The DDSTYLE command lets you setup or modify the current text style parameters for subsequent TEXT creations in a more convenient GUI dialogue manner than that provided by the STYLE command. DDSTYLE will pop up a dialogue window as shown below:
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Text Style Fonts

There are two parameter items in the "Text Style Fonts" group; namely, they are

Standard     Corresponding to the text style variable TXTSTYLE, this parameter specifies the main text style name used for the text in ASCII codes.

Extended     Corresponding to the text style variable TXTESTYLE, this parameter specifies the extension text style name used for the text in non-ascii codes, such as the two-byte coded Chinese, Japanese and Korean, and multi-byte coded Thai.

There are two combo-boxes for each of the above parameter setups. The shorter one on the left shows the name of the text style, which is the name used in the drawing. And, the longer one on the right shows the type and the name of the font, if the font name is available. Both of them provide the same selection set of the available fonts in the system, though in different view of the fonts. Changing either one of them will update the other.

The Loadable Font Table

When you pick at any combo-box in "Text Style Fonts" group, you will be able to select a font from the dropdown list-box of available fonts. These font informations are read from a Loadable Font Table named "DDSTYLE.SET", which was built by DDSTYLE and can be re-built anytime.

If you have installed new fonts into the system and want DDSTYLE to be aware of them and to include them in the Loadable Font Table, you may press the tiny unnamed button on the right-most side of the "Text Style Fonts" group. This will force DDSTYLE to rebuild the Loadable Font Table.

In fact, if DDSTYLE can not find the table upon execution, e.g. at the very first time execution since installation, it will automatically proceed the operation to build the Loadable Font Table.

Building Loadable Font Table

DDSTYLE will automatically search known directory paths for available fonts and build the required Loadable Font Table. It will take the following paths as the default search paths:

  • Windows directory and Windows System directory,
  • Paths specified by the TCADPATH environment variable,
  • Paths specified by the ACAD environment variable,
  • Paths specified by the TCADPATH parameter entry from the TwinCAD's system profile file (INI file).

However, before doing the search, DDSTYLE will pop up a search path setup dialogue window for you to modify the search paths from the above default. You may remove some undesired search paths, and add some new search paths (such as where the new fonts are installed). An example of the search path setup dialogue window is given below:
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To remove undesired paths, you must select them first and then press the [Remove] button. To select or un-select a path, simply pick at it. A check mark will appear before a selected path.

To add a new path, press the [Add] button. You will need to browse the file window and select the directory path to add in.

To start building Loadable Font Table, press the [OK] button. DDSTYLE will start searching the following supported font files:

  • Windows(R) TrueType Font Files (TTF)
  • Adobe PostScript(R) Type 1 Font (PFB)
  • AutoCAD(R) Shape Font File (SHX)
  • TwinCAD Shape Font File (SHZ)
  • TwinCAD Extended Shape Font File (SHE)

Note that duplicated font files will be removed from the available list. This include those font files driven by SHE driver font files.

DDSTYLE will report the progress in the command area during the search of font files, and return to the main dialogue window when it finishes the building job.

Text Attributes

TwinCAD supports many text control attributes. The following are those supported by DDSTYLE:

Default Height     Corresponding to the text style variable TXTHEIGHT, this parameter specifies the size of the text font in height. If this value is negative, the text will be mirrored with respect to the base writing line.

Width Factor     Corresponding to the text style variable TXTWIDTHF, this parameter specifies the width factor of the text font to generate. It is usually 1. If this value is negative, the text will be mirrored to the opposite of the writing direction.

Oblique Angle     Corresponding to the text style variable TXTOBANGLE, this parameter specifies the oblique angle of the text font to generate, in units of degrees. It is usually 0. Positive value slant the font backward, and negative value slant it forward. However, if the attribute to "Oblique from X-Base" is enabled, positive value will slant the font up-ward, and negative value, downward.

Char Spacing     Corresponding to the text style variable TXTCSPACE, this parameter specifies the character space adjustment in text font generation. A positive value specifies absolute space (additional to the original one defined by the font), negative value specifies relative space ratio over the text height. A zero value will disable this adjustment function.

Row Spacing     Corresponding to the text style variable TXTROWDIST, this parameter specifies the default text row distance. See STYLE command for more details.

The above parameter setups are provided in combo-box. You may pick it by the dropdown button to select a value directly from those of common use. However, if you pick it by the value box, you will be asked to enter the value directly.

Besides the above value control attributes, there are also on-off control attributes provided in check boxes:

Rotate Font 90 Deg     Corresponding to the text style variable TXTROTCCW, this on-off state selection specifies to rotate the text font by 90?Counter-ClockWise or not. This attribute is useful in writing Chinese/Japanese/Korean texts or the likes in vertical manner.

Oblique from X-Base     Corresponding to the text style variable TXTOBX, this on-off state selection specifies to oblique the font from the its base line or not, if the oblique angle is not zero. If it is off, the text font will be obliqued in the usual way. However, if it is on, the font will be obliqued from its base line, suitable for text font in vertical writing.

Preview of Text Style Font

DDSTYLE provides a preview window on the main dialogue window. When you change the text style font or the text control attributes, you will see the result instantly from the preview window displaying the example text strings.

From the preview window, you may also clearly see the 15 alignment points formed by the 5 horizontal and 3 vertical lines in gray color, where the current default will be indicated with a tiny blue circle.

Perform Text Insertion

After setting up the desired text style fonts and control attributes, you may also specify the required text justification manner by picking at the radio-buttons provided in the "Text Insertion" group, and then press the [Insert] button to perform the text insertion right away. See also TEXT command for text justification rules and text insertion procedure.

Note that, as the default text justification for a new text insertion is determined by the Last Text, not by static system variables, if you want to insert text using the text justification setup in DDSTYLE, you must insert the text by pressing the [Insert] button from DDSTYLE.

Other Buttons

You may press the [Help] button to see the helping text. Press the [OK] button to conclude the parameter setup. And, press the [Cancel] button to quit the current modifications of these parameter setup. Pressing <ESC> key also quits DDSTYLE.

Special Notes

TwinCAD does not load in an extended font file directly (for backward compatible reasons), but load it indirectly through its corresponding SHE file. When you specify to load in a specific extended font file, DDSTYLE will load in its corresponding SHE file. If the SHE file does not exist, DDSTYLE will create it by shelling the MAKESHE utility with the appropriate extended font shape driver. This shall require the MAKESHE utility and the shape driver be located from the search path.

The DDSTYLE command is an external command provided by the TCL program file "DDSTYLE.TCL" or "DDSTYLE.TCA". Either file must be present in the COMMANDS sub-directory where the TwinCAD resides. If you can not issue DDSTYLE command, you may solve the problem by copying the "DDSTYLE.TCL" to the COMMANDS sub-directory.

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