Add text labels

In this chapter we will add a few text labels in the silkscreen layer. Text labels provide a convenient way to provide useful information to the end user of the PCB, like the name or model and version number. Select the Text tool from the right vertical tool bar:

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The text tool button

Select the front silk screen layer, “F.Silk”, where we would like the text to go:

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We will place the text labels in the front silk screen layer. You can also place text labels in the back silk screen layer.

Start with the version number. There is a bit of empty space in the bottom left corner of the board, so click there. The Text Properties window will come up. Type “v1.0” in the text box:

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The Text Properties window

The default settings for the text label are appropriate for this text. Notice that the Layer setting is “F.SilkS”, which is carried over from our earlier layer selection. Click OK, and then move the mouse so that the level (which is now tethered to the mouse pointer) is positioned close to the bottom left corner of the board. Click to place the label in position, like this:

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The “V1.0” text label in place.

In the screenshot above, you can see that the text (in light-tray) looks “unclean” and there is a ghost image in red. This is an artefact the Kicad generates as the label is moved around. You can force a redraw by pressing F3. This will clean up any such artefacts.

Create another label with information about the board. Something like this will be good:

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A new label. The width and height settings are smaller in order to produce smaller text.

I would like this text to be smaller, so set the width and height values to 1mm. When you click OK you will see a warning. This is telling you the Kicad needs to adjust the thickness of the text to accomodate for the smaller text size. This is fine, so click OK again to dismiss the warning. Use your mouse to fine-tune the position of the label in the bottom right corner of the board, and click to lock it in place. The label will look like this:

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Another label with drawing artefacts. Type F3 to redraw and clean it.

While looking at the bottom right corner of the board, notice an existing label, “7SEGM” that is part of the display footprint:

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The label “7SEGM” is not useful. Let’s make it invisible.

This label is not very useful, so I would prefer to make it invisible. Place your mouse pointer over the label and type “E” (for edit). A small menu may appear if more than one items are sharing the same space, asking you to indicate which item you would like to select.

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If multiple items are sharing the same space, a menu will appear to help you select one of them.

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You can make a label invisible by selecting the “Invisible radio button”.

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The text label has disappeared.

Our board, after a re-draw, now looks like this:

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The board after a redraw (F3).

There are several yellow-coloured labels. These labels are located in the F.Fab layer, which we will not be sending to the fabricator anyway. Therefore, these labels will not be present in the final printed circuit boards, even though they are visible in this view.

The 3D preview of our board is this:

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The 3D rendering of out board, with the new text labels in the silkscreen.

I think our board looks good! Save the project.

In the next chapter we’ll create a decorative graphic to put in the back of the PCB with a logo.

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