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I finikshing up the silkscreen for a board about to be sent out for fab, and for some reason, I have two diodes whose part numbers are not showing up on the board layout, while all my other parts numbers are displayed just fine.

Here is one of the parts; it is a diode which should have a label "D2":

enter image description here

The part is from the SparkFun DiscreteSemi library (SparkFun-DiscreteSemi.lbr), and has a >NAME label defined in the appropriate layer (95 Names):

enter image description here

When display the properties for the part on the layout, everything seems ok including the name:

enter image description here

Any idea why the label for this one part isn't showing up, while all my others are?

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    \$\begingroup\$ its smashed, maybe someone deleted it? you could unsmash it and see if it comes up. (A "smashed" element can be made "unsmashed" by clicking on it with the Shift key pressed (and of course the SMASH command activated)) \$\endgroup\$ – Wesley Lee Aug 7 '16 at 19:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WesleyLee Label didn't show up after "unsmashing" either. \$\endgroup\$ – tcrosley Aug 7 '16 at 19:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @tcrosley Could it be that the library PCB footprint doesn't have the designator? If you have other footprints of this type, do they have designators? \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Aug 7 '16 at 20:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just noted that the screenshot with the designator is actually the schematic symbol, not the PCB outline. Did you check the outline as well? \$\endgroup\$ – Wesley Lee Aug 7 '16 at 20:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NickAlexeev Not sure what you mean. My middle jpg shows the part in the library with the >NAME label in layer 95; this is symbol used by the device in the library. \$\endgroup\$ – tcrosley Aug 7 '16 at 20:49
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It could be that the library PCB footprint is missing the designator. In the footprint editor the designator for silkscreen should appear as >NAME. If you have other footprints of the same type, and none of them have the silkscreen text for designator, that would suggest that it's missing in the footprint library.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's odd that SparkFun would leave that off of their footprints, but they did. \$\endgroup\$ – tcrosley Aug 8 '16 at 4:00
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The ">NAME"/">VALUE" designators on the "Symbol Editor" refer to the Name and Value on the Schematic.

For them to be displayed on the PCB they also have to be set on the "Package Editor":

enter image description here

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I would try a small test schematic and board with the diode as the only part. I would check all layers for the missing part label. The label may be placed far away from the part origin. The text size of part label may be way too small. If the problem is not found, I would try editing a new symbol, package and device for this part under a different name.

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The easiest way to resolve this issue is to hit the reposition attribute button reposition attributes, then the component. The reference designator will return.

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If this happen, the reference designator >NAME could be too far away from the component, and sometimes, when you use the SHOW command, it will not show up. Most of the time these components have been smashed, to have better option to place the refdes on the right place.

In this case I "unsmash" the component, which bring back the designator back to the component. After that I smash again and adjust the refdes to the right size: 1mm, 15% thickens and vector font. For me that solves this problem.

I'm a Altium Designer user as well Eagle user, and I must say that the Eagle "smash" function is a completely nonsensical option, a mistake the Eagle developers have make a long time ago and never did solve.

I am even more surprised that Eagle does not understand electrical connections in schematic as well in pcb layout. I often need to move components in schematic because they have only visual connection but not electrical. Also you can have wire over each other with same and different netnames! In PCB layout you have to route a track with a precision of better than 1um to the center of a pad before Eagle understand that it has been connected to that pad.

Eagle is a very buggy program, in Altium Designer you could design your pcb two or three times faster! But some customers seems to be married with Eagle...

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