Well my favorite team the San Jose Sharks have now been eliminated from the playoffs. It was a long and stressful month watching them win and loose in the playoffs. Hopefully next year will be their year and I'll have more to BLOG about next year. So on that note time for a cool AutoCAD tip.
A couple weeks ago I received an e-mail from a reader asking how I got a stacked fraction to appear inside an attribute. Well its a simple answer, we use "Big Fonts". Whats a Big Font? Well I don't really know where the name came from myself, but the help says for some alphabets like Kanji it can contain thousands of non ascii characters. To accommodate such text, the program supports a special type of shape definition known as a Big Font file. A bigfont file allows you to enter a character string such as ~1, ~2, ~C or even ~p. Once you specify the string such as ~p you'll get the Plate Symbol appear in your editor. If you specify the ~1 you'll get the 1/16 and ~2 is 1/8 and so on. Pretty simple.
So this basically is what a Big font is. Now back to why I like big fonts. Well again you can specify stacked fractions inside an attribute. You can use the bigfont characters inside Fields and Dynamic block lookup tables. Big font files allow you to customize you're own custom symbols to meet your company's needs. Big fonts work inside the MTEXt & DTEXT editor. You can also specify different Big font .shx files to access different looking symbols such as Vertical or horizontal stacked fractions. The standard AutoCAD install, installs with a couple sample ones for you to play with.
So how do I set up a Big font for my text style.
Well first you need to issue the STYLE command. Once you get the Text Styles manager up all you need to do is change to the text styles you want to apply the big font to, and check the box that says "Use Big Font". Next the Big Font drop down will be enabled and allow you to specify a Big Font SHX file. (I use the special.shx) but you can pick any one you want. Once you select one you can hop into the Preview box and type in ~1 and you "Should" see a 1/16 symbol preview. If you still see ~1 then try another Big font file. Once you find one you like you can hit OK and try starting the Mtext editor inside AutoCAD using the ~1 character or entering in ~1 inside the Attribute editor. If you get a 1/16 symbol you've done a good job. Try exploring more possible key stroke characters or simply look at my chart provided below and change the text style for your desired big font.
Now some things to be aware of when using Big font files. If you send your file to someone else you need to make sure you send the Big font file with the DWG file. Otherwise when they open the file they probably will see the ~1 instead of the 1/16 symbol. If you use Etransmit and check the include fonts then you should have your big font file in your zip file and be all set.
Hope this helps out...
Click to download the Big Font File Chart: Download bigfonts.dwg
(Note: Some symbols in the image below are custom to the office I work at and may not be valid)