Project: PCB symbol fonts

Discussion in 'The Completed Projects Collection' started by t06afre, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. t06afre

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    Then you have to work with board houses and Gerber files. Placing symbols on a PCB e.g approval, warning and recycle markings. Say on the silkscreen layer. May not be so easy in all PCB software. Some tools support this in a more or less awkward fashion. And things like scaling and rotating may be hard. But almost all PCB tools support TTF type fonts, and allow both scaling and rotation. So I have made a TTF font containing symbols that might be useful for PCB designers. I have worked on this project for while adding new symbols sorting etc. But I guess some people will need symbols not included yet. So I include my drawing file as a template. I have used Corel Draw version 10. And also information on these sites. But any font editor software may do the job.
    http://coreldesigner.wordpress.com/2009/03/06/create-your-own-custom-fonts-using-coreldraw-part-i/
    http://coreldesigner.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/create-your-own-font-designs-using-coreldraw-part-ii/
    http://theboutons.com/cdr-x6-exercise-files/X6_Bonus_Chapter1_Fonts.pdf
    So what is a TTF font. A TTF font is a collections of vector images, i.e. a set of lines and curves to define it. To create a TTF fonts you use outline drawings. As an example these drawings
    [​IMG]
    Will look like this then printed as fonts
    [​IMG]
    It is also possible to draw more advanced pictures as outlines The picture below is an example of that. Then I created the PCB font. I most often used Google to search vector based graphic artwork. Then I imported the graphic into Coreldraw to do the touchup. Like converting solid lines to outline figures.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
  2. Wendy

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    I'm interested in how you modified the fonts myself. I use Courier New for drawing schematics, but then end up modifying some of the stuff like µ and Ω to make it esthetically pleasing to me. I would prefer to modify the font up front instead.
     
  3. t06afre

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    This will differ somewhat from that I did. It is a free program here http://www.cr8.netfirms.com/type.html Read the tips and tricks in the manual. Copying letters from other fonts is awkward but it can be done. You have to open the source font copy the character, then close it. Open the target font and paste in. Remember to change the naming info in the font menu->names. Keep in mind that this font will be local on your PC only.
     
  4. bertus

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    PackratKing likes this.
  5. Wendy

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    Thanks. Since mine will wind up in drawings it doesn't matter if they are local on my computer. M/S Paint doesn't really care.

    Going back on topic (sorry about the hijack) could you show some graphic examples (pictures in other words) of what you are doing?
     
  6. t06afre

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    Do you mean how I build up a new font?
     
  7. Wendy

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    A graphic or text file (made into a screen shot) showing how you would apply the concepts.
     
  8. t06afre

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    I guess this project will not be so useful, for the all. But perhaps the semi pro hobbyist. The concept is that placing symbols on a PCB, on say the silkscreen layer. Is sometimes awkward to do. But most ECAD tools support TTF fonts. And allow it on any layer plus scaling and rotation. So if you want to place a symbol from my font. You may use Windows charmap. Select the symbol(s), then just cut and paste. Charmap is a standard windows application. The symbol collection is mostly made to fit my professional needs. But I made it on my own time so I can share it, and it is free to use for all.
     
  9. Wendy

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    Something else that would help is the shortcut codes to pull up the characters. For example, <alt>234 pulls up Ω, and <alt>0181 pulls up µ. It is something I have found useful over time.
     
  10. t06afre

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    The <alt> xx follows the ascii table. So just use the charmap pdf file and a ascii table to map the correct codes. The first GND symbol is "a" equal ascii code 97, hence <alt> 97 will produce this symbol
     
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