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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
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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
    
@OlinLathrop That sounds horrible! I would have imagined that they would have changed the suffix when they changed the format of the file. –  Kellenjb Mar 13 '12 at 18:14
    
I would try opening with a text editor first to see if possibly the data is human readable and they signed it. More reasonably, as the person whom gave you the schematic! –  Kortuk Mar 13 '12 at 18:17
    
Altium (Formerly Protel) now uses .SchDoc for it's schematic postfix. –  Connor Wolf Mar 13 '12 at 19:15
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4 Answers 4

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
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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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