Electronics > KiCad

Kicad Quirks

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ciikucli:
I've been using kicad for quite a while, and I've noticed a few things. i like to program a lot, and I'm hoping that someone can figure out if I'm doing it wrong or if it's just missing.

1)In both PCB and in eeschema, I can rotate, move and delete parts individually. Why can't I do that when I select a group without opening the right click menu.

2)It prompts me to choose which thing I have my mouse over and want to operate on, even if it seems that there is nothing else anywhere nearby.

3) Every time I tell PCB to read the netlist, any of the design rules I've applied to non named nets are reset.

4)When I'm updating the schematic, I have to generate a new netlist, tell it where to save, and go in to pcb and tell it to read the netlist. Overall, this is like 5-7 clicks and a couple different menus.

5) In the footprint editor, I can't place any lines that are not on the top silkscreen layer. Sometimes I think I would like a comments like board outline, or a line on the board outline editor.

6) In the footprint editor, I can't do dimensions, which I'd really like. Especially non linear dimensions. Some recommended PCB layers are not aligned with the x y grid.

7) I would kill for a tab toggle able x,y dialog box that would allow me to put in a change in x and a change in y. I've seen this type of behavior in draftsight and pcb. It would make everything so much easier

If anyone has noticed this or found a good solution, It would be much appreciated. I tried Diptrace before this, but I couldn't stand the complete lack of keyboard shortcuts. I haven't really tried eagle, but I predict I might soon need differential pair and impedance matching. Is it worth jumping ship? Has anyone found a solution to any of the above issues?

c4757p:

--- Quote ---1)In both PCB and in eeschema, I can rotate, move and delete parts individually. Why can't I do that when I select a group without opening the right click menu.

--- End quote ---

Inconsistency between footprints and blocks. Shoddy design IMHO.


--- Quote ---2)It prompts me to choose which thing I have my mouse over and want to operate on, even if it seems that there is nothing else anywhere nearby.

--- End quote ---

Well, what are the choices? It always asks if it can't tell what you're clicking on. I think there's some code in the works to improve that, by not considering choices that don't make sense (you're not trying to delete something that can't be deleted, for instance).


--- Quote ---3) Every time I tell PCB to read the netlist, any of the design rules I've applied to non named nets are reset.

--- End quote ---

Yes, the names aren't fixed. Name them.


--- Quote ---4)When I'm updating the schematic, I have to generate a new netlist, tell it where to save, and go in to pcb and tell it to read the netlist. Overall, this is like 5-7 clicks and a couple different menus.

--- End quote ---

Sadly, it's not automatic, though I've gotten used to it.


--- Quote ---5) In the footprint editor, I can't place any lines that are not on the top silkscreen layer. Sometimes I think I would like a comments like board outline, or a line on the board outline editor.

--- End quote ---

You can move them to another layer after placing them. It's somewhere in the right-click menu; I don't remember where, precisely.


--- Quote ---7) I would kill for a tab toggle able x,y dialog box that would allow me to put in a change in x and a change in y. I've seen this type of behavior in draftsight and pcb. It would make everything so much easier

--- End quote ---

That seems very easy to implement, and you said you can "program" - does this mean you'd be able to implement it?


--- Quote ---If anyone has noticed this or found a good solution, It would be much appreciated. I tried Diptrace before this, but I couldn't stand the complete lack of keyboard shortcuts.

--- End quote ---

I gave up Diptrace just because I'm incredibly stubborn and already accustomed to KiCad, so I don't know for sure - but I can't believe it lacks keyboard shortcuts! Are you sure you didn't miss them?

ciikucli:
Well, the only keyboard shortcuts to be found are 1 and 2, for switching between layers in the pcb version. In addition, a good deal of the number of designs I make are either too large for free eagle or have too many pins for free diptrace. This limits me to free circuit design programs.. I tried the geda suite, and while I like it, it felt too hands on most of the time

I think labeling every wire on the PCB is a terrible chore. I do it with the ones that I need to, but I suppose I can live with the quirk for now.

The other point was that sometimes it seemed to ask what I wanted to select despite there being no other options. Most of the time it can't decide between the refdes and the part.

I'm not a programmer by trade, and I've always been a hardware guy. I'm excited to see some effort on the part of CERN on the program's behalf. Maybe I'll try to take a crack at Kicad's source code.

I'm pretty happy with kicad overall. The library management is good, its under active development, and I do think its getting better. I wrote that post in case there was some easier way that I had been missing. I hope it continues to improve an remains a viable alternative to altiium

c4757p:

--- Quote from: ciikucli on May 04, 2013, 04:07:56 am ---I think labeling every wire on the PCB is a terrible chore. I do it with the ones that I need to, but I suppose I can live with the quirk for now.

--- End quote ---

KiCad has a lot of missing feature-related WTFs, but I think its handling of unnamed nets is sensible. It's not an easy problem to track unnamed nets - e.g. what happens to applied rules if the net is split? And how little of an operation can be considered a split - wire fragments moved? Pins? I prefer explicit labels. I don't usually find myself applying so many specific rules that I need to label every single net, but I do a lot of labeling anyway. Done right, it can help to make the schematic clearer as well.

calin:
Try this for keys: Prefferences -> HotKeys -> List Current Hotkeys that works in both eeschema and pcb .

I agree Kicad has its quirks but is not extremely bad , given all other option are crippled in some way ... I'd rather deal with an annoying software than a crippled one :)

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