Building, Organising and Maintaining User Symbol Libraries

A lot of newcomers have problems with the KiCAD schematic libraries. The default ones can’t be modified, for instance.
The solution is creating user libraries.
If anyone’s interested, I can put together a small text on how I do this.

Is this initiative by any chance triggered by the trhead below?

Rene Poschl made a FAQ article for creating symbol libraries that is in need of an update:

The FAQ articles are the lowest threshold entries for writing an article. Do you have the rights to start or edit a FAQ article?

Hermit has made a new listing for the KiCad V6 FAQ

It triggered reminiscences of my own fights when starting.

However, my idea was more triggered by the comments on difficulties in how to arrange and manage user symbol libraries, which your links to Rene Poschl and hermit and other FAQs don’t touch. Those are more about drawing/creating or modifying symbols.
My idea was more like “getting started” or “how I did it” with user symbol libraries.
I expect the FAQ creation uses GitHub/Lab, which triggers allergic reactions in me, sorry.

I still have fond memories about the “Getting started with KiCad” manual back from KiCad V3 or V4 so I quite do unerstand the feeling.

I’vehad several attempts to update that Getting started in KiCad but it was always a struggle for me to get though GIT and related stuff.

The FAQ articles on this forum are quite different though. They are very much like any other thread on this forum, but with only a few small differences. The biggest and maybe only difference is you have to gain the right “trust level” (Maybe it’s “Level 4” which is only by manual promotion). If you have that you can edit the FAQ articles.

I would be very interested in whatever information helps me understand how to arrange user symbol libraries, user footprint libraries, user 3-D model libraries, and the like to be used in my kicad 6 projects. Whether it is an optimal solution or not, it might be a big help to me. My organizational skills are poor.

I remember :slightly_smiling_face: :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi @ML9104

I’ve just about finished a blow by blow instruction for the ABSOLUTE beginner on Personal Library creation.
It starts with using the OS to create folders (and why) and ends with fairly comprehensive instructions on managing (in Preferences).
It should be up on FAQ by the end of the weekend.

And yes, the thread on ignition coils spurred me into finishing this wiki that has been lying around for months incomplete.

Edit: I have two more half done wikis again aimed at the absolute beginner about symbol and footprint creation. Hopefully these will inspire users to make stuff easily and quickly instead of wasting time surfing and adapting.

I don’t know whether this is addressed in v7, but I’ve never understood why there isn’t a way to create a library folder ad hoc in the navigator when a destination is prompted for. Many other applcations have an extra special entry in the navigator called New Folder or something like that that takes one through folder creation, and then selecting the product as the target. Instead this is something the user has to do ahead of time.

There is nothing in 6.99.
I have to admit, I kind of like not having access through Kicad to OS folders. It means you have to jump through many hoops to exterminate folders containing Kicad stuff. Kicad libraries can only be hidden by Kicad.

Making a virtue of a necessity?

Just start the navigation somewhere reasonable, like the parent of the last new folder, or if afresh, from the current project directory which probably isn’t too distant from a good library location.

Speaking of which, I wish the print schematic dialog would also propose writing the PDF in the current project directory instead going back to ~/Documents or something like that.

Or protecting the ignorant innocent.

Reads well!

:slightly_smiling_face: :slightly_smiling_face: :slightly_smiling_face:

Those ideas might make it to “8”. You’ll have my support.

Hi ML9104 & Paulvdh,

Level 3 (Regular), and higher, allows the creation and editing abilities of Wikis in the FAQ.

Hey, I resemble that remark! :wink:

(Malapropism first used by Curly, one of the 3 Stooges.)


I don’t have time to be effluenced by your comments, I’m busy composting a Wiki! :grin:

Surely you’re manured to it by now?

For the non-English readers, these are the malapropism pairs:

resemble : resent ( reference: The Three Stooges. US comedians )
effluenced : influenced (reference: Kath & Kim. Australian TV series)
composting : composing (reference: ??? maybe JMK original? )
manured : inured ( reference : ??? but it is really good… must be an Ancientcat original )

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I thought I was clever by tying “composting” to “effluenced”, but using “manured” was a touch of genius… typical for a proficient Kicad user! :+1: :+1: :+1:

Meanwhile - back to the Wiki…

Sounds good. I’ll put a hold on my own work and look forward to seeing your instructions.
Then I might return with suggestions/additions.