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I'm looking for the best protocol for finding specific parts in EDA software?

I've been mainly using EasyEDA for the past few months and have enjoyed how easy it is to search parts in the libraries available. This usually has about 90% of the parts already with symbol, footprint, and all for most of my designs.

I have been looking to upgrade lately to a software that is more widely accepted and has more features like design rules. So far, I have played with Eagle, Upverter, and DipTrace. In doing this I have become really confused with what actually is the proper why to find and select components for any design within the software. This is because how limited it appears all of these other software's libraries are compared to EasyEDA. For instance, if I go to search for a common component like the IRFZ44N I found:

1) Eagle does not have it in the included libraries (I figured this would have everything based on its reputation).

2) DipTrace takes 15+ seconds to "filter" it out (it also crashes frequently which leads me to believe I am doing it wrong).

3) Upverter has the symbol but only the TO-220 package.

If I look for a less common component such as the SUM70060E none of these software's default libraries even have it. In both cases EasyEDA has both (granted it may not be as cross-validated, but I happened to check this one and it seemed good).

I know this is just a single example but I have come across many more. It seems to me like I am missing some fundamental understanding. Is there some cross-platform "master library" out there I should install or should I not be searching for specific parts and rather just generic symbols and manually update their footprints as I go (even though this seems extremely tedious, especially if you want to do a simulation)?

Any insight would be appreciated.

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    \$\begingroup\$ IRFZ44N in what kind of package? digikey.com/products/en?keywords=IRFZ44N In Eagle, you can often find a similar part in the correct package, confirm the pinout, and then just give it the Value you want. Newark.com often has eagle libraries that you can download (as a script, run the script to create the library), and Sparkfun and Adafruit have Eagle libraries you can download. Cadsoft.de, the site for Eagle, also has libraries you can download. EasyEDA claims "More Than 1 Million Free Libraries", that could take a while to search. Which package are you after? \$\endgroup\$ – CrossRoads Apr 15 at 17:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ In this case I was looking for the TO-263-3 package but in general I was looking for more availability. \$\endgroup\$ – thisissparzo Apr 15 at 22:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ My advice would be to pick a tool, then get comfortable generating your own symbols and footprints in that tool. If you limit yourself to parts that are already in the library, you're really limiting your design choices. I use Digikey for this type of component shopping. First, I choose the component based on price, availability, performance, packaging etc. Then, I use the tool's editors to create a new symbol and footprint if necessary. The symbols that are in the canned library are often non-optimal anyway. With practice it usually takes just a few minutes to create a new component. \$\endgroup\$ – Randy Nuss Apr 16 at 5:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you Randy, that is exactly the answer I am looking for. I didn't know it was common to make your own symbols and footprints. \$\endgroup\$ – thisissparzo Apr 17 at 0:36

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