Starting a new project from old

It cant be just me who wants to do this ! what are other people doing please?


Unlikely. One caveat though.
The schematic file format is different (contains already future features) with the nightly builds. Format is not back compatible (yet).

Edit: I was meant to write pcb layout file format instead of schematic file format.

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.

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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.


Good point, although I suppose that if this needs to be asked, there’s need to rename the project. Otherwise it would be too easy :slight_smile:

Or you can manually edit your files in your copied folder with a text editor:

  • rename the files
  • change the references to the updated names inside the ‘.pro’,’.sch’ files

That should be less risky compared going to nightly.

Something automatic has been developed

but it is missing hierarchy
hierarchy on renaming

I am not using hierarchy.
To start new project I copy and rename .kicad_pcb, .sch and .pro files.

Do not forget about the -cache.lib (it must also have the same name as the project. And it is to be considered part of the schematic)

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… and now we are going back to the OP’s

Well it is less messy than installing an unstable nigthly version that might produce incompatible files.


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.

But really do you think the code will not touch the other files a part the main ‘.pro’? :wink:

Yes, really. There’s of course no guarantee, or it may change in the future.

I think that if you will try to compare the files you will be surprised… particularly in case of hierarchies

Did that mean that you know it makes changes inside the files so that they aren’t compatible any more?

No, that means that if you don’t check the code and the internal file format, you cannot exclude issues…
Inside the sheets there are references to hierarchic files, than for sure those would be updated and not only the .pro file.

Doing manually you will be in control of the result, unless you will be ready to check the source each time.

on linux, copy your directory then



can this be done in windows please ?

It can be tested once with one version, but updating the nighly build would of course be problematic. On Windows it’s possible to install a dedicated version for that and keep it. On Linux with updates coming from repositories it would be more difficult if you want to use later nightly builds for other purposes.

Well, there just isn’t a bullet proof and easy way to do it before 6.0, and even then not for v5 projects. Unless someone continues where bobc left with the script, and then we can discuss about difficulties of installing and using script plugins. :slight_smile:

I don’t forget it. I delete it :slight_smile: