Create electronic circuit schematics with Microsoft® Word
if you don't have Microsoft® Word, you can use the free open-source office productivity software suite Apache OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice.
See the tip Create electronic circuit schematics with the Apache OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice free office suite .
Use Microsoft® Word to easily create electronic circuit schematics made of resistors, capacitors, operational amplifiers and so on.
These instructions may seem a little long-winded, but it is finally very easy to create an electronic schematic with Microsoft® Word as soon as they are assimilated.
To make you save time, certain electronic component symbols are available for download and can be inserted in your document.
- Optionally, create resistor pictures with Atlence Resistor Viewer
See the tip: Create resistor pictures with Atlence Resistor Viewer.
- Launch Microsoft® Word.
- Create a drawing canvas. The drawing canvas provides a frame-like boundary between your drawing and the rest of your document. It helps you keep parts of your drawing together, which will allow you to move your entire electronic diagram.
- Word 2007, 2010, 2013: in the Insert menu, click Picture and then New Drawing Canvas.
- Word XP, 2003: in the Insert menu, click Picture and then New Drawing.
- Insert electronic components symbols.
- Word 2007, 2010, 2013: click the Insert tab. In the Illustrations group, click Picture.
- Word XP, 2003: click the drawing area you have just created and then 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 the same electronic symbol several times, select it in Word, 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 easier move a picture, right-click the picture you want to move and in the popup menu that appears, click the Format Picture command. In the Layout tab, increase or decrease the values in the Horizontal and Vertical fields. If these values are not displayed, click the In front of text icon and then the Advanced button.
- To rotate a picture, select it by clicking on it: a green square appears on the center of the picture. Click on it and by holding the mouse button down, move the mouse to rotate the picture.
- To connect components (create connections), use connectors. You have the opportunity to move a component while maintaining the connections.
- Word 2007, 2010, 2013: click the Insert tab. In the Illustrations group, click Picture, click on the Shapes icon and choose Right-Angle Connector in the Lines section. If the image does not have enough connection points, use a curve in the Lines section. Then select your image and the curve created by pressing the Control key. Right-click and choose Group . The ends of the connector turn red when it is properly connected.
- Word XP, 2003: in the Drawing toolbar, click the AutoShapes icon and then Connectors. Connect the components with the Elbow Connector. By using the connectors, you can move a component while maintaining the connections. If the image does not have enough connection points, use the Line button in the Lines toolbar. Then select your image and the line created by pressing the Control key. Right-click and choose Group . The ends of the connector turn red when it is properly connected.
- To change the styles and weight of a line, right-click on a connector and choose the Format AutoShape command. In the Colors and Lines tab, you can change the weight.
- Create arrows which commonly symbolize a voltage for example.
- Word 2007, 2010, 2013: click the Insert tab. In the Illustrations group, click Shapes and then choose Arrow in the Lines section.
- Word XP, 2003: click the Arrow button in the Drawing toolbar and then move the mouse to rotate it. Other lines are available in the Autoshapes menu and then Lines.
- It is often necessary to insert comments and legends in a schematic, such as the name and/or the value of an electronic component.
- Word 2007, 2010, 2013: click the Insert tab. In the Illustrations group, click Shapes and then choose a legend in the Callouts section.
- Word XP, 2003: click the Insertion menu and then choose Text Box. You can remove the border and set the background to transparent: right-click on the text box and choose the Format Text Box command. In the Colors and Lines tab, choose No Fill in the Fill section. In the Line section, click on the Color list and choose No Line.
Tips for Microsoft® Word
- Word 2007, 2010 and 2013: to quickly add multiple shapes: in the Inert tab, Illustrations group, click Shapes. Right-click the shape that you want to add, and then click Lock Drawing Mode. Click anywhere in the document, and then drag to place the shape. Repeat this for each shape that you want to add. Press ESC when you have terminated.
- All the copied pictures are stored in the Office Clipboard. Click then on a picture item to quickly insert it.
- In Word XP or 2003, it is possible to display the Connectors and Lines toolbars and be able to quickly insert connectors and arrows on your document. Right-click on a toolbar and in the context menu that opens, choose Drawing. In the new toolbar that appears, click the AutoShapes icon. Open the Lines menu (resp. Connectors) and click on the vertical lines at the top of the menu and by holding the mouse button down, move the cursor. The menu will turn to a floating toolbar which is accessible at any time.
The picture below shows the Word 2003 workspace to easily create electronic circuit schematics. At the top, they are the icons to quickly add connectors and connection lines. On the right, there are several electronic components you can insert in your electronic circuit.