How to fast switch between schematic and PCB?


When designing PCB from time to time I need to look into schematic or to modify something in schematic.
Each time I put a cursor at KiCad stacked icons in Windows toolbar menu (not sure how people call it), wait about a second till miniature windows of opened KiCad windows are showed and then select the schematic window or PCB window (I prefer to work at full screen windows so see only one at a time).
Is there a simpler method of switching between KiCad windows?
In tool I have used till now I had a toolbar at left for fast switching between schematic, pcb, symbol, footprint (and some more I have newer used) windows.
Before I write such wish I ask here as may be there is some way I didn’t discovered now.


Alt tab?

And some more characters.


And vice versa.


I see I’m blind :slight_smile:


Dual monitor setup? …


I was considering it but I would have to reinstall myself at new PC - waste of time compared to advantages, I think. Seeing schematic and pcb at once seems for me useful at first etap of placing footprints (dividing them into groups) as schematic shows what part I am moving at pcb. I manage it having 1/2 of screen for each.
But yesterday I first found myself continuously switching projects and then found that I can run two KiCad instances. Then a lot of windows to chose to switch complicated me, but I didn’t know of easy switching between pcb and schematic. Using it can make this easier - one project opened on left screen half and second at right. That is new argument for dual monitor.
I work with two projects at once when that are two pcbs to be connected and some decisions have to be synchronized.


Don’t works for me.
Screen 1920x1200. Being in schematic the pcb icon is the first one out of screen.
Can switch from menu, but it is longer way.


Have you tried preferences > common > Icon sizes?

Mine is set halfway between 50% and 100% in Win7 and with both windows side by side on 1920x1200 the last icon to sit there for both EEschema and PCBnew is that very switch icon (just tested).

PS: get 2 monitors, I’m running 2 since 2006 and never looked back (3rd set by now… 1st was 2x1024x768, next 2x1680x1050 and now its 2x1920x1200).


I use 2 monitors. Schematic on the left, layout on the right.

Working with linux, I also have 4 desktops and when I open two instaces of kicad I still have schematic in one monitor and layout on the other for both projects, each on its own desktop.


Thanks for that solution.
I don’t know all possibilities of KiCad yet.
Now I tried to set 90% as I need only one icon more but KiCad automagically changes it to 75.
I would much more like to just reorder them, as for example any zoom icon I newer use (mouse wheel makes all).

I have 3 monitors at my desk (3 computers) and no more space.

  1. Windows XP. I have there the Protel-3 I still run from time to time (don’t wont to work on Windows 64 bit).
  2. Win 7 - for work - not connected with net.
  3. Win 7 - connected with net.

At 2 and 3 I have KiCad, but at 3 is used only to copy/paste the version info as I like to report a bugs :slight_smile:
In year or two I will probably change something here :slight_smile:


What about a KVM switch? You could then use a two monitor set up on all of your computers - and free up more desk space by only having one keyboard and mouse.


How about alt+tab ? you can switch between any window.
Another option, I’m sure you wont use all three computers at the same time, so how about connecting extra cable and use two monitor by changing the signal input?


VMs would be a good solution… at least for the WinXP system (I have some Linux instances running on my Win7 machine via VirtualBox).

Or you could look into docker.

Either way, you’ll change things within 6 months, not 24 :wink:


You don’t know how slow I am in changing anything :smile:

That PC with Win XP I had probably about 10 years (those time I had one keyboard and one monitor in front of mine). Two years ago I have added those two (we bought some second hand PCs). XP left only for Protel. I don’t know if I am legally allowed to run XP licenced to that PC at VirtualBox at another PC. Switching to KiCad took me 2 years. About month ago was that moment then “from now if I need to fast design PCB I will use KiCad and not Protel”. Exactly 17.09 was the day that in the morning we decided I should do one PCB and at 23:00 we ordered it. I think that from now even I will have to do a small redesign in any old PCB I will rather design a semi copy using KiCad. So Protel will be with me probably 2…3 years to look there from time to time and to design PCBs when I’d like to have arc tracks. I have just added to our device the small PCB containing only E16 core winding. It need not to use round tracks but “why not”.