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I have to make a relative simple diagram and import it to latex vectorially. What would you recommend me to do this?

This question might not be best asked here, but I suspect a lot of you have created LaTeX documents that contain electronic diagrams.

I know about circuitikz, and xcircuit. But the first option is very slow and the second is very weird. I want something faster yet with high quality.

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Add "that can export to latex vectorially" or something to the title to make it more of a LaTeX question. – Johan Nov 3 '10 at 7:58
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Wow, I find it unusual that nobody mentioned the best tool around (my opinion) to do high quality Latex schematics (not too hard to learn, best circuits guaranteed) - it's Circuit_macros which are created and maintained by professor J. D. Aplevich.

Examples can be found here, and helpful installation tips are here. You can find manual in every Circuit_macros distribution. Commands for drawing are those of pic drawing language, and macros for electrical elements are written in m4 macro language. After writing down schematic in this combination of languages (pic, m4), file should be preprocessed with m4 macro processor leaving pure pic drawing behind. .pic. file is after that easily transfered in PSTricks or TiKZ/PGF (first couple pages of manual).

  • One thing that makes Circuit_macros so much more usable and faster is Cirkuit program (written by Matteo Agostinelli), in which you have the ability to preview the schematic while you are drawing it. There are always binaries around for Linux (although probably not for newest version), so the installation is straightforward. Here's how it looks like when you're using Cirkuit to draw schematics.
  • Problem with processing every following schematic with m4 and dpic manually, can easily be avoided using special LaTeX command \mtopgf defined on the 5th page of the manual.

alt text

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I suppose that you were looking for "one-time" faster drawing of circuits. Then this answer wouldn't even qualify, probably... – user1996 Dec 4 '10 at 12:08
I would just love to produce those graphics more easily! – Tomas Dec 18 '10 at 20:18

What about pst-circ?

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It's very like the same as circuitikz, not so easy to use, although the results are publication-quality. I'm looking for something more graphical. – Tomas Nov 2 '10 at 17:59

Dia can export to a variety of TeX-formats, including TikZ/pgf, Metapost and PSTricks. Here is a completely nonsensical image I just created with the pgf exporter:


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Is there a nice symbol library for electronic circuit schematics? – Tobin Fricke Dec 8 '10 at 20:36

I saw that electronics.stackexchange.com has a couple of relevant questions about this:

Then you have to test them a little and see with one can do some kind of export into a format with scalable graphics, like svg, eps, pdf.

My guess would be that gEDA can help you, but I think you need to test it.

A little side bonus: text presentation of a byte

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Inkscape is often useful for making vector drawings for inclusion in LaTeX.

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Yes, I've been using it. And looks like I'm going to do those diagrams there. – Tomas Nov 3 '10 at 3:22

Not exactly what you asked for, but in my larger projects, I've gotten a good mileage out of caching the compiled versions of tikz figures. It is discussed in the tikz documentation in the chapter named “Externalizing graphics”, and discussed further here: Script to automate externalizing tikz graphics

This would take care of the slowness of, say, circuitikz, by having you compile each circuit once, and subsequently including it instead.

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