Do you like using Kicad on the Mac?


I was looking at this again and I had click on Icon Options (was it View or Setup, I’m not sure) and then the whole menu expands out to what is visible by default in the Windows version. For whatever reason it isn’t visible by default out of the box.


I’m very happy with it in general, works great! Most of the weaknesses right now seem to be generic, and around simulation, eeschema, and a few missing pcbnew features. For example, I’d love to be able to specify thermal relief as a net class property, then edit the exceptions (e.g. sense pads, hi Z inputs) rather than the rules. And, I’d LOVE to be able to nudge footprints and have the traces auto adjust; while I wouldn’t expect it to allow me to move a complex part across a board, it would be great to just shift it a little to pick up empty board space and shorten traces without having to manually update 24, 48, 80 or 144 traces… It can simply refuse to adjust any trace that won’t fit. This would make it much easier to do a “loose” layout and then “pack it” as an optimization later.


Pcbnew with OpenGL canvas is quite good on mac, but eeschema is a huge pain. Not sure if it’s a mac-specific issue though.

Scrolling is terribly laggy; annotating components is very annoying (popup dialog box before netlist export); inserting a component (say, resistor) in place of a wire requires to delete the wire and then redraw two wires; copying and moving parts of schematic is often harder than just to delete it and redraw from scratch, or to be more precise the selection of the right block and then reconnection of it is the most problematic.

Doing these operations in the LTSpice UI is way faster. If it had the support for hierarchical sheets and footprints I’d exclusively use it for capturing schematic :slight_smile:

Tried 5-nightly, one noticeable huge improvement is that sometimes capacitor/resistor values and references automagically move into proper places after component rotation, but otherwise almost no difference with latest 4. But still it’s awesome because it works on mac and free.


Thanks for taking the time to note your experiences.

All of the eeschema issues you list /should/ be addressed in v5. At least, I do not experience them on my MacBook anymore. If you do still see any of these issues, could you create a bug report for them with your KiCad version information and system details?


Ok, I’ll create my next project in V5 to give it a closer look, because on a first glance it of course had some improvements but overall impression was pretty much the same.


v4 was pretty rough at times. v5 is a huge improvement. I don’t have any issues that prevent me from doing my work. Upgrade to the nightly build and give it a go!


One thing to note is on my macbook pro (15" 2016 model) is eeschema is super sensitive when trying to zoom using the trackpad (cmd key plus two-finger scroll). So much so that it’s practically impossible. Panning using the two-finger scroll gestures is fine. In pcbnew the zoom works perfectly. I think they actually work exactly the same, only pcbnew has much finer zoom gradation so it just works out right, while the coarser zoom gradation in eeschema makes it difficult to use. It’s right when using the scroll wheel on a mouse though, so maybe when set to trackpad use in the preferences it could scale down the zoom stepping a bit…

(Still in v5 stable, kicad-unified-20180714-002430-399ec7d.dmg)


I’m running OSX 10.11.6 on a 2011 macbook pro and have really liked KiCAD. Definitely have to use an external mouse to have everything work well but it’s the same with any CAD program I’ve used including Soldiworks. Overall I’m happy with it and so far all the mistakes I’ve made have been my own fault. I’d like it if the footpritn library was easily searchable but I really like that the PC version looks the same and has all the same menus as the mac version. This makes it very easy to watch tutorials and always go what to do.


I am running KiCAD 4.07 on a 2012 rMBP and 2011 iMac and running a V5 nightly on the iMac as well. I use both trackpad and mouse. Have created several released boards ranging from small stuff (50-150 components) to a pretty dense multi-layer board with 600 components (or so). I have used OrCAD and Ultiboard in the past (distant past :slight_smile:

I did struggle with the mouse/trackpad integration at some time but messed around with the settings until it worked for me. There is no lag or any other funny business that would prevent me to use KiCAD. With 4.07 I did find that Pcbnew’s color scheme is terrible and distracting (great this is now customizable in V5) and of course component management was/is ridiculously complicated but this applies to other OSes just the same. But I should note that component management is something that one should give dedicated attention to - KiCAD, OrCAD or any other software package.

I did not want to get into an expensive CAD software because I think that most of these eeCAD packages are developed by software guys who have no affinity with hardware design, don’t care much about workflow or - dare I say it - beautiful looking software. (just my opinion guys, just opinion). So why spend the dollars if KiCAD is free? After gotten used to its quirks I am flabbergasted and extremely pleased how well it works. For open source, developed in a distributed environment - it is fantastic. I’d say it could survive well as a commercial package too. On the Mac it works great - I use commercial software on the mac that does not behave as well as KiCAD.

I’d say; if you need eeCAD software and you have a Mac and you dont want to spend much/any money, stop listening to folks on Reddit and install it and try it out for a few weeks on a real project. I think you will end up liking KiCAD and get a very caring, helpful and responsive community on top.

just my 2ct


Feature request! If a mouse is plugged in, assume it’s used in lieu of the trackpad and disable trackpad related control logic temporarily.


This is a user forum. feature requests need to be made on the bugtracker for devs to see it. (mark it as a wishlist bug)


How do I mark it as wishlist? I see no option for that…


It can not be done on this discussion forum.

You want to create a new account:


Really? I use trackpad and mouse (left hand, right hand). Easy to get used to, and less RMI issues.


Just joined the forum to ask, and I think this is the right place, where on earth is this “Trackpad panning” in preferences on any of the KiCAD programs? I don’t see it anywhere, and I’m having the same problem so many people have, with the Magic Mouse (I’m using a Mac Mini) making the zoom jump around uncontrollably. If I can fix this one thing I think KiCAD will be perfect for what I’m doing; that is, not super complicated PCBs for DIY music applications. TIA!


What is your kicad version?


It’s 5.0.0-3-g5ebb6b6 release build; wx widgets 3.0.4, unicode and boost 1.67.0



I am using a Kicad on both a 27" iMac and a 13" MacBook Pro with only one or two minor niggles on the laptop (no proper ‘Delete’ key so have to remember to press Shift Delete and no PgUp /PgDn) but these are more to do with the keyboard than with Kicad. Otherwise I find the whole suite really works well.

I am presently running a nightly from a couple of months back with no issues but will probably be upgrading to the stable 5 shortly.

The pan / zoom works very well on the trackpad. There are multiple menus for various preferences in the Kicad suite but the Pan/Zoom controls for both Eeschema and PCBNew are under Kicad > Preferences.
Slightly confusingly, you need to set the trackpad settings in the preference panes separately for both Eeschema and PCBNew.

In Eeschema:

In PCBNew:


Ahhhh…I UNCHECKED all of those boxes rather than checking them, not understanding it was the reverse of what I thought. Checking them all makes the Magic Mouse work perfectly. Thanks! Now I’ll get to work.


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