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Development Highlights

Development Highlight: December Edition, features coming to KiCad 7

The end of 2022 is here and quite some work has been accomplished on various parts of KiCad over the year.

We are all working to hopefully have a KiCad 7 release by the end of January 2023 but no promises!

This is a highlight of some (but not all) of the new features added since the last development highlight.

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Development Highlight: April Update

It has been two full months since the February development highlight went over the changes in January.

Here’s a fresh update on new features and changes that have happened to 6.99 nightlies. This isn’t a complete list as many changes come in smaller incremental changes that are hard to talk about.

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Development Highlight: February Update

It’s only been a month since the 6.0 release and work is well under way for the future 7.0 release with many features and improvements to come over the course of the year.

As a friendly reminder, nightlies are currently unstable, you can use them for testing and experimenting but we make no guarantees on the stability right now. Use them at your own risk, keep backups, especially if you are upgrading nightly versions.

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Development Highlight: Third Party Content Improvements

We are fast approaching the eventual release of 6.0 targeted for very early next year with the tagging of the 6.0 RC 1. Plugin & Content Manager One final new feature that has been snuck in is the new Plugin & Content Manager (PCM) contributed by Andrew Lutsenko in MR #841 The KiCad community has created an array of valuable python tools and libraries over the years. The PCM now provides the greater KiCad audience an easier way to both learn of these tools and install them with more ease.
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Development Highlight: PCBNew Layers, DRC and Toolbar Palettes

Some great workflow improving changes were made to PCBNew in this Development Highlight for the future KiCad V6 😄 Layer Management Jon Evans introduced a brand new Appearance control in commit bd14f8a82. The entire Appearance control which is on the right hand side of Pcbnew has received a visual and functional overhaul In addition to the existing functionality, there is now the ability to Show all Layers, Dim non-selected layers and Hide non-selected Layers
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Development Highlight: 3D Viewer Improvements

The 3D Viewer has seen a few incremental improvements during the course of V6 development. Not all changes to KiCad have to large by themselves to improve KiCad.

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Development Highlight: CADSTAR PCB Importer

Roberto Fernandez Bautista had a growing desire at his workplace to migrate away from CADSTAR. After trying and finding migration paths to other EDA tools inadequate and poorly supported, he has leveraged the open source nature of KiCad to create just what he needs and contribute to the greater community :D Thanks to his hard work in MR#279,KiCad is now able to import CADSTAR PCB files! With the schematic importer coming soon.
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Development Highlight: New Settings System

As a preview of a feature available in the nighty builds, a large change was made to how KiCad stores and loads settings that not only fixes a few headaches with the old system but lays the groundwork for more customization in KiCad such as color themes. This was thanks to the work of Jon Evans in MR#68

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Development Highlight: New schematic and symbol library file formats are now the default

Since KiCad 4.0, work has been progressing to overhaul all the various project file formats that among many benefits, make them far more human friendly, easier to parse and allow easier addition of new features.

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Development Highlight: Altium Pcb Importer

As a preview of a feature coming in the next major release, the ability to import Altium PcbDoc files is now available in the latest nightly builds. This was thanks to the work of Thomas Pointhuber in MR#60 The board import option can be found under the File > Import > Non-Kicad Board File option and changing the file type filter After which in the import file dialog you must change the file filter
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