Create electronic circuit schematics with the Apache OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice free office suite
Use Apache OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice to quickly and easily create electronic circuit schematics composed of resistors, capacitors, operational amplifiers and so on.
Apache OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice are free office suites which have nothing to envy to the commercial ones such as Microsoft® Office or Corel® WordPerfect® Office. OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice support a wide variety of file formats including those of Microsoft® Office.
To make you save time, certain electronic component symbols are available for download and can be directly inserted in your document.
- Optionally, create pictures of a resistor with Atlence Resistor Viewer
See the tip: Create resistor pictures with Atlence Resistor Viewer.
- Launch the Apache OpenOffice.org Draw module.
- In the Insert menu, click Picture and then From File.
- Select a picture to insert, for example the electronic symbols which can be downloaded on this website or an image made with Atlence Resistor Viewer .
- If you need to use a same symbol several times, select it by clicking on it, press CTRL+C and then CTRL+V as many times as necessary.
- Once all your symbols have been inserted into your document, organize them and move them in order to begin to connect them.
Tips for organizing
- To easily move a picture, right-click on the picture you want to move and then in the popup menu that appears, click on the Position and Size command (or simply press F4). In the first tab (Position and Size), increase or decrease the value of the Position X field (horizontal direction) and the Position Y (vertical direction).
- To rotate a picture, right-click on the picture and in the context menu that appears, click the Position and Size command. Select the Rotation tab and choose the angle in the Rotation Angle section. You can also change the pivot point.
Note: you can also use the Drawing toolbar (by default located at the bottom). To do so, click the Effects button. .
A black circle appears in the center of the picture: it is the center of the rotation that you can move. To rotate the picture, use the red circles located at each corner of the picture: click one of them and move the mouse.
- To connect the components (create connections), click the Connectors button
in the Drawing toolbar (by default located at the bottom) for two seconds: a choice of several connectors is displayed. In an electronic circuit, the connectors with circles is commonly used
(the first connector in the list). Now, to connect the components, place the cursor over a picture: a small square appear in the center of each side. Click on of them and by holding the mouse button down, move the cursor to another picture you want to connect to. Small squares appear again: place the cursor to one of them and then release the button. A connection is automatically created.
By using connectors, you have the opportunity to move a component while maintaining the connections.
Tip: if the picture doesn't have enough glue points, select it by clicking on it. Click then on the Glue Points icon
(located in the Drawing toolbar at the bottom). Then click the Insert Glue Point
(located in the Gluepoints toolbar at the top of the screen). You just have to click on the part of the picture where a glue point (ie. where you want to connect the picture) must be created.
- To change the styles and weight of the line, right-click on a connector and choose the Line command.
- To create arrows (which commonly symbolize a voltage for example), click the Lines and Arrows button
in the Drawing toolbar and rotate it by moving the mouse.
- It is often necessary to insert comments and legends in a schematic, such as the name and/or the value of an electronic component. To do son click the Callouts button
in the Drawing toolbar, for two seconds. Different types of text exist: the first one allows you to insert a text anywhere (inside a picture for example) and the third one a legend (very handy).
Using Apache OpenOffice.org
- To display some useful toolbars (and make you save time), click the View menu, then the Toolbars command, and select the toolbars you want to display.
- You can choose to always display the different connectors, lines, arrows, and so on. In the Drawing toolbar (generally located at the bottom), click the Connectors button (or the Lines and Arrows one) for two seconds. A choice of several connectors (or lines and arrows) will appear in a small window. At the bottom of this window, there are three horizontal lines. Click them, hold the mouse button down and move the window to the desired location.
The below picture shows a common Apache OpenOffice.org workspace to create electronic circuit schematics.