This would be an example of the kind and quality of elements that I want to use, which I can't get if I were to draw it with Matlab:

enter image description here

These circuits are supposed to be in my thesis which I'm writing in LaTeX.

What software could I use to draw these and export to SVG?

3 Answers 3


Download from Wikimedia Commons a symbol file, draw in Inkscape what you need and save. The symbols are already in a SVG file. Duplicate what you need to use.

If you need some special symbols of your own, you simply draw them and they become a part of the collection.

Here's a sample of available symbol collections and one trivial circuit drawed and scaled to bigger size.

enter image description here

The download link: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Electrical_Symbols_IEC.svg

It is probably a good idea to define a grid to make everything fit easily.

The symbol collection popped to the browser as text. I copied the text to Windows Notepad and saved as "Symbols.svg" - it worked ok when opened in Inkscape.


Altough you can draw these with any vector drawing software (like inkscape, Illustrator, Corel Draw...) graph drawing applications (Visio, yEd...) or general CAD (AutoCAD...). You should also consider using some suitable Electrical CAD application for this as well as latex features such as Tikz

ECAD applications give you a benefit if you need to do further work on your design. First they offer libraries of symbols. But symbols are not just mere pictures to these CAD applications but have actual meaning. This means that the ECAD can validate your design, tie the schematic to a physical layout, calculate values needed, simulate etc.

The other good option since you are using Latex, is to use Tikz. Tikz is just Latex you can find examples of electrical drawings done in Tikz here. The benefit of Tikz is that it respects your document styling so if you change it later the drawing also does so this means that reusing your image is easier in future.


Any vector editing application would work wonderfully - Inkscape (free), Adobe Illustrator, Sketch, Corel Draw...

You could even do this with Photoshop, although I'd stick to vector apps if possible.

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