Symbol Links Keep Breaking

I’ve got a schematic I’m modifying, and it has a group of parts with missing symbols. I keep going in and replacing those parts with parts from a local library. Everything looks fine, and the symbols display, right up until I do a save and then quit KiCad. Upon re-entering the schematic, the symbols are missing again. I thought I had the path variables set up correctly, but clearly I’m doing something the software finds wonky. Any ideas on how I might fix this?

Doug G.

You might at least want to give us the kicad version you use.

Right. Version 5.0.0-3-g5ebb6b6 release build. I thought it was the most up-to-date version for general release when I installed it a week or two back. Running it on a MacBook Pro, under 10.13.6.

Is it possible you originally made the project with version 4?

Well, I’ve inherited this project from someone else, but yes, I think original author did the original project in version 4.

I don’t understand; is there some procedure or upgrade process I’m supposed to apply to v4 libraries to make them behave properly in v5? I thought legacy files were handled seamlessly.

I should probably add, the symbols in question are custom/added symbols, not part of the supplied kicad standard library package. But I think some of the added symbols are working fine; it’s just a certain set of them that KiCad keeps forgetting.

The libraries do not need some special work. (The lib file format did not change) But the schematic file needs to be remapped.

The reason for this is that version 4 did not store the information about what library a symbol was taken. This meant that symbol names needed to be unique over all libs. In version 5 the library information is included in the schematic file. (So when transitioning from version 4 to version 5 this info needs to be added.)

Normally everything should kind of happen automatically but it could be that you either found some bug or you made some mistake in that process.
The automatic process should be started the first time you open the schematic. (Something about remapping and or rescue) If this comes up accept the default values. You need to store the schematic after the remapping is done. (The file will no longer be compatible with version 4)

The remap process depends on a valid cache lib. (The cache lib is a special file that is created by kicad inside the project directory.)

There where problems reported when the project was not made by a version 4 stable release but with a nightly build.

I can not explain why adding symbols from libraries would result in them being forgotten after restarting kicad. The only thing that comes to mind is that you choose the symbol from either the cache or rescue lib. (Make sure you get the symbol from a real library)

You have perhaps put me on the right track, but there’s still something broken . . .

I remember the remapping dialog when I opened the document, but I don’t remember what I did, though not knowing any better, I probably would have chosen the default prompt. The file is saved now in v5.

I had been using a cache lib for these parts, and I thought you might have had the answer, i.e. don’t link to parts in cache libraries. I copied some of the symbols to a fresh, non-cache, lib, and then placed those into the schematic to see if that fixed the issue. Alas, no, the behavior follows the part; after saving, closing, and opening, the link broke. I examined the part files with a text editor to see if I could see anything obviously broken, but no, it looked legitimate, not that I would have spotted a subtle error.

Back to the drawing board for me . . .

You might try using the menu items “Tools/Edit Symbol Library References” window instead of doing it manually per part.

Also, ensure the annotation is complete and correct.

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