KiCAD is an open-source electronic design CAD software package. It runs on Windows, Linux and MacOS.
KiCAD organizes work into projects. Each project has a project file ending in
.pro. A Project consists of schematics (
.sch), a PCB design file (
.kicad_pcb), component library files (
.lib), and more.
The two main sub-applications bundled with KiCAD are
Eeschema, the schematic editing tool, and
PcbNew, the PCB editing tool.
Debian-Like Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, …)
You can install the most recent stable release of KiCAD via the command-line with:
sudo add-apt-repository --yes ppa:js-reynaud/kicad-5.1 sudo apt update sudo apt install --install-recommends kicad
To start KiCAD from the command line you can use:
Configuring The Global Symbol Library Table
By default, the mouse wheel will zoom in/out on the current schematic.
You can navigate the schematic hierarchy using the Navigate Schematic Hierarchy button as shown:
Mouse Wheel Zoom in/out Mouse Wheel + Ctrl Pan left/right Mouse Wheel + Shift Pan up/down Ctrl-D Load datasheet for selected component (opens web browser) M Move schematic item C Duplicate symbol or label
.lib Schematic symbol library (contains multiple schematic symbols) .pretty Folder for component footprints
.lib files are text based, so play well with version control systems such as
By default, the symbol libraries are installed to:
- On Windows:
- On Linux:
Each project can pull schematic symbols and footprints from two “tables” (groups) of libraries, global libraries and project libraries.
DigiKey maintains the digikey-kicad-library, a KiCAD schematic and footprint library of a large number of components that can be supplied by DigiKey. The aim of this library is to provide collection of visually consistent, accurate library parts that have been curated by the DigiKey team. The organization of the library follows the DigiKey familay taxonomy.
D Start drawing a track PgUp Switch to top layer PgDwn Switch to bottom layer Ctrl-B Hide pours B Show pours
KiCAD has a push and shove router.
As of May 2020, there is no way to add a check for silkscreen over pad in the design rules. The best you can do is select
exclude pads from silkscreen when exporting the gerbers, which will remove all silkscreen from pads. This is not as ideal though, as this may remove important information from the silkscreen such as designators, version numbers or polarization marks.
- Importing Altium Projects Into KiCAD
- A Beginners Intro To KiCAD
- Altium Bugs And Things To Watch Out For
- Altium Rules
- Logic Analyzers