Convert Kicad version 5.0.1 file to 4.0.7


I´ve made some designs on 5.0.1 Kicad but I´ll need to convert them to 4.0.7. I could not find such a functionality on 5.0.1 sw. Any clue?

This is not implemented in any form. It might be possible to do it by hand if you have enough knowledge about the file format. (Might even be possible to create some form of script that does it.) This however would only be possible if no new features are used.

Or if one could come up with some compromises on how to downgrade certain features.

Have fun downgrading footprints with rounded rectangle pads or worse with polygon pads. The pcb will look extremely different that it is highly likely that the result will break something.

So in my opinion it is really only feasible to even think about downgrading if no new features are used. (I would even argue that it does not really make sense to invest any time into this. Just install version 5 in a virtual machine and use this for your new projects)

Rene Posch, thanks for your suggestion on using a virtual machine.
I think an export functionality is always useful, since no present version specific feature is used, and this is my case.



Any good reason to use 4.0.7 now as 5.0.1 is the official supported release?
Many 5.x bugs also exist in 4.0.7 and will not get fixed there.

Honestly I wonder the same thing, but different organizations have different software upgrade protocols.

Maybe CERN should offer PAID FOR extended support for these slow adopters?

@davidsrsb I don’t see the link to CERN in this thread, can you elaborate?


My company started working with Kicad 5.0.1 and one of the PCB makers that we´ve been working with uses 4.0.7.

This should be a bit easier, as I imagine that they don’t require the schematics. You you should be able to export all used footprints in the layout to specific library. Then you can check this library if you are using rectangle or polygon pad (@Rene_Poschl maybe has a script that does this for you). If you are not, then the layout should open even in 4.0.7. If you are, then at least you know which footprints you need to change.

You can always send them gerber files instead.

I had the same Problem some time ago when I started a design with the “nightlies”, but then they became unusable for some time. To finish the layout I had to return to the stable version.
(so I did what nobody should ever do - work with the test version :roll_eyes:)
However, I had used new Pad-Shapes and I got error-messages when trying to load the layout.

I wrote down every message and simply deleted this object from the PCB file with a text editor. After a dozen tries I had a layout with some pads missing but otherwise usable…

Greetings, Chris

Cannot he upgrade to 5.0.1? Or install both 4.0.7 and 5.0.1? I guess pcb maker means pcb designer.
If pcb maker means manufacturer, only gerber files are needed.

I would change that to “Use only well known standardized file formats for communicating with manufacturers.” (For pcb manufacturing this means either gerber or its successors.)

A PCB board maker should be working from Gerber plots, not KiCad files. The reason is that different KiCad libraries, DRC settings etc might cause a different final output.
Gerber plots should be repeatable from place to another (with caveats about versions and drill files)

A PCB assembly house will also want component placement information. This is a bit clumsy right now.

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