PCAD File import. Or any import?


Hi, I’m a total KiCad NOOB, so forgive me if I’m asking an unreasonable question.

I’ve read in several places that it is possible to import PCAD 2K files. I exported a Protel 99 board and schematic, and from what I’d read I thought I just had to select File|Open and change the file type to PCAD 2K.

Well, the problem is that I cannot find a File|Open or File|Import in the menu. Only a greyed out File|Append and the usual Save and Save as options.

I just installed KiCad, and it is V4.07. I’m running it on Debian Linux.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.


In Kicad 4 the option to Open non native kicad board file is available only if pcbnew is launched alone and not when launched from the suite kicad.


Thanks! Good to know. So now I’m onto my next error. :slight_smile:

Error loading board.
IO_ERROR: Unknown file type
from s_expr_loader.cpp : LoadInputFile() : line 56


What is on line 56?

Doh! Sorry, still half awake. Line 56 is where the assert was raised in the source code :slight_smile: Code says

    if( !fgets( line, sizeof( line ), fp )
        // first line starts with "ACCEL_ASCII" with optional stuff on same line after that.
        || memcmp( line, ACCEL_ASCII_KEYWORD, sizeof(ACCEL_ASCII_KEYWORD)-1 ) )
        THROW_IO_ERROR( "Unknown file type" );

So basically the file does not start with “ACCEL_ASCII …”. The file might not be ASCII format, or is not expected format. I think to investigate further I would need to see the file.

If you can try the latest nightly build, the PCAD import might work. I do not recommend nightly builds for “production” use.
Also, the PCAD importer was originally part of https://sourceforge.net/projects/pcad2kicad/, I don’t know if that is still maintained, possibly it can be run standalone.


just check your exported file is in PCAD2K ASCII format.
If the error still appear, that means your export cannot be read/imported correctly for a bug or an earlier format.


Looks like the end of a pad definition for a .118 non plated hole. It is
very similar to the .140 npt above it.