Can't save new Library on Mac OS 10.15.3 KiCad 5.1.5

I am on the mission to find a EDA software that is not remarkably clumsy to use. I am still a bit in shock about Eagles UI. I have been using Upverter for a bit, but it seems to be abandoned.

So now I try KiCad. I am following this tutorial on Adding a new Symbol:

I already fail at Minute 1 of a 5 Minute tutorial. In my MacOS version (10.15.3) running KiCad 5.1.5 the symbols in the top left are not there. however I found a matching entry in the File menu for “New Library”, the dialog matches despite the OS mismatch. However, when I press Save, the dialog greys out. If I tab in and out of KiCad the dialog is back active, but even if I just pressed cancel it would grey out again, here’s a screenshot of how this looks like:

edit: the issue is that saving fails, kicad is unresponsive and needs a restart. there is no error message, only the dialog changes as shown in the screenshot.

I don’t think KiCad should change its look in different platforms so this might be a bug or you have installed a version different to 5.1.5. Check in help->about KiCad to make sure.

On Mac the about dialog is in KiCad->about KiCad, and it’s where I got the Version number in the first place. Apparently there is a bug, because I guess I’d be able to save the new Library if there was not.

The complete version number is 5.1.5-0-10_14 release Build, freshly downloaded and installed from what comes up when you google “KiCad download” (the official website).

Is there anything I can do to aid troubleshooting in this case?

The UI shown in the video is for version 5.0. The most recent stable versions are 5.1.x, and the UI is slightly different. This is not a bug, just a tutorial made with an older version.

There are lots of FAQs available - checkout the links at the top of this forum webpage. If you like to work throu g video tutorials there are some listed here Learning Kicad - unofficial learning resources which specify which version is used.
When a project moves forward there are always a large number of legacy tutorials still available online where the workflow has since been adjusted/altered/superseded or improved. It is important to bear this in mind and to checkout any details of the actual version. In turn, it is very helpful for anyone making a tutorial available to actually specify the version used.

It seems I was not clear with my issue, I have edited my post to highlight the problem section. I am unable to Save. When I click save, the dialog changes to what the screenshot looks like. The dialog is completely unresponsive unless I tab in and out of kicad, but it still wont do anything. I have to restart KiCad and start over.

Start Sybol editor in EESchema, when the Symbol library editor launches to the left you should see Libraries, right click there and select New library. Just checked in 5.1.5 on Catalina.

Wow, really? Ok. One deep breath. This below is my issue:

If I try to save a new Library with the process described in the first post, the dialog becomes unresponsive after I press save. It wont save. It wont cancel. It wont close. I have to restart KiCad and start over.

If my problem is not clear, please let me know. None of your replies actually references my issue. Why is that?

Well you say you used “save as” and we kind of suggested another way. Does that not work either or are you just insisting on going down the save as route?

@0xDEADBEEF … not to mention your description involves watching some video and guessing which steps you have followed and what you have missed.
In the symbol library, command File > New library works for me - I can normally save the lib.
Maybe you’re trying to save it in a location you don’t have write permissions?

It can also simply be a platform dependent bug. Or worse one that depends on the current state of the kicad config directory.

Not platform specific, as I’ve checked it on the Mac build to verify, and it works for me. Might be the issue with config folders though.

Hello Gentlemen,
first of all, apologies for being unclear, letting you watch a video and not being specific enough, points taken. I’ve had a bit too much frustration getting a fresh start finding an EDA solution. Especially just trying to use Eagle drove me a bit mad.

Turns out, the problem saving a new Library disappeared after restarting the OS, restarting KiCad alone did not make a difference. So there I was thinking all is good. Created a bunch of footprints, my first schematic, got a PCB going. Changed the schematic, resaved the Netlist. Worked the first time. Did some more in the PCB, added a part in the schematic, resaved the Netlist - boom. Same problem again. The dialog changes to the same symptom as seen in the screenshot. Tabbing in and out of KiCad brings it visually back to life, I can click everything, but every click restarts the symptom. I have to force quit KiCad to get it back responsive. If I try overwriting the netlist again the problem reappears. A restart solves the problem.

Please let me know what I can do to help troubleshoot this problem.

So the default library installation on macOS is into /Library/Application Support (not ~/Library) which I think you picked up on. The space in ‘Application Support’ also seems to cause some problems. This location is to try and protect unwary users - as it is a write protected directory so you don’t store your own assets in a directory that might get wiped on the next update but it does cause some problems and may not be ideal.

How you play this depends a bit on how you use KiCad. I have cloned the KiCad libraries to a more accessible location and can update them easily with a git pull. I only use two machines so it is easy to keep them both up to date and in sync with occasional git pulls. Since the stock libraries are quite large, I choose not to keep them on Dropbox. If more people are using Kicad in your setup, a local file server might be a better location. But wherever you keep these assets, you can adjust the path to them in the ‘Configure Paths’ dialogue.

This is a serving suggestion that works for me.
Screen Shot 2020-04-12 at 12.37.37

I have a separate directory for my own assets which I keep on Dropbox. This is much smaller and contains my own symbols, footprints and 3d models. This is accessible from both machines (but would also scale to more if necessary and I have write access to this directory.

Whenever you adjust a stock asset, it becomes a personal asset so needs to be saved into your personal library which needs to be in a location that you have write access to. Check how you have your paths set up in ‘Configure paths’ and check that you have write access to wherever you chose to save your assets.

There is some helpful info in the FAQs esp Library management in KiCad version 5

Hey John!

Thank you for the very detailed write up. My Saving location of anything in question has been in my icloud folder, not in any of the mac os Library folders. I am 100% certain if have proper rights for that folder. Also, it is not a permanent problem, which a permissions or wrong folder problem would be. It is also not exclusive to kicad libraries, as it happened with my net list. I have indeed installed the Application Support library into “/Library/Application Support”, as it was linked to in the downloaded DMG. I have also used all the settings that said: “if you don’t know better, use this”. Everything is fairly standard and mint condition.

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