AutoCAD® Electrical

Autodesk® AutoCAD® Electrical design software is AutoCAD for electrical controls designers. It includes all the functionality of Autodesk® AutoCAD® software plus a complete set of electrical CAD features, including comprehensive symbol libraries and tools for automating electrical design tasks.

Electrical schematic design

Automatic wire numbering/component tagging

Automatically assign unique wire numbers and component tags in your electrical schematic drawings, reducing the time you spend tracking design changes and helping to reduce errors. AutoCAD Electrical automatically places sequential or reference-based numbers on all wires and components based on the chosen configuration.

If no clear spot is available AutoCAD Electrical searches for a clear spot and automatically draws a leader back to the wire.

Circuit design and reuse

Dynamically generate rules-based electrical control circuits based on components, wiring, ratings, and catalog data. The Circuit Builder gives you the information you need to make good electrical engineering decisions that are also environmentally sustainable.

You can create your electrical schematic design based on wire material type, ambient temperature, and maximum voltage drop among others. Improve productivity by building commonly used circuits once, and then saving them to be reused later.

Electrical schematic symbol libraries

AutoCAD Electrical software comes with several hundred thousand standards-based electrical schematic symbols, including electrical, pneumatic, and hydraulic. A simple, menu-driven system for inserting devices enables you to quickly build standards-based electrical control designs by selecting frequently used devices from a menu. Symbol libraries include support for the following standards:


AutoCAD Electrical also includes all the functionality of AutoCAD design and documentation software plus a comprehensive set of functions developed specifically for designing electrical control systems. Specialized features enable you to trim wire, copy and delete components or circuits, and scoot and align components.

Real-time error checking

Avoid costly errors before the build phase begins by catching and removing errors during the design process. AutoCAD Electrical monitors and alerts you to potential design errors as they occur by constantly comparing the requested changes with the current project.

Items such as duplicated wire numbers and component tags are flagged during this error-checking process. Because missing or incorrect wire numbers are difficult to identify and can cause real problems downstream, these alerts help to ensure a smooth design process before the electrical schematic gets passed on to manufacturing.

Electrical documentation

Automatic report generation

Report generation is simple and customizable. Run multiple reports with a single command.  Built-in tools automatically generate and update reports that cover bills of materials (BOMs), from/to wire lists, PLC I/O, terminal plans, cable summaries, and cross-referencing.

Sort and filter data to create customized reports that display only relevant information.

Place reports into an electrical drawing as a smart table object that can be easily updated later or saved to a file.

Collaboration with customers and suppliers

Easily exchange data with customers or suppliers in native DWG™ file format to share your work.  Edit and view electrical drawings in any DWG-compatible program, such as Autodesk® AutoCAD® design and documentation software or Autodesk® AutoCAD LT® drafting and detailing software. When electrical drawings are edited by outside sources, AutoCAD Electrical can create a report of any modifications.

File and project organization

Create folders and subfolders within an electrical drafting project, and easily move DWG files into those folders.  Because you can create as many folders and folder levels as you want, you have the flexibility to organize your projects however you see fit.

Flexible drag-and-drop file organization

Easily drag and drop files within an electrical drafting project. This capability gives you the flexibility to change the order of files, move files into folders, and move folders into subfolders. This feature does not rename your files or update pin information. It is an ease-of-use enhancement for efficient organization of project files.

Electrical controls design

Real-time coil and contact cross-referencing

Reduce the risk of assigning too many contacts to a relay, and minimize time spent manually tracking assignments in your electrical control designs. AutoCAD Electrical sets up parent/child relationships between coils and contacts, keeping track of how many contacts are assigned to any coil or multicontact device and alerting you when you exceed the limit.

Generate PLC I/O drawings from spreadsheets

Generate a comprehensive set of PLC I/O drawings by simply defining a project’s I/O assignments in a spreadsheet program.  Automatically create drawings per the drawing configuration, complete with ladders, I/O modules, addresses and description text, and component and terminal symbols connected to each I/O point. Then export this report to the PLC (programmable logic controller) program, virtually eliminating the need to create those drawings manually.

Standards-based libraries

Create standards-based electrical designs that comply with industry requirements for electrical control systems using component libraries from the industry’s most popular vendors. The software includes a manufacturer database of more than 650,000 components and symbols such as switches, push buttons, relays, contacts, and terminals. In addition, choose from an extensive library of pneumatic, hydraulic, and P&ID devices.

Compete globally with support for international standards that help you meet your geographic design requirements. Supported standards include:


Electrical panel layout

Smart electrical panel layout drawings

Extract a list of schematic components for placement into electrical panel layout drawings. Choose the panel location and a physical representation of each device to be inserted into the layout. The software automatically creates a link between the device and its representation.

Any changes to the electrical schematic or panel representation update the other nonschematic items, such as wire ducts.

Terminal design

Manage and edit terminals and jumpers throughout an electrical control design project, saving time and increasing the accuracy of your electrical designs. Manage and edit terminals and jumpers with the simplified Terminal Strip Editor interface. Easily insert spare terminals or make modifications, such as reversing the left and right wiring information for a terminal.

Automatically generate graphical terminal strip layouts based on schematic design information for use in electrical panel layout drawings or terminal plans.

Generate these terminal strips in a graphical or table format. The software automatically populates your terminal strip layouts with the wiring information for each side of the strip.

Marking menus for faster edits

Marking menus replace the typical right-click context menu for commands. Marking menus are context sensitive based on the type of object you select, providing quick access to the most commonly used functions for that object, including:

  • Delete Component
  • Edit Component
  • Scoot
  • Align

This interaction shortens editing time, improving productivity when creating or editing electrical panel board layouts.

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