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Drawing and Modeling fonts?


Drawing and Modeling fonts?

Where do Creo fonts reside and how do I add more fonts for drawings and for datum sketches.


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if you speak about TTF fonts, they are located eg. in *\Common Files\M030\text\fonts directory. You can also place additional fonts into some specific directory and use option PRO_FONT_DIR.

Martin Hanak

Martin Hanák

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if you speak about TTF fonts, they are located eg. in *\Common Files\M030\text\fonts directory. You can also place additional fonts into some specific directory and use option PRO_FONT_DIR.

Martin Hanak

Martin Hanák

Thanks Martin.

Indeed, I learned a lot about fonts yesterday.

I am -very- happy to finally have the Helvetica substitute font "Swiss 721" available in many styles (appearantly included in Windows 7 Pro). I uploaded them to the suggested folder and they seem to be working great. I do a lot of silkscreen drawings and models and use Helvetica almost exclusively.

The next lesson came in using the "IGES" fonts or probably better known as symbol fonts. This gets a lot more complicated.

I need the Creo Elements Direct fonts to work in Creo 2.0 Parametric. My client uses a font called hp_i3089_v.fnt and hp_kanj2_c.fnt, and the closest font in Creo Pro is iso30985font. It is stroke compatible but it's way to airy.

I am working on duplicating an Elements Direct customer's drawings. Since these two programs come from one company now, PTC could provide us with a compatible set of symbol fonts. Turns out I need the source (.src) and index (.ndx) files to do this myself.

Anyone else try this yet? Any resources that might help? TYIA


unfortunatelly I am not familar with Creo Elements/Direct. I can only share my knowledge concerning ProE and Creo Parametric.

1.] ndx files are located in \Common Files\M030\text\LANGUAGE directory (e.g. \Common Files\M030\text\usascii)

Example - font.ndx

ascii.fnt .......... ASCII characters 0-127

special.fnt .......... ASCII characters 128-255

latin_1.fnt .......... ASCII characters 0-127 (enclosed between CTRL+A and CTRL+B)

2.] src files are text files containing font definition, they are located in \Common Files\M030\text\LANGUAGE directory

3.] fnt files are compiled from src files, they are located in \Common Files\M030\i486_nt\text\LANGUAGE directory or \Common Files\M030\x86e_win64\text\LANGUAGE directory

4.] you can decompile fnt file using decompile_font.exe (see \Common Files\M030\i486_nt\obj or \Common Files\M030\x86e_win64\obj)

run decompile.exe filename.fnt filename.src from Command Prompt window

5.] you can compile src file using compile_font.exe (see \Common Files\M030\i486_nt\obj or \Common Files\M030\x86e_win64\obj)

run compile.exe filename.src filename.fnt from Command Prompt window

(in 64-bit OS you have to run set COMPILE_FONT_PMT=36 before compilation)

Martin Hanak

Martin Hanák

Wow Martin. This is excellent information. I will try to do this and report back.


Example - font.ndx

ascii.fnt .......... ASCII characters 0-127

special.fnt .......... ASCII characters 0-127 (enclosed between CTRL+A and CTRL+B in ProE)

latin_1.fnt .......... ASCII characters 128-255

Martin Hanák

Okay, I tried it. Decompile_Font obviously doesn't work on binary fonts. It gave it a good try but after it generated a 2+gig file I stopped it.

So I thought I'd try just making the hp_i3098_v.ndx file.

Now the font shows up in annotation style, but it crashes Creo when you select it.

Will PTC ever -really- make Direct and Parametric play nice together?

I also had a problem with ucore46.dll and udata46.dll not being found but it is sprinkled all over my system (different versions no less).

Same issue with trying to use "purge". Something about "path".

In my continuing quest for the ultimate font I am learning more.

Don't trust the .SRC files! I looked at the Leroy font and for some reason there is a mis-spelled word in the leroy.src file (the "spec_height" parameter is spelled "spec_hight") so for grins I decompiled the leroy.fnt file and found it spelled correctly.

I also found that the iso30985font.src file specifies a character height of 76. The max height is suppose to be 63 according to the install and admin guide. There are characters that exceed the height 63 and they do "plot" correctly on the screen. I put in a service request to explain that one.

I am to the point of laying fonts down on grids to see how to map the hp_i3098_v font. There are still some wierd thing going on with the installed fonts, like why the Leroy font doesn't follow the actual height convention and why the iso30985font doesn't map the width according to the style setting when placed over a grid.

FYI: these .fnt files are essentually pen plot files (move-to and draw commands). Most of them are -very- old and in several cases, very poorly done. I don't think anyone at PTC has looked at these for over a decade.

Hey Martin, I need your help pls. I would like to convert the "font.ndx" file to a .ttf file or atleast make it readable in SolidWorks. Any ideas will greatly be appreciated.


Try chaning font.ndx to isofont.ndx. This will help with the difference betwen O and 0 along with 1 and I.


Thanks for your response. That's good to know but my main issue is being able to read the file in Solidworks. Apparently Solidworks can read native Windows fonts but they must be in .ttf format. I tried copying the "font.ndx" into windows font folder located in control panel>fonts and it failed. Error msg reads unsupported file fomat. Files needs to be .ttf....To that regard I need help with converting "font.ndx" from Creo to a .ttf format so windows can read and install it as well as Solidworks. I have tried several onlie file converters but none of them seems to be able to convert .ndx. If you know one that does that will be helpful as well.   

I would be surprised if there is a converter. PTC's font description is custom to PTC; there is almost no demand** to do this conversion.


It would be nice if PTC would supply a TTF version for such purposes as it would be a one time effort.


This page has some suggestions for this sort of thing - I think the best suggestion is the one to hire a font designer to do it.


There are some online SVG to TTF converters, but it doesn't seem like there are provisions to make a font with multiple characters. SVG looks like a good option as SVG is a basic tool and would be easy to reformat the font src files to be SVG, but then there's still a bunch of work left, so it's back to a font designer.


**A few dozens to hundreds, and once a font is made there's no reason for a converter anymore.

I agree dschenken that's what I thought. Its probably a native font but if I can somehow get the TTF version then that will be golden. However hiring a font designer is extreme. It isn't that serious lol. If only PTC can supply a TTF version...smh

23-Emerald II

Creo now supports TrueType Fonts, so just update your starst parts and drawing formats/templates to use a TTF file that meets your lettering requirements. Then you will have no issues sending files to Saladworks.

I believe Creo4 uses a TTF as its default.


Really!? BenLoosli Can you please send me the font "font.TTF" please? If you have already updated yours to read TTF please send me a copy. 

23-Emerald II

We switched to isofont years ago.

There is no font.ttf, the creo4 default font is now Arial WGL.


What about legacy?

23-Emerald II

Not sure what you mean, Tom?

All annotations in a drawing have the font as a property stored with the annotation. As long as the font.fnt or font.ndx file is distributed, all legacy drawing should regenerate with no problem. New drawings will also use the existing font that is in the embedded dtl file from when the drawing was created.


More reading turns up that TTF interpreters always close open paths, to the point that it is assumed behavior, which explains the lack of TTF fonts that have open paths. Postscript type 3 fonts do support open paths, I assume because a Postscript type 3 glyph is just a tiny Postscript program so I think it can have any feature, includin stroking of paths in addition to other features.


There's no reason a TTF should fail if the path is simply retraced, but there would be duplicate paths, and any image generation that depends on fill would result in blanks where the filled characters should be, making printing a problem - in Creo I would expect Sketcher to be OK and able to generate visible curves, but not correctly create the character on drawings.


Still, it should be possible to create a font that looks a lot like "font" with a defined stroke width to give the appearance of "font" by created a loop around the character strokes that match a plotter-pen boundary.


One side-trip I took was looking at the Hershey fonts as used in an Inkscape extension. These fonts were created for pen plotters, so many of them were open path fonts. The Inkscape extension converts the font description to curves; it doesn't leave editable text.





the problem with almost all TTF fonts is they are outline/filled fonts and not single stroke fonts. So they never match "font" Most TTF font creators love proportional width, which also doesn't match. If one wants to create aligned text or use the font for direct engraving or just match the "font" the typical TTF font won't do it.


PTC should have created the TTF version of "font" and all the others as soon as they added TTF support.

23-Emerald II

I totlally agree that PTC should bite the bullet and have TTF files made of Font and Isofont for distribution with Creo. There maybe a few other font files that should be created as TTF files, too, but those 2 are the most widely used.

In more looking, I find this interesting bit:


I know enough about PS fonts and that should be similar to TTF fonts, but I don't know about all the various interpreters for fonts to know if the problems the EvilMadScientist bunch encountered are wide-spread, but if most TTF consumers are looking for filled fonts and will 'fix' single line fonts on the fly by connecting open ends and filling them, then that would be an obstacle.


These guys went to the trouble of writing their own stroke font interpreter for Inkscape, which would seem to be more trouble than just creating a font.

My bad, I was reading the meaning of TTF wrong 🙂


hello Martin,

i have a problem with crtl+A crtrl+b... which is the right way to use it?

in special.src for example i have:
# ISO Angularity
" code 135 87"


so, in a note, i would like to use ctrl+a 135 ctrl+b but it gave me "135"

did i do it wrong?


5-Regular Member

I have a question how to compile font .

I try to compile font src to fnt,but it can not to be used.

I open C:\Program Files\PTC\Creo 2.0\Common Files\M100\text\usascii\ascii.src

and change

codeset 0

height 16

width 16

base_offset 4

gap 0


codeset 0

height 17

width 16

base_offset 3

gap 0

I study it form .By Martin Hanak

How to run set COMPILE_FONT_PMT=36 before compilation

My os is windows 7 x64 and creo is creo 2.0 M110

How to compile font src to fnt,can you tell me? because english character is much larger than chinese.

thank you!

Hi Martin,

Do you know if any of this info would fix a problem I am having with modelcheck.

In my modelcheck config files I want it to check a parameter that comprises chinese symbols.

When modelcheck is run it converts it to ASCII or something similar.

This then makes creo think that I want to check for a parameter that isnt in the model.


Hi Martin (and Tom).

I used the option PRO_FONT_DIR to point to the Windows font directory in my last job (included admin) as I wanted both the ProE (as it was then) model annotation and the drawings to pull in these true type fonts for consistency.  Unlike Toms application to make artworks I was concerned to have True Type fonts in the PDFs we generated from drawings as that was/is the principle way of exchanging drawings as opposed to paper of old.  Gave brilliantly clear text both in the model and in the Drawings then PDFs making dimensions and notes so much clearer.  From memory I used Arial Narrow for this purpose as it gave excellent clarity and allowed at least as much text to be fitted in a note.


Of course I still argue for upper and lower case notes even though this is considered a major breach of drawing etiquette.  Like many I learned on a Drawing Board where hand lettering and stencilling were the norm and poor quality prints were the norm so it was understandable to ensure clarity by mandating CAPTITAL LETTERS.  Decades latter I forlornly hope for change.

I have a font with an "otf" extension. Creo doesn't recognize it either when I point to my Windows font directory or if I copy the files to the Creo default directory. Any suggestions?

23-Emerald II

Where did this '.otf' font originate?

Can you use it in a Word document?


Yes. I can use it in Word. I can also use it in Autodesk Inventor to create a feature. What I am trying to do is create an embossment of a company name in their font. I can do it with an existing font that is very close, but not exactly the same.

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