How do I turn PADS library into a KiCAD library?


I used to use PADS software before. There are many symbols and footprints in library of my PADS. Like pt9, pd9, ln9 and ld9 file. I want to convert these into lib and kicad_mod of KiCAD. How will I do??


There is no direct pathway, but you could explore using a two-hop approach, where you port into PADS Altium/PCAD and then use the PCAD ASCII import feature into kicad.

Import of PCB files in PCAD format seems to work quite well from Altium.


You can use SnapEDA you can upload your footprint from a particular software eg: Eagle, Altium, PADS, … and download a converted one for another software you want.
I personally use it.


oh… Is this way to use my completed PCB by PADS to become format of kicad? But I want to use kicad to structure the PCB. If I have completed this PCB, I don’t need to convert.


OK. This way is so good, but my files involves some trade secrets. I can not upload these files, but it still helps me with some personal files.


Footprints are a good place to start, and those should not have too many ‘trade secrets’ :slight_smile:

I would try a flow like PADS -> Altium -> PCAD-ASCII -> KiCAD, as I’ve seen the last portion of this work quite well ( Altium -> PCAD-ASCII -> KiCAD)
I do not have Altium here, so cannot test other steps.

If that does not work, or if you want an audit-check pathway, there is some low-hanging-fruit that can assist in checking a design.
eg you can run a script inside PADS that exports a kicad NET file, and that can confirm your file-steps translated ok.

It’s also not hard to export traces PADS -> KiCad, but that has caveats, in that it requires/assumes a placed-parts design waiting in Kicad, that is XY correct to the traces. (hence your footprints steps above)


OK. Sorry, My English is not good. I didn’t explain this part clearly. These files are actually company, I have no right to upload it privately. They “Maybe” are trade secret. May hurt me to be fired. Ha ha…
Thank your help. I do not have Altium, too. If I need other software to convert, I maybe have to pay a copyright fee. The company will stop me to do. Ha Ha…


If you have many files to convert, you could look at the free timed-evaluation versions, and check using those.
If that works, and your company wanted a proven long term path, you could tell your boss to buy a license purely for that purpose.


OK, Thank your suggestion :grinning:
My boss just want to use free, so let me use kicad instead of PADS.
But the company has been using PADS for a long time. The Library is so big.
If let him buy any license, he must say “NO”. HA HA HA


Well on the alternative. Are you able to upload a demo library. E.g. a resistor. A capacitor and an IC like a sot23.etc

From there we may be able to begin reversing the definition. Hopefully leading to a converter

Apparently pads allows you to export in an ASCII format. Be aware i have never used P-CAD or PADS.


That’s fine, so he also pays you $0 for your work too ?! However do you eat ?

You see, there is a cost to every effort.

An alternative is to do a library mapping table, where you find the Kicad already-made-library.
Then, new designs can use known KiCad library items.

Translation has a few fish-hooks and caveats :
PADS libraries have items like PIN and GATE swap, which KiCad has no equivalent for.
PADS also splits info across PARTTYPE and PARTDECAL library portions.
PADS has more attribute choices, and so may create a better PCB-side BOM than KiCAD


En… He just wants to save money. My salary will still be paid. I just follow his instructions.
You provides these way. Let me use PSAD to finish the logic diagram( schematic for KiCAD ), then convert into KiCAD pcb.
But I want to convert PSAD Library(pt9,pd9, ln9 and ld9 file) into KiCAD Library (lib and kicad_mod).
PSAD Library only export four file, pt9,pd9,ln9 and ld9.
Has nothing to do with the design diagram.
My English is not good. I use google translation. Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t have any blame.