Getting started manual

I’m just new to Kicad

When looking into “Getting started in kicad”
i can not find or do what is described in this manual.
or what symbols or submenu’s described in the manual. i do not see on my screen.

Very confusion if you try to learn and do not see what the manual describe…
esspecially paragraf “7.1 Using Component Library editor”
and paragraf “7.2 Export, import and modify library components

So my question…. The content of chapter 7 is that conform version 5.1.10?
And where can I find a correct description ?

The “Getting started with KiCad” manual is seriously out of date.
I have fond memories of it, because it helped me a lot with getting my first (dummy / example) project finished in KiCad in a single afternoon.

I’ve been quite serious about taking this document under my umbrella and give it a thorough update for quite some time.

I’ve gotten as far as installing git, installing all the dependencies for compiling the source into .pdf, html, etc, and I even got that working twice. (My computer died in the meantime and I switched hardware).

I’m getting stuck on several aspects. First, it’s so obsolete whole chapters should be removed, and maybe others added. Secondly, because of the size of the job I get totally lost. Even keeping an overview of a single chapter is a bit daunting for me. Third there is a lot of overlap with the tutorials Rene Poschl has written as FAQ articles on this forum. For example:

If you go to the documentation on the KiCad site itself:

Then you can choose between different versions, and they do have some small differences and updates, but in general the document is in serious need of more care (although I saw it got some updates not too long ago).

Currently the articles and tutorials in the FAQ part of this forum is the most up to date. It has quite a lot of articles from beginner tutorials to in-depth articles about tasks in KiCad such as library management, and the articles are searchable.

This FAQ is a lot more extensive then the “average” faq with simple questions and standard answers.

I have also started from reading manuals but I think faster way of having your own cheat sheet is to:

  • go through all menu positions in 4 KiCad applications (Symbol Editor, Footprint Editor, Schematic, PCB). I copied them into spreadsheet and added my comment to each - but … later I not used it,
  • make your own HotKey list sorted not alphabetically but by stage of work when they are used and their utility you expect - that list I browse sometimes.

Hot keys are important and fast way of using KiCad.

Thanks …for the reply… I shall try to find my way with the remarks you have given.

My own take:

I have never figured out GIT and I have seen other opinions agreeing that GIT is more difficult than KiCad itself. I have given up on using GIT but enjoy using KiCad. I save a complete folder including pcb and schematic files; the same filename in all of these including date and/or revision.

I think that the GUI menus are simple enough that they can be explored with use.

I think that even the hotkeys will come with use of the GUI and its associated hotkey recommendations. I use KiCad enough that I am in the habit of using F1 for zooming in, and frequently make the mistake of using F1 to zoom in with other software. You can imagine what happens then.

I have never used F1 for zooming in KiCad. I use mouse wheel for zooming in/out and mouse position when starting to use wheel decides what screen point is centered so any positioning/zooming is very fast and simple in KiCad.

My mouse does not have a wheel. I use a Logitech marble trackball.


Have never seen anything like this but if you have to use F1 I don’t like your mouse :slight_smile:

To the bucket mouse trap with your mouse!! :slight_smile:

Seriously F1 would not have been my choice as a keyboard shortcut. I would have chosen the + key but those were both already standard assignments within KiCad. I did not want to start a big shortcut swapping exercise so I learned to use F1.

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