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2D Detailing / MBD: New Text and Symbol Fonts

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Attached to this blog post is a short presentation on the new text and symbol fonts that we are providing in Creo 4.0. Although I'm listing this enhancement under the 2D Detailing area, it is also available in MBD.

Any questions or feedback you have related to the new text and symbol fonts should be provided as comments to the blog post.

That will be the easiest way for me to keep track of the comments and also be able to provide timely responses to your questions. If you follow this post, you can be notified of those comments as well and be able to learn from what others are asking. I may also periodically update this post to add some new details or information related to this enhancement.


Also, don't forget to follow the main blog post for 2D Detailing - which will have links to other 2D Detailing-related content 2D Detailing Home: Start Here! or the main blog post for MBD Creo 4.0 MBD Home: Start Here!


Some questions

  • We should have this symbols for Creo 2.0 or 3.0. Any chance they can be backported (e.g. copy fonts)?
    Generating such (text-)symbols for ealier Creo version seems like bad spent effort, when they soon will become obsolete.
  • Will the Eycatcher symbol (ISO 14405-1; Section 😎 be included as well?
  1. We are not going to backport the symbols to Creo 2.0 / 3.0. They will be available starting in Creo 4.0.
  2. I looked through my copy of ISO 14405-1 and wasn't able to find anything called an "eyecatcher" symbol... Can you explain what this is and provide a picture of it? I'm pretty sure that all of the symbols specified in ISO 14405-1 are available in the new symbol fonts, so I'm not aware of any missing ones.

1. Ok, at least good to now

2. A new version of ISO 14405-1 is in the stage "International Standard under publication" and should be published until the end of 2016 according roadmap‌ of the TC213. I have access to the German DIN version in draft stage from 2014. In this edition in section 8, the eyecatcher symbol is defined and can be used as complementary indications on the drawing.
   10±0.1 <1>  -  10±0.2 <2>

   <1> prior to heat treatment

   <2> after heat treatment

The eyecatcher symbol is a honeycomb containing numbers. The additional text is typically placed nearby the drawing header.

Attached a screenshot of Creo 2.0 using our custom made textsymbols.:


Thanks for the information and the link to the ISO TC 213 roadmap.

At the moment it is too late to add these symbols to the symbol font for Creo 4.0, but I will add them to my list for Creo 5.0.

Do you only need numbers 1 through 5 or would there be additional numbers needed?


Do you know what the difference is between Arial and Arial WGL? I didn't see anything that jumped out after searching the web except for this wiki page‌. Is Arial WGL just a subset of Arial or are there actual differences between the font characters.



I believe it's the same character construction - meaning the characters should look the same - but the difference might be in the Unicode character sets that are included in the font file. The Arial WGL that we have gotten from Monotype (our font vendor) includes the Unicode character sets corresponding to the Windows Glyph List. This includes the languages found on this page: WGL Fonts - -

I do not know what Unicode character sets are included in the Arial font available as part of Windows. It's possible that this is not the complete WGL set.

Thanks. Do you know which ASME standard approves Arial as a font to use? I'm glancing at hard copy of ASME Y14.5 - 2009 and all the examples seem to be in Arial but I don't see anything that says that it's Arial. Maybe ASME Y14.2 - Line Conventions and Letting? The reason I ask is that I had some engineer's ask if Arial was ASME approved and I didn't think the wiki page really counted.

Sad to hear that this is already to late for Creo 4.0. This means that we still have to use custom textsymbols? I'm worried that this no longer works, as it seems that the technical implementation to handle such symbols has changed in Creo 4.0.

Numbers 1 to 5 might be a bit tight. Currently we have drawings already using 1 to 4. According the norm the possible numbers are unlimited, practically 1 to 10 would be a good compromise.

Maybe this could be something which still coud be implemented in Creo 4.0: Create a "text in a honeycomb" using @<This is a text@> which is following the currently available "text in a box" @[This is a text@] feature.

It is ASME Y14.2 that covers the font and lettering requirements. They don't call out Arial by name - probably since the name of the font is determined by the specific creator of the font and this would effectively mean that they were requiring a specific commercial product. Instead they provide some requirements about the size and appearance of the font and let the users and CAD vendors choose the source of the font that matches the requirements. However, if you look at Fig 14 from the standard and compare it visually to a few sans serif True Type fonts, Arial matches the design almost exactly and seems to be the best fit among all of the fonts I reviewed. It's also nearly universally available on Windows computers (even though we're now providing a version with Creo).

Also worth noting that the ASME standard does not require visual distinction between the uppercase "i" (I) character and the lowercase "L" (l) character. The number "1" does have a small flag at the upper end, so at least it is distinct from either the "L" or the "i". If you're interested in some more discussion about the Arial font, check out this product idea: The Number "1"

Great explanation! I'm guessing the sneak peak discussions will disappear at some point, and if so, it might be worth moving that explanation to a permanent location in the PTC Community as I'm sure I won't be the only person to ask about the new default font.

The new symbol fonts we are providing (ASME and ISO) are True Type fonts and are not customizable. You could still customize the legacy symbol font, but you would be locked into using that legacy symbol font, which doesn't look nearly as good and which doesn't contain all the other new symbols that we had built into the new ASME and ISO fonts. I think the best approach would be to use a drawing symbol where you draw a hexagon shape and put a piece of variable text inside. You'd have the advantage of being able to use any number as well as a font that matches the rest of the drawing and you could still add it to a dimension using the &sym(name) syntax.

That's a good point. I'm not sure what will happen with all of the content provided for the Sneak Peek. Some of it is only relevant for the Sneak Peek version itself and might not apply to the general production release, but certainly some content (like this example with the fonts) is relevant and should be available generally. We will keep that in mind as we approach the production release.

I agree that the new symbol fonts look much better than the legacy fonts.

Using &sym(name) does only work in notes. For dimensions it does neither work if entered in the prefix, suffix nor the dimension text input field. Thats why we decided to customize the legacy symbol font.

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‎Jun 15, 2016 02:44 PM
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