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  1. #1
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    AutoCAD Linetype with Text Shows Question Marks Instead

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    Hey all,


    This little conundrum my supervisor hit me with on my first week at a new job. It seems to me that I ran into it once or twice years ago working for a civil engineer, but, well- I've slept since then. No recollection of the solution.


    Anyway, he has a linetype of the 'line segments and text' variety (-- X -- X -- X -- for example) that isn't displaying text. Instead, it displays question marks, so the above example ends up looking like -- ? -- ? -- ? -- on screen. There are multiple linetypes of this sort in the drawing, but only one seems to have lost its mind like this. Whatever is doing it, purging the drawing and copy+paste of a sample segment from another drawing doesn't help- as soon as the copied segment hits, the text goes all ? again.


    Any ideas? We're all using vanilla ACAD 2014 here.

  2. #2
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    Did you check the linetype definition file to see what font is being referenced?
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  3. #3
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    It turns out that the problem started when we upgrade our ACAD. My guess is, the errant linetype (PL with a phantom line in between for a property line) was lost during the upgrade, and ACAD no longer knows what to do with that definition. It happens across all machines and all drawings that had that linetype, so that's probably it.

    But your answer still pointed me in the right direction. Next I can either try to find that linetype and add to my .lin files, or take a crash course in how to custom build a linetype!

  4. #4
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    How is it then that all the other custom linetypes got ported over when everyone's computer was upgraded? There should have been a single custom linetype file or a copy of the edited version of acad.lin on the network, someone's (CAD manager) hard drive, or on a flash drive.
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  5. #5
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    How is it then that all the other custom linetypes got ported over when everyone's computer was upgraded?

    There were no other custom linetypes found. ACAD.lin and ACADISO.lin in the c:/Program Files/AutoCAD etc etc directory both seem to be default.


    What I did was I copied the standard GAS line in ACAD.lin and modified it accordingly for the replacement line as a test, figuring that if it works I can tweak it later. It took me awhile to figure out that the acad.lin I was editing was *not* the acad.lin that was loaded (because, hey, it's a great idea to have the same file in two different places) but now at least I think I'm on the right track trying to re-create this linetype.

  6. #6
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    My guess is that the linetype references a character that is not in the current font file.

    If the Unicode Property Line character is being used (214a), then that symbol is not in every font file.

    If an edited font file was being used on the old system, then it has not been transferred.

  7. #7
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    Well, so far so good. Except for two things.


    One, I can't seem to get the Phantom linetype to show up between text (even though I copied that directly from the phantom linetype entry in the acad.lin file). Two, even though I did not (to my knowledge) touch any other definitions in that file, for some reason now I get the "bad definition of" error when I try to load FENCELINE1, FENCELINE2, TRACKS, BATTING, and ZIGZAG.


    This is my attempted property line. I want it to be a segment of Phantom linetype between the PLs...

    *PROPLINE,Property Line ___ _ _ ___ PL ___ _ _ ___ PL ___ _ _ ___ PL
    A,.5,-.2,["PL",STANDARD,S=.1,U=0.0,X=-0.1,Y=-.05],-.2

    I'm wondering if I should continue here or post a new topic to help figure out exactly what id (still) wrong.

    EDIT: First problem is solved - I needed to reset FONTALT. However, I still can't seem to recreate the PHANTOM linetype between the texts

  8. #8
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    What font is assigned to Standard font style?

    The Phantom linetype is not defined in your linetype. The separate dashes and spaces have to be itemised.

  9. #9
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    Those other linetypes all are referenced to the standard shape file ltypeshp.shx.

    Perhaps the paths are not set correctly.

  10. #10
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    Sorry, but what do you mean by 'itemised'?


    (This is my first time to create a custom line type. I apologize if I don't understand the format or syntax required).

    To answer your other question, our STANDARD style uses txt.shx.

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