Is the footprint editor a separate application?


I like to have two instances of the footprint editor running, so I can copy a part of a footprint to another footprint. (That actually works. Well, sort of.)

The way I launch two instances is by launching PcbNew first and then closing it. Twice.
This would indicate that the footprint editor is a separate application, consistent with Kicad architecture, But Windows insists it is still a PcbNew process and I can’t find it as an application in the Kicad bin folder.

Is the footprint editor a separate application that can be launched directly?


No. The footprint editor is a view of the board editor. They are the same application. Same for the library editor/schematic editor.


Thought so. Thanks very much.


There are 2 other options: open one instance of pcbnew from the kicad launcher and another one from pcbnew stand alone or open 2 instances of the kicad launcher with different layouts.


Have you tried what seems obvious to me: open a footprint, copy, open the other footprint closing the first, paste? Is there a reason to actually have the two side by side?


@pedro: Good to know. Though admittedly I was hoping for a way to simply double-click a footprint and be editing.

@eelik: Actually that was indeed the first thing I tried, but it didn’t work.
Apparently Kicad makes no use of the Windows Clipboard in it’s applications. There may be a reason for that but it seems like a missed opportunity to me.


What KiCad version do you have? I don’t remember the details of 5.0 and I don’t have it at hand, but at least the latest development code works well in that respect. Open a footprint, copy from the context menu (and select the reference point!), open another footprint, paste from the context menu. No problems.


That was spot on. You’re absolutely right, it’s working.
Thank you very much.

And now that the penny has dropped I understand the remarks in several topics, tutorials and manuals that I didn’t quite get.

Lessons learned:

For copying: you select a block, right-click for the context menu and select copy.
The cursor then changes shape and becomes a cross. Now you select a reference point.
After that you can go to the target footprint and paste.

The reference point is required and can be freely chosen.
It has nothing to do with the “footprint reference anchor”.