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With KiCad 5 How to implement a common sub-circuit which gets used in multiple places in a schematic, e.g. multiple duplicate sub-curcuits So that only one instance gets edited for all the other places it appears to automatically update. Not by manually repeated copy/pasting.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you done this in KiCad 4 and now it doesn't work in KiCad 5? \$\endgroup\$ – pipe May 24 '18 at 11:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ No. I use the nightly builds of KiCad 5 which is almost ready for release and don't use the current release KiCad 4, which will soon be redundant. \$\endgroup\$ – Rob Kam May 24 '18 at 13:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm just wondering because I've done this many times in KiCad 4, and can't remember any difference in version 5. \$\endgroup\$ – pipe May 24 '18 at 14:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @pipe so maybe the question is in reality how to do it in KiCad instead of how to do in in version 5... \$\endgroup\$ – Arsenal May 24 '18 at 14:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am trying to avoid answers which apply only to v4. \$\endgroup\$ – Rob Kam May 24 '18 at 14:34
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What you are looking for are sub-sheets (hierarchical sheets).

First, create a new one by going to "Place->Hierarchical Sheet". Once you click to place it, you will have the following dialog.

Hierarchical Properties

Here, the important thing is the "File name". This will be common for all of your copies of the buffer. The "Sheet name" will be unique for each copy.

Then, double-click to enter the sheet and place the common components similar to what I show here:

Example Buffer

The important point in the internals is to use hierarchical labels (again from the "Place" menu). These will be the ports that connect the internal to the external wires. I've labeled "In" as an Input Pin and "Out" as an Output Pin. Don't worry about annotating right now.

Next, right click and exit your hierarchical sheet. Now, you have one copy of the sheet. You now need to import the hierarchical labels. Again from the "Place" menu, choose "Import Hierarchical Label" to get the hierarchical pins you created. Place the input pin on the left and the output pin on the right as shown:

Multiple Buffers

Now you can make as many copies of the hierarchical sheet as you need, just keep the file name the same for each and give each one a new sheet name.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This deals with the schematic part. What about the layout part? \$\endgroup\$ – ndim Aug 5 '18 at 17:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ For pcbnew, you'll need to use a plugin to achieve this. I like Mitja Nemec's "Replicate Layout" plugin from github.com/MitjaNemec/Kicad_action_plugins \$\endgroup\$ – Seth Aug 5 '18 at 21:34
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@pipe so maybe the question is in reality how to do it in KiCad instead of how to do in in version 5...

Of course. Up to now, I see there no great differences between Rev. 4 and 5. Maybe you got a bad nightly build.

For reusing subchematics at KiCad I wrote a tutorial, which can be found here:

https://www.mikrocontroller.net/wikifiles/a/ab/HierarchicalSchematicsAsBuildingblocksAtKiCad_RevC-EN_06May2015.pdf

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