Chapter 32. Creating Shapes and Fonts


  • Creating shapes

  • Creating fonts

Shapes are text files that define a shape, or figure, that you can insert into your drawing. Shapes are similar to blocks in that you create, store, and insert them. They are different from blocks in the following ways:

  • Shapes are much harder to create.

  • Shapes are compiled into a format that conserves storage space, memory, and regeneration time.

  • You can use shapes to create fonts, and you can insert them into linetypes.

  • Like fonts, shape files are support files. If you distribute a drawing, then be sure to include any font or shape files that the drawing uses.

You can use shapes for simple outlines that you need to quickly insert many times. Some examples are shapes that are inserted into complex linetypes and font characters.


AutoCAD LT doesn't offer the Shape feature. This entire chapter applies to AutoCAD only.

Creating Shapes

Shape files are used for both shapes and fonts. You create them with a text editor and save them with the .shp file extension. You then use the COMPILE command (on the command line), which opens the Select Shape or Font File dialog box, shown in Figure 32.1.

Choose the .shp file and click Open. AutoCAD automatically compiles the file into a new file with the same name but with the .shx file extension. It then displays a message on the command line that the compilation has succeeded.

Figure 32.1. The Select Shape or Font File dialog box.

Using shape files

After you have a compiled ...

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