How do you create a symbol library that works?

Had nothing else to do so persisted with uninstall / reinstall and had some success. I still think there is some sort of issue with the PC as uninstall takes about 20 minutes or more to give any sign that it is working - and then the normal progress box appears and it proceeds normally. 2 things I found - if you press uninstall more than once, the process is corrupted - and if you don’t wait for about 5 minutes after it appears to have finished, the new install is corrupted and won’t work. I had no luck trying to install outside of the program files directory - it only worked after I let install place it where it wanted to.
A big thank you to Rene for that very easy to follow and very accurate step by step guide to set up the project library - it worked exactly as indicated without any problems first time through - everything saved OK and I can bring the project back with the fully edited IRS2334 symbol placed. Did not go any further as its getting pretty late here.
It is obvious that I had missed steps and made errors with my early attempts - I don’t think any of the tutorials I looked at spelled it out in that much detail.
Thank you to everyone else who has offered help - I will certainly have good look at the suggested videos and other documentation.

Would it be good to turn this process and documentation into a Wizard to simplify things for new users?

It could make a good internship or beginner project.

I am still using an older version of Kicad, and found the youtube tutorials by Niklas Wennerstrand addressed all these issues for me, particularly navigating the symbol and footprint libraries

I can’t save to existing libraries as I don’t have Admin privileges.

As the person who created the original post, once again thanks to all the helpful replies. Apologies - I think I assigned the special thanks (in my last post), for the detailed library management instructions to the wrong person.
After getting the libraries sorted I have found the process flows well and is quite intuitive. I find the process of assigning footprints to symbols works very well.
One comment I would like to make is - why are passive components such as generic resistors and capacitors hidden under “devices”? I thought they would have been significant enough items to have their own entry in the main directory? Not a problem when you know where they are, but a hell of an initial hide and seek game.
I have now got a half decent schematic entered, footprints assigned and sitting on an initial board with the rats nest wiring. Have done an initial shuffle of component positions but a bit of work (and learning) to do to end up with a final routed product.
Apologies for my early negative comments - as some one said - I will probably look back at my initial posts and laugh at myself - just about in a position to do that now.
Thanks to every-one

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Hi Reichstr,

Rather than deleting and installing Kicad to remove faulty or practice libraries, you can delete or add libraries using the “manage symbol libraries” under “preferences” at the top of your schematic page.
Your personal libraries will appear under the Kicad read only libraries in both global and project specific.

A trick I learned some time ago was to start my own libraries with “1a” to keep them at the top of the list. I also make them all “global”. I just use the Kicad libraries from which to “steal” symbols to place in my own personal libraries.


This is a very good question.

Any reasonably complex problem does in general not come with an objective right solution. In most cases especially in technology related issues there are tradeoffs to consider. And for things like library organization there will always be the influence of the past. I doubt we will ever know why the library for generic devices is just called devices but at least during my time as the head of the library team i saw no benefit to changing it (the downsides of such a change to our long term users far outweigh the benefit felt by new users for at most one project). I suspect this is still the case otherwise the library would have been renamed in the version 6 prepared repository.

One additional reason to keep the device lib is that it makes containing non fully specified symbols a lot easier. By having a generic name for such a lib we keep the option open to later have libraries for resistors and capacitors with fully specified symbols like we already have for transistors. (right now we only need to allow 6 libraries to get generic symbols – this is bad enough for some users but well a bit of support for users who do not use fully specified is ok in my mind – especially as i am not a fan to go full out with fully specified as i feel abstraction has its benefits especially for parts like resistors)

Again the benefit of potential future improvements far outweighs the additional learning curve for newcomers.

Hi @Rene_Poschl,

I, personally wasn’t after a reply. Reichstrs comment just reminded me of my initial frustrations with Kicad.

I think the version 6 tutorial should include in BIG RED LETTERS, just under the “Don’t Panic” sign, a comment about what is included in the “Devices” library… just so people can fail to notice. :slightly_smiling_face:

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