Is there an easy way to associate KiCad components?

Im confused with choosing the right components.When I run CvPcb and try to associate a capacitor. I have to go to its data sheet and one by one check the matching dissensions. Is it how it is done? Is there an easier way? I used DesignSpark that had a tool which automatically was placing the right dimensions when you choose a particular model.

This association is really annoying.

Let me give you a particular scenario to express my difficulty

I want to use a connector for power, input and output ports of a simple circuit.

There is a two pin generic connector in KiCad called: CONN_01X02_MALE.
But I order components from rs-components. How will I proceed int his case. Imagine I ordered a connector from rs-components but it might be different than CONN_01X02_MALE in KiCad. So when I associate should I each time make my own connector depending on the data-sheet of that connector?

Is there an easier way which associates components in KiCads with suppliers? Or how is your method to associate when designing PCBs? I appreciate your experience and help.

Well in kicad (out of the box) you decide what particular part you use a bit later than in some other tools.
You can also create a library of atomic parts where you have a lot more symbols in your library and possibly not only a footprint associated with the symbol but also ordering information. See any of the atomic vs cvpcb discussions on this forum.
Example: Atomic or Not? What are you DOING with KiCad?

To use your design spark example:
There you needed to tell it what connector you will use at some stage didn’t you? How does it matter if you do this when placing the symbol or if you do it at a later stage. (By the way choosing footprints while selecting a symbol might be possible in v5 of kicad. [Developer Feedback] New component selector - brave testers?)

There are also tools available that cross reference with distributors.


Can you tell me how do you choose/ a standard 100nF cermaic cap in KiCad? It takes me long time to do it. In association it offers you like 100 different symbols and each time I have to check diameter length ect one by one for each component. Its too time consuming. I like KiCad but this thing is no good.

In the schematic, just select a capacitor component.

Then you need to associate a footprint to this component with Cvpcb (easy, not short). Or you can fill the footprint field of the capacitor symbol.

What do you mean by “standard 100nF ceramic cap”? a 0402, a 0603, a 0805, a 1206 package, one of the tens of THT caps?

Once you have associated a symbol/footprint component, you can save it in your own library so next time you have it ready.


If you are designing a PCB, you need to know your components. There is no getting round that.
There isn’t a “standard” 100nF ceramic cap. The designer needs to specify the voltage rating, dielectric material, SMD vs THT, manufacturing method : manual vs automated. KiCad can’t decide for you.

Once you know the component you will use, then you can select a footprint.


The namings are also not explained anywhere. Take capacitors starting with THT C_ Aial Disc L3 P vs. There is no info about what those acronyms mean.

That’s a fair point. To a native english speaker they might seem obvious, but even to me some are not.
I couldn’t find a description in the KLC or wiki, so I will create an unofficial one.

A glossary If you have any additions, let me know.

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In the description field of the footprint :wink:
But yes some of them have a rather basic description. And the description is not listed when selecting a footprint.
But if you use the method where you use the footprint browser to select a footprint you get a preview. (The description is still nowhere listed. Why do we even bother to fill it out? Well hopefully in the future something nice will be done that shows the description somewhere.)

Here a better explanation about the footprint selection option with a preview. (works in current stable.)
First open the properties field of the symbol you want to connect to a footprint. (press “e” while your mouse pointer is above the symbol.)
Select the footprint field and press the browse footprint button.

Then the footprint browser opens. (In the browser you need a basic idea where what footprints might live. I don’t know of a search field in there.)

I hope this helps at least a bit.

Thers is no “Browse Footprints”. In mine there is “Assign footprints”. Are they the same thing?

Yes. @Rene_Poschl is one of several posters who confuse others by posting about features available in the nightly builds, without mentioning that.

Which nightly build version are u using? Please tell me

I recommend that you do not use a nightly build. You will likely have many issues than benefits. At least until you have mastered using the stable release.

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Did you know that this button has changed names? I never thought there are differences in this part. Well at least i learned something. (Why is the name in the nightly worse than the one in stable?)

By the way the feature is there. It just has a different name. But from now on i will mention that my screenshots come from a development version and that some details might be different in the stable release. (On my second pc i have kicad stable installed. But my work pc has only nightly.)