Hi. Long time KiCad user, but new to the forum, so apologize if this is posted in the wrong place. I’d like to showcase a simple plugin to help others with a common annoyance I had with my workflow.
I frequently update my library symbols and footprints. I pull those changes into my schematic by using the “Update Fields from Library” function then generate a new netlist which I pull into my layout.
The issue I often face is upon pulling those changes into my layout. While footprints themselves stay put reference designators may revert back to their original position and orientations. This is a huge pain to correct. So I’ve created a script to save and store reference designator positions and orientations.
To save use Tools >> External Plugins >> Reference Positions -> Save
Positions and orientations are stored within “reference-positions.json”, a file within the project directory. The JSON file stores the position of each valid reference designator and orientation.
To restore use Tools >> External Plugins >> Reference Positions -> Restore
To install the plugin, download the two Python files from GitHub below, then place in the KiCad plugins directory (on Windows C:\Program Files\KiCad\share\kicad\scripting\plugins). Restart KiCad and you’re good to go.
It would be really nice to have this functionality built-into KiCad in the future. Perhaps within the Load Netlist dialog?
Inspiration for this plugin: Update footprints, but keep position of reference designators