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Thread: Best fonts for annotation

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    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    Best fonts for annotation

    I'm looking to switch our firm to a different font, and I'm looking for suggestions and hearing about various firms setups.

    We've been using all caps Arial for almost everything. However Arial is really a wide font and takes up too much room for general notation, particularly for text & leader line notes. Maybe Arial Narrow is the simple answer. In our case, we'll probably want to stick with a non-serif font (like Arial) and it would be good if it was a fairly common font that most typical computers would already have installed.

    But I'd also like to open it up to whatever people are using and think works (or doesn't work). Serif vs. Non-Serif vs. "hand drafted"? Single font for everything, or multiple fonts for different things? Adjust Font "Width Factor"? Etc.

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    Member jsnyder's Avatar
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    We use use Arial Narrow. Very legible and everyone in the Windows world has the font. Someone would have a difficult time convincing me that another font could make a measurable improvement in those two aspects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iru69 View Post
    I'm looking to switch our firm to a different font, and I'm looking for suggestions and hearing about various firms setups.

    We've been using all caps Arial for almost everything. However Arial is really a wide font and takes up too much room for general notation, particularly for text & leader line notes. Maybe Arial Narrow is the simple answer. In our case, we'll probably want to stick with a non-serif font (like Arial) and it would be good if it was a fairly common font that most typical computers would already have installed.

    But I'd also like to open it up to whatever people are using and think works (or doesn't work). Serif vs. Non-Serif vs. "hand drafted"? Single font for everything, or multiple fonts for different things? Adjust Font "Width Factor"? Etc.
    I use Arial all caps for everything but have changed the width to 0.80 to deal with the wideness of the font. Arial Narrow is a bit to narrow for my taste.
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    Mr. Revit OpEd
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    Whatever you pick, just make sure it transitions to PDF well. I recently ran into some engineering drawings in PDF format (not produced with Revit either) that are using some font that is absolutely terrible after printing to PDF, nearly 90% illegible. They claimed it was a True Type Times Roman but something is definitely wrong if so.

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    Administrator Gordon Price's Avatar
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    Arial has the added fault of jumping around "vertically" when symbols are rotated. I think it's one reason why the OOTB symbols are retarded big with small text. Arial Narrow is even worse. And both look horrible.

    For me, I like Calibri at .8 width for CDs. It's a standard font that just about everyone has, it looks good in print and on screen (Arial predates ClearType). It looks good in all caps and sentence case, and at small and title sizes. I also like that, while sans serif, it's not the hard corners of Arial. It looks a little more organic to me, which I prefer.

    For presentations I like using something a little nicer, especially for titles. For important projects, using the clients own standard font or logo font can be nice. And I sometimes use a hand lettered font for non titles. I like Tekton as it's free, looks like technical pen not chisel pointed pencil, and well, Francis Ching for the win!
    Now if only Autodesk knew about kerning, because the there is none in Revit, and that makes everything look half assed.

    Gordon

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    We use Arial here, and Arial Narrow in Revit (the font, not Arial with a width factor).

    The office just transitioned entirely to Arial from Arial Narrow, but we arent changing the Working Drawings because of all of the legacy stuff we would have to update.

    I would prefer calibri, i think its a nicer font. I wouldnt mess with Width Factor at ALL, as it gets ugly when exporting and making other file formats downstream.

    Ive used 3/32" Arial in a number of firms, though, and i find its fine by itself. Doesnt need to be made narrower. I hear that from our Architects all the time, but ive never had trouble getting a detail drawn with plenty of notes on it, and i tend to over note drawings.

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    Moderator snowyweston's Avatar
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    I've always ran with Arial - and have always believed (perhaps falsely going by what I've just read above) that Revit "demands" a common system font - if not for internal/to-print use, but certainly for exporting to .dwf.

    Given I'm currently fighting Arial into our office-wide branded-documentation templates (that use, quell surprise, Helvetica LT) I'll be following this thread keenly...




    *although some system-based annotations, like the stair tread tag, give you no option other than what Autodesk prescribe.

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    Member jsnyder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Jones View Post
    I use Arial all caps for everything but have changed the width to 0.80 to deal with the wideness of the font. Arial Narrow is a bit to narrow for my taste.
    We used regular Arial with a .85 width factor for everything until we noticed that you cannot adjust the width of fonts in a Revit schedule. In the interest of being consistent, we just changed everything to Arial Narrow.

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    I always liked Tahoma...
    snowyweston likes this.

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    Senior Member Charles Karl's Avatar
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    We use regular Arial at .80 . The readability of the half size documents is a big factor why we don't go with 3/32" and 1/8" at 1.0 is too wide.

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