Post-v7 new features and development news

Import LTSpice .asc files.

(Thanks to Chetan Shinde for the prototype!)


Native ARM64 Windows builds are now available for nightlies

They’ll appear at the same time as x86_64 builds.

Python plugins may not all work because some of them may depend on compiled python packages that are incompatible with arm64 windows


The schematic editor now has a Search panel like the PCB Editor


Native CADSTAR libraries support (after conversion to ASCII format):

Footprint libraries in the CADSTAR PCB archive file (*.cpa) can be added directly as an entry to the footprint library tables:

Parts libraries (*.lib) and its associated CADSTAR symbol archive file (*.csa) can be added directly as an entry to the symbol library table.

For now, the *.csa file is configured as an “option” of the library entry and if not configured, is default to searching the file “symbol.csa” in the same folder. There is a second option that allows the user to specify which footprint library name (that has been previously defined in the footprint library table) will be used.

Note that in CADSTAR usually a library will be configured with associated pcb.lib and symbol.lib files. These files are binary format and must first be converted to and symbol.csa respectively before they can be used with KiCad.

To display the options dialog, right click on a library entry and choose “Edit options…”. There you can add the configuration options:


Properties panel for the schematic editor

This is initial infrastructure; many items don’t have properties yet and will be filled out over time.

The symbol library editor will be addressed later once the schematic editor version is stable.


Simulation plots are now updated incrementally as the simulation runs.


Support for exporting Allegro netlists has been contributed to the schematic editor and is found in the same netlist export dialog as the pre-existing options


Forgot to mention this one earlier, but it can be useful with high-res screens if your ratsnest lines are too fine:



The PCB editor has gained footprint fields equivalent to symbol fields. Each footprint’s fields are synchronized with its symbol’s fields. Footprint texts are still available for non-field text in footprints.

Jeff Young added some options to allow applying board text and graphics settings to footprints by default if desired (see “When Adding Footprints to PCB” in lower-right), so your board text and graphics settings can automatically override footprint library defaults.


Named variables as schematic fields are now supported as a special field type. These are fields named something like ${DNP} or ${VALUE}. Their value is always set to the same variable as the name, and the shown name is always the variable without the ${ }.

These have a couple of uses, especially with regards to the BOM generator. The special variables allow exporting non-field properties such as Do Not Place:

/usr/local/bin/kicad-cli sch export bom
input: 1 argument(s) expected. 0 provided.
Usage: bom [-h] [--output VAR] [--fields VAR] [--labels VAR] [--group-by VAR] [--sort-field VAR] [--sort-asc] [--filter VAR] [--group] [--exclude-dnp] [--field-delimiter VAR] [--string-delimiter VAR] [--ref-delimiter VAR] [--ref-range-delimiter VAR] [--keep-tabs] [--keep-line-breaks] input

Positional arguments:
  input                 Input file 

Optional arguments:
  -h, --help            shows help message and exits 
  -o, --output          Output file name [default: ""]
  --fields              An ordered list of fields to export. [default: "Reference,Value,Footprint,Quantity,${DNP}"]
  --labels              An ordered list of labels to apply the exported fields. [default: "Refs,Value,Footprint,Qty,DNP"]
  --group-by            Fields to group references by when field values match. [default: "Value,Footprint,${DNP}"]

They also work when specified in the command line exporter. Be careful of escaping! The shell will eat empty variables like ${DNP} so try ${DNP}, etc.

Lastly, the symbol fields table has gained the Item Number column as another magic column like Quantity.

The BOM exporter should now be able to export equivalent output as the three built-in python BOM scripts.


You can now assign alternate hotkeys:


Properties panel for the symbol editor


Expand Selection (hotkey U in the PCB editor) now works on graphic lines (actually, any open graphic shapes) in addition to copper objects.


Independently fixable scales for simulation plots.


Graphic shapes (lines, arcs, rectangles, polygons) can now have nets assigned just like tracks.

This allows creating custom copper shapes without having to define them as custom pads inside a footprint.
This is handy for various reasons, for example if you want to define a copper polygon on the board to connect some pads together but don’t want it to be a filled zone (because you do not want it to ever keep clearance from anything like a zone would)


There are now cli options to run drc and erc

kicad-cli pcb drc
kicad-cli sch erc

Additionally both the cli and gui have an option to save a json formatted report
The schema of which can be found here resources/schemas · master · KiCad / KiCad Source Code / kicad · GitLab


Grids can now be modified in the UI, and grid overrides can be applied that set certain grids based on the item you’re acting upon.


Note: grid settings shown in previous message have now been moved to Preferences.