What are you capturing the schematic from? Makes me think of a butterfly net or something.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe it makes engineers feel like conquerors: today we capture the schematic; tomorrow the world! Muwah ha ha ha ha! \$\endgroup\$ – Eryk Sun Feb 27 '11 at 14:29

The name comes from the days (not necessarily long past) when a circuit would be designed on paper and then entered into computer later.

The electronics design world is strangely conservative, some of these guys still swear by MS-DOS.

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    \$\begingroup\$ and not 6.22, either, 5.0 was the last best DOS! =P \$\endgroup\$ – JustJeff Feb 24 '11 at 3:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ We've still got Windows 98 on some of the computers at work. :) I don't think the software even runs on anything modern. \$\endgroup\$ – endolith Feb 27 '11 at 14:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Similar uses are 'knowledge capture', 'data capture', 'video capture' - the term is used for things which exists outside of the computer and are converted into a form the computer can then process. \$\endgroup\$ – Pete Kirkham May 13 '14 at 13:12

They "capture" the netlist from the schematic.

Or "capture" the schematic from paper? (It's still faster to draw the schematic on paper first.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you could draw a schematic on paper, scan it, and have it automatically converted to a netlist, then it would be appropriate to call it "schematic capture", in my opinion \$\endgroup\$ – endolith Feb 23 '11 at 19:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would buy such a program... \$\endgroup\$ – markrages Feb 23 '11 at 19:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I like the netlist reason. After all, it is that net list that you have to feed into so many other tools. \$\endgroup\$ – Dr. Watson Feb 24 '11 at 21:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I go with the netlist reason. A lot of people write textual documents on paper and then key them into a computer, but I've never heard a word processing app called a "document capture" program. The part of a "schematic capture" program that produces the netlist will typically represent a tiny portion of the program's complexity, but will be absolutely vital to the program's usefulness. \$\endgroup\$ – supercat May 23 '11 at 17:50

From the mind of the designer.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +! to capture the ideas of the mind \$\endgroup\$ – kenny Feb 24 '11 at 11:35

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