KiCad's future as a single window MDI application

Oi, I didn’t agree to this being a separate topic with a post that heavily misleadingly sounds like a loud declaration lmao

That is completely horrible.
Are you sure this is not some kind of bad joke?

cough If things work out, it’ll be like chrome where you can just split out multiple windows

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There’s a wink emoji. I think this is said in jest. Right? It is said in jest?

KiCad has already taken steps in this direction. When you are running both the Schematic Editor and the PCB Editor, it’s just one process in memory.

Maybe it could work…
With firefox you can also pull a tab out of the browser to let it live in it’s own rectangle.

I wonder what will be done with the menu’s of the different program parts. The menu’s and toolbars for the schematic are quite different for the schematic and PCB.

I’ve also heard some rumors for dockable toolbars in a future KiCad version. Maybe something like the way that FreeCAD uses “Workbenches” could work. The toolbars and main menu would then adjust to the graphical window that’s visible.

But the main thing is that multiple windows would still be usable. KiCad can now make good use of multiple monitor setups, and breaking that would be a horrible thing.

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Well yea, most of us have multiple monitors, we ain’t crazy

Don’t worry about this! We’re not going to break the usability of the software, we’re looking to improve it. You’ll still be able to have multiple windows, etc. This is just about the “under the hood” stuff, where we won’t have “standalone” separate applications for the PCB editor and the schematic editor anymore. We’ve been slowly moving in this direction for a long time, as the separate applications thing holds us back in a number of ways.

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Will this mean that KiCad will be able to open multiple projects at the same time?
That would be very useful.

Heh, well I did say “however it works out,” lol.

I have been deep enough in development to see the integration that has been done, and to encounter the “standalone” warning. The ideas are out there, I think with more clarity than 2018, so one way or another, whether it’s scripting API expansions, etc., the community’s closer to knowing what it needs.

Yes, and you will be able to have multiple schematic sheets from the same project open side-by-side, etc.


In the current version is also possible to open some projects at the same time

One KiCad instance can only work with one project at the moment. You can open multiple instances to open multiple projects, but that’s not the same thing.

…as Microsoft said about Vista… ;>

I read this without know what MDI was. I infer it means multiple [simultaneous] displays ? meaning two or more pieces of display hardware (AKA monitors), using a one-to-one correspondence between viewports and displays. This seems to be good if you can allocate two or more displays working on one project at a time, because you can have a schematic on one display and a PCB layout on the other display. For a complicated circuit, this would allow more immediate user feedback as to the implications of rerouting a trace, for example. This could help speed up the design of the circuit.

MDI means Multiple Document Interface.

Right now, KiCad’s tools (schematic editor, PCB editor, etc) can only have one “document” open at once – one board, or one schematic sheet, or one project. The change would make it possible to have multiple documents at once within one running program. It has nothing to do with how many displays you have.

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Hi, I own only one monitor but I think it would still be useful to open several files to look at or copy/paste …
I wonder how the coupling between 1 schematic and 1 pcb may be visualized ?

One project == one PCB, so you’ll be able to see what project a board (or a schematic sheet) links to.

Yes, we know people want to have some way of handling multiple PCBs tied together, but whatever way we come up with will be some kind of higher-level thing, so there will still be a “project” that refers to one PCB and N schematic sheets that form the netlist for that single PCB.

It seems an equally large impact would be the ability to have the schematic or PCB window active at the same time as having the symbol or footprint editor active. I think that is an implication of what @craftyjon just said, multiple documents at once. Currently, if you are editing a symbol properties dialog, and you try to edit schematic, it won’t let you switch to schematic until you close the symbol properties dialog.

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