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Original Article Date: March 26, 2007
Recent user discussions have popped up regarding the conversion of MicroStation RSC fonts to True Type Fonts (TTF). Read along as this article explores changes within MicroStation and some delves into some background information that you may find of interest. With thanks to Bentley’s Keith Bentley, Phil Chouinard, Venkat Kalyan, and Gary Zi for their knowledge on the discussion groups.
Prior to MicroStation V8 2004 Edition (08.05.02.55), the text editor displayed MicroStation’s RSC fonts with a default TTF. While in most cases this worked just fine, there were some issues when dealing with some RSC symbols. Most notably - some symbols did not have corresponding character or glyph in the default TTF.To overcome these limitations, a new feature was introduced in version 08.05.02.55 that generates an on-the-fly TTF when editing or placing RSC text. Hence, the text in the word processor closely represents the characters in the selected RSC font. (Note, SHX fonts are not being converted at this time.)
Since this was the very first go around with this new feature, you may find that the font size is rather large compared to standard commercial fonts. To remedy this, refer to the following tip: Adjust The Text Size In The Text Editor Or Word Processor.
In addition, with some RSC fonts, symbols will show up when a space is entered. If these two items are problematic for you, and you are running a version newer than 08.05.02.55, you can turn off this on-the-fly conversion by setting this variable:MS_WORD_PROCESSOR_DISPLAY_RSC_USING_DEFAULT_FONT = 1In MicroStation V8 XM Edition SELECT Update #1 (08.09.03.57) creating an on-the-fly true type font has been enhanced. When text with an RSC font is either placed or edited in a file, the font information is extracted, converted and exported to a true type font on-the-fly. You’ll be able to locate the extracted fonts by navigating to $(MS_TMP)\TempFonts\ .Note that MS_TMP is set by default to C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Local Settings\Temp\Bentley\MicroStation\8.9\xxxxxxxxxxx\TempFonts\.
NOTE: Due to significant differences between RSC and TTF fonts, the extracted TTFs are not fine tuned and therefore are not intended to be used outside of MicroStation or even outside of the word processor. Installing them in the Windows Font folder is strongly discouraged.
Moving on - another question that has often come up is whether or not to abandon the use of RSC fonts in favour of using standard true type fonts. The following information is paraphrased from a post by Keith Bentley.In general, true type fonts are superior to RSC or SHX; particularly in appearance. The crafting of TTF glyphs and combinations of glyphs is done by professional font designers which generally hasn't happened with RSC or SHX fonts.Prior to MicroStation V8 XM Edition there was a performance penalty when using TTF fonts which was often the result of not using them. With today’s software the opposite is true in that TTF are now the most efficient way to display text. In fact, for non-Latin languages, true type fonts are often the only way to get advanced language features.But, having said all that, there are a few issues with true type fonts that you should be aware of:
In conclusion, the general recommendation and wise decision, is to use one of the Microsoft-delivered true type fonts as your "office standard". You may still need a few RSC fonts for symbols, but minimize RSC and SHX font use as much as possible. In the future there will likely be more features that only work, or work better, with true type fonts. On the other hand, RSC fonts will be supported in their current form indefinitely, so there's no reason you need to switch if you don't want to.
AskInga Article #310