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Customizing Solidworks

How Do I Create Custom Symbols? by CorBlimeyLimey
Posted: 1 Apr 06 (Edited 21 Nov 13)

Firstly, the Windows Character Map (which can be found at Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools) can be used to embed many symbols into a note. A search of the many font maps available may provide the symbol required. If one cannot be found, the following instructions & examples should help you to create one.

The SolidWorks file containing the symbols can be found at C:\Program Files\SolidWorks Corp\SolidWorks\lang\english\Gtol.sym & can be opened & modified with the Notepad text editor.

NOTE 1: A backup copy of the file should be made before attempting to modify it. If the syntax used in the symbols code (co-ordinates) is incorrect, SW may not open correctly (or at all) and the backup copy may have to be used till the problem code is fixed.

NOTE 2: ... The following symbols may not conform to a recognised standard ... or if they do it is pure luck.

NOTE 3: ... The symbol codes, can be added to whichever category (of the gtol.sym file) makes the most sense to you, but I recommend keeping them in the separate Custom Symbols category as shown. That way, when a new version of SW is installed it is much easier to re-add the symbols into the new file. If you just replace the new Gtol.sym file with the old customised one, you could miss out on new symbols SW may have added.

NOTE 4: ... To simplify the creation of the symbols, draw a square & sub-divide it into as many squares as you fnd suitable. The units of the squares are immaterial. The square represents the size of a single character.

For example.

Quote (SW Help)

All x, y, and radius values are in the symbols grid space (0.0 to 1.0),
where 0,0 is the lower left corner and 1,1 is the upper right corner.
The grid space is considered to be the height of a character squared.

- Draw the symbol required inside the square, then record the x-y co-ordinates of the ends of the geometry used, expressed as a decimal portion of the square.
- The co-ordinates can be negative and greater than 1. They are actually relative "ratios" to a single character size.
- They will be sized to match the font size being used, but can be re-sized individually using the font manager.
- Regular keyboard characters can be used in the creation of the symbols.

**** WARNING ****
Symbols will NOT be recognised on another system unless the symbols are embedded in the recipients gtol.sym file.

NOTE: SW14 allows the Gtol.sym file to have a custom location. This means the file could be networked to be shared with others.


#CUSTOM,Custom Symbols
;;Submitted by CorBlimeyLimey
A,LINE .1,.2,.9,.2
A,LINE .1,.55,.9,.3
A,LINE .1,.55,.9,.8
;;Submitted by CorBlimeyLimey
A,LINE .1,.2,.9,.2
A,LINE .1,.3,.9,.55
A,LINE .1,.8,.9,.55
;;Submitted by CorBlimeyLimey
A,LINE .1,.2,.9,.2
A,LINE .1,.55,.9,.3
A,LINE .1,.55,.9,.8
A,LINE .2,.1,.8,.9
;;Submitted by CorBlimeyLimey
A,LINE .1,.2,.9,.2
A,LINE .1,.3,.9,.55
A,LINE .1,.8,.9,.55
A,LINE .2,.1,.8,.9
;;Submitted by CorBlimeyLimey
A,LINE .1,.2,.9,.2
A,LINE .1,.5,.9,.5
A,LINE .1,.8,.9,.8
;;Submitted by CorBlimeyLimey
A,LINE .1,.4,.9,.4
A,LINE .1,.6,.9,.6
A,LINE .2,.2,.8,.8
;;Submitted by CorBlimeyLimey
*VAC,AC Symbol
A,ARC 0.3,0.5,0.2,0,180
A,ARC .7,0.5,0.2,180,0
;;Submitted by MacPT
A,TEXT .087,.25,|
A,TEXT 0.3,.5,u
A,TEXT 1.0,.5,m
;;Submitted by MacPT
A,TEXT .4,.5,C
A,TEXT .25,.5,=
;;Submitted by MacPT
A,TEXT .0,.9,0
A,TEXT .35,.9,,
A,TEXT .65,.9,8
A,TEXT .35,.85,_
A,TEXT .6,.85,_
A,TEXT .3,.0,A,TEXT .7,0,/
A,TEXT 1,.85,/
;;Submitted by MacPT
A,TEXT .0,.9,1
A,TEXT .35,.9,,
A,TEXT .65,.9,6
A,TEXT .35,.85,_
A,TEXT .6,.85,_
A,TEXT .3,.0,A,TEXT .7,0,/
A,TEXT 1,.85,/
;;Submitted by MacPT
A,TEXT .0,.9,3
A,TEXT .35,.9,,
A,TEXT .65,.9,2
A,TEXT .35,.85,_
A,TEXT .6,.85,_
A,TEXT .3,.0,A,TEXT .7,0,/
A,TEXT 1,.85,/
;;Submitted by MacPT
A,TEXT .0,.9,6
A,TEXT .35,.9,,
A,TEXT .65,.9,3
A,TEXT .35,.85,_
A,TEXT .6,.85,_
A,TEXT .3,.0,A,TEXT .7,0,/
A,TEXT 1,.85,/
;;Submitted by MacPT
A,TEXT .0,.9,1
A,TEXT .3,.9,2
A,TEXT .45,.9,,
A,TEXT .75,.9,5
A,TEXT .35,.85,_
A,TEXT .6,.85,_
A,TEXT .3,.0,A,TEXT .7,0,/
A,TEXT 1,.85,/
;;Submitted by felix7502
*IB,Inspection Box
A,ARC .5,.5,.60,90.,270
A,LINE .5,-.1,2,-.1
A,LINE .5,1.1,2,1.1
A,ARC 2,.5,.60,270,90
;;Submitted by felix7502
*IBA,Inspection Box A
A,ARC 1.2,.45,.60,90.,270
A,LINE 1.2,-.15,2.6,-.15
A,LINE 1.2,1.05,2.6,1.05
A,ARC 2.6,.45,.60,270,90
A,TEXT 1.90,.5, A
;;Submitted by felix7502
*IBAI,Inspection Box A (Inside)
A,ARC .9,.2,.60,90.,270
A,LINE .9,-.40,2.3,-.40
A,LINE .9,.8,2.3,.8
A,ARC 2.3,.2,.60,270,90
A,TEXT 1.6,.2, A
;;Submitted by felix7502
A,TEXT .9,1.075, M
A,TEXT .9,-.175, M
A,TEXT 1.8,1.075, A
A,TEXT 1.75,-.175, I
A,TEXT 2.5,1.075, X
A,TEXT 2.5,-.175, N
;;Submitted by tristram
*MID,Mid Ship
A,CIRCLE .5,.5,.35
A,ARC .85,.5,.35,90,270
A,ARC .15,.5,.35,270,90 

Some other symbols can be found at http://solidworks.cad.de/lib_gtol.htm

If anyone has made custom symbols in the gtol.sym file which they are willing to share, please contact me via the hyperlink below the 'ratings' line & I will add them to the list. Credit will of course be given to the author of each symbol as shown in the "Code" box above.

*******LATEST BREAKING NEWS******* Thanks to handleman
For information on scaling the symbols relative to the text or dimensions it is being used in, see thread559-227604: Scale of Symbol


handleman (Automotive) 2 Oct 08 8:48

It's going to be a PITA any way you try to go about this. The reason is that if you use a customized symbol from gtol.sym, anyone else who opens up your file in SW won't be able to see that symbol unless they have the same customized symbol in their file. This (in my opinion) severely limits the benefit of being able to create your own symbols.

That being said, if you want to have a new symbol with the letter larger w.r.t. the triangle, you have a couple of options.

1. As you and CBL said, you can recreate the text with geometry. If you only want a couple of letters this might not be too bad. However, if you want the entire alphabet it's going to take you the better part of a day, the letters will still probably look funky, and I don't think there's a way to change the lineweight so that the geometry making up the letters is thicker than the triangle.

2. The other option is to change the size of the triangle around the text in the gtol.sym file, then use some SWML (that's SolidWorks Markup Language - probably not the right term because it's not really documentedsmile) to increase the font size of the portion of the dimension containing the symbol. This option is much easier on the front end. Because the triangle is the same size for every letter, you only have to figure out the triangle geometry once. The SWML you use to change the font size is <font size=x>, where x is the desired height in mm. So, for example, when you first create a dimension, the dimension text box contains <DIM>. Now let's say you want to add a centerline symbol after the dimension. You insert the symbol and the text box reads <DIM><MOD-CL>. Now let's say you wanted the centerline symbol to be 5mm instead of the document default. You would manually change the text in the box to read <DIM><font size=5><MOD-CL>. You can also specify size in points if you prefer. If you want 12pt font then you would use <font size=12PTS>. Note that the "PTS" part is case-sensitive. The "font size" portion is not.

You can also change the font name for any text that you type into the dimension. For example, if the dimension text box contains

<FONT name="Curlz MT">FunnyFont<DIM><FONT SIZE=30PTS><MOD-CL>

then the dimension will read "FunnyFont" in the Curlz MT font followed by the dimension value in the dimension's font, then the centerline symbol in 30pt using the dimension's font. The font name used for the dimension value and any text inside symbols can only be changed by changing the dimension's font. Also, the font size of the dimension value is not affected by the <font size=> tag. So if you put

<font size=5><DIM><MOD-CL>

then only the symbol's font size will be changed to 5mm, and the dimension value's font will stay at the dimension's specified size.

OK, I need to stop typing now. smile

-handleman, CSWP (The new, easy test)

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