Option to omit auto-numbering a lone symbol reference designator?

When using the “fill in schematic symbol reference designators”, EeSchema adds a “1” beside the first of each reference designator (e.g. R1, C1).
Is there an option to omit adding a “1” beside a reference designator with a unique name?
If there is only one C on my schematic, I don’t want the tool to add a “1” beside it.


No, this is currently not supported in KiCad.

The closest you can get is probably to hide the RefDes.

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Okay, thank you.
Would it be wise to add this to the feature request category?

What if you go back and manually re-assign the ref des as “C” after auto assign? What is the problem with calling it C1?

Would it be wise to add this to the feature request category?


Instead look atthis issue: Implement more (and custom?) annotation schemes (lp:#1827503) (#2403) · Issues · KiCad / KiCad Source Code / kicad · GitLab

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I could, but this defeats the purpose of auto annotating for me since I have many single refs. My issue with adding a “1” beside each of the single refs is that I naturally look for the “2” and “3” etc.
Removing the “1” would tell me it’s the only one in the entire schematic, no need to look for the others.

If you only have one R, one C, one U, one Q, etc then surely your schematic isn’t so large and looking over it will only take an instant?

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This sheet has 55 components on it. Not the end of the world, but it would be a great time saver down the road when I come back to look at it after some time

You could use the US style zigzag resistors then they’ll be easier to spot.

?? There are only 25 letters in English,

Multiple Rs, multiple Cs, etc.
I’m working off a schematic downloaded from TI, originally an Eagle file, imported into KiCad.
Here’s part of it, there are only one of each Rfbt and Rfbb resistors, so I was just looking for an auto-numbering feature that would omit the “1” beside them

In that case perhaps the workaround of not displaying the refdes and making visible a custom field might work.

The posted schematic is very confusing to read. Three capacitors and the resistors are all identified by a letter and a number but three capacitors are identified by a number only.
You wish to retain that system for the capacitors but only use letters to identify the resistors?

End result: three different identification systems on the one sheet?

I would rather have a more general solution, such as a display field that accepts a expression, e.g. to borrow from bash parameter expansion:


meaning if Label is defined and non-null use that, otherwise substitute Refdes.

I think the Refdes syntax should not be messed with.

I agree, it’s confusing. Figured I’d just go with the flow since it came directly from TI.
On their version (before importing to KiCad), the “Rfbt” and “Rfbb” both don’t have a “1” beside them, since there aren’t any other refdes with the same name.
I like that better; it tells me immediately that there aren’t any others with the same name.

My personal opinion of that TI scheme of identifying symbols is “it’s rubbish”, but I haven’t seen the accompanying literature.
If there was no real reason for that system, I’d change the Refs. (both C’s and R’s) to something consistent.
On the matter of the two resistors, Rfbt & Rfbb instead of R1 & R2, I can’t see how a lack of a number would mean there wasn’t a Rfbc or Rfbh lurking somewhere on the schematic.

Anyway, just my opinion, so “to each their own”. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I’m still quite new to schematics in general, so I figured it was just common place to use (somewhat) descriptive refs.
Is it more widely accepted to just use, R for all resistors, C for all caps, etc.?

Industry standard; learn to live with your OCD on this issue.


That is why (and what) Kicad automatically places as a RefDes on your Schematic.


For some context - the diagram from TI is most likely an Application Note intended to show an engineer how to use the component they’re trying to sell you in a circuit, and the components are therefore named in a descriptive way that indicates their function, hence Rfbb, Cout, etc.

This is not typically how components are designated in designs that are intended to be built and used - the engineer making the drawing should know how the circuit functions, the designators are only to uniquely identify each component.

If you are concerned about being confused about the total number of a particular type of part you can add a note to the schematic indicating something like:

Last R: 7
Last C: 3

and so on. This used to be somewhat common decades ago but I have not seen this on many recent designs. At any rate you will at some point be generating a BOM from the schematic which will clearly show you how many of each thing there are in a clear, concise list.