Style: zero length wires - yay! or nay?

What do you think about placing e.g. GND and PWR symbols directly on the pins they connect to, without any green wire in-between?
Stylish and minimal? or just confusing and a “1-unit” length green wire is better?

The highlight net tool of kicad stable only works on wires which means if there is no wire then you do not see what is connected and can not activate it. Also the grab command does not magically add a wire so changes are made harder.

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I would stay clear of doing this for exactly the same reason I stay clear of 4 nets at one blob… visually you cannot tell if it is connected or no.
I have spent too much of my professional life integration other peoples designs with silly faults like this to even tolerate it at a review


I started a design now using no wires. But I agree with @Naib
I guess I will need to fix my schematic :confused:

I often connect components with a two grid-point wire (though not often on multiple adjacent pins of a module) to make it a little easier to attach an additional wire between two components. If it was just one grid-point wire then I may have to do a lot of shifting around to leave enough room for a single grid point on either side of the junction dot. Sort of like the old BASIC habit of starting writing a program by numbering the lines in 10s (10, 20, 30, etc.), to give room between lines to add something later.

Not only do old habits die hard, but they can manifest themselves in new ways. :wink:

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Rene has 2 valid points in my book.
The “Highlight net” function could be easily fixed by also highlighting the pin that the net is connected too, and the drag function could be improved by adding the missing wire when dragging.

I do not like the overlapping texts of the 3 GND symbols. That is a big nono in any schematic. Especially when zooming out this becomes unreadable.

When drawing analog schematics with lots of transistors & resistors and such it is very tempting to connect resistors directly to transistors without wires. Even two grid-poind length wires between all the components can make the schematic very bulky.

Long ago, (befor KiCad) I had a schematics program that automatically added the wires when end points connected. This was sometimes very handy and speeded up schematics drawing. Take for example a 8-bit databus with termination (or pullup) resistors in a single package. Wen you simply drop the 8-resistor component on the data pins, all resistors got connected, and then dragging the resistor pack added all the wires. That was a nice feature of that program. KiCad’s auto repeat function with the [Ins] key is usually a decent alternative.

I do not agree with Niab and kammutierspule.
When there is no junction dot on wires crossing they are not connected. KiCad also helps by drawing open squares on unconnected wire ends, and circles on unconnected component pins. Making these more visible is probably a good idea.
KiCad’s ERC forcing you to to use the “No Connection” flags also really helps a lot to catch simple user errors.

I also often draw global labels directly to pins without intermediate wires:


The way I see it, the whole point of a schematic is to: 1) create a net list for pcbnew; 2) communicate your design.

If your schematic is hard to read, I guess it is communicating poorly. I always use wires to connect components, labels, and power symbols because if something is not connected I will be able to see it more easily by the little square/circles on the offending pin.

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I do not agree with Niab and kammutierspule.
When there is no junction dot on wires crossing they are not connected. KiCad also helps by drawing open squares on unconnected wire ends, and circles on unconnected component pins. Making these more visible is probably a good idea.
KiCad’s ERC forcing you to to use the “No Connection” flags also really helps a lot to catch simple user errors.

Thing is… that isn’t what I stated …
I explicitly stated I stay clear of 4 nets at one blob nothing to do with no connections. Two crossing nets clearly shows no connection (but can cause confusing schematics)

HOWEVER… a blob, a dot … if it is a T-junction that is fine, but as 4-way, as I mentioned … can you be sure?

Clearly not connected.

Clearly a junction.

But this?

Is this a 4-way junction or a T-junction with a trace underneath another OR is it an intentional 4way but due to miss-click, bug, crash it doesn’t connect…

There is a reason why every single company I have ever worked for will reject any 4-way junctions at a review.
There is a reason it is the STRONGLY RECOMMENDED NOT TO

There are reasons why other eCAD tools will provide visual aids to clearly show the intent

The above will automatically occur in Mentor Xpedition


You are clearly new here…

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@eelik whether I am new here or not is moot since my reply was based upon the misrepresentation that @paulvdh posted.

Fact is I know of no company that would permit a 4-way junction at a review as there is no way to be sure and eCAD tools provide mechanism to mitigate the issues. So either @paulvdh has zero industrial experience or misinterpreted what was written

You could use the Part called “Jumper”, as shown below:

My point was that the subject has been beaten to painful death a couple of times already. There’s nothing wrong in your opinion and I avoid 4-way crossings, too.

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I am of opinion that humans and software tools are sufficiently evolved to recognise junction tools for what they are. When in doubt you can also use “highlight net”.
For me, this: image is clearly a connection between all those wires, I learned this 30 years ago.

I had to laugh about the “clearly new here” remark from eelik. People tend to get quite religious about junction dots, and I do not understand why. They simply work.

A more important issue which gets overlooked in this thread are overlapping texts. No matter if you use “zero length wires”, when texts are overlapping it always adds needless obfuscation to schematics and is also a sign of lazyness. What sort of a thing is:


Have you ever tried this? It’s a joke, I’m sure you did.


The above will automatically occur in Mentor Xpedition

Not all efforts from Expedition to Xpedition are improvements. The existing 4-way junction is clearly a connection and should only be generated if drawing a crossing wire in 2 segments. If moving a wire it must not connect after dropped again.

The notation of Xpedition: I never saw this for PCB. It is in use for the wiring of switching cabinets and has a completely different significance. For PCB the schematic does not reflect the positions of signal taps on the PCB. For wiring of switching cabinets such exact schematics are a requirement to help debug. The shown Xpedition notation is frequently used for screw terminals where it is allowed to connect two wires. This are most screw terminals with a U-shaped washer where it is required in the schematic to keep the direction (up/down) and connect both to one dot. This method makes sure (if you see for example a chain of emergency switches) to identify what cable is on exactly what screw. Of coarse the functionallity of most components is pin swappable but then its not exactly wired equal to schematics.

As such such junctions cannot be generated automatically, it seems completely wrong to introduce them for PCB

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But that jumper will interconnect two different nets within KiCad (and any other EDA so far as I am aware?) So you use a trace on the pcb that will flag a DRC error, right?

I don’t get that one…

I have an easy answer to that one. Work for a double or triple company. :slight_smile:

It really doesn’t matter, Bob. I was trying to make a joke with Paul about his previous image with the GND text of the symbols overlapped. Never mind.

Hi, Pedro

FYI I am much better at spinning my own jokes than understanding those of others. So no need to worry about any of that. I saw nothing fishy with your schematic image, assuming that GNDPWR is a net name. Which maybe it is not but it could be. Anyway I will go back to working for every triple company job I can find. :slight_smile:

I didn’t get the joke either.
My previous posts of the overlapping texts was a direct screenshot from the first post of this topic. Overlapping texts are always bad.