I have a design, where I defined a hierarchical block for a part of the circuit that is used multiple times. Since the schematic (and also the pcb layout) of the block is exactly the same for every instance, I use mulitply instanced blocks. Thus only having to maintain the circuit once.
I would like to define variants for the design, where I fit only one instance of this block for variant A, 5 instances of this block for variant B and all 10 instances of this block for variant B.
Defining variants for the components inside the block schematic is not an option, since I could only fit all components or none this way. Unlocking the block instances is not an option as well. I think I could only unlock one of the instances at a time. Also any changes inside the block would be overwritten by a "reload block". So right now, I'm setting the "fitted" option inside the pcb layout for every single component. But every "synchronise designs" will overwrite these settings.
What I'm looking for is a "fitted" property of the block. Is there any way to do this? Or is there maybe any trick which saves me from clicking every single component after synchronisation?
I've had to do this a couple of years ago as well, and like you, found a similar problem.
The only way I found around it back then was to use SAVE AS to save an extra copy of the schematic diagram with "with variants for parts lists" appended on the name, then disable the "Can be Multiply Instanced" selection box for the relevant blocks then select the components and setup variants as per normal. The intent was then to use this copy to output parts lists whilst keeping the main copy for updating the PCB. If the original schematic and PCB were to be updated in the future then I'd either update both schematics independently, or update the original schematic and save a new copy and re-do the variants copy, depending up to the complexity of the change required and amount of work to do.
James, your solution is better than what I did. This way I can generate the part list from the schematic, which I prefer. And also I could print valid schematics for every variant.
The most elegant solution would be, if the block instance had a fitted state, which passes this property on to its components. But it could also be of great help, if it was possible to select multiple components and set the fitted state collectively. Either in the variants spreadsheet or in the properties dialog.