How to replace a component? 90% Solved

I noticed that I needed a 100V capacitor instead of 25V one. Both were in the library and used elsewhere in the board. Both had 0402 case. I couldn’t do it anyway other than deleting the old one and adding a new. But that meant I had to route the tracks again too. Is it possible to update only the part info and leave tracks unchanged.

There were problems with updating the PCB, too. At worst I had two C40s, but I’ll put that to another post.

Use Edit > Change Symbols.

I don’t know since when ‘Change Symbols’ are in KiCad but in such case I’m used to delete and insert new symbol (of course new symbol had to get the same reference).

After delete and insert I had never to route tracks again. If you update PCB using references the new element replaces the old and you need not do anything. Important is to have new symbol in the same orientation as the old one. As you typically don’t see it at schematic you can just see what KiCad wants to do when updating PCB and if it wants to do too many things you can get back to schematic and rotate symbol (using Change Symbol you don’t have that problem).

Deleting a symbol is a bad idea, especially after the footprint is already on the PCB. At the moment you delete a schematic symbol, the link between the schematic symbol and the footprint is broken and the footprint is orphaned.

@Piotr , The Change Symbol dialog has been in KiCad for quite a long time. Spend some time to learn to use it. It can be used to change multiple symbols with just a few mouse clicks, and it preserves the RefDes. This can be a quite useful feature when you want to modify an old project.

I replace symbols very rarely. Before I remember that Change Symbol exists I had it deleted and inserted :slight_smile:
I used Change Symbol may be once (few ms before pressing Del key I got idea to use it).
Since symbols get references without need to call Annotate delete/insert procedure even not needs to set reference as typically it gets the reference of just deleted symbol.
In Update PCB I have by default set to use references. Only when I have all project ready and I want to re numerate symbols to give them some order at schematic I once run Update PCB with this option unset.
With old projects it really can be helpful but it is very rare case when I change all elements of one type with the other one.
Change Symbol is very useful option, I think. But with delete/insert you need not to spend time on reading Change Symbol dialog box and thinking how options should be set.

You can get your answer here:

You can use a python library kifield.
By any chance, if you need a step-by-step guideline on Kicad, you can check this out:


Both the links you offer are way out of date; both referring to Kicad 5.

If you post links, please use up to date links such as:

I have also edited your post to remove the link to the commercial site you posted, rather than flag the whole post as spam.

Please refrain from posting links to commercial sites in future, in particular, the one site you have posted links to in over 50% of your posts.

My thanks for everybody for interest and help. I quess I should mark this as Solved because I fixed this with old fashioned way, I took away old part and added a new. The PCB was simple enough for this luckily. I have checked the change component feature, but couldn’t find the correct option.

I think part of the problem is that KiCad confuses symbols and components. My old real CAD had component library, with parts that had symbols and footprints. Even now, I am not changing the schematic symbol of the capacitor, but a component (from 100nF 25V 0402 to 100nF 100V 0402…).

Edit: It wasn’t always easy to learn the previous Cad I used, but I did. Same goes with KiCAD.

KiCad does not really have what you call a “Component”. In KiCad, the schematic symbol itself is the “root” of a part. I am not sure how they handle this exactly with the database driven libraries, but I guess it generates schematic symbols with extra meta data.

In KiCad, things like “100V” for a capacitor, and even it’s value (100nF) are just text strings added to schematic symbols, and so are the (links to) footprints. From what I understand of your workflow, the only things you had to change were those text strings, and that can be done easily by either modifying symbol properties directly (hover over a symbol and press e for edit) or with: Schematic Editor / Tools / Edit Symbol Fields.

True. The problem is that I need good libraries for BOM. Plenty of just capacitor in parts list is not nice.

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