Add symbol from schematic to project library

Now that v7 is firmly sitting within my main practice, I’m refining a few of my time-hardened processes. In writing this post I’ve already come across some improvements, so rather than posing them as a question, I’ll now list them as a request for comment! At the very least perhaps they’ll help guide others in their practices:

My usual schematic capture workflow is to start with a mostly fresh schematic, and then start pulling in symbols from various sources (old projects, own libraries, official libraries, third party libraries, imported schematics, etc.) and editing them. Inevitably I end up with symbols that are specific to the project so I always create a symbol library specific to the project.

Two workflows that were kinda cludgy in this process were:

  1. Adding and using symbols from the project library is always a pain, because it’s buried in the long list of global libraries.
  2. Adding a symbol from the schematic into the project library is a pain, because you generally have to go grab it from its source library, copy and paste into the project library, and then update the links in your schematic.

Thanks to this great forum I’ve found simple improvements to both workflows:

  1. Right click the project library in the Symbol Editor and select “Pin Library”. It gets a little star icon and appears first in the list in the Symbol Editor and in the Choose Symbol dialogs. Beautiful.
  2. Hover over the symbol in the schematic and hit cmd-E (or right-click and choose “Edit with Symbol Editor”. Then choose File → Save As… and select your project library (which is conveniently pinned at the top of the list!). You still need to right-click and choose “Change Symbol” to update the library link, but the cludgy bit is done.

These are a couple of excellent Quality of Life improvements and once again I’m stunned at how convenient KiCad is. Kudos to the devs.

Happy to take any suggestions to further improve QoL.


With regards to moving libraries without pinning :slightly_smiling_face:

By changing the “nickname” of a library, you can also move a libraries position in the viewing list, be that Global or Project, Personal or Kicad libraries.

Changing only the “Nickname” will NOT alter the Libraries path.

Eg. Prefix your nickname in your personal libraries to something before the number 4 and they will always be at the top of the list. Prefix with a Z and they will always be at the bottom.

Eg.2 If you wish to copy a number of symbols from the Kicad “Device” library to a personal library, prefix both nicknames with, say, 1aa and both will appear at the top of the list, one after another… this saves bucket loads of scrolling.
NOTE: If you do not revert the Kicad library nickname, next kicad library update will rename the Device library to its original nickname.

Libraries may also be hidden from view without uninstalling.

There are a couple of articles on library management in the FAQ. See “BeginnersGuide” (towards the bottom) and “Tips and Tricks”.

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