Block Diagram Programs

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haklesup
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Block Diagram Programs

Post by haklesup » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:54 pm

Folks,

Whats your favorite program for making electronics block diagrams (I want text on the connecting lines)

MS Office is close to minimal but its hell getting text near the connecting lines. I can get by on paintbrush but editing that is lousy. Unless I can get my old schematic program re registered, I might just use TinyCAD, any other favorites? I guess any of the free schematic capture tools might do but I don't want to demo each of them to find out so I am looking for some advice. I will also consider low cost programs <$60.

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Re: Block Diagram Programs

Post by sghioto » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:00 pm

I use simple old Microsoft Paint. I also use Paint for schematics and PCB design for my laser printer.
All my attachments on this site were made with Paint.

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dacflyer
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Re: Block Diagram Programs

Post by dacflyer » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:53 pm

expressPCB has a decent program, use the schematic part of the program, it is a free download
it is full of symbols also. and you can make some custom ones also.

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Re: Block Diagram Programs

Post by Robert Reed » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:44 pm

And to add - the blocks are as quick as pointing the mouse and square it. Then add one liners to connect them just as fast. Text any where you want. In 5 minutes you can have the total architecture for a fairly elaborate circuit. Love it!

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Bob Scott
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Re: Block Diagram Programs

Post by Bob Scott » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:42 am

haklesup wrote:Whats your favorite program for making electronics block diagrams (I want text on the connecting lines)

MS Office is close to minimal but its hell getting text near the connecting lines.
I used to make diagrams with MS Word's build in drawing tools. Click on "View" menu to view the drawing toolbar. I became quite proficient at producing component layout diagrams. You can even specify line lengths or endpoints, and copy/paste duplicates of assemblies. Give it a try. Of course the program is in Word in MS Office.

Edit: I'm pretty sure you can insert a text box over a line if you specify a clear background for the text. The default is white, and would hide the line.
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haklesup
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Re: Block Diagram Programs

Post by haklesup » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:36 pm

I'm a big fan of MS paint too (I previously called it paintbrush). Especially the XP and earlier versions. Althought the Win 7 version seems to have more capability, its ergonomics are off and I haven't gotten used to it yet. Its bitmap based and thus is limited in how you can resize or reposition things. I was wanting an object oriented program.

A text box on Word's drawing tools would work but in 2 steps and lots of layering if you're not careful.

I'm using TinyCAD for this afterall. It's an open source free schematic editor. It does more than I need but I find the editing tools to be generally intuitive for this task. I haven't even had to look at the manual yet.

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Bob Scott
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Re: Block Diagram Programs

Post by Bob Scott » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:52 pm

haklesup wrote:I'm a big fan of MS paint too (I previously called it paintbrush). Especially the XP and earlier versions. Althought the Win 7 version seems to have more capability, its ergonomics are off and I haven't gotten used to it yet. Its bitmap based and thus is limited in how you can resize or reposition things. I was wanting an object oriented program
I also liked PC Paintbrush by Z-Soft. It had snap-to-grid capability. I thought "Great, now I can save a library of transistors and op-amps all snapped to grid." Unfortunately, once you recall a library item, it was no longer placed correctly on the grid.

Then MS bought Paintbrush from Z-Soft, renamed it MS Paint, and removed the snap-to-grid feature rather than fix it. I still use MS Paint for making front panel graphics and text. You can mirror image the text, print it on clear mylar sheets so that the text is behind the mylar so it won't rub off. It would work just fine for making custom analog meter backgrounds. You can use a microammeter for "watts" or "mRems/hr" etc. scales.

I agree. Paint is a very useful tool.
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