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Circuit Diagrams in Component Data Sheets

  1. Dec 5, 2012 #1
    What software is used by manufacturers to produce the thousands of data sheets for all of the products that they make? Specifically, the circuit diagrams which look very crisp, like they were made in a vector format. I assume that each manufacturer has some proprietary software that they use to produce these documents. Does anyone know what software can be used to produce professional looking diagrams with aesthetic and precise symbols?

    I've used plenty of CAD software such as Eagle and Orcad. These require you to choose a real world part before you can include it in your schematic. I'm looking for something more conceptual and quick, which I could use to quickly sketch out a diagram simply for visualization.

    For example, check out

    The figures are pleasing to my eye. Some parts and pins are labeled when necessary, but not when its unimportant, some optional components are shown with dotted lines, there are arrows indicating direction from output to input. I'm just wondering if there is software available to make diagrams that look very clean and clear and follow the conventions of circuit schematics.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2012 #2


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    I use paintbrush and have done so for some 15 years

    here's an example.....


    one of 100's of circuits I have done

    is that crisp enough for you ? ;)


    Attached Files:

  4. Dec 5, 2012 #3
    Diagram from OrCad schematic capture can be copied and paste into Word!!! You can even have color. I did this in the past.
  5. Dec 6, 2012 #4

    I've used MS Visio in the past with some success. It has countless pre-made symbols for everything you need and don't need. I've attached a small sample which I made by saving a Visio file in the .emf format which I then inserted as an image in a Word document. I then published the word document as a pdf (the detour into word was unnecessary here, but I wanted to see that it worked). For Latex work, I use a printer driver called Metafile to EPS Converter to "print" .eps files. You can also look into Adobe's postscript driver if you go down that road.

    Unfortunately, drawing circuits in Visio can be a gigantic pain in the butt sometimes—and I mean send-you-to-mental-hospital kind of butt pain. Things refuse to align, move around, and stuff like that. Please, I don't want to talk about it. And some of the symbols are a bit on the ugly side (e.g. the inductor got to me, and I had to manually edit that one, which is easy btw). But if you're married, you know how to work your way through these things and all in all I find Visio useful. There aren't many alternatives, as you might have found out.

    EDIT: As you can see I'm not the greatest circuit designer, but you can actually connect those symbols with a connector tool. Maybe an actual circuit would have been more illuminating, but oh well.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2012
  6. Dec 6, 2012 #5


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    I had a prof who would make the problem set circuits in Adobe Illustrator (or substitute cheaper / free-er alternative, i.e. Inkscape). They were top notch (if not super complex).

    However, I've found that plotting the circuit schematic in the capture program--as opposed to printing, or even Print Screen-ing--generates much crisper and more professional looking graphics. You can then open the resulting vector images (KiCad can export directly to postscript or SVG, Protel could do PDF, etc.) in your vector program of choice (Illustrator or Inkscape, again) and export at your desired size to something you can import into Word or [itex]\LaTeX[/itex]
  7. Dec 11, 2012 #6
  8. Dec 11, 2012 #7
    I saw your figures in your PLL thread and I agree they look pretty good! And with vector graphics export options too—not bad at all. Now if only those who prefer to describe their circuit problems on this forum with an incomprehensible wall of text instead could draw a diagram of their circuit with this tool...
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
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