Parent page: Schematic Objects

A placed Image


An image object is a non-electrical drawing primitive. It is essentially a container for an image file that can be imported and placed onto a schematic sheet. The image associated with an image object can either be linked or embedded.


Image objects are available for placement in both Schematic and Schematic Library Editors:

  • Schematic Editor - click Home | Graphical Elements |  from the main menus.
  • Schematic Library Editor - click Home | Place |  from the main menus.


After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair and you will enter image placement mode. Placement is made by performing the following sequence of actions:

  1. Position the cursor then click or press Enter to anchor the first corner of the image's frame in which the image itself will reside.
  2. Move the cursor to adjust the size of the frame then click or press Enter to complete frame placement.
  3. The Open dialog will open in which you can browse to and select the required image. Select the file you want to insert then press the Open button to complete image placement.
  4. Continue placing further image objects, or right-click or press Esc to exit placement mode.

Additional actions that can be performed during placement – while the image's frame is still floating on the cursor, and before its first corner is anchored – are:

  • Press the Tab key to access an associated properties dialog, from where properties for the image can be changed on-the-fly.
  • Press the Alt key to constrain the direction of movement to the horizontal or vertical axis, depending on the initial direction of movement.
  • Press the Spacebar to rotate the image frame counterclockwise or Shift+Spacebar for clockwise rotation. Rotation is in increments of 90°.
  • Press the X or Y keys to mirror the image frame along the X-axis or Y-axis respectively.

While attributes can be modified during placement (Tab to bring up associated properties dialog), keep in mind that these will become the default settings for further placement.

Graphical Editing

This method of editing allows you to select a placed image object directly in the workspace and change its size, shape or location graphically.

When an image object is selected, the following editing handles are available:

A selected Image

  • Click and drag A to resize the image frame in the vertical and horizontal directions simultaneously.
  • Click and drag B to resize the image frame in the vertical and horizontal directions separately (provided the X:Y Ratio 1:1 option in the Graphic dialog is disabled).
  • Click anywhere on the image – away from editing handles – and drag to reposition it. While dragging, the image can be rotated (Spacebar/Shift+Spacebar) or mirrored (X or Y keys to mirror along the X-axis or Y-axis respectively).

An object that has its Locked property enabled cannot be selected or graphically edited. Double-click on the locked object directly then disable the Locked property to graphically edit the object.

Non-Graphical Editing

The following methods of non-graphical editing are available:

Via an Associated Properties Dialog

Dialog page: Graphic

This method of editing uses the Graphic dialog to modify the properties of an image object.

The Graphic dialog.

The dialog can be accessed during placement by pressing the Tab key.

After placement, the dialog can be accessed in one of the following ways:

  • Double-click on the placed image object.
  • Place the cursor over the image object, right-click then choose Properties from the context menu.

Via an Inspector Panel

Panel pages: SCH Inspector, SCHLIB Inspector

An Inspector panel enables you to interrogate and edit the properties of one or more design objects in the active document.

Using Vector Graphics

The majority of supported image formats - including bmp, png, jpg, and tiff - are Raster-based. Simply put, they are created (or composed) graphically of a fixed series of dots. While all of these image formats render adequately, their attraction diminishes when the image is scaled. Zoom in to an image in one of these formats and the 'blocky' or 'pixelated' nature of the image's dot composition soon becomes apparent. The solution to this is to use a Vector-based image format. Vector images are comprised of graphical shapes rather than dots, which are preserved upon scaling.

The Schematic Editor supports vector-based graphics in the form of WMF (Windows Meta File) and SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) formats.

An example image on a schematic. A PNG version above, with its SVG incarnation below. When zoomed-in, the quality of the latter becomes appreciatively noticeable.


  1. The following image formats are supported: .bmp, .dcx, .dib, .emf, .jpg, .pcx, .png, .rle, .tif, .svg, .tga, .wmf.
  2. To retain the image's original aspect ratio, ensure that the X:Y Ratio 1:1 option is enabled in the Graphic dialog. When this option is enabled, the image will be scaled to fit optimally into the frame size specified while maintaining the original aspect ratio of the image. If the option is disabled, the image is stretched to fit exactly into the drawn frame size.
  3. A copy of a placed image will only be stored inside the schematic sheet if the corresponding Embedded option is enabled in the Graphic dialog. If this option is disabled, only a link to the image file will be stored. Care should be taken when using linked images – if the location of the image changes, you will need to update the link accordingly using the FileName field in the Graphic dialog.


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