The older I get, the more I have the opportunity to say: “They don’t make them like they used to…”. Look at any old movie showing a computer screen and you will see slashed zeros, yet only one font in Revit allows me to achieve a numbering system that I am happy with: Consolas (I tested them all).
Let me explain by illustrating my point with reference to the two lines shown in the picture above (the top one is in Arial font).
The text in question is the capital letter for “i” followed by the numeral one “1” followed by the capital letter for “o” and lastly followed by the numeral zero “0”, as seen in the Arial font. Arial font is commonly specified as the default in the UK BIM Protocols.
Would you agree it is easier to separate the numerals from the letters in the Consolas font? I am 60 percent sure for myself in the case of “I1”, but 100% sure in the case of “O0”
You might say, why not just build into the protocol that I and O will not be used in the numbering system? My answer would be that I could use coding to number my sheets, and I would leverage the ASCII codes to increment and sort Sheet Numbers with, which means I would have to program in exceptions all over the place were I to exclude items from the ASCII sequence. I would rather use a font that differentiates between the characters. The Revit User Interface would also not automatically exclude the required characters from manual input. This gives me a result I can communicate phonetically using the UN Military Alphabet.
All things considered, and playing the Devil’s Advocate, I do not have control of the font once a PDF is uploaded into BIM 360 Docs and Object Character Recognition (OCR) renders the sheet name in whatever font is native to it. What is your opinion on the matter? Respond to the blog and let me know.
If I oversaw creating a BIM Protocol for a country or a company, Consolas is the font I would stipulate. That gives me 36 symbols per BIM naming character. That should be enough for the largest building in the world. If it isn’t, then I’ll either include small caps or learn Chinese!
If you need help adopting Revit or BIM in your company, please contact Micrographics so we may be of assistance to you.