Author Topic: Schematic Editor for Note Taking?  (Read 3614 times)

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Offline Ray CITopic starter

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Schematic Editor for Note Taking?
« on: May 29, 2023, 12:27:29 pm »

Can anyone recommend an editor that can sketch schematic diagrams, capture text and write math formulas AND is fairly lightweight and preferably free?

My projects are mainly documented in handwritten notebooks and I'm looking for a computer-based editing alternative.   When documenting a design or project, I typically grab screenshots (from KiCad, LTspice etc) and cut/pasting into Word documents.  This is a pain because the MS Office tools really struggle with math equations.

Is there any kind of note-taking software designed for engineering students?   Can anybody recommend some options without having to use something like a heavyweight CAD application?


Thanks in-advance for any/all ideas and thoughts.

Ray
 

Offline TimFox

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Re: Schematic Editor for Note Taking?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2023, 03:41:04 pm »
What difficulties do you have with the standard equation editor in MS Word?
(I use the Word in MS Office 2019.)
 

Offline Ray CITopic starter

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Re: Schematic Editor for Note Taking?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2023, 07:00:23 pm »
What difficulties do you have with the standard equation editor in MS Word?
(I use the Word in MS Office 2019.)

A:  It does not have an integrated method of including schematics.

I also use Word (and Powerpoint and sometimes Visio) and the process is slower than molasses in January.

Ray
 

Offline Chris56000

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Re: Schematic Editor for Note Taking?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2023, 07:30:19 pm »
Hi!

I use Abacom's sPlan 8, unfortunately not free tho', (altho' you might be able to use the "demo" version and capture the result as a "screenshot") which you can use to design both the circuit diagram parts and the equations (sPlan  8 has Unicode support so you can use fonts with Greek letters), you can export them as jpeg/bmp or in vector format as svg, which Office 2016 and later can import as one graphic!

If you need root symbols, integral symbols, etc., etc., it's very easy to draw them using line and bezier tools, and then position the equation text to suit – far less aggro than trying to use Word's Equation Editor!

I use "sPlan 8" for all the diagrams in my T & M.Theory and Repair Book I'm writing, and my only connection with Abacom is as a very satisfied user!

I think "XCircuit", which the Chinese often use, and its free, will also do what you need, altho' you may need to design your own root symbols, etc!

Chris Williams
« Last Edit: September 28, 2023, 07:36:52 pm by Chris56000 »
It's an enigma that's what it is!! This thing's not fixed because it doesn't want to be fixed!!
 

Offline TimFox

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Re: Schematic Editor for Note Taking?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2023, 07:50:10 pm »
But, does it contain "an integrated method of including schematics" ?
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Schematic Editor for Note Taking?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2023, 10:17:06 pm »
I do not know of such an "integrated" tool, but my advice is to use any schematic editor you're comfortable with, and that can ideally export to a vector format, and then LibreOffice or MS Word for the rest, in which you'll paste the schematics as vector graphics (much better than bitmap.) Kicad can be used for the schematic part. You can use the schematic editor standalone if you're just drawing schematics. it can plot to EPS, SVG and more, so that's fine for documents.

 

Online Doctorandus_P

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Re: Schematic Editor for Note Taking?
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2023, 12:05:18 am »
Maybe something like Asciidoc is usable. With Asciidoc you create a text file and simple constructs are used to add meta data, and it can be compiled into html to be viewable with any web browser. And you do not even have to "copile" your ascii doc file. There are plugins for web browsers that can directly interpret asciidoc files.

And there are also extensions for rendering math formula's nicely. See for example:

https://docs.asciidoctor.org/asciidoc/latest/stem/
 

Online Kleinstein

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Re: Schematic Editor for Note Taking?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2023, 09:33:53 am »
For quick schematic notes old style Dave-cad and a scanner / photo may still be the easiest to use.

If it needs to be in computer form the problem is the learning curve. The UI is still a bit different between tools and it can be quite confusing to use different ones for just notes and actual serious work. So it may be good to use the same tool as for creating actual projects and not a 2nd light weight tool.
 


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