than the wire, you will need to be exactly on the middle of the wire for the hotkey to find the item and delete it. This can be extremely difficult.

Might be because the project is missing files. (Because @jtelocken assumed they are not needed to show this problem. Which is the correct assumption.) I do not think we ever had a symbol named like that.

The problem is not in using the hotkeys, but in selecting off-grid items to be able to do anything with them.
As I said earlier, moving the components onto the grid is easily done one-by-one.
You can select bunches of traces to delete them by dragging a box around them:

Then delete and draw new lines on the grid.

An update: the line between the diodes is a bit tricky to delete as it is so short that the disambiguation algorithm seems to go a bit crazy.

To put it differently: If you draw your schematics on a sane grid (25 mil or larger) then you should not run into problems at all. Meaning you can update to 5.1 without trouble just be a bit more mindful regarding the grid.

Now it seems to me that it is clarifying.
What I’m finding strange that these difficulties I did not have in version 5.0.2