I’m just getting started with KiCad and really enjoying running through the tutorial. I have a lot of experience with Altium on Windows and so far am very impressed with how polished and slick KiCad is.
The OS X installer in particular was unexpected bliss for an open-source project, so kudos to the maintainers!
The biggest bugbear so far though, is that zooming is very clunky - the trackpad on the magic mouse correctly invokes the zoom function, but it is very slow and the steps are very large. I find myself carefully inching my finger forward to zoom just a tad when wham, it starts zooming and continues zooming several steps after I stop my finger movement.
The next problem is that panning does not appear to be supported with this mouse. I’d be happy to buy a more traditional three button mouse, if I can be assured the experience would be better. At the moment though, I’d be happy to change the mighty mouse trackpad behaviour to invoke panning and use shift-trackpad to zoom or something. Or even something like Alitum - trackpad to pan vertical, shift-trackpad to pan horizontal, ctrl-trackpad to zoom.
Is my experience typical? Is there anything I can try to improve it?
I am trying to start with KIcad on a MacBook Pro retina.
It looks promising, but the action of the trackpad on the zoom is really annoying.
I would prefer the trackpad to have no action at all on the zoom factor, and just allow to move around in the schematics, and use the key to increase/decrease the zoom factor.
As it is, any action end up to some unwanted zooming.
Well Jacques, sounds like we’re having very similar experiences. I wonder why we’re the only ones reporting it?
Is this a known issue? Is there a better channel where we can find other Mac users? Are things any better on any other platform? Zooming and panning seems so fundamental to the experience of EDA - becoming adept at an EDA tool usually means making zooming and panning second nature. How are others achieving this?
This is true and I can confirm that (scrollwheel / trackpad) zooming is only usable with a lot of gentleness.
I configured a thumb button on my mouse to work as a scroll-wheel-click which effectively is a middle-button click. This middle-click was configured to be the pan-click in KiCAD then. This works like a charm. I do recommend buying a nice Logitech mouse (or similar) that allows for some configuration because pressing the middle button for panning (same as click - key combinations) are a little bit too cumbersome for a smooth workflow.
Thanks Airic, that helps a lot. I imagine having a scroll wheel with detents would help so at least you know how many steps you’ve invoked.
I managed to find a non-ideal work around, that is not too bad:
Set the hotkeys for zoom in, out and centre to the numbers 1, 2 and 3.
Use the number keys for zooming instead of the mouse.
Hold shift and use the magic mouse track pad for panning - can be panned in any direction.
That shift-trackpad invokes panning was a surprise, but there you go. With a bit of practice, I think the combination of left hand on the 1, 2, 3 and shift keys and right hand on the mouse, I should be able to zoom and pan fairly effectively.
If there were just finer steps for zooming and panning, I think the experience would be a whole lot better!
You might want to try nightly builds starting with rev6586.
From there a new setting in preferences of all applications exist where you can select “Touchpad panning”.
This will enable usual panning with MagicMouse or touchpad.
Wow! That’s exactly what I was looking for! It’s amazing! I downloaded the latest nightly build and now the touchpad works as expected!
I am in the process of evaluating KiCad and this was for me a real show stopper. Even Eagle with its incredibly frustrating, non-standard user interface supports multitouch zooming/panning. I am one of those that after years of using a multitouch I became much more productive than with a mouse, but of course, when all the trackpad’s functions are supported.
Now back to the evaluation… I can’t stand Eagle anymore.
It’s now in stable (I downloaded the installer recently) and it is seriously a delight. Run, do not walk, to the “touchpad panning”, “OpenGL Render Mode” and “1-Zoom Out, 2-Zoom in” keyboard shortcut settings. IMHO, Kicad just got real.