(Start Here) Frequently Asked Questions

This topic is an index to answers for frequently asked questions about KiCad.

General tutorials

Where is the official documentation?

The official Getting Started in KiCad tutorial (up to date for KiCad version 6)

Tutorial: Introduction to PCB design with KiCad version 5.1 (Getting Started) (Written for outdated version of KiCad)

Is there a ‘quick start’ Youtube video I can check out?

General topics

Off-topic and on-topic in this forum

How can I help improve KiCad?

I think I found a bug? Now what?

KiCad suddenly begun to crash on Linux with Gdk-ERROR

Cheat sheet

Is it a good idea to use a nightly build version?

Can a project edited with newer version of KiCad opened with older version?

Where are the 3rd party plugins?

How to run v5 and v4 on the same machine (Windows only; external link) (Written for outdated version of KiCad)

Running several KiCad versions on the same Windows machine (longer article) (Mostly needless because different KiCad versions are nowadays installed independently from each other)

Where are the configuration files (settings, library tables)?

Updating from version 4 to version 5 ((Written for outdated version of KiCad)

I had KiCad 4 installed previosly. Now i updated to v5. Now i have some problems with the library setup

Converting KiCad version 4 projects to version 5 (Remap a project)

Managing your projects

Project and libary setup for sharing and collaboration

How to crate a bill of materials (BOM)?

Advanced version control with git (external link)

Pros and cons of using a version control system (git; VCS in general; collaboration and distributed development)


How to get a downloaded symbol, footprint or full library into KiCad?

Library management in KiCad version 5.1.x (Written for outdated version of KiCad but still mostly valid)

I installed KiCad 5 (under linux) but there are no libraries. (The default option for the sym-lib-table setup is disabled) (Written for outdated version of KiCad)

What is the difference between footprints and symbols?

How does KiCad know which symbol pin is connected to which pad of the footprint?

How to assign a footprint to a symbol

How to submit symbols/footprints made by me to official KiCad libraries? Why does it take so long to get them accepted?


Creating a new footprint library

How can i make a footprint (from scratch)?

How do i know a footprint fits my part? (KiCad version 5 and earlier) (Written for outdated version of KiCad)

How do check footprints for correctnes? (KiCad version 6)


Creating a new symbol library

Tutorial: How to make a symbol (from scratch)

What do the electrical types for symbol pins mean?

Invisible power input pins (Disclaimer: written for version 4, details in the answers might differ for newer versions.)


Update PCB from Schematic’s match methods

What is the difference between opengl and other canvases?

Why does my zone not fill?

How to create a power plane (using zones)

Why a zone doesn’t connect to a pad even though they belong to the same net?

Cleanup Tracks and Vias

What is the meaning of the layers in pcb_new and the footprint editor

How does solder mask layer work? (Answers the problem “soldermask (F.Mask or B.Mask) looks different in pcbnew and in gerber file”)

Courtyard: what is it and how to use, what is the “malformed” error

How do I get started doing my own scripts in pcbnew?
[and here] [and here]

How do I ‘panalize’ in Kicad?
[more] [Using mouse bites]

How to make and use templates

RF Design Tips

Coordinate system, grid and origins in Pcbnew

Castellated edge; plated half holes in board edge

Autorouting, autorouter, autoplacing

Custom Rules

Targeting unconnected pads

Mechanical CAD integration and 3d models

Why a footprint points to a 3D model but the model file doesn’t exist?

3D models are missing in 3D viewer after updating to V6

V6 STEP 3d model export: Missing components or completely empty board is exported

Why are through holes covered with copper in the 3d viewer?

What is the difference between step and wrl 3d models?

How do I start with 3D modeling and what is this STEPUP I keep reading about on the forum?

KiCad stepup capabilities demonstration (MCAD integration)

Video Tutorials, ribbon cable, jumper wire, Freecad to Kicad


What are the cache and rescue libs? How does the rescue process work?

KiCad v5.0 announcement of Symbol Library Table (Written for outdated version of KiCad)

Error Type 3 - Pin connected to some other pins but no pin to drive it.

Hierarchical or flat schematic design, what is best for me? (How to deal with multi page schematics?)

Off-Board Components in KiCad 5 (Written for outdated version of KiCad)

About power symbols (Specifically about ground symbols)

Carrying BUS connections to new sheets


Tutorial for getting started with ngspice in Kicad Eeschema.
Tutorial discussion thread

Ngspice does not behave the way I expect. Now what?

Adding a spice model to a symbol (Example for a transistor)

Tips and Tricks

Guidelines for good schematics

How to best connect a wire to the PCB?

Switching to KiCad from another Tool.

I come from Eagle. What should i know about KiCad?

Can I Export or Convert a KiCad Project to Another EDA Format (Altium, Mentor, Zuken, Orcad, etc.)?


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