V5.99 - Correct way to replace components with a different one in a library?


I’m trying to get to grips with all the available functionality in KiCad. I am using nightly versions as hopefully I can get my company to use KiCad when v6 comes out.

One of the features we use all the time in CADSTAR is the “Replace from library” function, which allows to replace one or more components in the schematic/PCB with another one of a specified library reference. Here is a screenshot of the dialog:

Is there a similar way to bulk update components in KiCad v5.99? (Both the schematic and PCB)
Note: We would be specifying all our symbols as “atomic” i.e. one symbol definition for each order code with just one PCB footprint defined for each symbol…

Tools -> Edit Symbol Library Links in eeschema.

Possibly Edit Symbol Fields.

EDIT: possibly also Update Symbols from Library to update footprint assignments to match the new symbols.

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@eelik Thanks a lot! I am blind. Before your post I only found the “Change Symbol…” option which only works on one component (so one extra one to the one you mentioned):

Spending some time looking, it seems the closest option to what I need is your first suggestion: Tools-> Edit Symbol Library Links.

It is not exactly the same as CADSTAR’s version as it only allows to change all components with the existing symbol and not a subset of them. However, normally you are going to just change either one individual component (right click-> “Change Symbol…”) or all the components with a particular library reference (Tools-> Edit Symbol Library Links). It is rare to change a subset.
Thanks again! :slight_smile:

I find this quite a strange quirck of KiCad. I’m sorta guessing that it was not even designed this way but it “grew” into what it is now. I Imagine that Eeschema / Tools / Edit Symbol Library Links already existed before the
Eeschema / Tools / Edit Symbol Fields dialog was made.

It also took me a year or more before I discovered it.
To me it looks much more logical to add a “Library Reference” column to the Edit Symbol Fields dialog.

It would even improve functionality because you can make use of the grouping functions in the Edit Symbol Fields window.

@paulvdh I kind of agree with you that there is a quirk but not sure the Edit Symbol fields dialog is the right place to do this in because in my opinion, when you update library links, you generally want to import all the fields to match that in the library.

The problem I see right now is that the existing Tools/Edit Symbol Library Links dialog only refreshes the symbol itself and does not update the library fields (including the footprint association). You then have to go to Tools/Update Symbols from Library to get all the information loaded correctly.

This adds a second unnecessary step which can result in errors.

Created a gitlab issue for this: https://gitlab.com/kicad/code/kicad/-/issues/7010

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