Power Tip

From CADD Master Ray

Don't Get Caught Fontless
 
Not too long ago, I got caught fontless. No Simplex. No Deco. Not even a few characters of Main.

It all started when, believe it or not, your CADD Master was running Generic CADD from floppies, those little ones laptops like.

On this particular occasion, I had just set up some new bootable versions of CADD and 3DD for my laptop, and taken off on a trip, ready to do some exciting guerilla CADD work.

Creating the drawings was no problem. A single 720K floppy has plenty of room for an operating system, all of CADD including the hatch patterns, some custom menus and components, and a few fonts. Except that I forgot the fonts.

I immediately thought of downloading them from my machine back at the office. No luck; in the reorganization of my diskettes, I had also forgotten to include any communication software.

I analyzed my remaining alternatives and resources. I had a pile of disks which included a painting program (with bit-mapped fonts, no good), Turbo Pascal (with BGI stroked fonts, closer, but still no use), and a publishing program (with downloadable laser fonts - not even close). Several other program disks proved useless as well.

I had actually started calling local computer stores, looking for any really cheap Generic product which included fonts, like CADD Level 1, AutoConvert, or a leftover copy of some previous release, when I realized that I indeed has a source of Generic CADD fonts in my possession...my drawing files.

Finally then, the tip. If you need to sift a usable font out of your existing drawing files, follow these steps:

1. Load up a drawing file with some text in it. The text, of course, must be in the font that you want to recover.

2. Select the font you want to retrieve using Font Select (FS). When asked if this is a new font, reply Yes.

3. Issue a Text Create (TC) command, then press [SPACE BAR] for the character you want to create.

4. When the text creation box appears, don't draw a thing. Just issue another TC to end text creation.

5. You will be asked if you want to save the font. AHA! There we go! All of the characters of the selected font that are used in the drawing will be saved into the font file.

Repeat steps 1-5 on several drawing files until you have recovered enough of the font to be useful. It may take several drawing files before the whole alphabet has been restored. Of course, when you use FS, you will no longer be asked if the font is new. Still, don't bother to load it. It goes faster if you DX the old drawing and DL the new one, instead of bailing all the way out of CADD. That way, you don't even have to select the font for each new drawing file you pillage.

Once nice side effect...since the resulting font contains only the characters you actually use, and not some of the more bizarre punctuation characters, it loads up faster and uses less memory than normal fonts.