Recording qualified alternative components

What’s the best way to record information in the schematic about alternative components? I mean where there are multiple equivalent parts with the same footprint that could be fitted depending on component availability, whether that be different variants from the same manufacturer or equivalents from other manufacturers.

Currently, I am just adding a text note on the schematic with the list of qualified parts, but this is non-ideal as there’s no easy way to get that out in BOMs without manual effort. Also, I use custom fields for recording distributor part numbers and occasionally other information, which all has to get flattened into the single text note which is a pain.

This is why most big electronics manufacturers use house numbering, then the private number calls a list of qualified options


This practice (using internal part numbers, which map to 1 or more manufacturer part numbers using some system outside the EDA tool) is common even in small companies

On the schematic, edit the part, there are many fields to store data, (foot print, www, etc) Add a new field with a name “alt parts” and list part numbers that will work.

Some times I just use text comment on the schematic. alternative part = 2N2906

@DavidR, try to add Symbol-Fields and see if it works for you.
You can copy/paste the table to excel.

I suppose that works, but what I’d really like is a whole separate set of fields for each alternative, not just one.

The reason for using house numbers and not doing that is that you can add or remove suppliers and change actual part numbers at will without touching the schematic.

All problems in computer science can be solved by another level of indirection. — Butler Lampson


You are free to add as many fields as needed. In my example there are two fields for alterative MPNs. Add a corresponding SPN to each, and a corresponding price. It‘s up to you, there is no limit.

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