Reannotation in Kicad 6

Some of the users of RenumKicadPCB have asked me about using the program now that Kicad V6 has been released. Kicad 6 is a big improvement over prior releases but it has different file formats to accommodate novel features. Rather than spend the time and effort updating RenumKicadPCB as a standalone program I collaborated with the Kicad devs to add the code to Kicad 6.

Geographical reannotation (ie RenumKicadPCB) is now a standard feature of Kicad 6. It works a little different and there are some quirks but it works fine. Unfortunately, not all RenumKicadPCB users are aware of this and after Alan Miller reached out to me to ask how it is done so I thought I’d make a quick post.

1) PCB Editor Tools Geographical Reannotate. Note that the default “sort grid” is 1 inch (25.4 mm) so you have to set this to something sensible like 1 mm. Note there are two tabs where the most common options are in the Options tab, while rarely used options are in the Reference Designators tab. Make your selections and click Reannotate PCB.

2) Assuming you want to proceed click Yes to the pop up.

3) Note the “Warning: PCB annotation changes should be synchronized with schematic using the “Update Schematic from PCB” tool.”

4) Note and correct any errors or issues (other than the warning) and click close.

5) PCB Editor Tools Update Schematic from PCB to push the new references to the schematic.

Important: Make sure Options “Re-link footprints to schematic symbols based on their reference designators” is unchecked, “Update Reference designators” is checked and the other selections (Update Values, Footprint assignments, and Net names) set according to what you want to do. If you don’t do this the schematic will not be updated with new reference designations.

6) Schematic Editor Tools Update PCB from Schematic or just hit F8. This regenerates the netlist to use the new reference designations. If you don’t do this, and run DRC in the PCB Editor with “Test for parity between the PCB and schematic” checked, you will get errors.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

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