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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

ISO 3098 CAD compatible font support, dwarven rune, and Klingon support, in the gEDA PCB fork pcb-rnd

In keeping with the monthly feature release schedule for pcb-rnd, on April 1, 2017, the gEDA PCB fork pcb-rnd will release new features designed to enhance backwards compatibility, improve compliance with ISO  3098, and anticipate future needs of users.

The ASCII character set has been ported from the ISO 3098 compatible open font osifont to the new pcb-rnd polygonal glyph format, to allow its use in PCB layouts.

This complements the existing stroked default font, as well as the stroked Hershey Sans 1 Stroke Font, also available for use within pcb-rnd.

The commitment to ongoing support for legacy users has been cemented with the addition of a Runic font, believed to be popular among Numenoreans who, it is thought, continue to use awk, C89, and at times, scheme.

Looking forwards to future users, and in particular, the Treaty of Organia in 2267, a Klingon pIqaD HaSta font has also been ported to pcb-rnd.

pcb-rnd retains support for the traditional gEDA PCB font file format, as well as the new, more fully featured lihata (.lht) file format which supports lines, arcs and polygons within font glyphs.

Here's a screen shot of the exported gerber being viewed in the gerber viewer gerbv, showing dwarvish runes, Klingon, osifont, and the Hershey Sans One Stroke font.

The support for these fonts has been made possible by the multiple font support recently implemented in pcb-rnd, in addition to the newly implemented support for polygons within font glyphs in the new pcb-rnd lihata (.lht) file format used for both pcb layouts and font files.

Both stroked fonts and polygonal glyph fonts (.lht) are dealt with in the font browser window:

The new pcb-rnd file format even allows an individual refdes to have an individual font allocated, if required:

To join in on the fun, head on over and grab yourself a copy of pcb-rnd.

To convert truetype fonts into pcb-rnd compatible lihata font files, you'll need to use the Apache Batik utility ttf2svg to convert the desired glyphs to SVG glyphs.

These SVG glyphs can then be converted to a pcb-rnd compatible font file with the outlineFont2centrelineFont utility. The outlineFont2centrelineFont utility is still a work in progress, but it was used to generate the Klingon, Dwarven Rune and osifont files pretty quickly and easily. The outlineFont2centrelineFont README explains how to go about doing the conversion. All that remains to be done with it is automatic merging of inside and outside paths in truetype or svg glyphs (these were done manually for the fonts shown).

Over time, new fonts in legacy and/or lihata (pcb-rnd .lht) will be added to the new EDA tool agnostic repository, EDAkrill:


The EDAkrill project is an effort to create a platform and toolchain agnostic repository of footprints, symbols, fonts and anything else EDA related.

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