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Schematic editor

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by David Parker, Aug 2, 2010.

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  1. David Parker

    David Parker

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    Jul 31, 2010
    Hi. I am just getting into electronics. I would like a simple computer program to draw schematic diagrams of circuits that can output as a gif or similar. I have had a look on the internet and there are lots of them around, at various prices. Can anyone suggest a simple program that can handle simple circuits (preferrably free)?

    Thanks, David.
     
  2. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
  3. David Parker

    David Parker

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    Jul 31, 2010
    Thanks very much for this. I had not considered using MS Paint but your schematics are amazingly good so I will look into it.
     
  4. jackorocko

    jackorocko

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    Apr 4, 2010
    People always under estimate what a simple screen cap can do... Use any app you want and hit ctrl+print screen. Ctrl+p in ms paint and save as. Windows 7 has snipping tool, even better.
     
  5. KMoffett

    KMoffett

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    Jan 21, 2009
    With ExpressPCB, I export the schematic at 300ppi BMP. I than edit it with Microsoft Office Picture Manager, cropping to size and exporting to a GIF format. This gives a very readable, small size file for posting.

    Ken
     
  6. NickS

    NickS

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    Apr 6, 2010
    Wow, using MS paint for a block diagram is one thing but you used it for a 23GHz schematic design(that takes dedication).

    I now rank you higher than this guy for the best argument that MS Paint is not a useless program(in the right hands).
     
  7. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
    LOL thanks for the vote of support Nick, isnt it interesting. I have no probs drawing complex cct diags, but I tell you, there's no way I could reproduce that car drawing !!!

    I have been using MS paint for prob. at least 15 yrs for cct drawing it really works well for me. I get quick at copying and pasting the various component symbols around the screen.

    cheers
    Dave
     
  8. NickS

    NickS

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    Apr 6, 2010
    Ok so copy and paste is how you get around part libraries. I have never found it but does paint have a snap grid? I would be irate trying to do schematic capture without a snap grid. Finally how do you translate your schematic to layout and produce a bill of materials?

    That is just the major features I would miss. There are also little things I take for granted like history and version control, multi-sheet hierarchy and compiler and part parameter DB to name a few.
     
  9. David Parker

    David Parker

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    Jul 31, 2010
    What program do you use to get all these things? How much does it cost?
     
  10. NickS

    NickS

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    Apr 6, 2010
    I use Altium designer and at $5k(per seat) it is astronomically more expensive than MS Paint. However since it was developed specifically for electronic design it is not surprising that it rocks at what it does. Altium

    One thing I can't do in Altium is spray paint on my schematic, which would be nice at times.

    But alas we digress from the point of this thread. The freeware option I used through college was the lite version of orcad. You will however be limited on the number of components. You may also look into open source programs that are similar to MS Visio, which is a diagram tool that comes with a electronics part symbol library. I thonk open office may have an analog but I have never used it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
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