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Home / Products / Manufacturer / Autodesk | AutoCAD Electrical

AutoCAD Electrical - Detailed information

Electrical design software toolset, which is now part of AutoCAD. Not available as a standalone product.



AutoCAD® Electrical engineering software automates common design tasks and facilitates drafting productivity. It includes all the functionality of AutoCAD software, plus electrical CAD software features such as symbol libraries, bill of materials (BOM) reporting, and PLC I/O design that make control design faster and more efficient.


This video demonstrates electrical schematic and controls design features and capabilities in AutoCAD Electrical, including comprehensive symbols libraries and tools.


Overview video

Watch video (4:13 min.)

Electrical documentation



Video: Location View tab on Project Manager

Location View tab on Project Manager

Gain flexibility in the way you view your project. The Location View allows you to view all the devices in the project by installation and location in a tree view. An expanded panel on the Location View enables you view and export individual device and connection information.

(Video: 2:14 min.)

Video: Automatic report generation

Automatic report generation

Generating reports is simple and customizable. Run multiple reports with a single command. Built-in tools automatically create 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 you can easily update later or save to a file.

(Video: 1:16 min.)

Video: Customer and supplier collaboration

Customer and supplier collaboration

Easily exchange data with customers or suppliers in native DWG™ file format. Edit and view electrical drawings in any DWG-compatible program, such as AutoCAD design and documentation software or AutoCAD LT 2D drafting software. When electrical drawings are edited by outside sources, AutoCAD Electrical can create a report of any modifications.

(Video: 0:52 min.)

Video: File and project organization

File and project organization

Create folders and subfolders within an electrical drafting project, and easily move DWG files into those folders. Create as many folders and folder levels as you want. You have the flexibility to organize projects any way you see fit.

(Video: 2:26 min)

Video: Flexible drag-and-drop file organization

Flexible drag-and-drop file organization

Easily drag and drop files within an electrical drafting project. This capability gives you the flexibility to reorder files, move files into folders, and move folders into subfolders. This feature does not rename your files or update pin information.

(Video: 0:43 min.)

Video: PDF publishing

PDF publishing

Enhance documentation with hyperlinked multipage PDF files of your schematic diagrams and projects. Intelligent hyperlinks enable cross-referencing and device navigation. Bookmarks reflect your project structure, and all drawing text and attributes are searchable.

(Video: 0:58 min)

Video: Location View tab enhancements

Location View tab enhancements

Project Level Node in Location View Tab to view or export the entire project from the Details and Connections panels, link the AutoCAD Electrical component to the Inventor part with a click, and more.

(Video: 1:16 min.)

Electrical panel layout


Video: Smart electrical panel layout drawings

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 you want to insert 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.

(Video: 1:25 min)

Video: Terminal design

Terminal design

Manage and edit terminals and jumpers to help save time and help increase the accuracy of electrical control designs. Use 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.

(Video: 1:22 min.)

Video: Marking menus for faster edits

Marking menus for faster edits

Replace the typical right-click context menu with marking menus for commands. Marking menus are context sensitive, based on the type of object you select, and provide quick access to the most commonly used functions for that object, including Delete Component, Edit Component, Scoot, and Align. This interaction shortens editing time and improves productivity when creating or editing electrical panel board layouts.

(Video: 1:06 min.)

Video: Terminal Strip Export/Import

Terminal Strip Export/Import

Export terminal data to an XML file that can be imported into Wago ProServe or Phoenix Contact. Define your terminal strip, spares, and accessories in Wago ProServe Smart Designer or Phoenix Contact Clip Project. With Phoenix Contact, you can save as a 3D STEP file to place the terminal strip in your Inventor mechanical design and 3D CAD software assembly.

(Video: 0:56 min.)


Electrical schematic design


Video: Improved capabilities with wires

Improved capabilities with wires

Apply drawing and project property for sort order to wire sequences as well as tag and wire number order. This setting provides default wire sequencing for wire networks with multiple components.

(Video: 0:45 min.)

Auto wire numbering and component tagging

Auto wire numbering and component tagging

Assign sequential or reference-based numbers on all wires and components automatically. AutoCAD Electrical assigns unique wire numbers and component tags in your electrical schematic drawings based on the chosen configuration, reducing the time spent tracking design changes and reducing errors. If no clear spot is available, the software searches for a clear spot and automatically draws a leader back to the wire.

(Video: 1:22 min.)

Video: Circuit design and reuse

Circuit design and reuse

Dynamically generate rules-based electrical control circuits based on components, wiring, ratings, and catalog data. Circuit Builder gives you the information to make good electrical engineering decisions that are also environmentally sustainable. Create electrical schematic designs based on wire material type, ambient temperature, maximum voltage drop, and more. Improve productivity by building commonly used circuits once, and then saving them for reuse later.

(Video: 1:41 min.)

Video: Electrical schematic symbol libraries

Electrical schematic symbol libraries

Use several hundred thousand standards-based electrical schematic symbols in AutoCAD Electrical software. A simple, menu-driven system for inserting devices enables you to quickly build standards-based electrical control designs, including pneumatic and hydraulic. 

(Video: 1:26 min.)

Video: Real-time error checking

Real-time error checking

Catch and remove costly errors before the build phase begins. AutoCAD Electrical monitors and alerts you to potential design errors as they occur by constantly comparing the requested changes with the current project. Duplicated wire numbers and component tags are flagged. Avoid errors related to missing or incorrect wire numbers. Alerts help to ensure a smooth design process before the electrical schematic gets passed on to manufacturing.

(Video: 1:24 min.)

Video: Usability improvements

Usability improvements

Choose a dark or light theme. Table styles control text size, style, and margins on reports. Intelligent Cut and Copy can place selections of objects onto the clipboard, while Paste inserts the selection with automatic updates to tags and wire numbers. Within the Help documentation, the Find link points to a specific icon within the application to help you locate the command.

(Video: 1:35 min.)

Video: Microsoft SQL Server Support for catalog data

Microsoft SQL Server Support for catalog data

We now support SQL Server for your catalog data. Create an SQL Server instance, migrate the default Microsoft Access-based catalog and footprint databases; configure your SQL Server instance while installing AutoCAD Electrical 2017 or set up your SQL Server from the product, use Content Migration Utility for migration.

(Video: 1:12 min.)

Electrical controls design


Video: Interoperability with Autodesk Inventor

Interoperability with Autodesk Inventor

Seamlessly integrate the electrical design with the mechanical assembly, enabling real-time associativity, management, and cross-product updates, with electromechanical workflows between AutoCAD Electrical and Inventor. The 2 disciplines are synchronized for error-free integrated design, accurate routing, connectivity, and cable/wire lengths through a common user interface between products.

(Video: 4:43 min.)

Real-time coil and contact cross-referencing

Real-time coil and contact cross-referencing

Reduce the risk of too many contacts assigned to a relay, and minimize time spent manually tracking assignments. AutoCAD Electrical sets up parent/child relationships between coils and contacts. It keeps track of how many contacts are assigned to any coil or multicontact device and alerts you if you exceed the limit.

Video: PLC I/O drawings from spreadsheets

PLC I/O drawings from spreadsheets

Define a project’s I/O assignments in a spreadsheet program to create a comprehensive set of PLC I/O drawings. Automatically generate 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. This report exports to the PLC (programmable logic controller) program, virtually eliminating the need to create those drawings manually.

(Video: 1:12 min.)

Video: Standards-based libraries

Standards-based libraries

Use component libraries from the industry’s most popular vendors to create standards-based electrical designs that comply with industry requirements. 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.

(Video: 1:35 min.)

Video: Catalog Browser previews and inserts parts

Catalog Browser previews and inserts parts

Insert components into your schematic with the catalog information assigned. Search for catalog items and insert components directly from the Catalog Browser–with a preview of the schematic representations of the part. The Catalog Browser can either be docked or left floating to always remain in view as you work.

(Video: 2:04 min.)

Video: Edit parts in Catalog Browser

Edit parts in Catalog Browser

Easily add or edit catalog items and assign symbols and 3D parts to the catalog database. Edit, add, or remove database records from a single, easy-to-use tabular interface. Assign multiple symbols as well as a 3D part for interoperability with Inventor 3D CAD software.

(Video: 0:59 min.)

Video: Inventor parts integration

Inventor parts integration

Add the Electrical Catalog Browser to Inventor 3D CAD software 2015 during installation to access 3D electrical parts. This enhancement supports mechatronics. Insert 3D electrical parts into an Inventor assembly from the same catalog as your electrical design to complete your digital prototyping solution.

(Video: 1:21 min.)

Video: Combined BOM report with Inventor

Combined BOM report with Inventor

If your project is linked to an Inventor assembly (electromechanical project), you can generate a combined bill of material (BOM) report. An option to include the Inventor parts is now available when you generate either a schematic or panel BOM report.

(Video: 1:07 min.)

System requirements for AutoCAD Electrical 2018
Operating System
  • Microsoft® Windows® 10
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 with Update KB2919355
  • Microsoft Windows 7 SP1
CPU Type 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
Memory For 32-bit version:
  • 2 GB (3 GB recommended)
For 64-bit version:
  • 4 GB (8 GB recommended)
Display Resolution 1360 x 768 (1920 x 1080 or higher recommended) with True Color.

High Resolution & 4K Displays:
Windows display adapter capable of resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 and manufacturer-recommended for high resolution applications with True Color capabilities and DirectX9. DirectX11 compliant card recommended.
Display Card Windows display adapter capable of 1360 x 768 with True Color capabilities and DirectX® 9. DirectX 11 compliant card recommended.
Disk Space Installation 12.0 GB
Pointing Device MS-Mouse compliant
Digitizer WINTAB support
Media (DVD) Download and installation from DVD
Browser Windows Internet Explorer® 9.0 (or later)
.NET Framework .NET Framework Version 4.6
ToolClips Media Player Adobe Flash Player v10 or up
Network Deployment via Deployment Wizard.

The license server and all workstations that will run applications dependent on network licensing must run TCP/IP protocol.

Either Microsoft® or Novell TCP/IP protocol stacks are acceptable. Primary login on workstations may be Netware or Windows.

In addition to operating systems supported for the application, the license server will run on the Windows Server® 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows 2008 R2 Server editions.

Citrix® XenApp™ 7.6, Citrix® XenDesktop™ 7.6.




Additional Requirements for Large Datasets, Point Clouds, and 3D Modeling
Memory 8 GB RAM or greater
Disk Space 6 GB free hard disk available, not including installation requirements
Display card 1920 x 1080 or greater True Color video display adapter; 128 MB VRAM or greater; Pixel Shader 3.0 or greater; Direct3D®-capable workstation class graphics card.