Electronic symbol

Common circuit diagram symbols (US symbols)

An electronic symbol is a pictogram used to represent various electrical and electronic devices or functions, such as wires, batteries, resistors, and transistors, in a schematic diagram of an electrical or electronic circuit. These symbols are largely standardized internationally today, but may vary from country to country, or engineering discipline, based on traditional conventions.

Standards for symbols

The graphic symbols used for electrical components in circuit diagrams are covered by national and international standards, in particular:

  • IEC 60617 (also known as British Standard BS 3939).
  • ANSI Y32.2-1975 (also known as IEEE Std 315-1975 or CSA Z99-1975)
  • IEEE Std 91/91a: graphic symbols for logic functions (used in digital electronics). It is referenced in ANSI Y32.2/IEEE Std 315.
  • Australian Standard AS 1102. (Based on a slightly modified version of IEC 60617, Withdrawn without replacement with a recommendation to use IEC 60617)

Symbols usage is sometimes unique to engineering disciplines and national or local variations to international standards exist. For example, lighting and power symbols used as part of architectural drawings may be different from symbols for devices used in electronics.

Gallery of common electronic symbols

Symbols shown are typical examples, not a complete list.[1][2]


Circuit return








Vacuum tubes




Current limiters


Electro-acoustic devices

Miscellaneous devices

Gallery of historical electronic symbols

The shape of electronic symbols have changed over time. Some symbols were more prevalent in some countries. The following are historic electronic symbols that might be found in old electronic books and schematics.

Capacitors (historical)

See also


  1. ^ Circuit Symbols for all Electronic Components. Talking Electronics, 2013. Retrieved 01 Apr 2015.
  2. ^ Electrical Symbols & Electronic Symbols. RapidTables, 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2016.

External links