Schematic Best Practices: 5 Tips to get you started

Schematics maintain a visual representation of a circuit, showing all significant components, parts, interconnections, flow, and process by way of standard symbols. The purpose of a schematic is to provide a common reference that can be read by any engineer. As such, schematics should have a certain level of consistency and readability, in order to effectively communicate information quickly and clearly without compromising the integrity of the design.  

At Ultra Librarian® we work with engineers every day, providing them with accurate schematic symbols to add to their designs. We recognize there is a reoccurring theme of frustration among engineers designing and reading schematics and decided to compile a list of the top five most important things to consider when creating a schematic.  

Pro Tips to Master Schematic Designs: 

  1. Use component designators: component designators make the circuit much easier to talk about. Every part should have a distinct name, e.g., R1, R2, C1, U1 – also the value of each part needs to be indicated, e.g., indicate C1 is 2nF 
  2. Do not over do the information on a schematic page. If necessary, include a notes page at the end to clarify any important information you could not fit on the page(s). 
  3. Wires and components should be aligned horizontally or vertically unless there is a good reason to do it otherwise 
  4. If a large or complex schematic, consider the following: 
    1. Create a block diagram on the page so that the flow can be visualized.  
    2. Instead of a flat design, think about a hierarchical design. 
  5. Accurate and consistent schematic symbols: establish a standard library of qualified parts to minimize schematic errors, reduce time, and ensure confidence in every design. 

Since each designer has unique needs for their design, Ultra Librarian provides schematic symbol information for millions of components and 20+ CAD formats allowing users to export to their preferred CAD tool. All of our parts have been built to standards and rigorously tested to ensure accuracy when placing them into your schematic. For more on our building process check out last month’s post on Building Consistent, Reliable CAD Libraries

To get you started, download a couple of schematic symbols for free from our online database. Ultra Librarian provides access to over 12 million parts including schematic symbols, PCB footprints, and 3D models, allowing you to download up to 15 free each month. Ready to get started? Start your part search now.

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The Ultra Librarian Team

Ultra Librarian offers the world’s largest PCB CAD library, putting cutting-edge materials at your fingertips so you can build better products faster—all for free.

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