Post-v5 new features and development news

Even more useful would be to add a fourth option so that each designator would be incremented by a given constant value, e.g. from 1xx to become 2xx.

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@Olo That is quite beyond the purpose of the option. The idea is just to allow synchronising components between eeschema and pcbnew with an naming algorithm that can ensure consistency between the two applications. It is not intended to be used for reannotation - there is a specific tool for that purpose. After you have synchronised the schematic and pcb, you can use the annotation tool to reannotate as you wish.

I guess I should have posted about this change too: you can now also reannotate a selection in eeschema. (see MR 800). This was done as part of fixing bugs in reannotation which were producing duplicate references in some cases. The backend code required having the ability to reannotate a subset of components (in the current sheet), so it was quite trivial to implement the ability to reannotate a selection as part of the bug fix.


If you have any other specific annotation requirements, then please request that as a new feature on gitlab so it can be considered in the plan for v7 or thumbs up any of the existing feature requests.

Note that there is also a reannotate selection option in pcbnew but unfortunately it is currently broken… (See Not sure if that one will get fixed in time for v6 as it is quite involved - it might require a complete rewrite.


I think this is outdated. In [5.99] new syntax for INT\ ~{INT} etc Jeff tells about syntax which I think I haven’t seen in this thread, although this one has been going on for so long that it’s difficult to remember everything…

Basic support for arcs in polygons has been added, but see for clarification: this is not yet a feature for end users.

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3 posts were split to a new topic: V6 feature Arcs in Polygons

I remembered a small feature while answering to another thread, I didn’t find it here: in pcbnew print dialog it’s possible to choose “Print according to objects tab of appearance manager”. It’s a small change in the UI but may be a big help for some workflows which need printing. It’s possible to hide for example zones, values, references etc.

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Every now and then some user has been confused by a zone viewing option which shows boundaries of zones, including strange horizontal lines (see for example here and here).

That view mode is now behind advanced config and we have one button less in the left hand toolbar by default.


I don’t remember if these two features have been introduced: Board Characteristics and Stackup Table which can be added to a pcbnew layer. They are both groups of items, populated with information gathered from the board. Stackup Table naturally needs the physical stackup in the Board Setup. Add these from Place menu.


We are still waiting for two major features, the new python API and the Content Manager. The latter can be tested if you can use git and compile KiCad yourself, see

Despite the latest “we are almost there” update about the python API we haven’t heard about it ever since. Well, the last 10% is always the most difficult… But in any case it looks like the more pessimistic estimates about the release schedule were correct. There’s still hope to get v6 this year, but honestly, those two features are both pretty large and need testing, so it’s probably not only about integrating them to the master codebase and fixing some small bugs, although they should be independent from the rest of KiCad and therefore not cause headaches for those who don’t use them.

Otherwise the state of 5.99 looks relatively good to me. Judging by the posts in the forum 5.99 is pretty popular already amongst courageous users. Please join them, test and report bugs.


Speaking of which, the button in the 3D Viewer’s color settings to copy in the Board Stackup colors was pretty kludgy, so it’s been replaced with a radio button to just use the stackup colors.

It has now been merged to master. At the moment it’s behind a config flag because it’s not fully featured yet, so if you compile, run cmake first and enable KICAD_PCM. You will also see KICAD6_3RD_PARTY environment variable in the Configure Paths dialog, the packages which can now be tested will be installed there. The footprint library must be added to a library table manually. As was said, it’s not ready yet for full user experience.

Discussion should go to the dedicated thread.

Gerbview has now XOR viewing mode a.k.a. differential mode or compare mode. Overlapping colors are blended using certain algorithm, so difference between two layers is easy to see. Screenshots can be found in the merge request.

Notice that this is only for gerbview, not for pcbnew. The latter once had the old legacy toolset/display engine which showed colors XORed and some users have wanted it back, but with other enhancements, for example more detailed settings for transparency, it shouldn’t be necessary for productive work.

EDIT: this isn’t really a new feature, it existed in v5, but was removed probably when the legacy canvas was removed (correct me if I’m wrong). The implementation in 5.99 is different.


Important: Update to 5.99 modifier keys

Importing of Eagle netclasses and clearance matrices.

Maybe more of a bug fix, but it might be useful to some:

Some slight improvement to the length tuner / diff pair tuner. Now you can choose which side the meander is placed on by moving the mouse cursor to the other side of the tuned tracks:



The OCE option has now been removed.

Quoting Seth (

Previously, KiCad had default paths for schematic symbols in /usr/share/kicad/library and for footprints in /usr/share/kicad/modules/ (Windows users found these at %{KICAD_PROGRAM}\share\kicad\library and %{KICAD_PROGRAM}\share\kicad\modules)

Starting with tomorrow’s nightly build, we will be installing these to /usr/share/kicad/symbols for schematic symbols and /usr/share/kicad/footprints for layout footprints.

Depending on your setup, this may require some manual intervention after an update. New installations should work by default.


As part of a general cleanup to the UI of the Create Array... tool, a new option has been added that automatically assigns the next available reference designator to the newly created footprints (it works in the same way as Paste Special... -> Assign unique reference designators)

The cleanup was mainly to remove the clutter in that dialog when running from the board editor: none of the pad numbering options were relevant.


The way it should work is that if you have a block to array like below:

J1          J2

It will create an array with the reference designators something like below (dependent on other footprints on the board not having those reference designators already)

J1          J2          J4          J5
          J3                      J6

J7          J8          J10         J11
          J9                      J12

A possible workflow for getting this working would be:

  1. Ensure that the schematic and the PCB are synchronised before starting.
  2. Use the array tool on a set of components of the PCB.
  3. In the schematic, copy the same block of components and do Paste Special... -> Assign Unique reference designators (they will need to be pasted as many times as required).
  4. Finally the components in the schematic and PCB can be linked up with a Update PCB from Schematic... (F8) selecting Re-link footprints to schematic symbols based on their reference designators.

This option should be available in the next nightly run.

Ref commit:


Cool! I’ve been waiting for something like this for years!

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Until now, CTRL + E could be used to open the editor of the current symbol or footprint (below the mouse).

Since yesterday, CTRL + SHIFT + E can be used to open the symbol or footprint it in the library editor, instead of editing the current symbol / footprint.

Thanks Seth!