How does KiCad select Project-Specific over Global Libraries?


Will KiCad use project-specific libraries over global libraries?
How does KiCad handle things in these examples?

Example 1:
You have the EXACT same libraries loaded for project-specific and global… will it load the project-specific, correct? (yes, the end result would be the same)

Example 2:
Starting from the same position as Example 1, now you add a footprint, called “new.kicad_mod” to any .pretty folder in the global libraries.
Would KiCad recognize this new footprint and load it?
OR… does it stop when it gets to a .pretty folder of the same name?

EDIT: moved to Layout, Footprints category (although with v5 I would assume the behavior would be the same for symbols or footprints)


You write about pretty libs but put the post into the schematic library category. So you might want to read up on their differences: What is the difference between footprints and symbols?

Lets assume you are running kicad version 4 and talk about footprint libs. (As you mostly talk about pretty directories above)

I tested it in kicad version 4.0.6 and it seems the project local fp-lib-table has a higher priority than the global one. (If a lib with the same name is in both global and project lib table, kicad only looks in the lib referenced in the local table.)

Note that the Nickname (of the lib) is what determines under what name kicad finds the library. This nickname by default is the same as the name of the .pretty directory. But it can be changed using the library manager found under the preferences menu of pcb_new.

For symbol libs in kicad 4 it is a bit different. More details about that see: Any conflict with names of modules and libraries?

In kicad 5 (as soon as it is released) the symbol libs will be handled the same way as the footprint libs are already in v4.


I agree with @Rene_Poschl that for footprints, the modified library would load and the footprint could be used.
Modifying the official global libraries is a bad policy as at any time you could overwrite the library.
Creating your own project or global libraries with unique names is much safer.


I agree. Please have a look at our reference card, what our suggestions are: Any ultimate Guide on how to use KiCad 4 and 5 on one System?


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