Post-v5 new features and development news

CADSTAR to KiCad Design migration now completed

For discussion on the CADSTAR importer feature and any usage issues, please go to this topic: Work In Progress: Native CADSTAR Importer


Some snapping improvements


Version 6 feature freeze announcement:✓&state=opened&label_name[]=ff-exception


More details about what this means and the roadmap from today to V6 will come at the Q&A tomorrow (and be posted after that session)


Just a reminder and a link to the KiCon thread… It’s going to begin soon.

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Jon said in another thread that the file format freeze is not separated from the feature freeze.

Wayne explained the file format freeze in the mailing list:

The file format will not be officially frozen until V6 is released.
There is always the possibility there is a bug we haven’t found yet that
could change the file format. There is also one feature on the
exception list (sheet page numbering) that will change the schematic
file format. Unless there are any bugs, the symbol library file format
should not change.

In effect this says the same thing: file format is tied to features, and ATM there’s one feature/file format change upcoming which has been granted an exception after the freeze, and I think that list won’t get longer. Possible bugs are always fixed, but I don’t think there can be many bugs in the file format itself, if at all.

I would still wait for that last change before starting to use 5.99 for real projects (and it will be pretty unstable anyway for some time).

By now everyone knows that no big features except those in the exception list (see couple of posts up) will be integrated. This means that this thread will wither. That’s of course good news: it means that the release is closer. But meanwhile I found one feature worth mentioning. (I have seen a mention of it somewhere else, too.)

Jean-Pierre Charras, the founding father of KiCad, has some connections to Ucamco, the company which governs the Gerber format standard. Ucamco has announced a proposal for X3 for including assembly data in Gerber data and it has been included in the standard. You can see JP’s name in the documents.

You can also find files created with KiCad as an example. How was that done?

KiCad is ahead of time, possibly the first or at least among the first codebases implementing X3.


The new color scheme. It’s “KiCad Default (read-only)” in Preferences -> Pcbnew -> Colors. The old one is Classic. Here they are for comparison (some objects are semi-transparent in my Appearance panel).

The new one is lighter throughout. Bottom copper is blue which may be more familiar than green to new KiCad users who come from some other EDA.


I prefer blue for B.Cu as green is already the most popular solder mask colour, unless you make purple boards. Also reminds me of lovely copper sulphate.

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There have been some confusion about the python APIs in v6. See Yet another Python teardrop script. Adds and deletes teardrops to a PCB. V0.3.3.

User defined schematic sheet page numbers in Eeschema (accessible via Edit > Edit Page Number…):

Thanks Wayne!


I think that was the last file format change, so that now the file formats are frozen except for possible bug fixes.

@eelik, There is at least one MR open which affects the board file-format:


A “Fillet Tracks” tool has been added in MR 461. This is a tiny part of all the hard work Seth and others have been doing to get KiCad to support curved tracks. Short video below:


May be a dumb question, but why does it look like its been done for an Atari 8 bit game? Is it the video or the curved tracks end up really that “pixelated”? If so I’m afraid whatever benefits you are planning on gaining by using curved tracks will be lost on all those multiple steps.

@Qbort can confirm, but I think that’s just what fallback graphics mode looks like with no anti-aliasing. In other words, that’s a rendering artifact of looking at the board in PcbNew; the actual gerber output will be smooth. If your computer can use OpenGL (Accelerated graphics) and antialiasing, things look much better.


@ArtG @craftyjon Yes, the reason is that I had anti-aliasing disabled since my machine is a little slow. Please see video below with “Subpixel anti-aliasing (High Quality)” enabled as well as the newer KiCad color theme.


It does not help we default to anti-aliasing off… (also that other issue where the 4 modes aren’t actually meant for both pcbnew and eeschema at the same time)
The complaints shall stream in

@eelik Do you know if someone has released a tool to automate the translation of multiple V5 symbol/eeschema files to V6 new formats? I heard the “translator” logic is accessible with the GUI in 5.99 (Save as...) but I would like to know if this logic can be surfaced and maybe accessible via a Python script (like those in library-utils) so that we don’t have to translate file manually, one-by-one.

Thanks :smiley:

Responding to myself here, I’ve been told there will be a “Python API for kicad-libedit” available “soon” which will be the official way for translating schemas/symbol libraries from v5 to the new v6 formats.

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