Cadsoft Eagle Layout Editor Tutorial

These pages contain a brief tutorial in drawing schematics and PCBs using the CadSoft Eagle Layout Editor software. This tool is freeware with full functionality, with the main limitations being two layers and half-eurocard (100mm x 80mm) format.


To get started, first download and install the software package from the CadSoft website. While installing, you probably want to select the freeware license.

After the installation is finished, start Eagle and (when asked) agree to create a project directory. Now, the Eagle main window will open as shown below.


Eagle consists of three parts:

  • Schematics drawing.
    The schematic forms the basis of your design. With the schematic drawing tool you can draw your design.
  • PCB drawing.
    The schematic diagram can be exported to the PCB tool. From here, you can place components and route the wires.
  • Footprint/symbol drawing.
    Not every component you use will be available in the component libraries that come pre-installed (find all libraries through sub-tree "Libraries" in the main window). To add new components, you will need to draw a schematic symbol and the corresponding PCB footprint. Then, your new component can be used in the schematics and PCB tool.

Creating a project

To create a new project, first open the "Projects"-tree in the main window, and browse to the eagle directory (physically located in your user profile's "Documents" folder). Right-click on it and select "New project", as shown below. Name your project.

Automated backups

Eagle continuously generates backups of your designs in the project directory every 5 minutes. If you open the project directory in the Windows Explorer, you'll see files like "schematic.SCH", "schematic.S#1", "schematic.S#2", etc. The S#x files are automatic backups. Rename back to SCH (or BRD) extension to restore a backup.

Continue reading with the "Drawing schematics" section.