Through holes type and printing


  • how do I do holes like that (see image) ?
  • why cant I see my holes when I print all layers ?

I read that non copper layers could not be printed with kicad, but I certainty want to check my components placement/size before ordering quiet expensive PCB’s from the antipodes

thanks for helping me on this

Are you referring to the straight rows of via’s, or to the big holes in the corners?

For the via’s, you can create an array :slight_smile:
For the big holes in the corners…
Mounting holes are just regular parts with a schematic symbol and a footprint.
So first place mounting holes on the schematic. (There are variants with and without a pin to connect them to a net) and then assign a footprint from one of the 128 holes in the “MountingHole” footprint library.

You are probably looking for the “_Pad_Via” variant, such as MountingHole Nr 72:


do you have the answer for my second question ?

I don’t know what you’re printing, but holes are normally not included in the copper for Gerber files.

The reason is that this is both not needed for a normal production process because the holes are normally drilled (and then plated) before etching.

For hobby use and hand-etching & drilling it is usefull to have small starter holes for centering your drill in the middle of pads & via’s. I think there is a setting for this during plotting of output files, but I’ve just now looked a bit at it and am not sure what setting it is.

There is a setting for “Drill marks” during plotting, but it’s disabled for gerbers.

[Edit] (Again).
There is also a difference between:
Pcbnew / File / Plot (Vector output)
Pcbnew / File / Print ( Pixel output (I think))
… And I see that also in the “Print” output dialog there is an option for “Drill marks”


At least on my Win10 system these are the differences that I see:
Pcbnew / File / Print

  • Printing uses the system print drivers to generate output. It’s up the the system print drivers if the output goes to a physical device or to a file, and if to a file what filetype the data is saved as.
  • Printing allows combining multiple layers onto one output page. Appears to be targeted towards documentation.

Pcbnew / File / Plot

  • Plotting directly generates files in a specified output folder. The plot dialog allows you to choose the output filetype.
  • Each artwork layer is on it’s own output page. Appears to be targeted towards manufacturing.

Very rough comparison, I may have missed some details.

yeah I just printed gerbview

  • too bad I have to re-select layers in the print dialog, I mean it should be based on my current active layers

  • as I print two layers, it prints them on separate sheets of paper, not really eco friendly … and I wanted to have both on the same page

Ah… I think both @paulvdh and I assumed you were printing from PCBNew instead of GerbView… I’ve actually never printed from GerbView so this was my first introduction to looking at GerbView’s print dialog.

Yeah, my first introduction to this dialog it seems that all layers are selected at the start. And then the dialog remembers the last set of selection. Since this is way out of my workflow, I can’t say what would be best.

No, it doesn’t look like you can combine layers onto individual pages. If you want that functionality, check out the print dialog in PCBNew.

Yah, I checked both Eeschema & Pcbnew, but not Gerbview.

If you want to combine multiple layers on a single sheet, then the best way is probably to plot to one of the vector formats, and then use another program to load those “drawings” and manipulate them further before printing.