(Start Here) Frequently Asked Questions


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

General topics

How can I help improve KiCad?

I think I found a bug? Now what?

Where is the official documentation?

Cheat sheet

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

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

Where are the 3rd party plugins?

How to run v5 and v4 on the same machine (Windows only; external link)

Running several KiCad versions on the same Windows machine (longer article)

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

Updating from version 4 to version 5

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

How to crate a bill of materials (BOM)?

Advanced version control with git


Library management in KiCad version 5.1.x

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

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


Creating a new footprint library

How can i make a footprint (from scratch)?

How do i know a footprint fits my part?


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.)


What is the difference between opengl and other canvases?

Why does my zone not fill?

How to create a power plane (using zones)

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”)

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]

Mechanical CAD integration and 3d models

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)


IMPORTANT: Symbol Library Table Merged into Development Branch

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?)

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)

General guidelines

Guidelines for good schematics

Tips and tricks

How to best connect a wire to the PCB?

First PCB: Simple DIY Ambilight
Panalization of Gerber files
Will "Getting Started" tutorial be updated?
New User footprint hell
Upgrading from 5.0 to 5.1 - any issues foreseen?
Symbol Libaries are not installing when I install KiCAD
All VCC become GND
Rats nest not updating and schematic components absent from Layout
Error pin not driven error : Use of flags
Python error generating BOM - KeyError: 'description' (solved)
KiCAD 5.1.2 Footprint Editor
Eeschema "The following libraries were not found"
3D Newbie question
Beginner's guide to KiCad
Feedback on my first PCB design?
Many inconsistencies
Thermal Pad, Solid vias, Thermal Relief, (complete noob)
How can you match specific footprint pads to specific schematic symbol nets?
Searching for the symbol of TDA1562
Connecting wire on top layer removes the one on the bottom - can I stop this?
Libraries Confusion
How to add footprints
Some newbie questions
Getting re-started with KiCad
Why such bad documentation?
Assign Footprint doesn't filter by selected library?


Closed to future replies. Users with wiki access should be able to modify the existing topic.


No symbols in Eeschema
The tutorials don't match up with what I see. Is my version too new?