Making A Project Template
There are many posts on this subject, this post is in answer to another post, as a singular post for making Templates.
Using Kicad 5.1.5-0 on a Mac.
You can name your Template as desired - Don’t use non-ascii characters in the name (in other-words, don’t use characters like Bullets, Hearts, Stars…, causes problems with Kicad).
• For this example, I used “Tofu” for the name
Steps - Overview:
• Choose a Location for the Template Folder
• Create a Folder named My_Templates
• Create a Project as you normally would
• Create a Folder called “meta”
• Create an Graphic for an Icon
• [optional] Create a Folder named “Out”
• [optional] Create a Custom Worksheet
• Set the Build Path to include the Template Folder
Steps - Detailed:
Note: the ‘optional’ items can be done later and edited anytime.
#0. Create your “My_Templates” folder (or other name) in location that you won’t change.
#1. Create a New Project named “Tofu”
Design a PCB to use as a basis for new projects.
It can feature whatever you want - it’s simply a regular project. So, the Board can have custom Schematic, custom Board Shape… etc.
-Place the “Tofu” template project in the My_Template Folder. The Template Folder will contain all of your Project Template folders.
#2. Create a Folder named “meta” containing Three Items:
• icon.png (a graphic or screenshot representing your project). Size it such that it’s not too big or too small.
• preview.png (another graphic perhaps a screenshot of the PCB or Schematic).
• A Text file Named “info.html” with text you want displayed in the User Templates panel for this Template.
-Place the “meta” folder in the “Tofu” project folder
#3. [optional] Create a Folder named “Out”, for exported Gerbers, etc, if desired. It’s convenient to do this…
-Place the “Out” folder in the “Tofu’ project folder.
#4. [optional] Create a custom Worksheet - A worksheet is the graphic Frame surrounding the Schematic and the PCB. Use the Worksheet Icon Tool in the main Kicad panel. Hack away at it with custom legend, added text and Fields for plugin’s that do things (Example:I have one for ‘Notes’ that fill-in at the click of a plugin button)
#5. Exit the “Tofu” project.
Re-Open the “Tofu” project, open the PCB and Schematic (this ensures that several necessary files get created in the “Tofu” folder Template’s project folder.
Save and close the opened files.
Summary of Above:
A “My_Template” Folder was created containing a Template Project named “Tofu” that contains several files and two Folders (‘meta’ and ‘out’)
#6. Setting the Build Path
With Kicad running, Close all projects/Exit Kicad.
Select ‘Preferences’ from the Menubar, and select ‘Configure Paths’.
A panel will pop-up containing paths.
Click the “ + “ at the panel’s bottom and enter:
Enter KICAD_USER_TEMPLATE_DIR as the name.
Place Cursor in the Entry Field next to it, Click. A Folder Icon will appear on it’s right side. Locate your “My_Template” folder, OK.
Best to Exit Kicad, though clicking the Refresh Icon should make everything happy (if you trust it).
Now, Restart Kicad and create a New Project From Template, and select the User Template Tab…