KiCad 6 Guide series

Major Differences Between KiCad 6.0 And 5.0

KiCad 6 is a significant upgrade over KiCad 5. I'll highlight my top three most notable changes in KiCad 6 in this post.

KiCad 6.0 vs 5.0

KiCad 6 is a significant upgrade over KiCad 5. If you are new to KiCad, and KiCad 6 is the first KiCad you have ever used, you can safely ignore this post. Go ahead to the next article, and begin reading about the Schematic symbols in KiCad.

However, if you have used a previous version of KiCad and created one or more projects, you take some time to read a blog post that I wrote in early 2021. In that blog post, I go into detail to highlight and explain the differences between KiCad 6 and KiCad 5.

Figure 2.8.1: Peter’s Big KiCad 6 review.

Figure 2.8.1: Peter’s Big KiCad 6 review.

Here, I will list my top-three most significant changes in KiCad 6:

  1. KiCad 6 has a new file format. The transition into this format, based on the S-Expressions standard, started in KiCad 5. With KiCad 6, the transition is complete.
  2. The user interface is refreshed and modernized. While in KiCad 6, the user interface is still recognizable from the earlier versions, it follows modern conventions on how the mouse and keyboard work. If you are coming from an earlier version of KiCad, you will use your existing KiCad knowledge. Icons have been redesigned. The menus and toolbars are better placed and organized. There is a single Preferences window.
  3. The schematic editing paradigm is updated. Now, when you click on an element in the schematic editor, the element is selected. This was not the case in KiCad 5 and prior, causing much confusion and frustration.

Get the full details of what’s new in KiCad 6 in my comprehensive blog post.

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