AutoCAD True Type Font Vs Shx Text

I have had a few questions about this one recently,

What the difference?

Why use one or the other?

Is one better?


The short answer is that it depends on what you prefer,

control, ease of use, display, or even how editable the text is.


  1. Shx text, is basically geometric based, lines, arcs etc…
  2. True type Font, TTF, is an actually a font, like what you have in word

Shx text is better if you have a slightly weaker workstation or are worried about the time it takes your machine to redraw the image on your screen,

though with modern workstations this is a bit rare unless you have a lot of text on screen.

Another reason to prefer shx text is that you can have greater control over the character thickness,

as shx uses the Line weight to set the thickness.

Some people also prefer it if they have non coplanar text as there can be display issues TTF.

If you want to you can create or edit shx fonts far easier than TTF ones,

this does bring up the issue that you need to then send the shx text with the drawing to other people.

the TTF text can apparently cause a slight blur but I have not really encountered this issue.


True Type Font has a few benefits of its own, my favourite being that unlike shx,

You can import a PDF straight in to AutoCAD and not worry to much about the text.

Where as shx will be broken into geometry due to the PDF.

AutoCAD does have tools to convert imported shx on the Insert Tab > Import Panel


True type text also can look cleaner,

is easier to send to other people due to standard fonts.

Can search text in the document when exported to PDF

Your text can also look more standardised by using the same text font across multiple programs.


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