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This tutorial requires:

DesignSpark PCB V11.0.0

On installation of DesignSpark PCB, there is a set of libraries installed and ready for use, these are the “User” library and the “Default” library. On first use, the User library is empty but ready for you to add your own components which can be downloaded from the online library resources, created by yourself, or created with the aid of the Wizard within the library.

The Default library contains a few generic components to allow you to start investigating.

How do I access the Library Manager?

From DesignSpark PCB click on the Library Manager (Book) icon as shown.

Accessing the library manager

The Library Manager launches.

Click on the “Folders” tab and you will see the library folders that are available in the “Folders and Search Order” box.
Those in bold are currently enabled, the greyed-out ones are mapped and available but not enabled.

Folders within Library Manager

In the lower window you see the libraries that are contained in each library folder. Also, for each library three files *.cml, *.psl and *.ssl, these are the component, pcb symbol and schematic symbol libraries respectively. You do not need to be concerned with these when starting, but all are required as a component consists of a schematic symbol and footprint symbol plus pin mapping. It is components from the component libraries that are used directly in your design.

You will also note ltspice and XSpice are not enabled (greyed-out), it is worth doing this if you are new to DesignSpark PCB as these are generic SPICE components and do not have a footprint, they are provided for circuit analysis, not PCB layout.

Are there any other components available?

When you launch the Library Manager you are presented with this message box.

Built-in Library's

DesignSpark PCB does come with further component libraries which are installed and present in the path highlighted. Although referred to as default libraries these are in addition to the “Default” library folder highlighted in the top image.

To enable these additional libraries, in the Library Manager ‘Folders’ tab, select the library folder highlighted below and tick the check the box “Folder Enabled”.

check the box - Folder Enabled

The lower window will now show all the libraries available.
These can be individually enabled or disabled by selecting the library and ticking or unticking the “Enabled” box.

It is best practice to only enable the libraries you plan to currently use to maintain high speed searching.

The square box symbol indicates that in this library folder not all libraries are enabled.

Because these additional libraries do not contain manufacturer’s part numbers, RS part number, datasheet links etc., it is recommended to build up your own library using the link provided in the message box and repeated below.

RS Component Search (

This will keep your library compact and searched fast.

Additional reading

How can I use the Library Manager? ( provides a description of the Library Manager window.

Technical Support for DesignSpark PCB