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We present a system for recognizing a large class of engineering drawings characterized by alternating instances of symbols and connection lines. The class includes domains such as flowcharts, logic and electrical circuits, and chemical plant diagrams. The output of the system, a netlist identifying the symbol types and interconnections, may be used for design simulation or as a compact portable representation of the drawing. The automatic recognition task is divided into two stages: 1) Domain-independent rules are used to segment symbols from connection lines in the drawing image that has been thinned, vectorized, and preprocessed in routine ways. 2) A drawing understanding subsystem works in concert with a set of domain-specific matchers to classify symbols and correct errors automatically. A graphical user interface is provided to correct residual errors interactively and to log data for reporting errors objectively. The system has been tested on a database of 64 printed images drawn from text books and handbooks in different domains and scanned at 150 and 300 dpi resolution.