Installation and configuration
It is recommended to set your display/graphics card to use 24 or 32 bits per pixel. The 16-bit mode will work for Eeschema, but in Pcbnew the display will not function correctly under Linux in this mode.
Initialization of the default configuration
A default configuration file (kicad.pro) is supplied in kicad/template. It serves as the template for each new project. It can be modified or added to if necessary, usually for the list of libraries to load. Run Eeschema via kicad or directly (Linux command; /usr/local/kicad/bin/eeschema). Update the configuration and then save it in /usr/local/kicad/template/kicad.pro
With Windows, to add a new library with Eeschema, go to Preferences --> Library --> Click on the Add button. Find the new library file (.lib extension), highlight it & click the Open button. Click the OK button when done.
Principles of use
In order to manage simply a project, i.e. all the files it constitutes (representing schematics, printed circuit boards, supplementary libraries, manufacturing files for phototracing, drilling and automatic component placement), it is recommended to create a project: Create a working directory for the project (using kicad or by other means). In this directory, use kicad to create the project file (file .pro) via the icon.
It is strongly recommended to use the same name for the project and its directory.
Kicad creates a file with a .pro extension that maintains a number of parameters relating to project management (such as the filename of the principal schematic, list of libraries used in the schematics and PCBs). The default names of both the principal schematic and the printed circuit board are based upon the name of the project. Thus, if a project called example was created in a directory called example, the default files created would be:
example.pro project management file.
example.sch principal schematic file.
example.brd printed circuit board file.
example.xxx various files created by the other utility programs.
example.cache.lib cache file of the libraries used in the schematic (backup of the components used)
The main window is composed of a tree view of the project, a pane containing buttons used to run the various utilities, and a message window.
The menu and the toolbar can be used to create, read and save project files (*.pro).
Utility launch pane
Project tree view
Right (image) clicking allows files operations
Create a configuration file for a new project. If the template kicad.pro is found in kicad/template, it is copied into the working directory.