For drawing vector graphic pictures, we have several open-source softwares such as Inkscape, Dia, Xfig and LibreOffice Draw. Out of all these softwares, I use Inkscape extensively for drawing vector graphics. However, Inkscape doesn’t have proper library management capability, which I think is essential when we are drawing circuit diagrams. So, I have been searching for an alternative vector graphics editor for drawing circuit diagrams. Recently I came across XCircuit, a simple but powerful tool for drawing publishable-quality electrical circuit schematic diagrams. There are some other tools for drawing circuit diagrams such as Circuit_macros and Circuitikz. Though their output quality is good, these tools do not have any GUI front-ends. So, it takes some time to write the code for drawing circuit diagrams. XCircuit addresses these drawbacks and can be customized very easily. If needed, XCircuit can generate SPICE netlists too. Here are a few screenshots of XCircuit’s usage:
Edit: Symbol library feature has been added to the latest version of Inkscape (v0.91). So, now it is very easy to draw publication quality circuit diagrams using Inkscape. You can find here a simple circuit element symbol library that I use. Just press “Shit+Ctrl+Y” (Object->Symbols) to pop-up symbol library dialog window. But, I still prefer to use Xcircuit for drawing circuits as it is optimized for drawing circuit schematics.