FOOTPRINT managemant

Hello KiCad developers,

I use KiCad for years, sporadically. Your NEW version is pain right now for me. Would be easy if it were easy. Schematic - list - footprints - board - done.

Would be, but IS NOT.

Nice to have Coud-footprints. would be nice to be able to save in a local directory structure and to be able to join the schematic part with the right footprint.

It was possible with earlier versions and I am sure it is possible somehow, but the way is hidden behind a forest.

KiCad can almost everything, somehow, but only if you know the promised way. Not sure the way is the same way in near future.


KiCad should be a TOOL, not a playground for IT-concepts.

As you can read, I am angry.

Might find the way through this forest, but it will take unnecessary time to do so.
I am not interested in discussions and I do not ask questions. I do not need any help and I will not answer anything. Just let you know the way I feel right now. It is a mess.


Yes it’s possible to work in a fashion similar to earlier versions; have a look at the “fp-lib-table” documentation in the cvpcb manual (also reproduced in the larger pcbnew manual).

You will need to pull the footprint repositories that you want from the github repositories:

Then you will need to set up your global fp-lib-table file; on Linux this is ~/.config/kicad/fp-lib-table

Footprints are in the *.pretty repositories.

The schematic symbols still use the older file format and they are in the github kicad repository “kicad-library”.

I’m sure many people have written scripts to pull in the libraries and perhaps even add entries to the fp-lib-table file, but personally I never use the symbols and footprints from the repository so I can’t remember any examples of such scripts.

It can be very frustrating at the moment, but once you’ve sorted it out you’ll be happier until:
(1) the file format changes for eeschema take effect (my bet is late next year at the earliest)
(2) someone changes a footprint in the repository and you did an update and broke your layout (many of the devs have already been victims of such a thing)

So - short story - pull in the schematic symbols and the footprints you want, set up the global fp-lib-table, and enjoy the new footprints and improved 3D VRML models as well as the numerous improvements to KiCad itself such as the Push-Shove Router and many other features developed by the CERN programmers, the newer 32-layer limit for copper layers and for technical layers, improved 3D viewer, usable VRML exporter, and the IDF exporter.