Inconsistent interface of Footprint Library Browser and Library Browser in the footprint editor

The library browser in the footprint editor and the footprint library browser e.g. in the symbol editor have a different search mask. The library browser in the footprint editor searches for a given string in all libraries. On the other hand the footprint library browser offers a list list of libraries and searches only the selected library. The issue is that sometimes I know how a footprint is called, but I don’t remember which library it’s in. One can’t select more than one library (using or a wildcard like ”*” in the filter box). Here’s an example the string ”powerdi” is entered in the library browser in the footprint editor:

  • open Footprint Editor
  • Libraries (search): powerdi
    → Diode_SMD: D_PowerDI-5
    → Diode_SMD: D_PowerDI-123
    → Package_SON: Diodes_PowerDI3333-8
    → Package_SON: Diodes_PowerDI3333-8_UXC_3.3x3.3mm_P0.65mm

It lists several footprints belonging to multiple libraries. Here – on the other hand - is the input mask for the footprint library browser with the same string “powerdi” input:

  • open Symbol Editor
  • open any symbol
  • File → Symbol Properties…
  • Footprint → “Three vertical bar symbol”
  • opens “Footprint Library Browser”

Nothing is found. Is this intentional?

I find the library browser in the footprint editor easier to use because I can find the footprints much faster. Is there a reason the two behave differently? Is there a way to find a footprint without knowing which library it’s in?

Version: 7.0.10+1, release build

We are deprecating the Footprint/Symbol Library Browser windows because we agree, they are inconsistent and it would be better to have fewer different ways to search for library contents.

In KiCad 8, the browser is used in fewer places, but it is still available. It will likely be removed for V9. The footprint/symbol choosers have been enhanced to add some of the functionality that was previously only available in the browser.

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Ok, thanks for the quick reply. That’s great to hear. So nothing to do on my part except wait. No bug report required, right?

If you want, you can install the nightly version and try it out, and see if it addresses your concerns.

I’ll rather stick with the stable version since I’m sharing the files with others. But I might have a look at the nighly at some point to see what has changed.

If you take care to only work on a “testing copy” of your project rather than the real thing, you can install both nightly and stable on the same computer if you want to just see what has changed.