Help With Library Oganization

New KiCad user here. Also fairly new to ECAD. I made a few boards using DesignSpark and Free Eagle.

For me library management is confusing in all ECAD software I have tested. KiCad is no exception, but I am learning.

I have made two custom symbols/footprint components for my use. I plan to make more. I have no problems pointing to my custom components through the “manage library” in Preferences.

But when adding components in Eeschema or PcbNew my components are scattered under the symbol name I gave them in the left pane list. Is there a way I can put all my custom symbols and footprints under one custom library list like “My_Custom_Symbols” and “My_Custom_Footprints”? I guess my best example would be the “Device” or “Connector” library that list numerous component types under the one heading. An organized tree list. It would make finding my symbols faster.

KiCad has no way currently to clearly differentiate where your symbol or footprint libraries live. (This means all libraries are shown equally. But libraries group together multiple library assets this is what you observe with the Device symbol library.)

One option that springs to mind is using a clear personal prefix for naming your libraries. You might even choose to start your prefix with either 0 (to ensure all of your libs are at the top of the list) or z to ensure they are all on the bottom.

I wrote a very detailed lecture about library management in general: Library management in KiCad version 5

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I have a couple wishlist items over on launchpad for just this thing. Both are at “triaged” status (like the other thousands of wishlist items…). My feature request has to do with sorting the list of libraries based on order in the library tables. If anyone wants to vote them up, here are direct links:

Symbol libraries:
Footprint libraries:

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Thanks for the useful tip. I like it and I can live with that approach. I have already renamed my components. It works like the Digikey libraries with the “DK” prefix. I found your library management lecture very useful.

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