Variant components in KiCAD 6.0.5

KiCAD 6.0 has added the ability to both mark parts as not on the board, and not in the BOM.

There are several things that could be used to make this more useful. I am currently using to to populate my schematic with 3 differently wired variations of a regulator of the same model.

I’d like for it to be at a glance possible to differentiate between non populated, and not on the board.

Would it be possible to do something like the following? For exclude from board / BOM, Exclude from BOM, and Exclude from board automatically? A dashed part outline or other similar changes might also work.


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Currently there is no native variant system in KiCad. I do a workaround with highly visible field, named “DNP” in each symbol: How to manage board variants (different components and footprints)? - #6 by poco

There is an Alternate symbol (De Morgan) built into KiCad. It’s a bit of a hack / workaround, but maybe you can abuse that to change the appearance of your schematic symbols.

KiCad’s schematic files are human readable S-expressions, and there are standard libraries for handling S-expressions. It is probably not very difficult to write a small program to manipulate the schematic file to compare it with a list and then modify it to switch between variants.

There is no scripting (yet) in the schematic editor, so this would be an external program.

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Something similar is proposed in this feature request:

Adding a variant system is also proposed long ago:

The “Exclude from BOM” feature is not itended for components that shall not be populated, but rather for “virtual components” such as a logo in silk screen or a test pad. The tooltop that shows when hovering this setting describes the intended usage. Also, see:

You can check out KiBoM.

I’ve never used it myself, but it supports PCB Variants, which might be a solution for you.

I believe that KiBoM is also included in KiKit.

Edit: Or maybe I’m thinking of KiBot. All these are worth checking out.

It should probably be changed back to the original text description then… and a real do not populate option be added.

I agree. A real DNP option which greys out the symbol or somehing like that would be neat.

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