gCADPlus allows you to define particular text styles. A wide range of text styles can be created using fonts already installed in your computer or delivered with gCADPlus, but we favor the use of a restricted set of styles for each job. Using many different fonts in a drawing can detract from the presentation. We aim to settle on a single text style, making sure that the one style (using a hand written Windows font) becomes our 'signature' style for labeling our drawings.

text styles This small movie provides an overview of the use of text styles.
text styles This movie shows how to create a new text style using a font that gives an architectural hand lettered appearance.

Preloaded styles

A number of styles are pre-loaded in some of the templates and you can access them by the Text Styles link on the Format menu, but we would encourage you to use this tool to define your own text styles. This is easy to do, just click the new style button in the first dialog box.

The figure below shows some of the dialog boxes that are accessed when creating a text style.

Text styles

Here are the steps to take when creating a new text style:

Format drop down menu>Text Styles>Select New Style (circled in the figure below).

Text style new

Type name of style, select the font to be used and the height. The height can be fixed or given a value of zero that allows users to nominate the height of text.

New text style

Custom text style with zero height allows the user to nominate the height of text.

Custom style

Here is an example of a landscape plan developed using the custom font described above.

Text style example

The choice of text style can have a big influence on your drafting style. gCAD+ allows the use of both classic CAD lettering fonts and also Windows fonts. Most architects use Windows fonts because they are prettier than CAD fonts which are more used by engineers. A text style consists of a name (defined by the user) and a font (selected from installed gCAD+ CAD fonts or from an installed Windows TrueType font.

The figure below shows some text and dimensions drawn in a typical CAD lettering font (simplex) and the same text in a Windows TrueType font. Note the substantial difference in spacing even though the text is the same height.

CAD and Windows fonts

Choose your own style

We encourage gCAD+ users to develop (and set as the default in their template drawing) their own particular lettering style by creating a named style with a selected a Windows font that suits them. A new style is created from the Format drop down menu.

Text style

The dialog box shown below appears. Choosing the new option (circled) enables new named styles with any combination of fonts spacing etc.

Named style

In this case, the current style is Style 1.

The figures below shows a typical drawing (in both model and layout space) where a particular hand lettered Windows font has been used. This choice of font clearly adds to the personal style of the designer.

Sb design


SB layout 1

Test potential fonts

The figures below show some of the different Windows fonts trialed by the designer before she settled on the  style that gave her the 'look and feel' that she was after. Testing was done by making a plant schedule with a named style, and then redefining the style using a number of different (free) Windows hand lettered fonts that were downloaded from the net. The plant schedule was printed to PDF after each test and the results shown below. The name of the font is printed under each plant schedule.


Tip: It is important to do this print testing as some fonts give a much better print result than others. There is also a big difference in spacing.

Styles 1-3

Styles 4-7


Tip: Even though gCADPlus allows the use of any number of fonts in a drawing, it is better to limit the number used. One style for the drawing text, perhaps one for dimensions and one for logo text is enough!

We experimented changing styles with the design above and preferred a different text style - primarily for its capitalization (contractors find it easier to read capitals) and clarity of print.

Our preferenc3

Text styles