Moving schematic blocks between pages, not loosing refdes

There is this method of copy / paste between pages but it looses the refdes.

Any method to move between pages without loosing refdes ?

Depends on your scenario, but if you wanted to split a large circuit over two sheets, then copying the sheet in the OS and then deleting the bits you don’t want in each sheet works.

If you want to move a section and merge into a second sheet, that is where it gets more complicated. You could copy the sheet, reduce it to the bits you want to copy, and then use a text editor to insert it into a destination sheet. That method is rather error prone and not user friendly, I would use it if I was desperate.

I really good idea which might be obvious, but backup the project before making such changes.



Tried the first method, worked nicely.
The second method I will have to try soon.

Curious how this functionality could be omitted.

Today its a mess between copy/duplicate, not consistent and a bit confusing.
A mess with this special paste button, placed separately.

Also that a simple copy cannot be repeated but need to restart with a new copy once pasted.
Paste should be able to do repeatedly.

There was talk on the mailing list about changing the copy paste stuff in eeschema.

I dont know how to be able to comment in that thread but i would say forget the duplicate word (all over)

stick with copy/paste

a well established mechanism in many software tools.

In Mentor you can do copy /paste, and when you are in the paste moment you can select if you want to copy also the refdes and/or netnames.

a perfect solution IMHO

How can I register myself for the mailing list ?

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Joining the mailing list can be done on the team page

for that you need a launchpad account.

I did not find a way to answer old messages though. (If anybody knows one i would definitely be interested in that.)
It seems there is no web interface for interacting with mailing lists. (It might be a very old technology that has very limited features. I don’t know why the developers stick to this type of communication.)

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Actually, calling it Duplicate does make sense, because Duplicate is effectively Copy/Paste without clipboard. Then Copy can be used for the more standard Copy to clipboard.

Why KiCad has this apparently obvious omission may date back to 1992, when the first prototype version of KiCad was created in DOS. That was the year Windows 3.1 was launched, arguably the first usable version of Windows, now it would seem quite primitive, and even was primitive compared to the Apple Mac. While the Mac and the Copy/Paste/Clipboard paradigm, in the world of PCs these were very new concepts.

At some point KiCad switched to Linux, and I think the GUI had less standardisation there. Certainly there are many dialogs in KiCad without the standard Ok/Apply/Cancel buttons, but instead are some odd inconsistent layout.

Changing the copy/paste behavior involves digging deep into KiCad innards, so I can see there is a reluctance to rewrite that code. I guess that most of the time we can manage without it. I think Copy/Paste is perhaps more of a software technique. If you find the need to do a lot of copy/paste to repeat common blocks, I suggest that hierarchical sheets are a much better way to re-use blocks.


I use hierarchical sheets (of-course)

Sometimes you want to copy something multiple times (paste repeat) , nothing odd with that, happens all the time.

Same problem when you want to place a component, you drop out of the place routine (involuntarily) and need to restart.

Otherwise you could place same component repeatedly with a single click. (which is nice)

It works well enough for it’s intended purpose (to communicate between developers), but it has the effect of deterring casual visitors, as well as trolls and spammers…which if you look at most web forums is not a bad idea.

To be honest, KiCad developers are pretty aware of what needs improving. What they are very short of is development time, so have to prioritize what features they work on. Personally I think adding my 2c to that discussion would hinder more than it helps, so I read the messages but never post there.


Sure, I also copy parts, but I rarely use Paste. Copy/move block works well for sections. Copy or Move for individual components. A very useful shortcut, Insert key, it repeats the last action. Works for placement as well.

I appreciate that learning a bunch of tricks is more difficult than a simple copy/paste, but they are there. It’s not likely that KiCad will get proper copy/paste anytime soon, so I find it best to exploit what is there now.


I will start to use the insert key,

was unaware of this gem

a right click after a completed paste reveals nothing useful, so it was hidden to me.

Unfortunately, Insert doesn’t work for everything, it seems that for Paste you need to go to the toolbar every time, which is tedious. (as of v4.0.6).

It would help if Paste was on a shortcut, main menu or context menu. “Repeat operation (Ins)” should be on Edit menu. It seems like those would be easy fixes. I tried suggesting usability improvements before, and didn’t get a great response to be honest, so I gave up.

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I am also surprised that obvious things are not fixed.

I have jumped to the conclusion that the developers cannot be using kicad very much themselves.

If so this would have been fixed long time ago IMHO

Love that attitude.
I always thought of registering there, but as I don’t have anything to add really I didn’t want to even bother them with my application, further wasting their time :wink: