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Pro/Engineer   February 2000   Tip-of-the-Month

Using the "New" Text Features of 2000i

Feb 2000 Fig.1
Figure 1
In release 2000i, there is some added functionality for text.  PTC has added 43 new fonts (for a total of 50) and the ability to add more true type fonts if you wish.  A thumbnail view of a few of the fonts is shown in Figure 2.  A much larger picture showing more of the fonts is available if you want to wait for it to download.  (15-30 seconds)

If the fonts provided by PTC are not enough, you can add any other True Type font you want!  Just grab them from windows (or wherever) and put them in the [Pro/E_loadpoint]/text directory.  The fonts are identified by the .ttf  file extension.

There is a catch, to using all these new fonts.  Unfortunately, they are not as robust as you might wish, but they work great for creating text as cosmetic or datum curve features.  If you want to extrude solid geometry in the form of letters or words, (see Figure 1) these new fonts (the true type fonts) are a bit finicky, so for stability, we recommend you stick to the old "Font3D".

Feb 2000 Fig.2
Figure 2
To create text, from within sketcher, pick; Sketch > Adv. Geometry > Text.  Enter the text then pick a box for placement.  Once the text is placed, it can be modified using Modify > pick the text, and the Modify Section Text menu appears.  It gives the options of modifying the Text Line or Text Style.  Picking Text Style opens the Sketcher Text Style dialog box (see Figure 3) for modifying the font and several of the font attributes.  Please see our March 1999 and January 1999 tips of the month for more information about working with text.  Most of the text functionality shown in the March 1999 tip is applicable to True Type fonts, and those that are not will be grayed out like the "Width" field in Figure 3.

This new font revolution did not make it in high style to the drawing mode.  You can, however, add the fonts you wish to your drawing.dtl file.  This can be done for an individual drawing using Advanced > Draw Setup > Modify Val, or for all new drawings by changing your default .dtl file (probably at your [Pro/E_loadpoint] or controlled by your system administrator).  The .dtl file lines pertaining to fonts look something like:
Feb 2000 Fig.3
Figure 3

  default_font    font
  aux_font        1 filled
  aux_font        2 leroy
  aux_font        3 cal_alf
  aux_font        4 cal_grek

The default_font defines the font that, by default, appears when text is added to the drawing.  The aux_font defines other fonts that text in the drawing can be changed to.

To add a True Type font for drawings, follow these steps.

  1. Put the font file in the [Pro/E_loadpoint]/text directory (if it is not already there).  These fonts will have a .ttf extension like bluprnt.ttf.
  2. Open the .dtl file (either using Advanced > Draw Setup > Modify Val or your system .dtl file).
  3. Enter a new line in the file like:

       aux_font        5 bluprnt

    where bluprnt is the name of the font file bluprnt.ttf.

  4. Save the file.  This BluePrint MT font should now be available in the pull-down menu of the Modify > Text Style dialogue box.

There are several problems associated with the new text creation functionality, especially as pertaining to solid geometry creation.  PTC is aware of the problem with fonts not being able to be extruded and they are working on it.  This is a quote from Technical Document # C2095597 titled "Extruded Text in Different Fonts Will Fail":

When extruded text is created and the font is modified in sketcher to any font other than the default, the protrusion will sometimes fail.  Different letters in different fonts will fail and will have geometry checks.  For example, the capital letter "D" will fail in the font CG Century Schoolbook, but the capital letter "O" will be created successfully.
The PTC company line here is:  "This issue will be addressed in a future release of Pro/ENGINEER."  If you want to follow up on this and apply pressure on PTC to fix this, the SPR # is 773558.

We have developed a couple work-arounds for dealing with the text failure issues, but they are a bit cumbersome.  However, if you really need solid geometry from true type font text, please tune in next month for a few tips.

Some additional notes about Fonts:

  • If you want to change a font from one type to another in a model, things may fail - not always, but the fonts are not very stable.  Be careful.
  • Once a feature with text is created it doesn't mean it will stay stable.  Our experience is that some text features will stay indefinitely, others for whatever reason, will fail every 4th or 5th regeneration.  Who knows why?
  • Symbols from the keyboard (symbols above the numbers) are supported intermittently with the true type fonts.  If you need them, good luck.  It's hit or miss.
  • When adding fonts to the drawing .dtl file, the font number is important.  If you reorder the number of a font it may change the fonts in the drawing.
  • Be careful with features that reference fonts.  As with all things in Pro, if the base feature is unstable, the added features will be even worse.  Specifically, be careful in putting rounds or draft on text geometry.  You may be in for some frustration.

Good Luck with the True Type fonts.  Someday when PTC gets their act together with this, it will be a really great feature.  In the meantime, make sure to join us next month to learn some tricks to get around some of the problems.


Figure 4


Pro/Engineer 2000i2 datecode 2000420 has been shipped in order to resolve the issue of unpredictable results when extruding fonts.  This functionality has apparently been resolved in 2000i as well with the datecode 2000410 or greater.

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