Joost Yervante Damad edited this page Aug 19, 2013 · 12 revisions
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Using the program should be quite straightforward. There are two tabs, the footprint editor and the library browser. A menu bar at the top provides import/export and other functions. Right-clicking on an item in the library browser also works.

typical eagle workflow

  • create a new eagle library in eagle where you want to work with
  • choose a footprint
  • press CTRL-E, and choose that eagle library
  • choose another footprint
  • press CTRL-E again to re-use the last chosen library
  • modify the footprint
  • press CTRL-E again to re-use the last chosen library
  • ...

eagle quirks

If you saved your footprint to a library, you may find that you can't select the library anymore for adding new parts to a schematic. It is as of yet unclear to me why this is the case. The solution is to open the library from the library browser and save it.

typical kicad workflow

Kicad has two library formats, the old .mod and the new .pretty. Current (Aug 2013) kicad still uses the old .mod format files for selecting footprints within kicad. Therefor it is recommended to use a .mod file as target for exporting footprints. If you export a footprint to a .pretty directory or a .kicad_mod file you need to import it into the active .mod library via the kicad module editor.

Besides that the workflow is basically the same as for eagle.


Libraries are just directories (folders). Adding a library means linking towards a directory on your computer. If that directory already contains footprints they will be shown. If you unlink a library it is not be removed from your computer it is just no longer shown in the program.

The Library browser shows the footprints as a hierarchy. A footprint that is a clone of another is shown as a child.

Double-click on a footprint to open it.

From the library browser you can also export and import footprints from/to eagle CAD.

Edit footprints

Editing footprints is almost real-time. This means that the code is compiled when you stop typing and the result is immediately shown on the display part of the editor. If there is a compilation error an error window will pop up from the bottom of the editor showing the error.

The footprint is automatically saved each time it compiles successfully. If your computer is really slow you may want to turn of automatic compilation in the preferences. You can then do manual compilation with CTRL-F.

If you come from an older version of madparts you may want to check if auto compile is turned on as some older versions shipped with it turned off by default, meaning you have to turn it on yourself.


Check out the Example or read more about the Format in this separate page.

Command-line interface

Starting with 1.1 madparts can also be used in command-line mode. It is further documented in Command-line.

High level functional structure

functional structure