Symbol properties blank out when clicked on

This was occurring with 5.99 version too. When I click on a placed component in a KiCad 6.0 schematic, it lists Reference, Value, Footprint, etc in Symbol Properties, they blank out when I click on the field.

If I click on Value, it disappears. If I try to type a new value, nothing typed shows up. It stays blank. But if I rapidly multi-click on that field, I can see it’s there in the background but it’s colored white or off white for some reason. The things I’ve entered in those fields or that were there when the symbol was chosen, are always shown when I open Symbol Properties.

When I click on any changeable field, it just blanks out, and I can’t see what’s there, what I’m typing so I can’t proof read it afterwards. It’s just blank. Until I close and open Properties.

How to get around this bug?

Ubuntu 21.10.1 using Mate desktop.

It’s probably the GTK theme. I don’t remember if or how it can be changed in Ubuntu Mate.

What is a GTK Theme? I always go with defaults. Where is it?

See this bug report… Grid cell editors do not appear under some circumstances [GTK-specific] (#5690) · Issues · KiCad / KiCad Source Code / kicad · GitLab

I don’t see a fix there I can use but did see a work around. The work around doesn’t work long as the bug returns on repeated views of specific properties boxes. [Edit: see workaround below] I did leave a post there at GitLab.

Okay, here’s the work around. Open the Symbol Properties for a component. Grab the upper left (or Right) corner and pull the properties box bigger. Then slide the Value line to the right a 1/2 inch or so. Now you can edit all the properties without things disappearing.

When finished, grab the upper left (or Right) corner and pull the box back down to default size then close. This prevents the issue from growing with the enlarged box if you close it when it’s enlarged then come back and reopen.

Note that when editing a ‘Value’ that the Name will disappear, but I’m okay with that when working. Having to manipulate the properties box size every time is annoying as all get out though.


PS If I have wxWidgets or a GTK theme, I didn’t install it myself. I don’t know if I have it or not. If I do, it came along with yesterdays install of KiCad 6.0.

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The package management system would have taken care of installing all dependencies.

“GTK theme” is the appearance of the underlying UI library. There is always some theme, otherwise the user interface would be invisible :slight_smile:. The MATE desktop uses GTK3 and so does wxWidgets on Linux, and KiCad uses wxWidgets.

wxWidgets is sometimes called a virtual GUI toolkit. It’s a layer between the application and the OS specific toolkit that implements the GUI. This is a way of getting cross-platform GUI applications, but a drawback is that wxWidgets cannot control all aspects of the look and feel.

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Yeah, I found that it doesn’t happen in other ‘Properties’ boxes with similar setups. Which sort of eliminates wxWidgets or a GTK theme as the symptom would probably present when editing those just like with the part properties editing if it was that underlying theme or widget. Probably.

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I am now in designing a PCB and it has the same problem of disappearing values when trying to use the ‘Board Setup’ feature. When the editing box opens, you can’t see the entered values because they are white on a white background. Same in ‘Net Classes’ when that’s selected, the entire row is white on white.

Here’s the version info…it works now that I rebooted:

Application: KiCad PCB Editor

Version: 6.0.1-79c1e3a40b~116~ubuntu21.10.1, release build

wxWidgets 3.0.5
libcurl/7.74.0 OpenSSL/1.1.1l zlib/1.2.11 brotli/1.0.9 libidn2/2.3.1 libpsl/0.21.0 (+libidn2/2.3.0) libssh/0.9.6/openssl/zlib nghttp2/1.43.0 librtmp/2.3

Platform: Linux 5.13.0-27-generic x86_64, 64 bit, Little endian, wxGTK, mate, x11

Build Info:
Date: Jan 15 2022 20:26:47
wxWidgets: 3.0.5 (wchar_t,wx containers,compatible with 2.8) GTK+ 3.24
Boost: 1.74.0
OCC: 7.5.2
Curl: 7.74.0
ngspice: 35
Compiler: GCC 11.2.0 with C++ ABI 1016

Build settings:

PS The work around mentioned above does not work in this situation.

Has there been any headway completely fixing this issue? I just checked and it seems the answer is a qualified ‘somewhat’.

What I’m seeing now is that the ‘Value’ does stay there when clicked on, which is helpful, BUT, the ‘Name’ disappears AND everything to the right of ‘Show’. All those items turn to white font on a white background. Don’t think that’s appropriate but it doesn’t cause much trouble so that’s good.

I’ve found the same thing still happens in PCB but it’s better.

So, the issue is still there, just not as bad. What’s worrisome is that without an understanding of what’s actually causing it, the underlying issue, it’s likely to return after an upgrade in the future. Hopefully, someone is still working on this.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it’ll never get fixed. Someday I’ll make a little script to resize the dialog slightly automatically every time it’s opened lmao

I have the same problem with Ubuntu 20.04 + Mate 1.24.0, and found 3 workarounds by accident.:
1: Hold ALT for a second and the value will show. (time may depend on keyboard repeat settings)
2:Clicking the schematic or any other window and the value will show, the Symbol Property window will stay on top of the schematic so its at least a little easier than the resize work around.
3: Resize (as said before, but found this one myself too)
Would be nice to know a solution to this, I don’t mind editing theme if need be.

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