Board summary dialog/add more info to message panel

Bug #1817232 reported by Evan Shultz
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone

Bug Description

At Seth posted a video ( of an experienced Altium guy using KiCad 5.0. The video is generally painful and annoying to watch, but if I saw something that seemed worthy and I couldn't find it in the bugtracker already I thought I should add a new bug for it.

About 1:58 into the video Dave is asking for a quick way to check the board stats. Dimensions, number of components, etc. I don't know that this is available, but it made me think of some kind of summary dialog. Some items that could be included which pop into my head just now:
Board size
Number of Cu layers
Component count
Nets routed
Unconnected items
Keepout zones
DRC errors
Last saved user name
Total editing time

Some of them could be grouped together. For example, instead of separate lines perhaps the net items above could be grouped into a format something like:
Nets: <# unrouted nets> / <# nets> (<percent routed>%)

The number of unconnected items and DRC errors would have to be since the last invocation of the checker. Perhaps buttons to invoke the checker would be useful here. There could also be an indication if the design has been changed since the tool was last invoked to alert the user that the data is stale.

There might also be a grouping to the info, such as:
Physical (part qty, Cu layers, etc.)
Logical (nets and stuff)
General (last saved user and editing time)

Revision history for this message
Wayne Stambaugh (stambaughw) wrote :

Most of this information is already provided in the message panel when right clicking on any empty area of the canvas. We certainly can add more status information to this panel. I don't know how thrilled I am about adding another dialog to display information that is already being displayed now but if someone feels motivated to provide such a dialog, I will consider it. I really want to avoid duplicating features from other EDA tools just because users think we should. If we can provide a better solution (which I think we partially already do) than we should explore that.

Changed in kicad:
status: New → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Revision history for this message
Evan Shultz (evan-shultz) wrote :

Sure. Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "dialog" since Dave was only asking for info.

Dave asked for board dimensions. I don't see this anywhere right now, but maybe I missed it.

Dave also asked for number of components. I don't see this anywhere, but it could be easily added to the message panel.

For the other items I thought of above:
1. Knowing how close the board is to being done (percentage of nets routed, for example) is always nice. Being able to see the Unrouted count is nice, but if it's not a small number a percentage of nets routed / total nets is more salient (IMO).
2. Since the DRC is a batch operation I don't see tremendous value now, but if v6 brings a "dynamic" DRC engine that will constantly check violations of design constraints then it would be useful to show current DRC and Unconnected count.

Revision history for this message
Aleksandr Sh (dsa-t) wrote :

Would be useful to have SMD/TH pad count info to estimate assembly costs.

summary: - Board summary dialog
+ Board summary dialog/add more info to message panel
description: updated
tags: added: feature.request pcbnew ui
Revision history for this message
Michael Kavanagh (michaelkavanagh) wrote :

Some of these were added in commit bb290abe91e7e47596ee93c8a9ec383e82a54816

Changed in kicad:
milestone: none → 6.0.0-rc1
Revision history for this message
Jeff Young (jeyjey) wrote :

The board statistics dialog has been implemented. If there are items missing from it, please log specific requests.

Changed in kicad:
status: Triaged → Incomplete
Revision history for this message
Michael Kavanagh (michaelkavanagh) wrote :

@Jeff, there are already a number of suggested items in the bug description that don't yet exist.

Revision history for this message
Jeff Young (jeyjey) wrote :

@Michael, those were just off the top of Evan's head.

I don't think number of copper layers makes sense because it's easy enough to look up in the Layers setup.

Same for nets and routed nets: those appear in the status bar.

And DRC errors would take too long to compute; it's probably better to look for those in the DRC dialog.

The last two will run into trouble with German law.

I'm willing to listen to arguments for any of the above, but in the absence of any I'd be inclined to leave them out.

Revision history for this message
Evan Shultz (evan-shultz) wrote :

Correct, those items were just some possibilities I mentioned based on thinking about the frustration shared in the video. It wasn't my original request.

Now that the dialog is implemented (version below) let me share what I originally had in my head but may not have communicated well when I submitted this suggestion: The pane just under the board canvas in Pcbnew shows Pads, Vias, Track Segments, etc. and has a fixed location. What if the Board Statistics dialog captured all of this information and then allowed a taller board canvas?

Pad and Via counts are already duplicated and adding Track Segments and Net/Node info into the Board Statistics dialog shouldn't be tough. While I can see the value in have Unrouted Segments visible all the time, I also see compelling value in having (a little) more of the board visible.

Viewing all statistics in the dialog to get more visible board area seems like a worthwhile thing to explore, even if it's a user option and defaults to the fixed pane below the canvas as it is now. Maybe a further refinement to this concept?

Application: Pcbnew
Version: (5.1.0-1584-gc85d1fa00), release build
    wxWidgets 3.0.4
    libcurl/7.61.1 OpenSSL/1.1.1 (WinSSL) zlib/1.2.11 brotli/1.0.6 libidn2/2.0.5 libpsl/0.20.2 (+libidn2/2.0.5) nghttp2/1.34.0
Platform: Windows 8 (build 9200), 64-bit edition, 64 bit, Little endian, wxMSW
Build Info:
    wxWidgets: 3.0.4 (wchar_t,wx containers,compatible with 2.8)
    Boost: 1.68.0
    OpenCASCADE Community Edition: 6.9.1
    Curl: 7.61.1
    Compiler: GCC 8.2.0 with C++ ABI 1013

Build settings:

Revision history for this message
KiCad Janitor (kicad-janitor) wrote :

KiCad bug tracker has moved to Gitlab. This report is now available here:

Changed in kicad:
status: Incomplete → Expired
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