Rotate Reference Designator - only -90 to +90 degrees?

Is there a way to rotate reference designators 180 degrees? Looks like -90 to +90 is the range. What’s the reason for that?

If it actually rotated 180 degrees it would be upside down. While you may actually want that it probably irritated a developer who thought it added keystrokes to the work flow. I guess it does presuppose a perspective that not everyone wishes to have imposed.

In Eeschema or PcbNew?

Your post is listed as being in “layout”; I’ll assume PcbNew.

Is it that hard to hit either click just one more time?

That was my initial thinking. But try it. 180 would make it upside down. That doesn’t happen.

When rotating reference designators (or values) they do actually rotate to 90, 180, 270 but the renderer attempts to restrict these texts to either “horizontal” or “vertical” orientations by subtracting(adding for negative angles) 180 until the absolute value is less than 90. Therefore a value of 270 becomes 90. You can however rotate these texts to any angle between -90 and 90 by manually editing the file. Other legend text can be freely rotated at 0.1 degree increments so I don’t know why they chose to restrict reference designators and values.

There does not appear to be any mention in the IPC standard suggesting any restriction on the orientation of reference designators but it is generally preferred to have them all oriented the same.

The real reason: KiCad tries to be helpful and constrain text to being the “right way up” when you look at the board. It is common to rotate components to fit the layout, it would be tedious to have to reset the text direction manually.

Unfortunately, there might be cases where you don’t want the “helpful” behavior, but I don’t think there is a way to turn it off.

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As opposed to what other reason?

Helpful would be if the text retained it’s orientation when a footprint was rotated without imposing unnecessary limitations.

Thanks, so the answer seems to be “no”.
It is an arbitrary limitation. Hopefully this will be changed in the future.
There are certainly times when this is a problem, for example a connector ref designator, near the edge of the board, should have the ref des readable from that edge, for who-ever is looking for the connector. If there is one at the top and bottom of the board, the one on the top can’t be oriented “upside-down” like it should be.
In my current design there are solder holes. I assumed I could rotate the footprint to fix this, but no. Seems the text orientation is relative to the screen view, not the footprint.

There is an option now in the edit panel called “Keep upright”.