Refactoring Tools

Parent page: Commands

The Refactoring Tools options. Note that the first command is only displayed when there are objects selected.


The Refactoring Tools provide a range of features which allow you to build and restructure multi-document, hierarchical structures quickly and efficiently. Unlike using Cut/Paste or Copy/Paste tools, refactoring maintains the unique ID of all the components that are being moved from one sheet to another. The UID links the schematic component to the PCB component, so, if they are already pieces on the board, refactoring prevents you from needing to relink all of those components.

The exact features you choose to use depend on your personal design methodology - top-down or bottom-up. Hierarchical, multi-sheet design is used for various reasons, the primary one being project size; some projects are too large or complex to fit on a single sheet. Even when the design is not particularly complicated, there can be advantages in organizing the project across multiple sheets. For example, the design may include various modular elements. Maintaining these modules as individual documents allows several engineers to work on a project at the same time. Another reason is that this method allows you to use small format printing, such as laser printers.

There are two decisions to make for each multi-sheet project - the structural relationship of the sheets and the method employed for electrical connectivity between circuitry on those sheets. Your choices will vary according to the size and type of each project and your personal preferences.


Refactoring Tools command options can be accessed through the Refactor drop down menu in the the ribbon (Tools | Arrange | ).

Command Behavior
Move Selected Subcircuit to Different Sheet Moves the selected subcircuit to a different sheet which is either a sub-sheet or above the active sheet in the hierarchy. This command only works if there are multiple schematic documents open. Additionally, the subcircuit you wish to transfer must be pre-selected, before initializing the command, in order for the command to be visible.
Convert Part To Sheet Symbol Convert a chosen part into a sheet symbol. The symbol's designator field will initially be set to the part's designator, with the Filename field set to the part's comment text. Use the Sheet Symbol dialog to change the filename to point to the required sub-sheet; change the sheet entries in accordance with the ports defined on that sub-sheet. Right-click on a component to access this command.
Convert Part to Ports Click on the required part after launching the command. Each wire-to-component pin connection will be replaced by a wire-to-port connection, with each port named the same as the pin it replaces. This port must then be connected to a matching sheet entry in a sheet symbol, placed on the sheet above.
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