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Work with Text Styles

May 20, 2011

       The text style is applied to the text objects. You can use text style to control the text font, size, angle, direction and other features. By default, the current text style is STANDARD, you have to make other text style current when you want to applied them.

      The STANDARD text style has the following default properties:


Setting Default Description
Style name STANDARD Name with up to 255 characters
Font name txt.shx File associated with a font (character style)
Big Font None Special shape definition file used for a non-ASCII character set, such as Kanji
Height 0 Character height
Width factor 1 Expansion or compression of the characters
Obliquing angle 0 Slant of the characters
Backwards No Backwards text
Upside down No Upside-down text
Vertical No Vertical or horizontal text

      You can modify the current text style or create a new text style directly. You can also delete the created text style but not the default STANDARD text style.

Creat new text styles

       When you apply some settings that the STANDARD does not have to the text, you have to create a new text style or change the current text style.

      Before creating a text style, you have to specify a name which can be up to 255 characters. The name can contain characters, underscore, hyphen, dollar sign and other special characters that are not used by Microsoft Windows or ZWCAD.

     You can also modify the current text style at the Text Style dialog box.

     Some style settings have different effects on single-line and multiline text objects. For example, the Upside Down and Backwards options are not available for multiline text objects.

    You can also rename an existing text style except for the STANDARD.

    Except for the STANDARD text style, all text styles can be removed using PRUGE command or deleted from the Text Style dialog box.

     Certain formatting applied to individual characters within multiline text may not be retained. The formatting not to be retained includes bold, font, height and obliquing. The formatting that can be retained includes color, stack and underscore.

To create a text style

  1. Choose Format > Text Styles.

  2. Click New, type a new text style name, then click OK.

  3. Under Text Measurements, specify the Text Height, Width Factor, and Oblique Angle.

  4. Under Text Font, select the name, style, language, and Bigfont of the font you want to use.

  5. Under Text Generation, select the check boxes you want to indicate the direction for printed text to appear.

  6. Click Apply,and then click OK.

Text toolbar\

Command line STYLE

Assign Text Fonts

       Each character set is consisted of text characters, which shape is defined by fonts. In addition to TureYype font, you can use compiled SHX font in ZWCAD. One font can be used for multiple text styles as long as you make other settings different. The following illustration shows the same font used by different text styles that use different settings.


     You can specify the desired font from the Text Font field to the current or a new created text font at the Text Style dialog box.

Use True Type Fonts

      TrueType fonts always appear filled in the drawing. By default, the system plot the filled-in fonts, which is controlled by the system variable TEXTFILL.

Use Unicode and Big Fonts

      ZWCAD supports the Unicode character-encoding standard. A Unicode font contains 65,535 characters and shapes for many languages. You can enter characters that are not available from the keyboard through escape sequence. The escape sequence is of \U+nnnn, where nnnn represents the Unicode hexadecimal value for the character. All of SHX shape fonts are Unicode fonts.

     ZWCAD also supports the big font in order to accommodate alphabet text files consisted of thousands of ASCII characters.

     When you use –SYTLE command to specify fonts, you can specify two fonts separated by a comma. The first one is common font and the second is big font. The specification shown as follows: ( specify font and big font on the command line)


Enter this ... To specify this ...
[font name],[big font name] Both normal fonts and Big Fonts
[font name], Only a normal font (Big Font unchanged)
,[big font name] Only a Big Font (normal font unchanged)
[font name] Only a normal font (Big Font, if any, removed)
ENTER (null response) No change

   You should not enter a long file name consisted of commas. The comma is interpreted as a separator.

Replace Font

      If the font to be contained in the drawing can't be obtained from current system, ZWCAD process it by replacing these fonts with another specified one.

Specify fonts to replace

      If the font to be contained in the drawing can't be found in current system, ZWCAD replaces these fonts with another specified font automatically. Otherwise, system uses "simplex.shx" font to override those unknown fonts instead. To modify the replace fonts by system default, you can modify the system variable FONTALT which is applied for specifying new font file name. However the FONTALT value will be mapped to another font if big font is used currently. Default font file for this system variable is "txt.shx"and"bigfont.shx".

Edit Font Mapping File

      Font mapping file is the list file for fonts and their corresponding replace fonts. If the specified fonts can't be found in current system, you can obtain from a font mapping file to replace them with specified fonts.

     Sometimes, to ensure partial specific fonts or enable fonts conversion in current drawing, you can create font mapping file with any text editor.

      With these font mapping files, you can stipulate and manage fonts uniformly or use them directly when off-line printing. If encountering font objects created by other fonts, you can specify replace fonts to apply in platform through font mapping. It's also available for users to set a font mapping file to convert each font to corresponding font, for example, when editing drawings, the SHX which is easy drawing can be used for replacing other fonts in the drawing, and subsequently switched to more complex fonts when printing.

     Font mapping file is a type of common ASCII text file with an extension name as .fmp, containing text file name without extensions or path in each line, the font file name with extension .ttf behind the font file is replace font, the two file names are separated by a semicolon. System uses zwcad.fmp (used for ZWCAD only) as default font mapping file. Any ASCII text editor is available for changing text for replacing specified fonts from the font mapping file.

     For example, you can input the following contents in font mapping file, to replace timesnr.pfb font file with times.ttf font file : timesnr;times.ttf.

      If you can't find specified font file when opening a drawing, system determines how to find the replace font   specific to the font type (single text, Mtext).


If the text is single text, system processes it with the following procedures:

  1. Search for replace font file in ZWCAD.fmp file.

  2. Iterate font style table, search for the font file in the same format.

  3. Use default font ZWCAD.fnt.

  4. Pop-up font file dialog box, in which user can specify replace font file, otherwise uses ZWCAD.fnt as default font.

  5. If big fonts are being used, search for corresponding font files in font mapping table (zwcad.alt).

  6. Search for corresponding codepage in font mapping table (zwcad.ini), and then search for replace font file in font mapping table through this codepage.

  7. If the corresponding text can't be found no matter which font is applied, use the mapping font file found in zwcad.ini, if still unfound, use zwcad.fnt.

       If text object is mtext, system handles it by subsection through language set so as to judge whether the font file corresponding to this font file is capable of displaying this text object. If the font file corresponding to this text object isn't existed in current system, the text style corresponding to this text will be used for displaying this text. Even if the text style corresponding to this text can't be found, Chinese system will take Song typeface as default, while other language systems take current font style as default. If the corresponding font file exists but not display, system reads the specified font in system configured file (zwcad.alt). If the replacing font is corrupted or useless in some cases, the fonts will not be replaced.

Set Text Height

      Text height is the size of characters, which is measured in drawing unit. With the same height setting, the displaying height of TrueType font is usually lower than the one of SHX font. When the font is not of TrueType font, the value represents the size of the uppercase letters.

     When the text height is set to 0 in the text style, the system prompts you to type a height value while creating single-line text each time. So you can set text height to 0 in the text style in order to specify a new height before creating text.

     For TrueType fonts, the value of text height represents the height of a capital letter plus an ascent area. The ascent is reserved for accent marks and other marks used in non-English languages. The relative portion of text height assigned to capital letters and ascent characters is determined by the font designer at the time the font is designed; consequently, it varies from font to font.

     When you apply a text height to all text in the Multiline Text Editor, the whole multiline text object is scaled, including its width.

Set Text Obliquing Angle

      The obliquing angle determines that the text slant forward or backward. The obliquing angle ranges from the -85 to 85. Positive value slants forward; negative value slants backward. As shown the following picture:


Set Horizontal or Vertical Text Orientation

       The text directions include horizon and vertical. Only if the associated font supports dual orientation, you can create the vertical text. Each sequent text line is drawn to the right of the preceding line. Generally, the rotation angle for vertical text is 270 degrees. You cannot create vertical text when the font is TureYype.


To specify a line text style

  1. Choose Draw> Text > Single Line Text.

  2. On the command line, type s (Style) and press ENTER.

  3. Type the name of a previously defined text style, and then press Enter.To display a list of available text styles, type a question mark (?), and then press Enter.

  4. Specify the text insertion point.

  5. Specify the text height.

  6. Specify the rotation angle.

  7. Type the text line, and then press Enter.

  8. To complete the command, press Enter again.

Text toolbar \

Command line TEXT

To specify a multiline text style

  1. Choose Draw> Text > Multiline Line Text.

  2. Specify the first point of the Multiline Text box.

  3. On the command line, type s (Style) and press ENTER.

  4. Type the name of a previously defined text style, and then press Enter.

  5. Specify the opposite corner of the Multiline Text box.

  6. Type the text.

  7. Click Ok.

Text toolbar\

Command line MTEXT

Commands Reference

PURGE: Removes unused named items, such as block definitions and layers, from the drawing

STYLE: Creates, modifies, or sets named text styles

QTEXT: Controls the display and plotting of text and attribute objects

OPTIONS: Customizes the ZWCAD settings

System Variables Reference

FONTALT: Specifies the alternate font to be used when the specified font file cannot be located

FONTMAP: Specifies the font mapping file to be used

TEXTSIZE: Sets the default height for new text objects drawn with the current text style

TEXTSTYLE: Sets the name of the current text style

QTEXTMODE: Controls how text is displayed

TEXTFILL: Controls the filling of TrueType fonts while plotting and rendering

TEXTQLTY: Sets the resolution tessellation fineness of text outlines for TrueType fonts while plotting and rendering


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