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KiCad Official


Community Resources

Interface Usage Tips

The way to use KiCad is to have one hand on the mouse and the other hand on the keyboard. The mouse navigates the page, while the hand activates the function.

To see the list of available functions, right-click on something will popup a menu with the functions and the keys to activate them. For example, the schematic layout editor menu shows "wire" (key "w"), "move" (key "M"), "rotate" (key "r"), "drag" (key "g"), and so on. Write these on a post-it note and stick it to your monitor for easy reference.

You can do almost everything you need with the mouse and a handful of functions. For example, make one 0.1 uF bypass capacitor, then "copy" (key "c") the component several times as needed for the schematic.


Version Control

KiCAD has some form of version control itself but one of the cool things about it is that most of its files are composed of structured text so you can use a version control system like GIT.  (you can even diff versions of the schematics visually)

https://hackaday.com/2018/09/19/advanced-techniques-for-using-git-with-kicad/

https://jnavila.github.io/plotkicadsch/


https://hackaday.com/2018/09/19/visual-schematic-diffs-in-kicad-help-find-changes/


Up To Date Libraries

These will almost certainly be more up to date than libraries provided by your distro.
Official: https://kicad.github.io/
Digikey and Sparkfun: https://josefmtd.com/2018/08/14/adding-github-libraries-in-kicad-english/


Recommended Tutorials

Pages

Videos

  • "Getting to Blinky 5.0" by Chris Gammell (Contextual Electronics   
    Tutorial playlist:  
  • An introduction to KiCad by Shawn Hymel (Digikey   
    Tutorial playlist: