Download the Fritzing Library from GitHub

The first step is to download the latest version of the Adafruit Fritzing Library from GitHub
The easiest way to do that is to click that big nice button up there, otherwise you can also go to the GitHub repository and manually download or clone.

Next, open the archive and extract the file "AdaFruit.fzbz" to a convenient spot (I use the Desktop). After you import the library to Fritzing and save it, it will copy over all the necessary files to your Fritzing user directory, and you'll be able to delete the FZBZ file from wherever you extracted it.

The next step is to import the library into Fritzing...

Import the Library into Fritzing

Older versions of Fritzing required you to import the library using a particular menu command.

The most current version as of this writing (0.7.5) lets you open it using ("File | Open").

Use "File | Open", navigate to the AdaFruit.fzbz file and open it. The library should import automatically, and you'll see as it populates the parts palette on the right-hand side with all the new Adafruit parts.

The next thing you want to do is save the Adafruit bin (parts libraries in Fritzing are called 'bins'). Do this with the 'Save Bin' command in the parts palette (as shown in the image above). By default, Fritzing will want to save the bin to somewhere in your "/user' directory, which is the best place for it, so approve the suggestion and save the bin.

Restart Fritzing (close it and run it again). Make sure you've saved the bin before restarting or it won't show up in the next session.

You may now delete the copy of "AdaFruit.fzbz" from wherever you put it when you extracted it from the GitHub archive.




Using the Adafruit Parts in a Fritzing Design

Parts in the Adafruit Fritzing Library work exactly like other Fritzing parts, and you can use them with parts from other libraries as well.

The image above shows an example circuit: a barometric logger with a 7-segment readout. It uses 5 Adafruit parts: the blue 7-segment I2C backpack, the BMP085 baro sensor, the DS1307 real-time clock, and the microSD breakout, along with the 2.1mm barrel jack to terminal block adapter. It also uses the Arduino UNO from the Arduino library.

Most of the parts in the Adafruit library are designed to plug into breadboards, just like their real-life counterparts! We've tried to make the Fritzing parts as close as possible to the real parts, so the pin layouts and physical footprints are identical. Any layout you devise in Fritzing can be translated directly to a real-world breadboard (or one of our permaproto boards)!

Fritzing is super handy for drafting up a nice, clean breadboard layout before you actually build your circuit.

Some of the parts, like the 2.1mm to term block adapter, don't plug directly into the breadboard. Just like the real adapter part, you instead connect wires to the terminal block and then you can run them wherever you like. On the bottom of the terminal block in Fritzing, you'll see two little boxes, one for each terminal. Mouse over one of these boxes and simply drag the wire to wherever you want it to go.

Updating to the Latest Version of the Library

Fritzing doesn't have dynamic updates for external parts libraries. Nor does it make provision for manual updates which will automatically download and install new versions.

The easiest way to update the Adafruit Library is to simply delete the current version from your parts palette ("Delete Bin" -- see above), and then go through the steps shown earlier in this tutorial to install the new one.


This guide was first published on Aug 27, 2012. It was last updated on Aug 27, 2012.