Changing origin of footprint


I was wondering if there is a way of changing the origin of a footprint.
At present, the origin of one connector is set to one of the through holes. But I would like it to be the center
of the connector. Is this possible?
Double clicking the component shows the “footprint properties” in which I can edit the positon, but not the
reference poin.

Thanks for any hint.


I believe you have to open the component in the footprint editor to do that in which case you will then have to save it to a personal library.

You can only do that in the footprint editor. There is an anchor symbol in the toolstrip. That does the trick.
As @hermit pointed out, you better save the changed items in a personal library.


In the footprint editor there is the center of the big X,Y coordinates. Move the parts so the desired spot is in the center of the XY.

In PCB_new, a small blue + sign appears at the “insertion point”

Now, I strongly suggest that the XY 0,0 spot is at the center of the component. During Pick-n-Place assembly, the machine needs to know the Center of the component, not pin 1 or some other spot. Although you may not care about this.

Yes I know that it’s possible to change that in the footprint editor, but I would prefer something else.
Among the reasons:

  • I would prefer not to keep 2 versions of the same foot print just for a single offset reason.
  • In some cases, I’m sure that having the origin at pin 1 could be useful. Or even sometimes at any other point. I think it could be interesting to have this possibility (changing the origin of one component). A few days ago, I noticed that it’s possible to edit the diameter, drill hole of the pads for an IDE connector for example. If it’s possible to edit one pad, and to push the new pad to be used for all other pads, then I guess setting the origin wouldn’t be a technically difficult feature to add. It’s very handy, not to have to edit the component. So that might be a good feature in the future. For example right click on a component, and change the origin…



If you select the footprint on the board, right click, and choose edit in footprint editor you will be editing only that cached footprint in the pcb file. If you only ever save the changes to the board then you don’t have to worry about the custom changes cluttering up your libraries. Note, however, if you ever update that footprint from the libraries you will loose your edits. Also, if you need the same change to multiple of the same footprint this won’t work.

Probably better to create a project footprint library and have your changes there. That way if you need the modified footprint in a future project you can create a project footprint library in the new project and then simply filesystem copy the footprint file from the original project’s .pretty folder to the new project’s .pretty folder.

I hope the above made sense…

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One of the options for a new library is for project specific stuff. You don’t have to add it to your global libraries. Normally I personally would keep these in the project folder. I guess it depends on how you decide to organize it.

If you edit the default library, your work will be overwritten at the next KiCad release that you install.
Much better to use a personal library.


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