With svg_schematic you simply pick one symbol and place it at the origin and then place the other symbols relative to the ones previously placed. For example:

from svg_schematic import Schematic, Resistor, Capacitor, Inductor, Wire
from inform import Error, error, os_error

    with Schematic(filename='rlc.svg'):
        r = Resistor(name='R', orient='v')
        c = Capacitor(C=r.C, xoff=100, name='C', orient='v')
        l = Inductor(C=c.C, xoff=100, name='L', orient='v')
        Wire([r.p, l.p])
        Wire([r.n, l.n])
except Error as e:
except OSError as e:

When run, it produces the following schematic:


Component Placement

In this example the resistor is placed without a location, and so its center is placed at the origin, (0, 0). You can then access the location of the center of the resistor using r.C, which is a XY-pair. That is passed to the capacitor using C=r.C with an extra parameter of xoff=100, meaning the center of the capacitor is horizontally offset by 100 units from center of the resistor. To give you a sense of how far 100 units is, the length of the resistor is 100 units. Positive horizontal offsets shift the location to the right, positive vertical offsets shift the location down. Finally, the inductor is placed 100 units to the right of the capacitor.

When specifying offsets, you can specify the x-offset using xoff, the y-offset using yoff, and you can specify both with off as a tuple. For example, off=(50,25) is equivalent to xoff=50, yoff=25.

Wires are added using an list of points, where each point is an XY-pair. In the simplest case, a line is run between each of the points specified. Thus, the first wire runs from r.p to l.p, where r is the resistor and r.p is the location of the p terminal of the resistor. l.p is the location of the positive terminal of the inductor. The second wire connects the negative pins.

Principle Coordinates

Each component is embedded in a tile, and each tile has 9 principle coordinate named C, N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, and NW which are short for center, north, northeast, east, southeast, south, southwest, west and northwest.


When placing a component, you can give the location of any of the principle coordinates. And once placed, you can access the location of any of the principle coordinates. Thus, the location of the components in the example could be specified simply by placing the tiles side-by-side:

with Schematic(filename = "rlc.svg"):
    r = Resistor(name='R', orient='v')
    c = Capacitor(W=r.E, name='C', orient='v')
    l = Inductor(W=c.E, name='L', orient='v|')
    Wire([r.p, c.p, l.p])
    Wire([r.n, c.n, l.n])

This places the west principle coordinate of c on the east principle coordinate of r and then the west principle coordinate of l on the east principle coordinate of c.

Pins as Coordinates

You can also specify and access the component pin locations. For example, with the resistor there are two terminals p and n.


Using this approach you can draw a series RLC using:

with Schematic(filename = "rlc.svg"):
    r = Resistor(name='R', orient='h')
    c = Capacitor(n=r.p, name='C', orient='h|')
    l = Inductor(n=c.p, name='L', orient='h')

When run, it produces the following schematic:



You can flip and rotate the components using the orient argument. Specifying v implies a vertical orientation, and h a horizontal orientation (a component is converted from vertical to horizontal with a -90 degree rotation. Adding | implies the component should be flipped along a vertical axis (left to right) and adding - implies the component should be flipped along a horizontal axis (up to down).


Name and Value

With most components you can specify a name, and with many components you can also specify a value. The text orientation will always be horizontal regardless of the component orientation. You can also specify nudge as a small number to adjust the location of the resulting text. For example:

from svg_schematic import (
    Schematic, Capacitor, Ground, Inductor, Resistor, Pin, Source, Wire
from inform import Error, error, os_error

    with Schematic(
        filename = 'lpf.svg',
        background = 'none',
        vin = Source(name='Vin', value='1 V', kind='sine')
        rs = Resistor(name='Rs', value='50 Ω', n=vin.p, xoff=25)
        Wire([vin.p, rs.n])
        c1 = Capacitor(name='C1', value='864 pF', p=rs.p, xoff=25)
        l2 = Inductor(name='L2', value='5.12 μH', n=c1.p, xoff=25)
        Wire([rs.p, l2.n])
        c3 = Capacitor(name='C3', value='2.83 nF', p=l2.p, xoff=25)
        l4 = Inductor(name='L4', value='8.78 μH', n=c3.p, xoff=25)
        Wire([l2.p, l4.n])
        c5 = Capacitor(name='C5', value='7.28 nF', p=l4.p, xoff=25)
        rl = Resistor(name='Rl', value='50 Ω', p=c5.p, xoff=100, orient='v')
        out = Pin(name='out', C=rl.p, xoff=50, w=2)
        Wire([l4.p, out.t])
except Error as e:
except OSError as e:


Many components allow you to specify kind, which allow you to choose a variant of the component symbol. They include

Symbol Kinds
BJT npn, pnp (or n, p)
MOS nmos, pmos (or n, p)
Amp se, oa, da, comp
Gate inv
Pin dot, in, out, none
Label plain, arrow, arrow|, slash, dot
Source empty, vdc, idc, sine, sum, mult cv, ci
Switch spst, spdt
Wire plain, |-, -|, |-|, -|-

These are explained further later when the individual symbols are discussed.


There are a few things to note.

  1. SVG coordinates are used, which inverts the y axis (more southern coordinates are more positive than the more northern coordinates).
  2. Wires and components stack in layers, with the first that is placed going on the lowest layer. Most components contain concealers, which are small rectangles that are designed to conceal any wires that run underneath the components. This allows you to simply run a wire underneath the component rather than explicitly wire to each terminal, which can simply the description of the schematics. For this to work, the wire must be specified before the component. Also, the color of the concealers matches that of the background, so if you use no background, then you also lose the concealers.
  3. Components are placed in invisible tiles. The unit size of a tile is 50. You have limited ability to specify the width and height of some components, and specifying the size as w=1, h=1 implies the tile will be 50x50. Most components have a size of 2×2 and so sit within a 100x100 tile. You need not specify the size as an integer.
  4. When the schematic is used with Latex, you can use Latex formatting in the name and value. For example, you can specify: name=’$L_1$’. You should use raw strings if your string contains backslashes: value=r’$10 \mu H$’.
  5. Components provide provide individual attributes for the location of each terminal. For example, the resistor, capacitor, and inductor components provide the p and n terminal attributes. The MOS component provides the d, g, and s terminal attributes. The diode component provides the a and c terminal attributes.
  6. Components contain attributes for each of the 9 principal coordinates (C, N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW). For most components, these are the principal coordinates for the component’s tile. However, the source places its principal coordinates on the circle used to depict the source.

Placement Strategies

There are two basic approaches to placing components. First, you may specify the coordinate in absolute terms. For example:

with Schematic(filename = "rlc.svg"):
    Wire([(-75, -50), (75, -50), (75, 50), (-75, 50)])
    Wire([(0, -50), (0, 50)])
    Resistor(C=(-75, 0), name='R', orient='v')
    Capacitor(C=(0, 0), name='C', orient='v')
    Inductor((C=(75, 0), name='L', orient='v|')

Notice that a wire is specified as a list of points, where each point is a tuple that contains an XY pair. The wire just connects the points with line segments. The location of the components is given by giving the location of a feature on the component. In this case it is the center (C) of the component that is specified. Again the location is an XY-pair.

This approach turns out to be rather cumbersome as it requires a lot of planning and is a lot of work if you need to move things around. In that case you likely have to adjust a large number coordinates. Since schematics of any complexity are often adjusted repeatedly before they are correct and aesthetically appealing, this approach can lead to a lot of tedious work.

The second basic approach to placing component is to place them relative to each other. This approach is the one that is always used in practice. To do so, you would generally take advantage of the fact that components have attributes that contains useful coordinate locations on the component. For example:

r = Resistor(C=(0, 0), name='R', orient='v')

Now, r.C, r.N, r.NE, r.E, r.SE, r.S, r.SW, r.W, and r.NW contain the coordinates of the center, north, northeast, east, southeast, south, southwest, west, and northwest corners. In addition, r.p and r.n hold the coordinates of the positive and negative terminals. Finally, wires provide the b, m, and e attributes, which contain the coordinates of their beginning, midpoint, and ending.

Once you place the first component, you then specify the location of the remaining components relative to one that has already been placed. To do so, you would give the location of one of the principle coordinates or the location of a terminal. For example:

r = Resistor(C=(0, 0), name='R', orient='v')
c = Capacitor(C=r.C, xoff=75, name='C', orient='v')
l = Inductor((C=c.C, xoff=75, name='L', orient='v|')
Wire([r.p, c.p, l.p], kind='-|-')
Wire([r.n, c.n, l.n], kind='-|-')

Notice that the center of r is placed at (0,0), then the center of c is place 75 units to the right of r, then the center of l is placed 75 units to the right of c. If c has to be moved for some reason then l will move with it. For example, only changing the line that instantiates the capacitor produces the following results:

c = Capacitor(C=r.C, off=(100, 25), name='C', orient='v')

The shift, shift_x, and shift_y utility functions are provided to shift the position of a coordinate pair. Examples:

shift((x,y), dx, dy) --> (x+dx, y+dy)
shift_x((x,y), dx) --> (x+dx, y)
shift_y((x,y), dy) --> (x, y+dy)

To see how these might be useful, consider offsetting the wires so they sit a little further away from the components:

r = Resistor(C=(0, 0), name='R', orient='v')
c = Capacitor(C=r.C, xoff=75, name='C', orient='v')
l = Inductor((C=c.C, xoff=75, name='L', orient='v|')
Wire([r.p, shift_y(r.p, -12.5), shift_y(c.p, -12.5), c.p])
Wire([c.p, shift_y(c.p, -12.5), shift_y(l.p, -12.5), l.p])
Wire([r.n, shift_y(r.n, 12.5), shift_y(c.n, 12.5), c.n])
Wire([c.n, shift_y(c.n, 12.5), shift_y(l.n, 12.5), l.n])

You can also use with_x and with_y to replace the x or y portion of a coordinate pair. They take two arguments, the first is returned with the appropriate coordinate component replaced by the second. The second argument may be a simple number or it may be a coordinate pair, in which case the appropriate coordinate component is used to replace the corresponding component in the first argument:

with_x((x1,y1), x2) --> (x2, y1)
with_y((x1,y1), y2) --> (x1, y2)
with_x((x1,y1), (x2,y2)) --> (x2, y1)
with_y((x1,y1), (x2,y2)) --> (x1, y2)

Finally, the midpoint functions return the point midway between two points:

midpoint((x1,y1), (x2,y2) --> ((x1+x2)/2, (y1+y2)/2)
midpoint_x((x1,y1), (x2,y2) --> ((x1+x2)/2, y1)
midpoint_y((x1,y1), (x2,y2) --> (x1, (y1+y2)/2)

Arbitrary Drawing Features using SVGwrite

SVG_Schematic subclasses the Python svgwrite package Drawing class. So you can call any Drawing method from a schematic. In this case you must keep the schematic instance to access the methods:

with Schematic(filename = "hello.svg") as schematic:
        center=(0,0), r=100, fill='none', stroke_width=1, stroke='black'
        'Hello', insert=(0,0), font_family='sans', font_size=16, fill='black'

One thing to note is that Schematic normally keeps track of the location and extent of the schematic objects and sizes the drawing accordingly. It will be unaware of anything added directly to the drawing though the svgwrite methods. As a result, these objects may fall partially or completely outside the bounds of the drawing. You can add padding when you first instantiate Schematic or you can use the svgwrite viewbox method to extend the bounds.


To include these schematics into Latex documents, you need to run Inkscape with the –export-latex command line option to generate the files that you can include in Latex. Here is a Makefile that you can use to keep all these files up to date:

    flash-adc \
    pipeline-adc \


.PHONY: clean
.PRECIOUS: %.svg

        python3 $<

%.pdf: %.svg
        inkscape -z -D --file=$< --export-pdf=$@ --export-latex

        rm -rf $(PDF_FILES) $(PDFTEX_FILES) __pycache__

To include the files into your Latex document, use:


Finally, to convert your Latex file to PDF, use:

pdflatex --shell-escape converters.tex

Other Image Formats

You can use Image Magick package to convert SVG files to other image formats. For example:

convert receiver.svg receiver.png