Parent page: Schematic Objects
The designator field is a child parameter object of a schematic component (part). It is used to uniquely identify each placed part to distinguish it from all other parts placed in all the schematic sheets in the project.
The designator is automatically placed when the parent component part object is placed. It is not a design object that you can directly place.
The designator string can be edited graphically using what is known as in-place editing. To edit a designator string in place, select the designator by dragging your cursor around it, then hit enter.
Once editing is complete, press Enter or click away from the string to exit in-place editing mode.
There are two aspects to consider in relation to editing the designator: editing the value of the designator and editing the display properties of the designator.
The designator (and comment) strings can be displayed in the schematic library editor then doubled-clicked on to edit the properties. The icon associated with the field in the Properties panel is used to show or hide the designator.
The designator can be defined in the schematic editor as the component is being placed or after the component has been placed on a schematic sheet in the Properties panel.
The appearance of the designator string, which includes the font type, size, and color, can be configured on the Schematic - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog. These settings will apply unless overridden by settings defined in the component symbol in the Schematic Library Editor.
The following methods of non-graphical editing are available:
Panel page: Designator Properties
This method of editing uses the associated Designator dialog and the Properties panel mode to modify the properties of a designator.
After placement, the Designator dialog can be accessed by:
After placement, the Designator mode of the Properties panel can be accessed in one of the following ways:
The Properties panel supports multiple object editing, where the property settings that are identical in all currently selected objects may be modified. When multiples of the same object type are selected manually, via the Find Similar Objects dialog or through a Filter or List panel, a Properties panel field entry that is not shown as an asterisk (
*) may be edited for all selected objects.
A List panel allows you to display design objects from one or more documents in tabular format, enabling quick inspection and modification of object attributes. Used in conjunction with appropriate filtering - by using the applicable Filter panel, or the Find Similar Objects dialog - it enables the display of just those objects falling under the scope of the active filter – allowing you to target and edit multiple design objects with greater accuracy and efficiency.
The default behavior of the Designator is to auto-position it as a component is rotated during placement. If this behavior is not required, turn off the Autoposition option in the Preferences dialog (refer to the previous image) either during symbol creation or after the component has been placed on a schematic sheet. Note that doing this sets this parameter to be classified as a manual parameter (meaning manually positioned parameter). Manual parameters are identified by a dot on the lower left corner of their selection box.
R1. Subsequent components will then be designated
R3, etc. Note that when you switch to placing a different component type you must again press Tab and enter a suitable designator prefix.
U3B, etc. If the initial designator is not assigned, all parts will have the same suffix. This is resolved by the Schematic Editor's Annotation command. The part suffix can be alpha or numeric. Use the Alpha Numeric Suffix option on the Schematic - General page of the Preferences dialog to configure.