How to place schematic symbol on PCB over the footprint?

Hi! I would like to add the scematic symbol over (or near) the footprint on the PCB.
As for many component i’m using pin-header connection or terminal, it would be great if i could add the LED symbol on the PCB to remember what pin go to the external led Anode and what on Cathode… (same for buttons etc).

it would be great to be able to add all symbols for all fooprints, but it is good for me also adding it manually. actually the only solution i found is to REDRAW the schematic symbol (eg led diode) for every PCB footprint on the board.


That’s an interesting idea, but your use case is rare and I don’t think many EDAs would support it directly. At least KiCad doesn’t. You have to do what you have done - draw each symbol graphics in a footprint. Probably it could be automated with a script.

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Hi thanks for the reply!
well i understand but i don’t think it is rare. a lot of PCB i see everyday in consumer electronics (even more in industrial field) show on PCB symbol of component to be soldered for debug pourpose, quick replacement reference or simple aid for schema-reference and orientation…

it would be nice if at least the one could copy-paste the symbol from scheme to PCB (or footprint editor) as vector for silk layer…

It’s not quite copy and paste, but KiCommand is developing the ability to specify arbitrary lines/circles/arcs/bezier curves on any layer, using the newdrawing command with input from the command line. You could even read commands from a file. In addition, reading arbitrary fonts is almost ready (I’d say within the next month). There is an electronics symbol font available on the internet. An image of the font is available in this post.

Edit: I captured all the symbols in the font here:

KiCommand will (soon) allow you to place any font glyph as a polygon.


Support in KiCommand for fonts is now published on github. To find the above-referenced font, search for “Carr Electronic Dingbats”. KiCommand also includes the command getsymbolgeom to place a KiCAD symbol on the PCB. To do this, you will want to know the exact location of the *.lib file, the name of the symbol, and the part/variation/unit you want (or let it default to 1,1).

Once you get comfortable with KiCommand, you can execute something like the following to get a symbol.

  • S,250000 split “\full\path\to\lib\file” SYMBOL_NAME getsymbolgeom append newdrawing refresh - you can also add the convert and unit number appended to SYMBOL_NAME with commas: SYMBOL_NAME,1,1

It’s very preliminary at the moment, but it should basically function.