Best practice for editing symbols/footprints

I just added a couple of new components to Kicad. I added them to the global symbol and footprint libraries. But, I realized that these libraries are buried within the Kicad bundle (I’m on MacOS). If I do the normal drag-upgrade with the latest version, they are going to get wiped out.

So, what is the recommended way to:

  1. Create new parts and
  2. Edit existing parts,
    so that they won’t get replaced each time a new version comes out.

Also, is there a way to submit parts that I have created back to the community?

Is there a “style guide” for creating parts? Kicad uses a particularly “terse” pin-1 designator style for SMD devices that I have been enhancing with a pin-1 dot.

Good you already thought of the fact that modifying the default libraries is not a good idea.
The recommended way is to create your own global (and/or project specific) libraries and add those libraries to the right (global or project specific) library table.

A long time ago KiCad’s default libraries were a hodgepodge of contributions with different styles, and a bunch of years ago the KLC was set up to bring order in the chaos. If you have the intention to contribute to the libraries then designing your own libraries so they conform to the KLC is a good start.

For editing existing parts, first copy them to a personal library and then do the edits.

1 Like

As far as organizing your personal libraries, check out this FAQ entry:

It was written for v5, so the details (naming of path variables & extension of symbol libraries) of the system library setup have changed a little. But, it does have some good tips for how to set up your own personal libraries, and the workflow for doing that hasn’t changed that much. Sadly, @Rene_Poschl has stepped away from KiCad as his other life responsibilities have taken precedence. I don’t know the details, but they are his business and his alone. As a result, many of the excellent tutorials that he wrote for v5 haven’t been updated for v6.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.