The Re-Annotate command within the PCB editor is used to reassign the designators of targeted components, or free pads, in the PCB design, on a positional basis.


This command is accessed from the PCB Editor by choosing the Tools | Re-Annotate command, from the ribbon.


After launching the command, the Positional Re-Annotate dialog will appear. Use this dialog to configure the scope of annotation (components (further targeted by side, or selection), or free pads), the direction of annotation (based on object position), and additional options, such as a starting index, and whether locked designators should be protected. As you select a style of annotation, a graphical depiction is shown within the dialog as a visual indication of how annotation will transpire.


After defining options in the dialog as required, click the OK button to have all designators of the targeted objects reassigned.

An ASCII text file is generated (DesignName<Date><Time>.WAS) in the same folder as the PCB design document. The file lists initial and reannotated designator values. This file is not required, or used by, CircuitStudio read below for information on how to Back Annotate within CircuitStudio.  The .WAS file generated here is only provided in the event the schematics were completed in another tool and a re-annotate needs to be handed off.

Updating Schematic Designators

Once the PCB has been re-annotated, we now have to re-synchronize with the schematic.  From the PCB Editor access the command Home | Project >> Update Schematics to launch the ECO dialog to Execute the ECO and push the designator changes back to schematic.

As a factor of habit, it is also recommended that you synchronize again to the PCB from the schematic when designators have changed, since dynamic net names include the highest alphanumeric Designator and Pin combination found to name the net, some dynamic net names may have changed, and this will ensure the Schematic and PCB are fully synchronized.  If you name all nets, this will not be necessary.


  1. The .WAS file will be added to the project in the Projects panel, under the Generated\Text Documents sub-folder, as mentioned this is NOT required in CircuitStudio, so unless you need to pass designator changes to a different schematic capture software, you will not need or use this file.

  2. CircuitStudio matches Schematic and PCB components at a lower level than the designator using a ComponentLink.  These links allow us to synchronize designator changes between these two domains, in either direction and removes the need for a .WAS file, and allows us to simply synchronize using an ECO

You are reporting an issue with the following selected text and/or image within the active document: