LTspice Basic Operation

LTspice-Initial Setting

In this article, we will introduce the “Initial Settings” when installing the latest version of LTspice XVII.

Since LTspice allows you to make various settings in detail, there may be some confusion as to what to set.

But if you set the initial settings to be introduced from now on, it is almost all You should not be troubled.

Control Panel

With LTspice XVII, you can make various settings from the “Control Panel”.

Launch LTspiceXVII and click “Control Panel” (hammer icon) on the toolbar to display the “Control Panel” screen.
(It can also be displayed by clicking “Tools” -> “Control Panel” in the menu bar.)

If you make a mistake, you can return to the default state by clicking “Reset to Default Values”.

In this article, we will introduce the minimum required setting method.

Setting of simulation speed and internal accuracy

If there is enough processing power of the PC, we recommend “Alternate”, which has high internal accuracy.

  1. Click “SPICE” in the “Control Panel”.
  2. Select “Alternate” in “Engine” -> “Solver [*]”.
  3. Click “OK” to finish setting.
Choice of simulation speed / internal accuracy
  • Normal:Simulation speed 2x, internal accuracy 1/1000 (Compared to Alternate)
  • Alternate:Simulation speed 1/2, internal precision 1000 times (Compared to Normal)

Grid display in schematic editor

When creating a schematic, it is easier to see if the grid is displayed.

  1. Click “Drafting Options” in the Control Panel.
  2. Checking “Show schematic grid points [*]” will display the grid on the schematic editor.
  3. Click “OK” to finish setting.

Change keyboard shortcut

If you get used to circuit creation, it is much faster to use shortcuts. Some of the default shortcuts are F keys (function keys), so change them to characters that are easy to remember.

  1. Click “Drafting Options” in the Control Panel.
  2. If you click “Hot keys [*]”, “Keyboard Shortcut Map” will be displayed.
  3. Change the keyboard shortcuts referring to the following table of “Recommended keyboard shortcuts”.
  4. Click “OK” to finish setting.

Recommended keyboard shortcuts

Command Explanation Before change After change
Place Component Select parts from the “Select Component Symbol” F2 P
Draw Wire Mode Draw Wire F3 W
Place Net name Place Net name F4 N
Move Mode Move parts, wiring and etc.
(It can move it by box.)
F7 M
Drag Mode Move it including wiring connected to parts
(It can move it by box.)
F8 D
Undo Cancel operation F9 Ctrl+Z
Redo Redo operation Shift+F9 Ctrl+Y
Place Diode Place Diode D Ctrl+D
Mirror Mirror parts Ctrl+E Ctrl+M
Zoom Area Zoom in Ctrl+Z Z

Automatically delete waveform data file

Because waveform data file is saved and it squeezes HDD (hard disk drive), let’s try to delete waveform data automatically.

  1. Click “Operation” in the Control Panel.
  2. Checking “Automatically delate .raw files [*]” will automatically delete waveform data.
  3. Click “OK” to finish setting.

Display the schematic editor and waveform graph side by side

Depending on the configuration of the schematic and the contents of the simulation, it may be better to display the schematic editor and the waveform graph side by side. Please set as needed.

  1. Click “Operation” in the Control Panel.
  2. Select “Vert” in “Default Window Tile Pattern [*]”.
  3. Click “OK” to finish setting.

Color Preferences

With LTspice XVII, you can change the color of WaveForm, schematic and netlist from Color Preferences.

Launch LTspiceXVII and click “Tools” -> “Color Preferences” in the menu bar to bring up the Color Palette Editor.

You can select the WaveForm, Schematic, or Netlist displayed on the tab, enter the RGB values, or move the slide bar to change each color. The RGB values of each color scheme are as follows for reference.

RGB of each color

Color R G B
White 255 255 255
Yellow 255 255 0
Orange 255 165 0
Gray 128 128 128
Light gray 211 211 211
Light bule 173 216 230
Green yellow 173 255 47
Ocher 195 147 67
Pink 255 192 203
Deep pink 255 20 147
Blue green 0 164 151
Red 255 0 0
Green 0 128 0
Purple 128 0 128
Brown 165 42 42
Blue 0 0 255
Navy 0 0 128
Black 0 0 0



There is no problem in setting it to your own preference basically, but this article will introduce you to the recommended color.

Also, if you make a mistake, click “Defaults” and you’ll be back to the default setting.

WaveForm

  1. Click “WaveForm” in the Color Palette Editor.
  2. Select “Item for which you want to change the color” under Selected item.
  3. Change the RGB values with numbers or change them with the slide bar to make it your favorite color.
  4. Click “OK” to finish setting.

The color scheme is easy to understand if it is the same as the color of the oscilloscope waveform.

This article introduces recommended waveform color of high-share Tektronix and Keysight oscilloscopes as a reference.

Recommended color of WaveForm for Tektronix oscilloscope users

Setting Color Red Green Blue
Trace V(1) Moon yellow 237 185 24
Trace V(2) Blue 0 0 255
Trace V(3) Hot pink 255 105 180
Trace V(4) Green 0 128 0
Trace V(5) Orange 255 165 0
Trace V(6) Purple 128 0 128
Trace V(7) Deep pink 255 20 147
Trace V(8) Green yellow 173 255 47
Trace V(9) Dark goldenrod 175 128 0
Trace V(10) Red 255 0 0
Trace V(11) Maroon 128 0 0
Trace V(12) Citrus 175 175 0
Axis Black 0 0 0
Inactive Axis Black 0 0 0
Grid Black 0 0 0
Background White 255 255 255

Recommended color of WaveForm for Keysight oscilloscope users

Setting Color Red Green Blue
Trace V(1) Moon yellow 237 185 24
Trace V(2) Green 0 128 0
Trace V(3) Blue 0 0 255
Trace V(4) Red 255 0 0
Trace V(5) Magenta 255 0 255
Trace V(6) Gray 128 128 128
Trace V(7) Orange 255 165 0
Trace V(8) Green yellow 173 255 47
Trace V(9) Dark goldenrod 175 128 0
Trace V(10) Purple 128 0 128
Trace V(11) Maroon 128 0 0
Trace V(12) Citrus 175 175 0
Axis Black 0 0 0
Inactive Axis Black 0 0 0
Grid Black 0 0 0
Background White 255 255 255

Schematic

  1. Click “Schematic” in the Color Palette Editor.
  2. Select “Item for which you want to change the color” under Selected item.
  3. Change the RGB values with numbers or change them with the slide bar to make it your favorite color.
  4. Click “OK” to finish setting.

The circuit diagram is almost my preference, but it is set as follows.
Schematic recommended color

Setting Color Red Green Blue
Wires Green 0 128 0
Junctions Green 0 128 0
Component body Free speech red 192 0 0
Graphic Flag Free speech red 192 0 0
Component Fill-in Cumulus 255 255 192
Component Text Black 0 0 0
Flag Text Deep pink 255 20 147
SPICE Directive Text Black 0 0 0
Comment Text Medium blue 0 0 200
Unconnect Pin Green 0 128 0
Highlight Color Orange 255 165 0
Grid Black 0 0 0
Graphic Annotation Blue green 0 164 151
Background White 255 255 255

It is color-coded so that parts and wiring can be easily understood.

In addition, the background was set to white in order to make the contrast as clear as the WaveForm.

Netlist

I think that there is no problem with the default settings for Netlist. I have not made any color changes either.

Grid display on WaveForm

Since the WaveForm of LTspice XVII is easy to see, the grid is set to be displayed.

  1. Click the “New Schematic” icon on the toolbar to display the schematic editor.
    (It can also be displayed by clicking “File” -> “New Schematic” in the menu bar.)
  2. Click the “Pick Visible Traces” icon on the toolbar to display the waveform graph.
    (It can also be displayed by clicking “View” -> “Visible Traces” in the menu bar.)
  3. The menu bar changes when the WaveForm is valid.
  4. Check “Plot Settings” -> “Grid” in the menu bar.
  5. You can see that the grid appears on the WaveForm when you run the simulation.
  6. After that, even if you close LTspiceXVII without saving it, you will be able to display the grid from the next time.

How to use LTspice IV

Since LTspice II is freeware, we cannot receive support such as lectures on how to use it.

However, this site has posted a lot of detailed explanations on how to use LTspice IV, settings, circuit diagram creation, and simulation. Please see the following article for details.

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