So, let's say I'm composing a schematic for a circuit I'm designing in KiCad, and... done.

I now have to to choose a footprint for my components. How does one identify the appropriate footprint for a given component? I open up CvPCB to an utterly daunting array of possible footprints, none of which seem to be referenced anywhere else in creation- google knows nothing of the footprint "names" seen in KiCad (that I can tell.)

I need the dimensions of a standard DIP pin - I have a component that can fit in this for example (yes, it wil tolerate heat :P)

I am perfectly happy to create my own parts with my handy dandy digital caliper! It'd just be nice if that massive library that comes with KiCad can actually do something.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What are typical names of the footprints you see in KiCad? What does the datasheet of your parts say about their footprints? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 5, 2014 at 15:31
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ That library is quite a mess, my advice is: start building your own and keep it safe and sound. Some parts of it are good anyway. About the caliber, keep in mind that every datasheet includes a "landing pattern" that you should respect. I had to use the caliber only for odd shaped components, to be sure the clearence between them was enough. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 5, 2014 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


In CvPcb there is the "View selected footprint" in the top toolbar.


Once you press that button, a new window pops-up where you can see your footprint.


This new window allows you see the component and has a grid from which you can find out the size of your component. This grid is also selectable by right-clicking the grid and choosing whatever grid you want from "Grid Select" option.


If you mouse-hover on one pin, on the bottom of the window there are X-Y coordinates from which you can tell the distance between the pins. This one, from the example, has 5.08mm * 2 = 10.16mm = 0.4inches distance between the pins.


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