New User footprint hell

Hi All,

Have used Orcad in the past and thought i’d try KiCad but it’s been very difficult to get a custom symbol and footprint to work. All the docs and videos don’t coincide with the current V5.0.2 release for function and menus from what I can see.

Windows7, 5.0.2 load, I am about ready to give up and move on to something else.

Is there a current GOOD video that walks you thru the symbol and footprint creation for this version?



Every symbol that is placed in your schematic needs a footprint assigned. Most symbols already do this within the library. But this does not really make sense for some of the more generic symbols like resistors.

Read this to learn your options to assign footprints: How can i assign a footprint to a symbol?


I want to create a custom symbol, a custom footprint in a custom lib.

And in general the FAQ section: (Start Here) Frequently Asked Questions

Thanks but I think I’ll move on. Just way to confusing for such a simple function.

An year ago I have seen these demos:

And I said: I’d like to work with PCB that way.
Half year ago with KiCad 4.0.7 I have defined some my footprints and some my symbols and then defined simple PCB made only from my footprints and my symbols. I have this PCB done and assembled.
Version 5 has new ways of working with footprints and symbols. But in 5.0.2 new organization of work is entered for symbol edition but not for footprint edition yet. These two places of program will be equalized in version 5.1. I see (in nighties) the new way of working with footprints much easier.
It is told V5.1 will be soon. Don’t know how soon.
I think the best you can do is to wait till 5.1 release - then check once more, but don’t assume you will work like in program you are used to.
From my experience it looks that most people asking here just uses KiCad libs, but me not.
I am now at stage of planning how to organize my future work in KiCad. How I wont my symbols and footprints divided among what libs.
I am not ready to answer all your questions, and I have no practical experience with KiCad, and I work with it slowly, as I am engaged not only in PCB design.
It looks we wont to work similarly.

Which part is confusing?

  1. creating a custom symbol library with the symbol editor? (that’s once for many many symbols)

  2. creating a custom symbol and saving that to the custom symbol library?

  3. creating a custom footprint library with the footprint editor? (that’s once for many many footprints)

  4. creating a custom footprint and saving that to the custom footprint library?

Those are straight forward steps, especially with v5.0.2 and later on with v5.1.0.
I don’t see the ‘confusing’ bit.

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