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Related kicad pages

Things that are Common to all the different kicad programs

Common Key Strokes of Kicad - Worth Memorizing
mouse wheel zooms (needs to be a bit finer (2006-08-28))
F1 Zoom in
F2 Zoom out
F3 Re-paint
Mouse-wheel click or F4 Center drawing at cursor
M Move
R Rotates
X Mirrors over X axis
Y Mirrors over Y axis
N Orient Normal (Remove mirror, rotation)
A Add component
Space Zeros relative coordinates at cursor
Left-click get object info - displays in bottom bar
Left-double-click Edit part
left-click-drag Block Select - and move - left click drops
Shift+Left-click-drag Block copy - and move - left click drops
CNT+Shift+Left-click-drag Block delete
Right-Click Context menu (repeat cancels menu)
Del Deletes
Insert Duplicates last element (works with lines not parts as of 2006-08-28)
A few more key strokes for PCBNEW
+ Switch to next layer
- Switch to previous Layer
pg-up Copper layer
pg-down Components layer
V Place 'Via' when routing track
F Flip footprint
M Move footprint (disconnect from tracks)
G Grab footprint (tracks are stretched)
R Rotate footprint
T Get? and move footprint
L Toggle footprint lock (glue)
O Add Module ???
Left mouse button held down Trace framework to move block
Shift + Left mouse button held down Trace framework for invert block (180deg rotate)
Ctrl + Left mouse button held down Trace framework for rotating block 90°
Shft+Ctrl + Left mouse button held down Trace framework to delete the block
Centre mouse button held down Trace framework to zoom to block

The programs that makeup Kicad

kicad navigator

This is the top program of the kicad system - a project manager which lets you create and name projects and start the major components of kicad. This wiki page covers the Kicad manager. The manager also lets you start these sub programs :

Assign footprints to parts Creates .cmp and .stf files. You don't have to run cvpcb if you fill the footprint field in eeschema!
For viewing Gerber 274-X format, (These used to be .pho files, but now we use the standard Gerber file extensions that tell which layer is used SilkS_Front = .gto etc. )

Navigator Procedures - Project level Tasks

Incrementing the file names of a Project

After making the first version of a schematic and a board - lets say named widgit1.0.xxx ( where xxx would be .sch .brd .net .pro )- it is a good idea to make a copy and increment the version ready for any changes that might come.

Changes that only affect the parts list in the schematic could be 1.0A - 1.0B etc.

Simply copy the old files to the new names and in the kicad project browser open up the new project. Where original projects_dir = widgit1.3

$cd project_dir $cd .. $cp -Rp widgit1.3  widgit2.0 $cd widgit2.0 $mv widgit1.3.sch  widgit2.0.sch $mv widgit1.3.brd  widgit2.0.brd $mv widgit1.3.pro  widgit2.0.pro $mv widgit1.3.net  widgit2.0.net 

Open the new .pro with the project manager, open the schematic and under pagesettings update the version once more..

Archiving a Project

External Autorouters



MUCS-PCB Autorouter

This is not actually part of kicad - but has been recommended as a better auto router than the one that comes with kicad. Its drawback is that it does not route at 45 degree angles, the traces only go parallel and perpendicular to each other.

Topological Autorouter

Also not part of kicad - worth listing here for now.

The Files of kicad

Open eeschema directly ( it will load the default .pro file )
Make changes to Your library list
Save to /usr/share/kicad/template/kicad.pro
Backup a copy as it will get overwritten on software updates. (this file really should be in /etc/kicad or

Features - Future


Components of Kicad

New under development Distributed Library System for Kicad's EESCHEMA

of parts into different "directory like" areas within a library source.