Upgrade Frustrations - libraries

I hereby certify that I am not simply asking someone else to design a footprint for me.

My current version of KiCad is (5.1.9)-1

Hi, I’ve been using a 2012 version of KiCad and finally decided to upgrade to 5.1.9 because of access to all the new symbols and footprints available. Everything is going great until I try to create a new footprint. Since most symbols and footprints are variations of existing ones, I am used to:

  1. selecting an active library,
  2. loading a module (now footprint)
  3. editing
  4. selecting another active library, usually my custom collection
  5. saving the footprint into the active library.

First I looked in the manual - the menus don’t match and according to search results the manual is out of date.

I look in the forums. my first search results describe this same process, but then I notice that that was for older versions of KiCad.

I try the tutorials and focus on those for version 5.1. No joy!

Can someone please tell me how to do this specific 5-step process with the current version, or point me to the correct post?

Kind regards, Jurgen

Well it is a lot easier now (or at least more aligned to most other tools). Open the footprint you want to copy, file -> save as, select the library you want it to be saved in and done.

Or in the treeview right click on source footprint -> copy, right click on target library -> paste.

And to make a new library just use file -> new library. Then select if you want this new library to be part of the global library table or the local one.

Further reading:

1 Like

The reason that it does not work for you is very likely because the default libraries are read-only. This is done on purpose, because changes you make to them can be overwritten when KiCad is updated.

So you have to do a few extra steps.

  • Create an empty library.
  • Copy a standard symbol to that library.

… and that is pretty much what Rene added to his FAQ article.


Hi Rene,
I appreciate the quick reply. Seems to work. Once I edit the footprint and save it under a new name, I need to remember to delete the copied one.

Thanks, Paul. I already had a personal library set up. I was hung up on loading the footprint from one library into the editor to edit and then saving it to the new library.