Electra® Help:

Creating Your Own Symbol

Symbol Creation Process

Creating your own intelligent schematic symbol is an easy and automated process:

  1. Draw symbols using lines, circles, arcs and text.
  2. Group all shapes and add connection points.
  3. Select shape and click on menu Electra | Create Schematic Symbol.

The Anatomy of a Schematic Symbol

The Create Symbol Window

The Create Symbol window is used to automatically insert intelligence and data into your custom symbol for it to be correctly identified and processed by Electra.

Default Reference Default reference for your custom symbol (e.g. R1)
Description text box and No Description check box Most schematic symbols have a symbol description (e.g. Start button) displayed at the bottom of the symbol. If a description box does not exist, it will be added automatically. To disable automatic adding of description box, check the No Description check box.
Vertical by default When creating symbols that is vertical by default when dropped on drawings, check the Vertical by default check box.
Hide Description Check to hide description by default. Once a symbol is dropped on a drawing, users can select to show or hide the description text by right clicking on the symbol and select "Edit Reference"
Insert Horizontal / Vertical rotation menu To insert a horizontal / vertical rotation menu into custom symbols, check the Insert Horizontal / Vertical rotation menu check box. The menu allow symbols to rotate horizontally or vertically using the right click, similar to symbols provided by Electra.
Category If symbols are assigned to a category, during component selection only the components for the category will be presented. This makes for easier and faster component selection, while still allowing users to select components in other categories.

All schematic symbols in Electra have a link to a default component. This link is used by Electra to automatically match symbols to components during panel layout and reports.

Priority The lowest priority number in a group of symbols with the same references will be used to suggest a default component. For user created custom symbols, a priority number of 15 is recommended.
Location Type The Location Type combo box is used by the Location or AutoLocation shape to identify the symbol type. For example, a coil symbol should be set to location type Coil, a normally closed contact should be set to location type NC and a normally open contact should be set to location type NO.

All symbols with connection points can have a set of pin names assigned to the connection points.

Pin Set Each connection point has a pin name. If none were entered, Electra will use defaults (blank). Pin Names comes in sets. For example, a standard NO (2 pole) can have 13 / 14, 23 / 24 etc as pin names. 13 / 14 is one set of pin names and 23 / 24 is another set of pin names. To specify numerous sets of pin name for a single pin, type in all the possible pin names for that pin separated by commas, e.g. 13, 23. Then cycle to the next pin to repeat the same and type 14, 24 as pin names.
Position Click on any 8 of the radio buttons to set the pin name position relative to the connection point. You will be able to see how your selection affects the position of the pin name on the right side of the window.
Text Orientation Select horizontal or vertical text for your pin name orientation.

To manually control the width and height of the description textbox, use the width and height text box.

After setting all the options on the Create Symbol window, click the OK button and Create Symbol will:

  1. Insert intelligence and data into your custom symbol.
  2. Open the selected stencil and add your custom symbol onto the stencil.
  3. Delete the custom symbol from your drawing (For Electra to identify your custom symbol, it must originate from a stencil).

Editing the Symbol Icon

An icon will be generated automatically when the symbol is added to a stencil. Right click on the symbol in the stencil and select Edit Icon to modify symbol icon. After creating custom icons for symbols, right click on the symbol in the stencil, select Master Properties, and make sure to deselect Generate Icon automatically from shape data (In Visio 2010 it's called a preview).

Modifying Existing Symbols

To modify symbol names, components and other symbol information without dropping on drawing:

  1. Click on menu Electra | Tools | Stencil Browser.

To modify and edit symbols on drawing:

  1. Drop symbols onto drawing.
  2. Modify symbols as required and click on menu Electra | Create Schematic Symbol to add in back onto a stencil.

To delete a graphic on an existing symbol:

  1. Drop symbols onto drawing.
  2. Click on the symbol, then click on a graphic.
  3. With the graphic selected, click on the menu Developer | Protection | None | OK.
  4. With the graphic now unprotected, simply press the Delete key to remove the graphic.
  5. After graphics has been removed, select the symbol and use menu Electra | Create Schematic Symbol to add it back onto a stencil.

To add a graphic to an existing symbol:

  1. Drop symbols onto drawing.
  2. Draw and place graphics as required.
  3. Select both the existing symbol and also the newly drawn graphics, then click on menu Electra | Create Schematic Symbol.
  4. Electra will automatically detect an existing symbol in your selection and will ask if you wanted to combine them.
  5. Once combined, Electra will add the new graphic into the existing symbol while still preserving the symbol's information.