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Is there a way to change the color of the rats nest that PCBNew uses? Ideally I'd like to be able to set the color of a specified net; specifically the GND net.

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No, that isn't implemented currently.

You can file a wishlist item in the bug tracker.

GND is usually routed by making a large plane over an entire layer, which will allow you to ignore it for the most part, and give you the best EMC performance because current return paths are as close as they can be, minimizing loop area.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ When you say GND is usally routed by making a large plane over an entire layer, you are referring to PCBs with more than 2 layers, yes? \$\endgroup\$ – mbmast Jun 27 '16 at 21:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, that makes sense even on two layers. Shamelessly plugging an older design of mine: you see that the entire backside minus a few traces is GND, and the traces going through have more vias than strictly required. The idea is that the return current for anything on the top layer can flow through the bottom layer, with only minimal distance between them. There are some places where this isn't possible, for example the crossing of ENB1 below VBB, but I've still kept the "detour" for the return current small. \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Richter Jun 27 '16 at 21:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ (btw, my board is by no means a "good" example. There are still a lot of things wrong with it) \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Richter Jun 27 '16 at 21:14

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