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Subscripts and ГОСТ

So ГОСТ defines a strict set of standards for drawing diagrams. (This is a Russian state standard.)

I have a homework problem where I have to draw the attached picture. But no matter what I do, whether it be in BricsCAD or another kind of software, I can't get the kerning (spacing between the letters) right.

I used the following code in the Properties list: \H3.5;\A1;d\H2.5;\S^1;
That gets pretty far, actually

I also tried using the subscript '1' from unicode by copying it and pasting it in.

Yes, I did get the standard GOST font file loaded correctly, which is widely freely available on the web. (Or maybe this file has a bug in it, that is the kerning isn't set up right?)

Does anyone know how to do this correctly?

Also, about these text formatting codes. I could not find an entry in the BricsCAD documentation which discusses this. Perhaps BricsCAD has other keys, which permit greater control? It would be nice to see this help page. Pretty much the only mention on the web of formatting codes that I could find is from AutoCAD. Or maybe this is only for backwards compatibility with AutoCAD and there is a better way to get this done?

Please help. Thanks!

1162 x 882 - 292K

Best Answer

  • There is a way to do manual kerning for SHX fonts, but it requires modifying the actual font file to add extra characters that will add negative or positive space between characters. I've added half spaces to a number of fonts that I use when displaying math formulas to make the display more compact. The biggest issue would be that many SHX fonts are not very high in resolution. Zoom in on a character using ROMANS.SHX and you'll find that it is all straight line segments, no arcs. All you can do is add spacers in the units used by the font. There is no concept of points or picas with SHX fonts.

    An example of a -1 unit character for ROMANS.SHX would be


    This would be called with %%160 [from the hex value 000A0]. You can find definitions for the codes by searching for "About Text Font Descriptions Autocad".


  • I do not know anything about Russian drawing standards but it seems unlikely that the font and its kerning are that critical. But if you want to adjust the spacing of the letters you can try changing the Tracking factor. 1.0 is the default. Anything below that value will put the letters closer together,

  • It may not make a big difference but it looks awful, actually.

    Interesting. I will try that. Using \T did not work in DraftSight.

    It seems that ISOCP works correctly, that is, the kerning is right. It comes from a .shx file. Maybe .ttf and .shx are treated differently when the text is inclined (almost all GOST text is inclined).

    But the ISOCP characters are not exactly the same as GOST characters, just very close. I found a .shx GOST font, I just haven't figured out where to put it. (I'm on a Linux system; there's another post with the correct directory name for Windows.)

  • \T doesn't do the right thing, by the way. But thanks for the suggestion!

  • Yup, it seems that this problem is pretty much related to shx versus ttf files. I can find the A fonts in .shx but not the B fonts (GOST fonts come in two types) and the instructor wants B fonts. I can hardly tell the difference, actually.

  • Kerning is a word processing thing, not a CAD program thing. SHX fonts do not have kerning hints. Each character has, in effect, a defined box. The white space before and/or after a character is hard coded in the font definition. To the best of my knowledge CAD programs do not do kerning for TrueType fonts because there was no perceived need for kerning in construction drawings back when TTF support was grafted on.

  • edited September 2018

    There's certainly a difference in result between inclined SHX fonts and TTF fonts. I think the box is inclined with SHX fonts, but it's widened and held rectangular with TTF fonts.

    It's interesting to see how this works, and that it seems that all CAD packages (at least the ones I've tried) approach it in the same way. Differentiation gives advantage, you know? It's these little things that help one package take the lead over another.

  • edited September 2018

    My finding is that changing the tracking factor does work but there is a lower limit. In my test with Arial and an oblique angle of 15 degrees that limit is 0.9. Choosing a lower value has no effect. For SHX fonts the lower limit seems to be 1.0. This would mean that putting the letters closer together than default is not possible for those fonts.

  • BTW:
    When choosing a font for CAD drawings I would look for a legible font that is not too wide. The uppercase 'I', lowercase 'l' and the number '1' should look different. Using italics, an oblique font, or putting letters too close together should be avoided.
    Also the font should contain the required character sets. Not all fonts will contain the Russian alphabet for example.

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