Can we PLEASE edit multiple symbol pins at once?

Hi team,

There doesn’t seem to be any way of batch-editing multiple symbols pins at the same time.
For example i often wish to adjust my pin lengths to 2.54mm, and having to edit each pin of most of my common symbols is a labourous and painful experience.

I strongly feel that a new check-box option should be added to the pin-editor page.

For example, there is an option “Common to all units in symbol”, so, could we not add another similar option named “common to all PINS on symbol”. and/or “common to all symbols in current library” ??

As an alternate option, can there at least be a way to select/highlight a certain number of pins and then right-click/edit to change those pin properties?

I come from a Protel/Altium background and those options have been included within their pin editor for 30+ years.

Can Kicad please please please add this editing option too?

Thanks in advance.

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I cannot answer your question…but I find that I like shorter pins than those found on most of the standard library symbols. I think I usually set my pin length to 50 mils.

If you are customizing symbols from the standard library, then your complaint makes some sense. But I do not think that I have ever previously encountered a similar complaint on this forum. If you are making your own symbols more “from scratch” then you can duplicate a pin which is the length that you want, be it pi^e furlongs or whatever.

Do you use symbols with large numbers of pins?

Anyway it looked like your post may be heading towards orphan-hood, and I thought that my wimpy response might at least raise it up higher on the list for a little while. Perhaps someone else can give you a better answer.

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At first I thought the pin table editor in the symbol editor might help you. This shows all the pins for the symbol with properties in a spreadsheet style table and allows you to copy a value from one cell and paste the value to several other cells. Here is the pin table (partial because I didn’t think making the pin table window large enough to show all the pins would be useful for a screenshot) for the MC68000 chip from the standard libraries:

Unfortunately, among the missing pin properties is the one you want to change.

Maybe a valuable feature request would be to include the missing pin properties into that table. Here is the pin properties table for one of the pins on that symbol:

Notable missing fields are the Pin length (the one you want), and the two text sizes (I imagine being able to review and change text sizes for all the pins could be useful in the pin table). Also adding the check boxes to the table could also be useful for some people (especially when qualifying a symbol to a chosen set of library conventions). Not sure how alternate pin definitions would fit into the pin table though. I haven’t played with that feature yet to understand what it does and how to use it.

If you feel strongly about it, please feel free to use the “Report Bug” item in KiCad’s Help menu. You may need to create a GitLab account.

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Hi BobZ,

Yes, i edit lots of “existing” library symbols, 40pin cpus and memories etc. it’s painful.

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Hi SembazuruCDE,

I’m aware of the spreadsheet table that doesn’t include pin lengths, hence my post here to request the feature to be added into the pin-properties window that you also posted.

I posted my request here, because i didn’t feel it was a “bug” as such, it can’t technically be a bug unless it’s already part of the program but failing in some way to warrant a bug report :wink:

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Unfortunately the developers do not have a good way of tracking feature requests on the forum, so the only way to make sure that someone considers it is by making an “issue” on the gitlab. You can make it directly at Issues · KiCad / KiCad Source Code / kicad · GitLab, but it is definitely easier to use the “report bug” button.

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With KiCad there’s always the possibility to hack the files directly.

(pin passive line (at -5.08 -2.54 0) (length 3.81)

It’s shouldn’t be terribly difficult to use a text editor or some command line tool to edit the length.

This is of course only a workaround, but if you are familiar with some text manipulation tool, it may save you much time.

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Yeh, obviously possible and still too labourous… but why should we need to edit text files when it should be a global function in the pin properties?? :wink:

Well, you should do that if you want to do it now. Otherwise, someone has to modify the source code first and it may take a while, especially if there’s no wishlist item for that in the bug database. :smile:

I’m aware of the spreadsheet table that doesn’t include pin lengths, hence my post here to request the feature to be added into the pin-properties window that you also posted.

Please try again to explore the pin-table-dialog.
There is a chance that you may find something interesting …

notice however: if you change only the pin-length the round circle (pin connection point) stays at same position, you have to move the pins in/out from the symbol-body afterwards. Or you use also the y-coordinate-column of the pin-table for this task.

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I see @oldmarty66 s’ point. One of the very few surprises I received upon first using Kicad was the lack of “global” editing for pins on schematics and pads on footprints. eg. change all pin lengths of one length on a symbol to a different length simultaneously or all pads on a footprint that are round 2mm, to say, square 3mm.

These editing functions were available in “Protel for DOS”, 1990, supplied on two floppy discs with instruction books printed on real paper. :grin:

Maybe go back to that old protel then?

As an Open Source program, development on KiCad is a lot different then for commercial programs. There is nobody who decides in which order any of the (over 1500 now) open issues on gitlab get “fixed”. Obvious bugs get fixed quite fast (sometimes really quick, I’ve seen 17 minutes from bug report to "fix committed), especially for small things that do not take much to figure out what’s going wrong. Some people may work exclusively on exciting new features.

I also every now and then bump into small things that are missing, and I see this as a separate category of issues. But such things do not get fixed unless reported first as an issue on gitlab, and reporting them properly can easily take half an hour (first search the open issues, then write a report) and it’s quite easy to skip that, find some workaround and then forget again you bumped into that small thing, and after a while the workaround becomes a habit and you even forget what it was about.

But anyway. I like the function mf_ibfeew posted. I did not know that was possible and it works for me too. It may be a new function added recently (ah that’s redundant).

Ha, not a chance!!!
About the only function a pin served back then was by way of connecting wires to graphic shapes.
As I stated in the first line: it was just a surprise; nothing more. It took about two seconds to “get over it”.

I must admit though, sometimes I wish I still had a computer that would run some of the very old programmes I still haven’t consigned to landfill, just to compare 30 years of technical improvements, instead of relying on memory.

Any modern PC is probably still capable of running that old software, and Freedos is also still actively maintained. It is even quite common to use Freedos as a way to boot a pc to re-flash the bios. Virtual machines to run old software are readily available, and there probably are also all kind of emulators for the old commodores, Atari’s and other computers from that era. Running old software on modern hardware should not be difficult.

There are even active communities and new projects of people building Z80 and 68xxx systems (Hackaday has lot’s of articles pointing to such projects.

So now all I need is a 3½ inch ( 88.949mm… for Paul :slightly_smiling_face:) floppy drive that still works!

There are emulators for those too, but probably not even needed, unless off course, when you still have data stored on that obsolete media. In that case you can buy an external floppy drive with USB connector for about EUR40. They’re still being made new and quite easily obtainable.

Good grief, that’s a surprise also.

Of course! The two original floppies… schematic and autotrax.

So all I need to do is purchase a USB output floppy drive, find an old Microsoft CD (might even have a 3.1.1 somewhere), install it virtually, learn how to use it again, install the old DOS protel, make it work, read the instruction books so I can use the program and finally draw something.
Hmmm; Probably best to not go down that rabbit hole.

I think that time and effort would be better spent splitting wood for the fire. :upside_down_face:
EDIT: or getting back to writing some Wikis for this forum!!!

I’m not surprised at all.
Those disks (You’re either 49um too big, or a bit over a millimeter too small (It’s actually 90mm see below) have been in use for quite a long time. They have also been embedded in oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, musical instruments such as keyboards and synthesizers. You can also buy “floppy disk emulators” that work with USB sticks or memory cards, but have the physical size and electrical connections of a floppy drive, and these are meant as drop-in replacements in such vintage equipment.

I haven’t been keeping up with obsolete technology replacements, that was why I was surprised.
I had placed floppy disks in the same compartment as compact cassette & eight track audio tape, VHS & Beta video tape and 70 & 35mm photographic film used by tourists in cameras.

I hadn’t bothered checking defined standards.
Real floppies are 5¼ inch, newer are 3½ inch. I know you are not impressed with Imperial measurements :slightly_smiling_face:, so I just multiplied 3½ by 25.414.
Cheers, :grinning:

No 8 inch floppies?

An “inch” is btw defined as exactly 25.4mm, and has been so for some time (starting back in 1930 or so) but have been slow to adapt and it only become “official” as late as 1964.

Apparantly there still is a weird exception for “US survey inches” which are expected to be put in the garbage bin in 2023.

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