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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.

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.



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 Graphics, 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.  

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).



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


Click OK.

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.



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


Reboot 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: Reboot the computer into the recovery console

This solution will require rebooting the machine into the Recovery Console and listing the files in C:/Windows/Fonts, including hidden and system files. On some machines, you may need to delete the _0, _1, _2, etc. versions of the same font filename.


To confirm your font settings, open your computer's Fonts Control Panel:



In the Control Panel, select Fonts



The Fonts Control Panel will open. 



Scroll to the font you need to check (example: Stylus BT Light). Copy and paste the font to the desktop. (NOTE: DO NOT DRAG AND DROP IT, OR YOU WILL REMOVE IT FROM YOUR FONTS CONTROL PANEL.) To copy the font, highlight it and press the CTRL and C keys. To paste it, click on the desktop and then press the CTRL and V keys.



In this way, you can see which filename that particular font is using.

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. 




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.




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.




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.



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

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



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.


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.

Last modified on Mar 26, 2019


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