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I have what should be a schematic file from a vendor, its suffix is .sch. I tried opening it with Eagle CAD but it wouldn't open. I then looked at the file with a text editor and there seem to be some references to Orcad.

Does anyone know if .sch files are Orcad files, and if so where to get a free viewer program from?

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closed as not constructive by Kortuk Mar 14 '12 at 13:41

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".sch" is the normal Eagle suffix for schematic file names, but also for other programs. Keep in mind that the Eagle file formats are completely different from version 5 to version 6. Version 5 are binary and version 6 XML based. If Eagle 5 failed to open the file, it could still be a Eagle 6 file. – Olin Lathrop Mar 13 '12 at 17:42
SCH is often used, I believe Protel(Altium) used it, Eagle, and some other open source editors as well. I am afraid it's hard to tell what it is, other than trying all the schematic tools out there (or understanding your source better!) – Hans Mar 13 '12 at 17:56
Personally, I want to track down every programmer/engineer who decided to use a generic file postfix for their program's files, and kick them in the head. Is it so hard to put your program name in the postfix? Something like .EglSch or .AltSch would be sooooo much more sensible. – Connor Wolf Mar 13 '12 at 19:18
Can you post the file? Or even the first 100 bytes of the file? – Connor Wolf Mar 14 '12 at 4:46
Anyway, looking at what Olin said, it's likely that is Eagle 6 more than 5, because XML is readable text while binary is not. – clabacchio Mar 14 '12 at 7:12

Orcad, PADS and Protel all used .sch at one point and there is no standard implied with the file type. Orcad now uses .DSN. Check with the vendor. Most commercial products offer a free reader (aka viewer) or a free Lite version that limits modification but not the open, so users can view files.

Orcad makes a free viewer. As a sidebar I also like ViewMate for Gerber viewing:

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You can open the file with gEDA, a open suite for electronic design

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Not necessarily. The same postfix doesn't constitute a standard. – tyblu Mar 14 '12 at 2:00

Ask the vendor you got it from.

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PSpice "Schematic" (The generic version of OrCAD Capture) files have that extension. You can get the demo/student version here.

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