Problems with the Getting Started tutorials

Hi, new user having some basic difficulties.
Going through the Getting Started page, specifically the Make schematic symbols page for version 5.1 which is what I am using:
https://docs.kicad.org/5.1/en/getting_started_in_kicad/getting_started_in_kicad.html#make-schematic-symbols-in-kicad
I am trying to create a new component. It says to click on the New component icon which will open the Component Properties window. Instead, the icon is named “New symbol” and when I click on it, it opens a “Library chooser” for lack of a better term.
I selected the “Analog” library and tried to create an alternate symbol for a resistor but not much seems to work as the tutorial describes it. I can add pins but cannot place them where I want, so pins and attributes are on top of each other and it is a mess. I have not figured out how to move the pins and attributes.
I realize that I could just ignore the tutorial and spend the next 3 days clicking on things at random until I figure out how it works. But good people spent time creating the tutorial so before I give up on it, I would appreciate some guidance.
If the tutorial is unusable, please let me know so that I don’t waste time with it. I understand this software is free and I should not expect to have everything working as if I were to pay $1,000’s for it, I am just trying to figure out how to best use my time.
Thank you for any help.

Getting started tutorials are sadly out of date and need major overhauls.

There are some very good tutorials in the FAQ at the top of this forum page.
kicad.info/c/faq

Try clicking A on the keyboard to add a component and see if you can choose a component from the menu…

The FAQ jmk mentioned indeed has lot’s of info about quite a lot of KiCad topics. Much more than an “average faq”.
One of them is a “getting started” tutorial:

paulvdh

Thank you for the hint, I will look at it. In the meantime, I have made some progress ignoring the tutorial which was more confusing than helping and was able to create components by randomly clicking around, so I am OK for now :slight_smile:

I am used to having tutorials being behind a few revisions on many open source or free software (and even commercial software to be honest), so when I saw that the tutorial had the same version as the software I had just downloaded, I thought I had it made…

My previous experiments with KiCad were many years ago and back then I had given up fairly rapidly out of frustration. I have since designed many boards using ExpressPCB and RobotRoom, but really wanted to move past the limitations of these rudimentary tools. I am glad to see that KiCad has matured a lot since then.

Since the tutorials are designed around a certain version, it would help if that which version they were for was clearly stated. In this case, the tutorial has revision 5.1, same as the current software, but a number of menus and even program flows are different, so that causes unnecessary confusion and frustration.

The problem is that the Getting Started Guide has been partly revised for 5.1. The options are to either not publish it at all or publish it as imperfect. It would be better to state very clearly in the document itself that it’s not up to date.

[Russ]

Try clicking A on the keyboard to add a component and see if you can choose a component from the menu…[/Russ]

That opens the component chooser, so it is a useful shortcut but does not resolve the issue.

My immediate problem is that when I click on the “create, delete and edit symbol” image it opens the symbol editor and inside of that the library chooser, and I have no idea what exactly I am supposed to do with it.

I did manage to create a component but was not able to save it in one of the existing libraries (a Windows file permission issue apparently), so I saved it in another location proposed by the software in the Documents folder, but now I am unable to find that library or the new component I created…

[eely]

The problem is that the Getting Started Guide has been partly revised for 5.1. The options are to either not publish it at all or publish it as imperfect. It would be better to state very clearly in the document itself that it’s not up to date.[/eely]

I totally agree! Even better, explicitely state which version it was written for.

First you need to create your own personal library. You can’t place symbols you created into Kicad libraries. See: Creating a new symbol library and a new symbol in KiCad 5

Right clicking on the libraries or components in the libraries will give some explanation.
eg. an easy way to make a symbol is to modify an existing one, so:
you find a suitable symbol in a library,
“save as” into your own library which is now in that list.
rename and modify that symbol from inside your library.
Place it on your schematic.

In case you haven’t found them, there are very common symbols in the “device” library.

So probably each chapter, or sub-chapter would need at its beginning the version it was written for.

In previous KiCad versions some default settings (like library lists for new project) was saved in default project that was saved in the KiCad installation directory. In the KiCad documentation that I have read when KiCad was 4.0.7 I found information that to be able to save your defaults in that file under Windows (I think problem didn’t existed under other systems what was the reason that it was made that way) you can install KiCad not in “Program Files” directory which Windows protects someway but in another directory. So before I first time installed KiCad I created my directory “Programs” and since than I install all KiCad versions there.
That probably gives me the possibility to edit KiCad libraries (I write probably as I have never checked it).

See Preferences - Manage Symbol Libraries…
I have created a set of my symbol and footprint libraries organised as I want them and I have only them on my lists. When I want a new symbol I start it by copying one of my symbols. When I want new footprint and among my footprints there is no enough close to it I search it in KiCad libraries (I have default KiCad installation at second PC) and copy it using file manager (each footprint in KiCad is a file and footprint library is a directory) to one of my libraries and then modify it as I want.
I have read that symbol libraries will be also changed so each symbol will be separate file but I don’t know if it will be in V6 or later (I am using 5.1.10).