The Best PCB Design Software For Windows And MAC

What is PCB Design Software?

Printed circuit board or PCB design software is used by electronic engineers to create printed circuit boards. Circuit board component designs are pulled from PCB libraries and circuit schematics are verified using the programme.

Companies and teams involved in product development most commonly utilize PCB design software. It is not uncommon to find PCB design software integrated into other design platforms. Electrical circuit design and layout should be familiar to electronic engineers. Working as an electrical engineer without PCBs can’t be easy (printed circuit boards).

As a result, you’ll want the greatest PCB design software. These tools aid in the creation of PCB designs. Engineers may utilize the programme to collaborate during the design process, retrieve old circuit board component designs from PCB libraries, and validate circuit schematic diagrams. Take a look at the greatest software products accessible for your use.

Top Six Best PCB Design Software of 2021

(1) PROTEL (Altium Designer)

Circuit design software (CAD) PROTEL was introduced to the circuit industry by PORTEL business in the late 1980s of the 20th century.

Almost all of the circuit firms have utilized PROTEL in their work, and several universities’ circuit specializations provide courses on how to use it.

There’s a new version of Altium Designer 20 out now, with new features that improve the entire user experience, as well as increased fluency and smoothness. It is now possible to escape dense BGA packages by using the new arbitrary-angle-routing function, a new DirectX-accelerated schematic editing engine and many other upgrades have been added to the route optimization processes.

PROTEL Features :

Altium Designer combines a multitude of features and functionality, including:

  • Advanced routing technology
  • Support for cutting-edge rigid-flex board design
  • Powerful data management tools
  • Powerful design reuse tools
  • Real-time cost estimation and tracking
  • Dynamic supply chain intelligence
  • Native 3D visualizations and clearance checking
  • Flexible release management tools

(2) PADS (PowerPCB)

There are three main components of PADS: PADS Layout, and PADS Routing.

When it comes to low-cost computing, it’s the king. Because it’s so easy to use and understand, it’s my favorite EDA. The quality of the design would be comparable to that of wg, allegro. On the market, it’s the most frequently used EDA, and it’s also ideal for small businesses.

A whole PCB design process is supported by PADS Layout/Router, including schematic netlist import, final production file (Gerber), assembly file, and bill of materials (BOM) output, among other features and functionalities.

PADS Features :

  • Geared toward PCB designers and engineers looking for high-value, production-proven tools, PADS Standard provides schematic design and layout capabilities in an intuitive and easy-to-use environment. PADS Standard is ideal for less complex board design, and where cost is a high priority.Features include:Schematic design
  • PADS AMS Cloud online circuit simulation
  • Layout
  • Component part selection and verification
  • Powerful search and filtering with component information management
  • Create custom, IPC-compliant land patterns 


ORCAD is an electronic design automation (EDA) programme created by ORCAD in the late 1980s. It’s the same age as Protel, but it’s far worse. However, ORCAD’s premise is well-known in the industry due to its user-friendly interface, simple operating functions, and robust simulation capabilities. A sophisticated component information system is introduced based on the schematic design input, which can be used to generate, track, and authenticate components, making it easy to utilize the optimized library and the current component library. When comparing Orcad to DX designer, I prefer Orcad. DX Designer, on the other hand, offers a superior administration function and a more integrated environment.

ORCAD Features :

  • OrCAD QIR5 Custom Design Workflow Toolbar
  • OrCAD QIR 5 Find by Query
  • OrCAD QIR5 Command Window
  • Shape Creation and Management
  • Interactive RoutingOrCAD Fanout and Vias

(4) Allegro

Allegro is a PCB design routing tool launched by Cadence. Allegro’s functions are very powerful, and generally, large companies will use it, especially companies that make computer motherboards. Because this software has advantages in drawing large boards, it occupies a considerable market share on computer motherboards, large industrial control boards, server motherboards, and other large boards. Of course, some tablets and mobile phone boards will also be used by a small number of companies.

Allegro Features :

  • Streamlines the design process from placement through routing to manufacture.
  • Design partitioning, RF design capabilities, and interconnect design planning are just a few of the strong features included.
  • Production has been shown to enhance productivity and assist engineers in ramping up to large production rapidly.
  • Allegro is one of 911EDA’s recommended PCB design tools, having been TÜV SÜD “Fit for Purpose – TCL1” certified to fulfil ISO 26262 automotive functional safety criteria.

(5) Eagle(Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor)

It includes a user-friendly interface and a powerful schematic diagram feature. It is not free, but the cost is reasonable. It has advanced features such as online positive and negative annotation, batch command execution script file, copper cladding, and an interactive follower. EAGLE runs on three different platforms: Windows, Linux, and Mac. Furthermore, this programme has a large library, and scripts may be utilized, as well as CAM tools.

Eagle Features :

Whether you are working on your own or in a team, an EAGLE subscription comes with a wide range of benefits:

  • Immediate access to software updates
  • Work from home, at the office, and during commuting
  • Comprehensive tech suppor
  • Easy to install, easy user admin
EAGLE Standard includes: EAGLE Premium includes:
  • 99 schematic sheets

  • 4 signal layers

  • 160 cm2 board area
  • 999 schematic sheets

  • 16 signal layers

  • unlimited board areas
  • (6) Kicad

    Kicad is free software that adheres to the GNU GPL copyright agreement. Kicad has a graphical user interface that is easy to use with the mouse and keyboard, and it works on both Windows and Linux.

    Schematic sketching, PCB layout, Gerber file viewing, 3D solid model viewing, and more applications are included in the kicad programme package. Also available for download are a huge number of symbols, packages, and 3D model libraries.

    Kicad Features

    • Schematic CaptureWith the schematic editor you can create your design without limit; there are no paywalls to unlock features. An official library for schematic symbols and a built-in schematic symbol editor help you get started quickly with your designs.
    • PCB LayoutMake professional PCB layouts with up to 32 copper layers. KiCad now has a push and shove router which is capable of routing differential pairs and interactively tuning trace lengths.
    • 3D Viewer KiCad includes a 3D viewer which you can use to inspect your design in an interactive canvas. You can rotate and pan around to inspect details that are difficult to inspect on a 2D view.

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