Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Special characters in AutoCAD

In many drawings, AutoCAD users need to enter texts with special characters like mathematic symbols, letters from greek alphabet, cyrillic, punctuation characters, indices, or just accented characters from other languages.

With the Unicode support in Windows and AutoCAD it is quite easy to enter such characters - either using Windows language support for that particular language (and a local keyboard driver), or by copying the character from the CharMap.exe Windows application (Character Map). Alternatively, you can enter any Unicode character using the \U+nnnn text code.

But for all of this you will need first of all a text font containing a full set of Unicode characters, called "glyphs". AutoCAD ships with a couple of fonts - both SHX and TTF containing the Unicode set. For these special characters you can use e.g. TXT.SHX, SIMPLEX.SHX, or the TrueType font ISOCPEUR. From the Windows standard font set you can use e.g. Arial. If you have MS Office installed, you can use the font "Arial Unicode MS" - it contains one of the largest character subsets of Unicode 2.1 (its TTF file is a whooping 24MB). Try to make sure that the referenced font is available on all target computers used for the respective DWG drawing.

With the Unicode support, AutoCAD offers a very flexible and portable multilanguage text functionality.

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