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Author Topic: How exactly do libraries work? (downloading, updating, merging, etc)  (Read 487 times)

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Offline PhilippeASP

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I just started using KiCad and I'm browsing a bunch of tutorials on how to do things.  I found out that digikey has a great feature where you can download a part you want to buy in a multitude of PCB design formats, including KiCad...  There are two limitations, the first one not being a very big deal.  You're limited to 15 free component downloads per month unless you pay a premium.  I don't think I will need much more than that.

But the other thing is that each part comes with it's own files.  Each has a .lib and a .kicad_mod.  If i want to build a moderately complex circuit_board I'm going to have a dozen different pieces.   Am I supposed to merge the libraries together (can that even be done?)  Also, the mod file is has the name of the component (NE556D.kicad_mod), but the lib is just called symbols.lib.  And now, every time I open the eeshema that holds my project, it tells me "The following libraries were not found:  .../Kicad/symbols

So, I can't actually load the file I downloaded from DigiKey.  Is there something specific I need to do before I can use downloaded libraries in my projects? 
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: How exactly do libraries work? (downloading, updating, merging, etc)
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2017, 08:46:46 AM »
So, I can't actually load the file I downloaded from DigiKey.  Is there something specific I need to do before I can use downloaded libraries in my projects?

The symbol file is a library with a single component, so it's a good idea to merge them. You can transfer a component to a new library using the Component Editor. The footprint files can be copied into a folder called something like "Digikey.pretty", then you can add that folder using the Footprint Libraries Manager in pcbnew.

I strongly recommend going through the docs at http://kicad-pcb.org/help/documentation/, The Getting Started guide has some basic info on creating components, there are also more details in the eeschema and pcbnew manuals. It's worth reading through those, library management in KiCad is a bit of work to manage. Once you realise that it is just a bunch of text files, and how KiCad searches for those with file paths, it becomes easier to make sense of.



Bob
 
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