Unable to draw tracks

Forgive me for the newb question, but I am unable to draw tracks onto either copper layer on my pcb. Most tutorials I see select the “add track and vias” option and just start drawing a track. I’m given a circular selection tool but no trace. Hopefully my included screenshot is enough of an explanation, but I can gladly provide anything else.


You have unchecked both copper layers. Check F.Cu and B.Cu on the right panel and you will see all the traces you have done till now.

Thanks! I can see the traces now. I’m following this guide and still think I’m doing something incorrectly. Am I routing on the wrong layer? Why did he hide his filled layers but was still able to route? The answer seems so simple, yet I’m unable to find it.

Edit: added photo

To add to that:
The tick mark right to the colored field controls the visibility of a layer.

The colored field shows the current color of this layer. (Can be changed via middle mouse click and i think with double click at least for some versions of kicad.)

The single blue arrow to the left of the green field shows that currently the bottom copper layer is active. (Changing active layer is done by clicking on the layer name. between copper layers you can switch with v key which also creates a via or with the + and - keys on your keyboard.)

Usually smd components go on top layer (red colour with the default settings). You have your footprints on the bottom layer, that is why all references are mirrored.

In that tutorial, they want all components on the back (botom layer). It is not wrong, only uncommon.

In the tutorial there are no hidden layers, all of them are checked.

If you wanted to try another “getting started” tutorial, not because it is “better”, but just for a different “take”, something to test the ideas you have so far against, maybe try KiCadHowTo.com

I’m so glad you included the screenshot in your original post! The “answer” was so simple, with the screenshot… once I thought to look in the right place! A perfect example of why getting started in any computer “thing” is so hard. “Everyone knows” not to turn off a layer that you need! Not beginners!! (^_^)

It’s easy to forget where we all came from. On many occasions I have been heard to mutter, “It’s intuitively obvious to the casual observer . . . that in this case, NOTHING is intuitively obvious!”


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