Already placed symbols miss the source library

When adding a new symbol in schematic, you can see the “Already placed symbols” section in the treeview:

Selecting one item you can see the information below:

  • Reference
  • Footprint
  • Datasheet
  • Description

I believe this panel is missing a very important information: the library source where that component comes from. For example, I created my own libraries and I put into them the most common component (like the R_US example) so I can tweak the symbols without interfere with the official libs.

When I add a new component in my schematic I want to be double sure I’m adding it from the right library. Hence, usually I have to add it and then inspecting the “Library link” from the property dialog, or it happens I don’t use at all the “Already placed” section and browse the whole treeview until I find the desired library.

It’s a pity, since I find the “Already placed” section very useful!


I understand that you are writing about adding symbols from your libraries. How you have organised them that you are not sure from what library is the ‘Already placed’ part?
I have library with capacitors, other with resistors, other with transistors, other with power ICs, other with digital ICs and so on. If from ‘Already placed’ parts I add transistor I know it comes from transistor library, when I add capacitor I know it comes from capacitor library, and so on.
Do you have the same named symbols in many libraries?

I do not use the “already placed” part at all.
If I want a symbol that is already on the schematic, I hover the mouse above that symbol and press [Ctrl + d]. And so everyone developes their own preferred workflow.

You can get an overview of all used symbols in: Schematic Editor / Tools / Edit Symbol Library Links. You can also copy and paste fields from the “Current” column of one symbol to the “New Library Reference” column of another symbol to change it, but you will have to remove some extra characters from the pasted line.

Yes, you are right here. The problem is, how would you add the information? Adding an extra column for the library name would be cumbersome for all the other symbols.

Just adding an extra row below “Description”, with the same name of the symbol property “Library link” should not be cumbersome.

To be clear, below “Description” in the lower panel with further detail, please see the above picture.

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My libraries have different filenames, but symbols may have the same name of the official ones (like R_US). If I see the actual library source (aka “link”) I’m sure where the symbol comes from. Otherwise, I have to rely on a blind guess.

For example, it may happen I place some symbols from the official libraries just as temporary placeholder. Then I update them and save into my own libraries. During this operation, or even after, I’m not sure if the “already placed” symbols come from my library or not!

Adding rows below each description, would make the list of used symbols twice as long, and it would become quite long for bigger schematics.

A better option is likely to prepend it in the description string, possibly inside square brackets or bold text to distinguish it from the description.

Sorry, I meant in the lower panel where the other details already live:


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You are right, that would be a good place.

But the more important fact you mentioned is that there is no way to know from which library the parts in the – Already Placed – section come from. That alone is worth a bug report on Gitlab. You can add suggestions for solutions when you create an issue, but finally it will be up to them on how they solve it.

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Ok. I got your problem. I don’t have this problem as I use only my own libraries.
I don’t have KiCad libraries at my library list so I simply can’t select any symbol from them.


I’m very much like Piotr.

I exclusively use my own libraries. Many parts are copies of Kicad parts, but all are renamed for my convenience.

All my symbols in my symbol libraries have attached are in my resistor library: Rs402, Rs603, Rt0.4, Rt0.7.
No prizes for working out what footprints are attached; not even old fridges. :slightly_smiling_face:

But, if you think you have an improvement for kicad, by all means make a suggestion on Gitlab. The worst that can happen is a “no”. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I never noticed I was missing this, but I’d also appreciate it. When you open an issue, please link it back so that I can give it a thumbs up.

Sure, thanks!

I just need to understand why I cannot login on GitLab anymore… it continuously requests the “human verification”. But I use it almost everyday for my job.