New to making symbols for eeschema and pcbnew

I am new to making library symbols.
When I make a symbol library (export symbol from eeschema) where should I put the corresponding .lib file ?
When I make the corresponding symbol footprint, where should I put the footprint file? I know that it has to go into my personal library or libraries, but I am not sure where would be the best place to put those files. And I don’t know if the footprint and the symbol are supposed to go into the same subdirectory.

The only conventions are your own.

The simplest is to not think much about it and just put them in the same (or sub) directory of the project you are currently working on. Don’t overthink it. It’s not very useful to make a whole library structure with 20 libraries if each only has one schematic symbol or footprint.

This is perfectly fine, especially if you have no intentions to re-use those parts in other projects.

If you want to go further (“More organized”) you have to think of a place to store them yourself. I have a directory with the name “~/projects/kicad/” where most of my KiCad projects reside. In such a directory you can make a “library” sub directory on the same level as your projects.

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You can look at the structure of the standard library for guidance. In /usr/share/kicad you can see the subdirectory library/ which contain pairs of .lib and .dcm files. So I created a directory ~/lib/kicad which I added to the symbol paths table which contains Feline.lib and Feline.dcm (just as an example :wink:). This then shows up as a library Feline from which I can select my own components.

The footprints are in .kicad_mod files which can be put in a similar directory.

Don’t worry if the directory name turns out to be unsatisfactory. You can move it around provided you change the entries in the relevant tables.

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Your choice.
I have my working directory I make a backup every day. Under that directory I have KiCad directory and under it I have _PcbLib and _SchLib directories (starting with ‘_’ to see them before project directories however I will name them.

I was writing it about 3 a.m. and didn’t noticed that my _ characters made text wrongly formatted.
Now it is corrected.

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In the Library management FAQ (see below) there is a sensible suggestion. Nothing says that you need to follow it, but it is a good place to start your consideration from:

Here is a direct link to the full FAQ article:


Thank you, all, for sharing your ideas. I will find the schematic symbol file I tried to save yesterday. Then I will make the footprint file and save it too. If I get stuck, I will ask for further help if I cannot figure it out by searching for changes to my drawing files.

It is always a good practice to save your footprint files and schematic symbol file in the same folder where your project is saved. Also, please note that the folder in which the footprint file is present should have the extension “.pretty” as shown below.

KiCAD screenshot

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