Viewing component properties in the PCB

I’m pretty new to KiCad, so please forgive the basic question, but I’m not sure how to find my answer.

On my schematic, I’ve created a new “Field” on a symbol, called MPN, for obvious reasons. If I then import changes to my PCB file, I’m quite certain that field makes the transition - it’s noted in the “Update PCB” window as an “action,” and moreover it appears as a “property” of the footprint in the text of the .kicad_pcb:

(footprint "CM4IO:SFW15R-1STE1LF" (layer "F.Cu")
 (tedit 60517423) (tstamp be0b8925-dc1f-48f5-a499-bcf4ae1ec8db)
 (at 110.236 129.032 180)
 (property "MPN" "SFW15R-1STE1LF")

My question is, how do I SEE this property anywhere in the PCB editor? If I double-click the footprint in question, I just see a list of “text items” unrelated to the schematic symbol’s properties.

Add a text item to the footprint in the footprint editor and type ${MPN} in it.

Interesting, thanks. So that at least lets me SEE the property on the PCB. But I think it doesn’t let me see the property if I DON’T make it visible in the physical board, and doesn’t let me edit it either? I suppose I could work around (1) by just making it appear on a “MPNs” layer or something, but it’d be useful to be able to just see it in the properties window.

You can of course add the text in any available technical (non manufacturable) layer and mark it as invisible. Then you can toggle invisible items temporarily in the pcb view. That’s what’s available right now.

The variables are one-way, they are visible from the schematic to the pcb but can’t be edited in the pcb.

Text substitution variables are a new feature in v6 and they may be enhanced in the future. It’s not even known yet how the users might possibly want to use them.


Cool, thanks for filling me in!

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