What is Ref** in footprint editor?

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

This is an auto-generated message that is in place on the “footprints” section of the KiCad.info forum. If I remove it and ask for a footprint to be designed anyway, I understand that I will be subject to forum members telling me to go design my own footprint or referring me to a 3rd party footprint site.

Hello, this is my first time making a custom layout/footprint and am not sure what Ref** is. Thanks

I have sort of wondered about that also. But I guess it is just a placeholder. If your footprint is a capacitor, you would typically replace the letters “REF” with “C”, or an “R” if it will be a resistor. But I find that the asterisk does not seem to be necessary.

@BobZ, so it’s basically just going to say “J” for connecter or the name of the footprint?

I think you need to edit that field so that it says “J”. But this should be in your own library, not in the KiCad libraries which are generally write protected. You could alternatively edit the text in your schematic, and when you have more of those connectors do a copy-paste.

To be more correct, I would say the symbol reference, such as R or C. I use that example because an 0603 capacitor and 0603 resistor can use the same footprint. But the symbol will be annotated with a reference designation, and when the symbol calls out a footprint, KiCad should put that footprint onto the pcb with the correct reference designation.

Maybe that is the key for “REF*” on a footprint being a placeholder which can get replaced according to the symbol with which it gets associated. Does that make sense? I would appreciate someone else chiming in here…

KiCad is not difficult to learn, and I have done a bunch of KiCad designs. But there is often a little bit of bumbling around (library paths for example) and I do not claim to fully understand all of the workings.

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Correct.
The footprint assigned to a symbol receives the same Ref as the symbol when the PCB is generated.

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