Fixing Font Issues in CAD
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Fixing Font Issues in CAD

Are your fonts not showing up or not displaying properly in AutoCAD? Having TrueType font problems? Here are the solutions to a few common issues you might face with your AutoCAD texts and fonts.

How to install fonts correctly

Need to install fonts on your computer? Here's how to do it correctly. Take care to follow the linked steps when installing fonts – otherwise, our software may not be able to read fonts you've installed.

Important definitions for this page

Text Styles: Our software includes several default Text Styles. Each Text Style is applied automatically when you place text in a drawing using one of our tools. (Many of our Text Styles apply to several Land F/X tools.) For example, the Schedule Text style controls the text within your Plant Schedules, Irrigation Schedules, Reference Notes Schedules, etc. You can configure these Text styles to use your chosen font, point size, and other custom settings.


Fonts: A font is a unified set of characteristics applied to letters, numbers, and other characters. Well-known fonts include Arial, Helvetica, and Courier. In the context of our software, a "font" is one of several settings that you can apply to a Text Style. So if you want your schedule text to appear in Arial, you would assign the Arial font to your Schedule Text style.

"Error creating text style" error messages

You might see an error message that begins with "Error creating text style" and includes the name of a font.


For example, if you're attempting to create a zone or Work Area and your ZONE Text Style is set to a Swiss font, you might receive the message: Error creating text style 'ZONE': Font file 'swiss.ttf' not installed.

Error creating text style



For the solution to this error, see our Error creating text style: Font file not installed article.

Text spilling out and around box/font area

Text that's spilling outside a text box (such as a callout box) usually results from a problem defining the Land F/X Text Style that's assigned to that particular usage of text in your drawing.


For example, if you see text spilling out and around the text box of a plant label, you'll want to check the settings for CALLOUT LIGHT, which is the Text Style assigned to plant labels and other specific types of callouts.


You can make changes to Text Styles from the General Preferences screen. Open the Preferences screen:


Preferences on FX Admin ribbon

F/X Admin ribbon




Preferences on FX Planting ribbon

Preferences flyout buttons on any of the other F/X ribbons



Preferences on FX Admin toolbar

Several toolbars (FX Admin toolbar pictured)

Preferences on FX Admin menu

Any of the F/X pull-down menus

(F/X Admin, F/X Site, F/X Planting, F/X Irrigation, or F/X Details)






or type *FXPreferences in the Command line




In the General Preferences, highlight the problematic Text Style and click Edit.


For example, if your callouts are spilling out and around the text box, highlight CALLOUT LIGHT and click Edit. Then check which font is assigned to CALLOUT LIGHT in the Font menu. It may be set to a font that is not installed on your computer. Use the menu to set a different font, and click OK to save the change.



That font will now be applied to the selected Text Style. For example, if you choose the font Stylus BT for the Text Style Callout Light, the text in your callouts will appear in the Stylus BT font.  

example Text Style Callout Light

Fix corrupt fonts

If you've opened a drawing and your font corruption is preventing you from operations such as placing a schedule, the issue may be resulting from a corrupt font on your computer, or from a corrupt font entry in AutoCAD.


In creating a Text Style, you can specify the font name, or the font filename. Our software can only access the font Name by reading the font file itself. Adding to the misery, the Windows Registry only stores the font Abbreviated Name with the filename – not the full name.


Additionally, Windows 7 users often experience another headache, where successive attempts to uninstall or reinstall the same font will result in the font filename changing automatically upon reinstallation. This filename changing is the biggest nightmare with fonts in many a year. For example, since Windows 3.11, Arial's filename has been arial.ttf, plain and simple. But now with Windows 7, the filename can turn into arial_3.ttf on some machines when Arial is reinstalled.


Therefore, when working with our software – especially in a multi-user office – you'll need to confirm that the font filenames are the same.


Fix #1: Edit the Registry listing for the problem font, and reboot the computer

The registry settings can be found in the folder path in the Registry Editor:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows NT/Current Version/Fonts 


If you're unfamiliar with the Registry Editor, you may want to ask your IT administrator to perform these steps.


To access the folder path shown above, open the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows and R keys (Windows) or the Command and R keys (Mac using Parallels Desktop).



Run dialog box, regedit

In the Run dialog box, type regedit in the Open field.


Click OK.

User account control dialog box

A dialog box resembling this one may open.


Click Yes to open the Registry Editor.






The Registry Editor will open. Expand the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder by clicking the arrow to the left of the folder name.


Expand the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder


From the folder HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, continue expanding folders to navigate to the folder path Software > Microsoft > Windows NT > Current Version > Fonts.


Navigate to Current Version Fonts


The fonts that are installed on your computer will be listed in this folder. Each font's filename will appear to the right of the font name. In our example, the filename of the font Arial (TrueType) is arial.ttf.


If you see the problem font listed with an abbreviated filename that includes "_0," "_1," etc., change the font's filename to the correct one. This can be as simple as deleting the extra characters (underscores, numbers, etc.) from the filename.


Restart your computer to enact the changes.


If editing the registry listing for the problem font hasn't worked for you, it's time to move on to Fix #2.


Fix #2: Delete the corrupt versions of the problem font

Important: You'll want these steps open on another computer or phone, as you'll be restarting the machine with the issue and will not be able to view them there.




1. Open the Start menu and start typing change advanced startup options in the search field.


Select the Change advanced startup options from the top of the menu.

Change advanced startup options




Restart now

2. Click the Restart now button under Advanced startup.




3. You'll now see the screen pictured to the right.


Select the Troubleshoot option.

Troubleshoot option




Troubleshoot screen, Advanced option

4. On the Troubleshoot screen, select Advanced options.




5. On the Advanced options screen, select Command prompt.

Command prompt




Change directory

6. At the command prompt, copy and paste the following command:



Then press Enter.


7. Now copy and paste the following code at the command prompt:

cd Windows\Fonts


Then press Enter again.




8. To locate the font you're having trouble with, copy and paste the following command at the command prompt, then press Enter:

Dir /s FontName*


Replace FontName with the name of the font you're having trouble with. For example, if you're having an issue with the font calibri, the pasted text should read:

Dir /s calibri*

Locate the font

The * in the copied and pasted text is used to truncate after the last letter in the fontname it will return – which we want, since we're looking for _1 and _2 versions of that font – for example, calibri_1, calibri_2 etc.




Delete the font

9. Use the following command to delete each instance of the problematic font:

Del FontName.ttf

(where FontName is the name of the corrupt version of the problem font)


In this example, the problematic font is calibri, so we need to delete both calibri_1.ttf and calibri.ttf using the following commands:

Del calibri_1.ttf

Del calibri.ttf


This command will only remove the font actually specified in the command. You'll need to re-run the Del command for each font, specifying it by name.




10. Type exit at te command prompt and press Enter, which will close the command prompt.




11. Select Continue to exit and reboot into Windows 10 to proceed with the remaining steps.

Reboot into Windows 10

Font not showing up in your drawing, or error messages "Font file does not exist" / "Font file not installed" / "Bad argument: consp nil"

A font may not be showing up in your drawing at all.


In addition, you might see one or more of the following errors when attempting to place text:

  • (**font name**) font file doesn’t exist (where **font name** is the name of the font assigned to the Text Style you tried to place)
  • Error: 'bad argument type: consp nil
  • Font file not installed



When Windows 10 deletes fonts, it places them as hidden objects. The font may have been reinstalled numerous times, which can also create problems.


In any of these cases, you'll need to remove the font(s) in the Command line within the Admin Console.






1. Open your Start menu, and type CMD in the search field. (DO NOT press Enter.)



2. Right-click Command Prompt in the list.



3. Select Run as Administrator from the menu that opens.

Run as Administrator




Command Prompt with Administrative priveleges

4. The Command Prompt window will open with Administrative privileges.


Type the following text at the Command prompt:

cd C:/Windows/Fonts


Then press Enter.




5. In the next line, type DIR and press Enter.

type DIR




List of available fonts

6. You'll now see the entire list of fonts you have available.



Once you've identified the font that needs to be deleted, type DEL followed by the file name of the font you wish to remove. Then press Enter.



In this example, we'll delete the font Wingding by typing delwingding.ttf



Repeat this step for every font that's causing the issue.




7. Follow our steps to open the Registry Editor.




8. Expand the following Registry keys:

  • Computer
  • Microsoft
  • Windows NT
  • CurrentVersion


Then select the Fonts key.

Fonts key selected




9. Once you've selected the Fonts key, you'll see a list of keys for all the fonts you currently have installed.


To delete a font's key, right-click the key (example: Wingdings), then select Delete from the menu.

Delete a fonts key



10. Reinstall each deleted font. If you're able to place the font in an AutoCAD drawing without seeing an error, you've resolved the issue with that font.

Follow our steps to install fonts on your computer. If you do not use this installation method, our software will be unable to read the font on your computer.

SHX fonts behaving strangely or disappearing

SHX font styles, such as 4-Text, have a few quirks that can make them problematic to work with in CAD. For example, you might be having trouble getting a certain text style to show up in your details. The text style might be present in the detail file but doesn't show up in your sheet layouts – even when all layers are on and unfrozen.



First, check whether the layer containing the text is frozen or turned off in the Layer Properties Manager. If so, unfreeze the layer or turn it on. Then check whether your font is showing up.



If not, your next step will be to check the font's settings in the AutoCAD Text Styles dialog box. Here's how to open it:


ACAD Manage ribbon, Text Style button

ACAD Manage ribbon, Text Style button



Click the small arrow

Click the small arrow in the bottom right corner of the Text pane on the AutoCAD Annotate ribbon



or type Style in the Command line



The Text Style dialog box will open. Select the problematic font from the Font Name menu (example: italic.shx). Make sure the Use Big Font box is unchecked, then click Apply. Odds are, your font is behaving normally now and can be visible in your drawing.

Text style dialog box


SHX fonts are potentially problematic because they allow this box to be checked accidentally, which can cause problems like the one you are experiencing. It's another great reason to use TrueType fonts rather than SHX fonts.


More information on customizing your Land F/X Text Styles

Fonts are coming in italicized (and you don't want them to)

Did you place a Text Style or font in a drawing and it came in italicized? If so, see our Text Styles or fonts coming in italicized article for the solution.

Text Manager does not allow you to add a new font

The Text Manager may be preventing you from adding a new font. When you click Add New below the list of fonts in the Text Manager and then attempt create and name a new font, it does not show in the list of fonts.


Clicking the New button in the Text Manager and creating a new font

New font not listed in the Text Manager




If this is the case, you do not have Write or Modify permissions for the _fonts_.xml file in the directory LandFX\Fonts\


Follow our steps to change user permissions for this file, setting your (or the user's) permissions for Write, Modify, or Full Control.

After setting the permissions, close and reopen CAD and try adding your new font again.

Related Webinars

  • Making Text Work in CAD: Join us to learn the essentials of how to use letters, numbers, and other characters effectively in CAD, including how to work with Text Styles and the Text Manager. (1 hr 4 min)
Last modified on Jun 06, 2023


  • Land F/X

Our software tailors AutoCAD® to the needs of landscape architects, irrigation designers, and other professionals. We automate your most tedious tasks and ensure accuracy, giving you more time to design.

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