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Schematic capture software recommendation

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by AnalogKid, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. AnalogKid


    Jun 10, 2015
    For the next few weeks I will be without my beloved ViewDRAW. I'm looking for experience-based recommendations for a schematic drafting package. Requirements:

    1. Local operation. No cloud-based libraries, website GUI, etc. Download and install; Cut internet cable; Use.

    2. Prepackaged libraries always are a plus, but I'd like to be able to create my own as well.

    3. No netlist export required at this time. This is for quickie-drafting an idea, such as a timer circuit to post on EP.

    4. Direct PDF and JPG or GIF output a plus.

    5. Free is nice.


  2. OBW0549


    Jul 5, 2016
    I recommend Eagle. The Express freeware version for non-commercial use would stack up against your list as follows:

    1. Check.
    2. Check, including creating your own library parts.
    3. Check. Netlist export is included.
    4. Check. Also available is image export to the clipboard.
    5. Check.

    The only difference between the freeware version and the commercial versions is the maximum # of schematic sheets (2), the maximum number of routing layers in the board editor (2) and the maximum PCB size (100mm x 80mm). Otherwise, the freeware version is fully functional.

    Downside is a significant learning curve-- but in my opinion, it's worth the effort.
    leryis and chopnhack like this.
  3. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Kicad is Great. It does ask this things. Once you've learned how to master it and become competent, there will be a short time left before the heat death of the universe.

    My experience was that kicad could do everything I needed and more, but it required a dedication I thought I was prepared for, but in reality I wasn't.

    Are you familiar with DaveCAD? I take a stylus for this wherever I go.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
    leryis likes this.
  4. Minder


    Apr 24, 2015
    Kicad does it for me
    If no board layout and Gerber needed then for a simple schematic only there is Diagram Design and TinyCad.
  5. Arouse1973

    Arouse1973 Adam

    Dec 18, 2013
    Diptrace is good also.
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