Numbering of components


Sorry if my questions look obvious, I’m an absolute beginner (Eagle user until now).
I am trying to draw my first schematic. I have a µP, and for the moment I have implemented
only the power supply capacitors. So here is the first problem. I have added SMD capacitors.
All the same type, 0.1µ ceramic. I would expect the software to number them automatically.
C1, C2, etc… But it doesn’t. There is a C?, that’s it. The most surprosing is that if I edit
the capacitor, I can set the same reference to 2 capacitors, there is apparently no rule against it.
Is this a feature? I first thought that reference may have another meaning, but in this case,
it should not appear on the PCB, so the C? is probably the component name.
I didn’t find an explanation to this in the first 20 (or so) items of the search, whith is also
surprising. Can anybody explain me how to have an automatic numbering? Or even manual
but that forbids name reuse?



Have a look at the buttons in the top toolbar. One of them has the tooltip annotate schematic.
The same tool is also found under the menu “tools”

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Thanks for your reply. It works fine!
Is there an option somewhere to make it automatically? I have added a new capacitor,
it doesn’t change anything to the auto numbering I just made, but the new cap is again
numbered C?.

The workflow in kicad is to design the schematic and not worry about such things until one is far enough to make a first draft of the pcb. Then one does the annotation. (It really doesn’t matter until that point.)

Except that you can’t run ERC until you annotate the schematic.

KiCad (at least daily builds) already offers to do the annotation when the netlist is created if something is unannotated. ERC only gives a message: “Annotation required!” It would be consistent to automatically open the annotation dialog every time the user tries to do something which requires annotation. But would it hurt if the symbols were automatically annotated when they are placed to the schematic? Is there any use case scenario where it would be unwanted?

Hello guys!

Thanks for your replies!
I agree with eelik, if there is nothing against it, why not allowing it?
That said, it’s not a very big problem. and if there is a real need, I’m sure it will be
updated in later versions.


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Hi, I am new to the community and I am just learning Kicad.

When I run the annotate schematic, my discreet components have two numbers R1 and R2 is on the same component. Each component has two references. How do I fix this?

I would guess there is some kind of misunderstanding could you make a screenshot and post it here?

Move a component and see which reference moves with it. You might find you have multiple copies of components on top of each other. Likely the result of a block copy gone wrong, which is easy to do with the current unintuitive block copy commands.

Have you been entering “R1” etc as a value?


You have the option of manually adding the number. Eagle forces the assignment of value and number as you insert the component in the schematic. KiCad is much more flexible, it allows you to create a schematic of just symbols then you can use the auto-numbering as Rene suggested or do it manually according to what makes sense in your circuit. KiCad is far superior to Eagle from my engineering perspective.