Create Array without renumbering - bug?

I try to use “Append Board” and then “Create Array” to panelize a PCB. However I’m not able to disable renumbering of the component reference numbers.

I unchecked the “restart numbering” check boxes, but KiCad still updates reference numbers. Sometimes only a few, sometimes all with very odd or even duplicate numbers.

Is this a bug or am I doing it wrong?

PS: BZR 6130

I’m also running into this when trying to panelize a board in pcbnew 4.0.0-stable using Create Array. As a workaround I’ve been using Duplicate and manually offsetting the copies (tip: set the grid appropriately to make this easier). It does seem very odd that there isn’t a way to tell Create Array to not renumber the components however.

Ditto. I’d like to be able to panelize with it, too. Is there any way to turn off renumbering?

I’m new to KiCad (skilled in other pcb cads, but wanted to go open-source) and I’m quite confused by this discussion. I am trying to create an array (or duplicate multiple times) just one part of my layout. But when I do, the copies have the same designators, while I would like KiCad to renumber them. What I mean - if there was for example R1, R2, R3 in my layout and I created array of it or duplicated it, then the first copy would have R4, R5, R6, second copy R7, R8, R9, … etc… instead of all of them being just R1, R2, R3 and me manually renaming them.
But while searching the forum, I am finding threads and posts like this saying, that renumbering is default and there is no way to turn it off… Please, could somebody explain? Thanks a lot.

The array tool works like you say.

You may want to try the replicate layout plugin

But you will need a schematic (it seems from your post that you are using the layout tool without a schematic).
And each subcircuit you want to replicate must be designed into a hierarchical sheet in the schematic. Hierarchical sheets sharing the same file name are identical, only the component’s references are different and any change applied to one of them is reflected in the other sheets.


Hi Pedro and thanks a lot for the reply. I actually have schematic, so changed it to use hierarchical sheets. I just struggle with understanding the instructions for using the plugin. First instruction is “Place the anchor footprints for the sections you want to replicate.”… I spent some time reading KiCad help files and found that “footprint anchors” are component origins. But those are defined in the footprint editor already? How do I place them? Or is it even what the author meant, while these are “footprint anchors” and he says “anchor footprint”?

  1. Place the anchor footprints for the sections you want to replicate. This defines the position and orientation of replicated sections. You can use [Place footprints] action plugin for this.
  2. Select the same anchor footprint within the pivot section.

I’m lost.

I have not used this plugin yet.

Nevertheless, it is the footprint anchor. The anchor of the footprint.
And yes, it is the footprint origin, defined into the footprint with the footprint editor. The coordinates of a footprint are the ones of its anchor.