I want to keep my project (schematic with hierarchy) as it is now, and create a new project starting from my current one as starting point.The method described by some is to make a copy of the whole project file and rename it but this seems messy is there a simple and less messy solution now as Kicad has evolved ?
There’s a new Save As feature in the development version. It should work with v5 projects, I guess. But it requires installing 5.99 nightly builds. You shouldn’t edit the files in any other way with that version if you want to keep them compatible with 5.1.
No, it’s exactly the schematic format which hasn’t changed (yet). The pcb layout file format has been changed. Anyways, you should be safe if you don’t open any files with KiCad application, only use the project view to Save As. And to maximize the safety you should of course copy the project first as-is and handle the copy, not the original.
Installing the nightly build depends on your OS. You have to give more information about your system if you want help for that.
There is also an easier option available that does not depend on nightly builds at all.
Copy the folder that contains your project. Rename only the folder to fit your new needs and then work with that project as is.
If you truly can not live with the files inside being named like the original project then well go the route of the nightly.
I don’t see why it would produce incompatible files if you don’t open any files with it, only the main project, and just use Save As. Whether it’s incompatible or not is easy to test - and I have used it successfully for a 5.1 project.
If the feature is needed for more than one project every now and then it’s certainly easier to install a nightly build for that purpose than to remember every time how to change and check each file manually.