Cheatsheet for KiCad


I’ve recently taught a few interested students how to use KiCad for their personnal projects, and compiled them a cheatsheet for the occasion. The idea is to sum up all the steps for making a board from A to Z (i.e. creating a new project to checking the gerbers) while giving the most important shortcuts. I guess it could probably be useful for other people to, so here it is :
Landscape version :
Github repo of the official documentation :
Any comment and suggestion for improvement is welcome.



Very nice work! :+1:

Excellent! Already printed and on my bench - Many thanks.

Awsome stuff, would like to see this hosted on the official site!

although, what is the suppr button?


Thanks for the nice comments!

@TotalKrill : oh right sorry, that’s only on my french keyboard, that should read Del. I’ve updated it, thanks for pointing it out!

Looks awesome. Great for beginners.

Two things i’ve noticed:
What is the “Maj” key?
In section 5, the note should be on move and grab. You have it on grab and copy.

As he said its a french keyboard I think that is Shift button. :slight_smile:

Yeah, I should definitely have looked closer at a qwertee keyboard before :slight_smile: Thanks, that’s fixed (and the footnote as well).
Now that I think about it, I’m not sure about the “3D viewer” shortcut, the menu doesn’t mention “shift” (but I have to press it because of the way Azerty is mapped). Could someone check if alt-shift-3 works on an american keyboard? If not, I’ll remove “shift” here.

For me it’s Alt+3 (no shift)
By the way: Your cheat sheet is not only useful but looks very pleasing.

Nice one, I added it to my GitHub list.

1 Like

@Rene_Poschl : thanks, updated. I tried to make it engaging so people might be more tempted to use KiCad :slight_smile: It’s made using Inkscape by the way, another great open-source software.
@kasbah : thank you!

Any chance of a landscape version to use as a screen wallpaper?

Why not. Here you go : What do you think?


Very good. A pity about the UI confusion and inconsistency between “Grab” and “Drag”.
This cheatsheet highlights these problems.

Pcbnew footprint dragging with tracks only works in legacy, not GAL

this is awesome ! Thanks for sharing.

By GAL you mean OpenGL mode? I tried to use it once but I was a bit lost in it, so I came back to the default renderer rather quickly. There seems to be nice features in this mode though, even though I’m not sure I fully understand why core features such as routing would be dependant on which renderer you use.
As for Cairo, it doesn’t work (at least, it is not usable on my system) and nobody seems to talk about it so I don’t really know what it is here for.

What you call is “Legacy” and is being gradually deprecated. GAL (Graphics Abstraction Layer) alias OpenGL is the future default.
It supports the very useful push and shove router. For now I end up jumping between the two modes.

The devs don’t have the manpower to replace the legacy canvas with all it’s features in one swoop by the superior technology that is OpenGL. So they decided to maintain the legacy mode (keep it working, but feature freeze) and add new features (and useful ones from the legacy canvas) to the OpenGL canvas until it can completely replace it.
I think that process is now at about 70% to the finish line (I’m not a dev, so take with bag of salt).

Answers to questions are here:

But the point: the CERN guys implemented the push-and-shove router. That required OpenGL acceleration because the default canvas was too slow. Since their effort was initially just getting PNS to work, some of the features of the legacy canvas were not implemented. The developers are now working to implement all of the legacy features into the OpenGL canvas, and when that work is complete, the legacy canvas will go away. There will be only OpenGL.

So rather than getting rid of useful features that are not yet implemented in GAL, the two canvases co-exist and you use the one best suited to your needs. I’m in GAL most of the time.


Really neat! Thanks for putting this together.