This article is an attempt to list out all available softwares for circuit drawing. I have taken into consideration many criteria before making this list. You know there are free softwares, paid softwares, sharewares and there will be variations in quality of softwares, user friendliness, complexities etc. I have tried to include as many software as possible. For instance if there is a tool that helps only in basic drawing but is really user friendly so that a beginner can draw electronics circuit diagram, then I would consider adding that particular software. Circuit drawing or electronic schematic drawing is not a hard to learn stuff, you can make it better with practice. Well there are some standard practices that you have to keep in mind while you draw. We will write an article regarding the standard practices to follow while drawing circuit diagrams.
Lets list out free circuit diagram drawing softwares first.
Free circuit drawing softwares list:-
PCB123 – This is a free circuit drawing software from Sunstone. You can do almost all your needs from design to build using PCB 123. PCB123 provides 500,000 parts with great search functionality to access all the parts while drawing. Datasheets of select parts are available. The interesting feature of this software is “real time” search for availability of parts from Digi-Key. Well, give it a try and give your opinions. After all it’s a free software from a reputed company like Sunstone.
Xcircuit – is a free schematic drawing software from OpenCircuit designs, which is made for Unix/Linux environment. You can use this software on Windows if you have the X-server running or Windows API. This open source project is aimed at developing output schematics that are of high quality, ready for instant publication. Many versions of the software are available. You have to go through the tutorial thoroughly before you start using it.
TinyCad – is a schematic drawing software for Windows from SourceForge. It supports circuit drawing, layout developing and circuit simulation. It is available for free download.
Dia – Dia is a basic drawing software suitable for drawing block diagrams. They provide access to some basic and important components too. This software is only for a beginner or a new entrant in the electronics circuit drawing arena. I consider this software good for drawing block diagrams.Software has a GPL license and is made for Mac and Linux. I don’t know if they have a Windows version.
SmartDraw – Free software for drawing electronics schematics. This software is from SmartDraw LLC which develops high end drawing softwares and CAD softwares. The free version is a tool for promoting their paid versions. So you may not expect great/advanced features in the free version.
Pspice – Student Version – You all know about Pspice – the simulation software. Follow that link to get a free student version of the Pspice.
ProfiCAD – is a free, basic tool for drawing. I haven’t used this yet, well try out and tell me.
Solve Elec – is a free software for Windows and Mac.
Tina – Tina is an affordable solution for small industries and freelancers. Facilitates circuit drawing, layout developments, simulation and other features. Real time testing of circuits is another notable feature.
Orcad – a highly popular software from Cadence for circuit drawing, layout development and simulation.
CadSoft Eagle – another high quality PCB design software. Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor is the abbreviation of EAGLE.
LTSpice – is a simulation software from Linear. Schematic development, spice simulation, waveform viewer and many other features.
Altera – has a lot of softwares for your various needs. They have softwares for Embedded design (NIOS II), DSP design software (DSP Builder). For logic design they have Quartus II and ModelSim.
PCB Pool – They don’t provide any softwares. This link is in fact a list of softwares for PCB design.
So I guess I have compiled a good enough list of circuit drawing softwares, which can be used for electronics circuit drawing, schematic layout drawing, wiring diagram drawing etc. I will add more softwares to this list if you can suggest it through our comments section.