Alternative footprints

Keywords are alternative footprints, alternative decals.

How I can manage alternative footprints? And how I can change it rapidly and easy in PCB editor?

Alternative footprint IS NOT “SO or DIP”- same component but SMD/tht it is not same component.

This is:
I use throu-hole-resistors. From internal libraries found resistors 7,62/10,16/15,24 mm pitch.
a) how I can make list “accepted footprints for this component”?
b) how I can change -in this case- footprints in PCB?

To my knowledge, you can properly change the fooprint only in EESCHEMA. Then click Update PCB from schematic to update your footprint in layout editor.

Currently KiCad works so that there’s one footprint for one symbol. There’s no easy and quick way to switch between two different footprints on-the-fly back and forth. Of course it’s possible to change footprints, even from the layout editor (pcbnew) even though @fred4u said you can’t :slight_smile:

But we would need more details to understand your use case. What do you actually want to achieve? What’s your high level goal? What does “alternative footprints” and “managing” them mean to you? You said:

I don’t understand that.

If your problem is related to the user interface of KiCad, please attach screenshots if possible.

@eelik what I do mention is “Properly change” :slight_smile:
You can temporarily change it in PCBNEW but each time you’ll do an update, it will be reverted. Or is it a way to “back-propagate” the change from PCBNEW to be included in EESCHEMA/CVPCB?

We use the footprint filters on the official lib to allow the user to easily select an alternative. This is used to allow the selection of a handsolder alternative or to select the variation with included thermal vias.

This allows the user to exchange the footprint in cvpcb or in the experimental symbol selector as shown in How can i assign a footprint to a symbol?

I would advise against using this for switching between differen packages as such a change also requires the order information to change (and potentially even the pin numbers). For that I suggest you exchange the symbol to the one that represents the other part number (and therefore has already the correct footprint assigned).

Here you can see only one footprint. In eeschema component -> Edit preferences (E). Here is only one footprint.

I can see only one footprint in this view. So: I can change this footprint as I want. All million components on libraries. No any list of “acceptable footprints”. Only way make this is a) write paper labels (it is, any table) for every components. or, b) use comment field.

OTHER software use this way, and, in my opinion, this is better way:

This view is just same as in Kicad “E”, preferences of the component. Visually it is different, but, if you stare it 20 second “oh, this is just same in Kicad, little visual difference”. This software use term “PCB decal” instead Footprint.

As you see, “PCB Decal” is just same as in Eeschema “Footprint”. Only difference is, component contain MANY footprint. How to use this? SCHEMATIC EDITOR: In this software, “preferences of the component”, click “Decals” [footprints] and I can select footprint from list. If I want use any other, I must go to LIBRARY and modify. Eeschema: “footprints” and then I can select any footprint… no any list of “legal footprints”.

If we go to philosophy. “Quality systems”. If any company use electronic design system they follow any quality standard. Typically it contain also details. Typically component names are stock code or any spare part code (not res_123…, but 8710 2120 11). Under this code is accepted manufacturers and exact codes (eg. motorola 74hc14, signetic 74hc14A, or, resistors, exact; not resistor 10 kohm 1 %, instead it eg. four manufacturer and their exact codes). Also group of wise mens decide accepted PCB footprints, eg. general_1206_tight/general_1206_supertight/general_1206_muchspace etc.

In normal use, eg. this example of resistor: throu-hole-resistor. During process I see, “this 15 mm too long”. In this other software I simply “preferences” and then I select better footprint. Direct from “legal list”. Kicad way: “Select other footprint, available all footprints in all library, no any limit, ny any warnings, no any legal list”.

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The edit footprint path indeed does not give you a reduced list. However the assign footprint tool (cvpcb) does. Read the faq article I linked above.

Yes: pcbnew -> File -> Export -> Footprint Association File; eeschema -> File -> Import -> Footprint Association File.

In 5.99 there’s the back annotation tool (Update Schematic from PCB) without the intermediate file.


Offtopic: En ole viitsinyt kokeilla KiCadin käyttöliittymän suomenkielistä käännöstä. Kuvankaappauksen nähtyäni ei tulisi mieleenikään :slight_smile:

Look it is no clever way solve this “Problem”.

  • Alternative footprints must be in library, not “per project”. If “per project”, no any idea.

Library symbol properties, in Symbol editor. As in it article, it is possible add footprint filter. Now I tested it. I save some symbols to my own library: RES_Axial_DIN0207_L6.3mm_D2.5mm_P07.50mm_Horizontal, 10.00 and 15.00. So: Footprint Filter is RES_Axial_DIN0207_L6.3mm_D2.5mm_P??.??m_Horizontal. If this work as I imagine, this filter must “found” “??.??” all accepted. (07.50, 10.00, 15.00 and if I want, later I can add 12.00 or or…)

Now: Eeschema, “tools”, “assign footprint” there is just list of the schematic components. And, filtered footprints. Of course this is better than nothing. But still, this is not clever: Now “filtered footprint”-list contain all footprints in desing. So: I can mix my design totally if I want. Capacitor, click, footprint resistor, click- and, capacitor use now resistor footprint.

If this “assing footprint” is clever, it work this way: Click C1 -> right I can see footprint ONLY assingned in this component. Click R2 -> right menu, there is only footprints ASSIGNED to this component.

Maybe this is useful, but not clever. Still I must know “right” footprints. So: How this Eeschema > assign footprints is adjustable? … “Show ONLY footprint assigned to this component”…

By selecting the filter(s) as described in the FAQ article. (I assume with assign you mean set as possible result in the symbols filter, you seem to mix terms here which is not a good idea if you want a clear answer.)

Double check your filter. There is a “m” missing.

“m”-missing is only copypaste error in display- not relevant.

Okay, now it work better, “only assigned”. Using this it is about as good as in Pads Logic + PCB :).

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