KiCad 6 Guide series
Create A New KiCad Project From A Template
There are two ways to create a new KiCad project. In this article, you will learn how to create a new KiCad project from a template.
KiCad comes with several project templates ready to use, but you can also create yours. You can go through a dedicated section in the Recipes part of the KiCad Like a Pro 3e course or eBook if you are interested in creating custom project templates.
Creating a KiCad project from a template
Click on “New Project from Template” in the File menu to create a new project from a template. The project templates window will appear (see below).
The selector window contains two tabs: System Templates and User Templates.
In a new KiCad installation, the User Templates tab will be empty until you create a new template and store it in the appropriate template directory (learn how to do this in the relevant section in the Recipes part of the KiCad Like a Pro 3e course and eBook).
The System Templates tab shows a collection of built-in templates. Click on a template icon to see information about it. For this example, I have selected one of the Raspberry Pi templates. The information box shows a description of the template. The description is composed of regular HTML so that you can include text, links, and images.
After selecting the template, you want to use, click OK. This will bring up the Save dialog box. This is identical to the dialog box that appears when you create a new blank project. Give the new project a name and location, and click Save.
Working with a KiCad project created from a template
When KiCad finished creating the new project from the Raspberry Pi template, you will see several new files in the project folder (right, below) and the project hierarchy in the KiCad project window (left, below).
In the project folder (above, right), notice that several additional files also appear in addition to the project, schematic, and layout files. These additional files have been copied from the Raspberry Pi project template.
In the KiCad project window, click on the Schematic Editor button to open Eeschema. In a new blank project, the schematic editor is empty. But this is a new project from a template; the schematic and layout editors are already populated with seeding content.
Below is the schematic editor showing a header and mounting holes for a Raspberry Pi project:
Similarly, the layout editor is already populated with content from the template:
As you can see, much of the work has already been done. In the layout editor, the design of the board outline requires exact measurements, which are time-consuming. The placement of the mounting holes and connectors, likewise, must be exact and, as a result, very time-consuming. All this is work that you can avoid when you create a new project from a template.
Creating a new project from a template is an example of a productivity-boosting tool that KiCad provides. You will learn about many more in the KiCad Like a Pro 3e course and eBook.
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KiCad Like a Pro, 3rd edition is available as a video course or as an eBook.
Choose the version that fits best with your style of learning, or get both to get the full benefit of the video demos plus the details of the eBook.
When you complete KiCad Like a Pro 3e, you'll be able to use KiCad to design and manufacture multi-layer PCBs with highly integrated components and a professional-looking finish.
Work through five projects that give many opportunities to learn and practice all of KiCad's important features.
KiCad Like a Pro 3e contains full sections dedicated to PCB and design principles and concepts. These ensure that you will master the fundamentals so that your PCB project are awesome.
If you are someone who is interested in designing PCBs using KiCad, or moving to KiCad from another CAD application, then KiCad Like a Pro, the video course and eBook, is for you.
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KiCad 6 Guides
0. Why learn KiCad?
1. What is a PCB?
2. The PCB design process
3. PCB fabrication
4. Get KiCad for your operating system
5. An example KiCad project
6. KiCad Project Manager (main window)
7. Overview of the individual KiCad apps
8. KiCad Paths and Libraries
9. Create a new KiCad project from scratch
10. Create a new KiCad project from a template
11. KiCad 6 on Mac OS, Linux, and Windows
12. Major differences between KiCad 6.0 and 5.0
13. KiCad Schematic symbols
14. PCB key terms