File Operations

In this topic:


For normal save operations use the File > Save or File > Save As... menus.

To save all the sheets currently open use File > Save All.

Exporting Schematic Graphics

You may export schematic graphics to other applications such as word processors or drawing programs. You can do this via the clipboard (see Copying to the Clipboard) or by writing out to a file. To export schematic graphics to a file, select the schematic menu File > Save Picture... then select the format of your choice using the Save as type: drop down box. The choices are:

  1. Windows Meta File (.EMF and .WMF). Nearly all windows applications that support graphics import will accept this format. Note that this is a scalable format and therefore suitable for high resolution printing.
  2. Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg). This format and is not supported by all applications but unlike WMF and EMF, it is supported by operating systems other than Windows and may be useful for users wanting to export scalable graphics to other applications that run on other operating systems.

  3. Bitmap - default image size (.png, .jpg, .bmp) These are available on all platforms, are widely supported by graphics applications but these are not scalable formats and so do not offer good quality when printed using high resolution printers. PNG is the default format if you do not choose a file extension. PNG tends to be the most efficient format to use for images such as schematics and it is also lossless meaning that it uses a compression technique which does not lose information. To choose JPG (JPEG format) or BMP (windows bitmap format) you must explicitly enter .jpg or .bmp file extensions respectively. With this option the image size will match the image size currently displayed on screen. If you wish to specify a different image size, use next option.
  4. Bitmap - specify image size (.png, .jpg, .bmp). As 3 above but you must explicitly define the image resolution in pixels. You will be prompted for this when you close the file selection dialog box. Note that schematics always maintain their aspect ratio so the final image size may differ from what you specify. The actual image will always fit within the X and Y values you give.

Schematic File Formats and Compatibility with Earlier Versions

In the lifetime of SIMetrix there have been 5 schematic formats as detailed below:

Format Details
Binary 1.0 Obsolete
Binary 2.5 Used from version 2.5
Binary 4.1 Used from version 4.1
ASCII Default format since version 8.0 but first introduced with version 5.0
XML Optional format introduced with version 9.1

SIMetrix versions from 9.1 can read and write all formats except Binary 1.0 but note that binary formats can only be written using script commands. If you need to export a schematic to open in an older version of SIMetrix, use the following table to determine the format to use:

Version Details
2.5 to 4.0 Binary 2.5. Use script command: SaveAs /v25 filename
4.1-4.5 Binary 4.1. Use script command: SaveAs /binary filename
5.0 and later ASCII format. Save as normal
Note the following when reading a version 8 schematic or later with an earlier version:
  • Features introduced in version 8 will not be useable in older versions. In particular, annotations and styles were not available in earlier versions. A version 8 schematic with annotations will open in older versions but the annotations will not be displayed.
  • Although the schematic will open, it won't necessarily simulate. This will depend on the devices used in the schematic

Opening Older Schematics

No special procedure is needed to open schematics created with older versions. Just open the schematic in the usual way. SIMetrix will detect its format automatically. Note that if saved again, the default format is the ASCII format.

XML Format

A new XML format was introduced with version 9.1. This is currently not the default format but is available for users who wish develop their own tools that can read SIMetrix schematics. The XML format is very closely associated with the ASCII format which uses a similar hierarchical structure and the same element and attribute names. It is intended that both formats will be supported well into the future.

To write a schematic file to the XML format, proceed as follows:
  1. Select menu File > Save Special...
  2. Check the XML Format box
  3. Enter file name or click Browse... to navigate to a file
  4. Click Ok

The XML file will be created but the currently open schematic will still point to the original file from which the schematic was loaded.

To read an XML format file, just open in the usual way. SIMetrix will automatically detect the format.

File Format

Documentation for the ASCII format be found on the install CD (see Install CD) may be found at Docs/File-Formats/schematic-ascii-format-revnnn.pdf. (nnn is the format revision number).


When enabled, SIMetrix will automatically save all open schematics at regular intervals.This system does not write to the schematic's normal file but to a backup location. If SIMetrix closes unexpectedly due perhaps to a power failure, you will be asked whether you would like to recover the auto-saved schematics when you restart SIMetrix.

To enable auto saving and to set the auto-save interval, select menu File > Options > General.... See the Auto-save interval section in the Schematic sheet.