Project by Michael; KiPad - A custom macro keypad for KiCad

I just wrapped up this project: "KiPad - A custom macro keypad for KiCad"

Presenting the KiPad - a custom macro keypad for the popular open-source PCB design software KiCad.

KiCad is awesome! But I’ve found that during PCB layout, my right hand is constantly moving back-and-forth between the keyboard and mouse - to execute hotkey commands or use the arrow-keys. That’s where KiPad comes in. The KiPad is equipped with a 16 keys and three rotary encoders, each programmed with a specific KiCad hotkey combination. This means common functions and arrow keys are all accessible to the left hand, leaving the right hand on the mouse.

Commands available:

  • Lay tracks
  • Drag tracks
  • Change layers
  • Measure
  • Set grid origin
  • High-contrast mode (toggle)
  • Rotate
  • Move
  • Shift, Ctrl and Arrow Keys
  • Undo / Redo
  • Enter / Delete
  • Escape key
  • Tab Key
  • Media (Play/Pause, Volume, next song)
  • Grid-size Knob
  • Track size Knob

    Read more

Looks really good. I have just started with KiCad, submitted my first files for production. I have no idea what I’ll get back. Usable I hope, otherwise a $20 learning experience (there’s no such thing as failure - I tell myself).

I can see this will be useful for some, and maybe down the track I’ll look at it again. I’m a bit ambidextrous so not too troubled yet but I’m still at the “think 10 seconds before pressing key” stage.

Nice work.


If you happen to update the design files with any improvements or bug-fixes be sure to post them!
Can’t wait to see what you make :smiley:


Interesting relevant article:


That is quite beautiful and creative. Image from the linked post: