Substitute Fonts

A font used in a drawing but that is not currently available on your system is automatically substituted with another font.

The program accommodates a font that is not currently on your system by substituting another font.

Specify an Alternate Font

If your drawing specifies a font that is not currently on your system, the font designated as your alternate font is automatically substituted. By default, the simplex.shx file is used. If you want to specify a different font, enter the alternate font file name by changing the FONTALT system variable. If you use a text style that uses a Big Font, you can map it to another font using the FONTALT system variable. This system variable uses a default font file pair of txt.shx, bigfont.shx. For more information, see Use Text Fonts for International Work.

In previous releases, you could display PostScript. fonts in the drawing. Because later releases cannot display PostScript fonts, Autodesk has supplied TrueType font equivalents. These PostScript fonts are mapped to the equivalent TrueType fonts in a font mapping file that comes with the program.

Display Proxy Fonts

For third-party or custom SHX fonts that have no TrueType equivalent, one of several different TrueType fonts called proxy fonts is substituted. In the In-Place Text Editor, proxy fonts look different from the fonts they represent to indicate that the proxy fonts are substitutions for the fonts used in the drawing.

Custom SHX fonts do not appear in the Font list on the Text Formatting toolbar. If you want to format characters by assigning one of these fonts, first create a text style that uses the font and then apply that text style to the characters.

Use Font Mapping Files

Sometimes you might want to ensure that your drawing uses only certain fonts, or perhaps you might want to convert the fonts you used to other fonts. You can use any text editor to create font mapping tables for both of these purposes.

You can use these font mapping files to enforce corporate font standards, or to facilitate off-line printing. For example, if you share drawings with consultants, you may want to use a font mapping table to specify what font is substituted when a text object created with another font is encountered. Similarly, you can edit the drawing using quicker-drawing SHX fonts and then switch to more complex fonts for the final plot by setting up a font mapping file that converts each SHX font to an equivalent.

The font mapping file is a plain ASCII text (FMP) file containing one font mapping per line. Each line contains the name of a font file (with no directory name or path) followed by a semicolon (;) and the name of the substitute font file. The substitute file name includes a file extension such as .ttf.

For example, you could use the following entry in a font map table to specify that the times.ttf TrueType font file be substituted for the romanc.shx font file:


The program comes with a default font mapping file. You can edit this file using any ASCII text editor. You can also specify a different font mapping file in the Options dialog box by using the FONTMAP system variable. The following table shows the font substitution rules used if a font file cannot be located when a drawing is opened.

Font substitution

File extension

First mapping order

Second mapping order

Third mapping order

Fourth mapping order


Use font mapping table

Use font defined in text style

Windows substitutes a similar font



Use font mapping table

Use font defined in text style


Prompt for new font


Use font mapping table


Prompt for new font