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How can I add special characters to my schematic?

This tutorial requires:

DesignSpark PCB V11.0.0

DesignSpark PCB supports the European Character Set as shown in Help. Some users may wish to use these, but do not have a numeric keypad as these are no longer standard.


Windows provides a Character Map desktop app that is an alternative method of adding special character. This can be found and launched from the desktop search function. Start typing "Character" in the search field and the application will appear. Click to launch.


The application launches and you can now select the font and characters required.

It is recommended you only use standard fonts which are universally available across Windows versions to maintain compatibility of your schematic with anyone you wish to share your design files with. The "Symbol" font is a good choice and contains the



Note. For anyone new to the Character Map, select the symbol by a left mouse click, then click "Select" and it will appear in the "Characters to copy" field. You may also add characters and spaces from the keyboard. Then click "Copy" and it is copied to your clipboard ready to paste.

Below we illustrate the process of copying the Character Map "Symbol" font ohm symbol to the DesignSpark PCB "Add text" feature which also set for the "Symbol" font.

On DesignSpark PCB use "Add Text" and place some default text, e.g. 4.7R


Select the text and right click, now select "Properties"


Change the Font to "Symbol" (or the font you are using in the Character Map).

blobid6_05f056acc91dfbe9e1b29eca62ed9436695ead2f.pngand then select the character to be replaced. From the Character Map, select the new symbol and click "Copy" which copies the new symbol to the clipboard.

In the Text - Properties box, highlight the character to be replaced and type CTRL+V to paste over the highlighted character.


Click "Apply" to update the schematic text. The schematic text is updated as required with the new symbol.

The text box text will be observed as having the wrong character displayed, in this case "W" however this is the "System" font representation of the required "Symbol" font code and can be ignored.


Many symbols are available by using this method, some examples are shown on the schematic.


DesignSpark are looking at the possibilities of updating the "Add Text" window to allow special characters to be inserted, but until this the above is a method that can be used.

There are also third-party utilities that could be used, but these are not supported by DesignSpark.

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