Layers grayed out in Footprint Editor

Bug #1746279 reported by syl20j
This bug affects 9 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Fix Released
Jeff Young

Bug Description

In the Footprint Editor, the layers Dwgs.User, Cmts.User, Eco1.User, Eco2.User are grayed out, so it’s impossible to add comments (text) or draw zones (with graphic lines or polygons) on these layers to define a keepout area for example. Consequently, a footprint designer like me have to choose another layer and change it after, by the the intermediary of the properties dialog box (or with an external text editor). why not let the choice to use these 4 layers to the footprint designer ?

Tags: pcbnew fpedit
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syl20j (syl20j-deactivatedaccount) wrote :
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Nicholas Savenlid (nicholas-z) wrote :


its a pain

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Wayne Stambaugh (stambaughw) wrote :

These layers are undefined for use in footprints and using them may lead to unexpected issues. That is why they are disabled. We can change this but it would be in the distant future once we define how this would work.

Changed in kicad:
status: New → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
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syl20j (syl20j-deactivatedaccount) wrote :

OK, but the layers Dwgs.User and Cmts.User are already used in some footprints of the official repository (for example, and follow the kicad library convention No. F4.5 (

tags: added: fpedit pcbnew
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Rene Poeschl (poeschlr) wrote :

I think the current behavior of these layers seems good to me.

I just tested a footprint that has drawings on dwgs.user and text on cmts.user

rotating and moving works as expected (the drawings move and rotate correctly, the text position rotates and the text stays readable similarly to other text fields in the footprint)

flipping the footprint mirrors the drawing and text position as expected and keeps the elements on the same layer. (also expected as there is not back/front layer)
Text stays readable (not mirrored). I personally would also expect this behavior. (Reason: lack of separate back/front layers.)

The only thing that might be unexpected is that elements on these layers are not affected by the visibility selection in the render tab. (But that would be a minor issue.)


So i would see the option to document the current behavior and allow the layers to be used. There off course will be users who would wish for a different behavior but not allowing these layers to be used because of that is a bit strange.


About the use of these layers in the official lib:

We use the Dwgs and Cmts layers to communicate special treatments to the user of a footprint.
One such example is the workaround for the missing keepout zone for footprints. Another is a workaround for the even more restricted edge cuts layer. (Other layers do not really fit the purpose to only communicate with the board designer.)

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Jeff Young (jeyjey) wrote :

With the other changes in 5.1 you can assign text and graphics to the other layers, so the only thing the grayed out layer items are doing is keeping you from creating items there.

The render items tab also now seems to control the items as expected.

Jeff Young (jeyjey)
Changed in kicad:
milestone: none → 5.1.0
assignee: nobody → Jeff Young (jeyjey)
status: Triaged → In Progress
importance: Wishlist → Medium
Revision history for this message
KiCad Janitor (kicad-janitor) wrote :

Fixed in revision a860a8db54dd1e400e08b964aef1b4495b6b50ad

Changed in kicad:
status: In Progress → Fix Committed
Changed in kicad:
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
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