Use this forum to ask questions about DataCAD 21 and DataCAD LT 21.
#78269 by tlarso
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:31 pm
I like using Davehand as my default drawing font but it seems it doesn't support any special symbols for degree, diameter, etc. Is there any way to get special symbols in Davehand or has the font been updated to include these types of special symbols? On the topic of fonts how can one create a font of their own if they would be so inclind?
#78504 by Ted B
Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:37 am
A popular and somewhat intuitive font-authoring program is FontForge.  I've read through the manual out of curiousity, but never actually used it.
The manual is interesting reading if your interested in fonts and how they're structured ...even if you don't want to create your own.

I bought a font years ago for my practice to give my drawings a traditional hand drawn feel; Prov Draftsman.  It has both upper and lower-case glyphs, but few special charaters. ... sman+&q=Go
The lack of a degree-glyph is it's only main flaw, and I'll use the "Datacad'-font for plot-plan Bearings and angular dimensions instead at-times.  Otherwise I'll just spell-out "degr.", "dia.", etc... in lower-case.  One reason I prefer CapsLock over <AllCaps>.

FontSquirrel is a good source for "free for commercial use' fonts.
Dafont has personal-use and commercial fonts, some free and some for-sale.

One shortcut I've found is if a .TTF font is printing heavy --especially in a small size-- change the settings in <font> to "fill"-only for a lighter weight.  Some large filled fonts conversely are better if set to "outline'-only in Datacad.  YMMV.

Most fonts don't have a degree-glyph, and few or no Greek nor mathematical glyphs.  There are a few fonts that were designed for mathematical and technical documentation.  Several are free on the American Mathematical Society (AMS) website.
#78525 by Mark F. Madura
Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:21 am
I used High-Logic's FontCreator and FontLab's FontLab to create the DataCAD Font. High-Logic has a nifty program called Scanahand that automatically creates a font from a form you fill out.


#78528 by Ted B
Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:22 am
Sometimes I think Architects are the last professionals that care about clear and concise handwriting --or "lettering" if you prefer-- in industry and business. And by extention fonts and typography. Perhaps because we still hand-sketch as we "...think with both ends of a pencil" though I think that's being lost in the schools, and in the firms.

How many of think of the aesthete when we select a font to use in a drawing or presentation? Or even in our business communications versus just banally accepting the program's defaults?
#78529 by ORWoody
Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:38 pm
Almost thirty years ago, I purchased ArchQuik and ArchStyl. The have special characters substituted for some of the "almost never used" characters on the keyboard. After I got used to selecting a single key to make a stacked fraction or a plus/minus sign or multiple other characters, I used the internal DataCAD font modifier to make several of the included fonts have the same capabilities. Between ArchQuik (single stroke architectural style) and 1Roman (similar to the old Leroy lettering), I have everything that I need for general drawings. I'll still use specialty fonts for cover sheets and titles since they rarely require the use of the special characters.
If you use these, remember that when you're going to create ACAD drawings or DXF files, those will still see the keyboard entry. But for files that remain internal, these really work well.
If you test them, here's a quick peek at what you type vs. what you get.
_ = 1/8
| = 1/4
{ = 3/8
\ = 1/2
} = 5/8
[ = 3/4
] = 7/8
6 = degree symbol
~ = Diameter
` + Sq. Ft.
There are several others, but this gives one a rundown on what is quickly available. Note that for the fractions, there is a method that makes remembering which is which somewhat easier than it would be otherwise. The pipe and the backslash are the one numerators. The { & [ are the 3 numerators. The } & the ] are the 5/8 and 7/8.
I use ArchQuik more than ArchStyl because I found that the multi-stroke of ArchStyl became a bit difficult to read on reduced scale check prints.
Good luck if you decide that these might be useful.
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#78717 by Ted B
Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:40 am
You've piqued my interest, what do you use manual-fractions for? Notes and annotation?

In my own drawings I'm a slave to auto-dimensioning, though I've never had much luck with stacked-fractions as my lettering-size is already quite small since I use 11x17" sheets as my originals....maybe 10-pt. equivalent. If I do need to override auto-dimensioning with a manual dimension I leave the inch-dblprime off so when looking at the drawing later it's a subtle flag that it's a "dead dimension" string.

The other flag I schooled myself to is when I'm sketching or doing a hand mark-up that feet-inch dimensions are vertical primes, while decimal feet have a stronly slanted apostrophe. This is particulaly true when I'm doing and recording takeoffs. I also tend to use the sqft. symbol; a superscript square with a vertical prime through it.
#78718 by ORWoody
Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:01 am
You're correct about where I use the manual fractions. I try to not ever use non-auto dimensions.
The modified sq. ft. symbol that results from touching the ` key is as you described. (I had a typo in my original note. I meant to touch the `=, but touched `+ instead).
I've attached the 1Roman file which is simply Roman, modified.
Hope that it is useful for you.
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#78746 by John Daglish
Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:11 am
Hello Woody

What is the "internal DataCAD font modifier" I presume for modifying or creating new characters in chr or shx font files ?

I would like to create some extra characters in some shx font files.
#78751 by ORWoody
Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:48 pm
I can't recall what I did, but I think that all that was needed was to take a plain text file of the Archquik font and then write in those special characters in lieu of the text found there in the Roman text file. What I can't remember is how I got the text file for Archquik. I thought that it was a macro called CHR2SHX, but I don't see that in my toolbox. I am sure that I wouldn't have intentionally deleted it so it's likely that it wasn't a macro (tool). Perhaps someone with a better memory than mine can remember.
I do recall that the numerator and denominator was simply the normal numeral text, but with a reduction code for size and maybe a positional locator code, but whatever it was, it was quite nice to deal with.
Let me look thorough my stack of floppies and cds to see if it was some outside program that I used, but then mentally thought of it as a DCAD tool. If it is on a floppy disk, that will bring up a new set of problems to be solved.
#78752 by MtnArch
Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:52 pm
I have a copy of both SHX2SHP.EXE and SHP2CHR.EXE but I don't remember where I got them - maybe from the old ArcDraft fonts? I think they were to be used to import an SHX font into a DataCAD CHR font, and not as a way to create fonts (though I have no doubt Woody would have been able to do it!).
#78757 by ORWoody
Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:15 pm
This 1997 response is from our old friend Evan Shu... he is missed. I suspect that this is what I did to create the 1Roman.

Q: How can I make changes to a Dcad font?
Can I change an AutoCad font for use in DataCAD?
What does the shp2chr.exe file in the Dcad/Chr directory do?

Arcdraft America, 2826 College St., Jacksonville FL 32205 tel 904-389-4799
sells a 'Font Toolkit for DataCAD' which provides detailed information about
modifying and creating Dcad fonts and converting AutoCad fonts for use in
DataCAD. [Note: Arcdraft America is reportedly unreachable in general these
days, please check Cheap Tricks Ware listing for other substitutes.]

A *.chr DataCad font file is converted to a *.shp file, which is an ASCII
text file that can be edited. Each character in the font is decribed by a
set of sequential line segments on a coordinate system grid, similar to the
ASCII file that decribes hatch patterns, but much more complex. Even making
minor changes to an existing font can be extremely time consuming.

Chr2shp.exe, provided by Arcdraft, converts Dcad *.chr files to ASCII *.shp
files. Shp2chr.exe, which can be found in the Dcad/Chr subdirectory,
recompiles the text file into font code *.chr files. Arcdraft also provides
a Shx2Shp.exe file which converts an AutoCad *.shx font file into a *.shp
file, which can then be converted into a Dcad font file.
#78759 by ORWoody
Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:57 pm
When I looked more closely at that note in Cheap Tricks, I saw that the answer to a FAQ was contributed by David Collins. My apologies to David.
#78890 by Robert Scott
Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:14 pm

For years I used ArchQuik and/or Davehand as my architectural font of choice.
With faster computers, better printing methods, and the ability of DC to use TT fonts I switched to Graphite LT.
I think Dick Eades from this forum showed an example and I was quite impressed.
It's been several years since I switched to Graphite. A home I worked on in 2011 burned in the Oregon fires and fortunately, I had all the files on Dropbox and could provide updated prints to the builder, homeowner, and the insurance company. Opened the file easily in the latest version of DC.

#78891 by ORWoody
Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:45 pm
When you do that, you realize that you truly provide a service to a grateful client.

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