Draft ShapeString

From FreeCAD Documentation
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Other languages:
Deutsch • ‎English • ‎Türkçe • ‎español • ‎français • ‎italiano • ‎polski • ‎português do Brasil • ‎română • ‎svenska • ‎čeština • ‎русский
Arrow-left.svg Previous: Draft Facebinder.svg Facebinder
Next: Text Draft Text.svg Arrow-right.svg

Draft ShapeString.svg Draft ShapeString

Menu location
Drafting → Shape from text
Draft, Arch
Default shortcut
Introduced in version
See also
Draft Text, Draft Label, Part Extrude


The Draft ShapeString.svg Draft ShapeString command creates a compound shape that represents a text string. This shape can be used to create 3D letters with the Part Extrude command.

The Draft ShapeString command is not intended for standard text annotations. The Draft Text command or the Draft Label command should be used for that purpose.

Draft ShapeString Example400.png

Single point required to position the ShapeString


  1. There are several ways to invoke the command:
    • Press the Draft ShapeString.svg Draft ShapeString button.
    • Select the Drafting → Draft ShapeString.svg Shape from text option from the menu.
    • Use the keyboard shortcut: S then S.
  2. The ShapeString task panel opens.
  3. Click a point in the 3D view, or type coordinates.
  4. Optionally press the Reset Point button to reset the point to the origin.
  5. Enter a String.
  6. Specify the Height.
  7. To select a font do one of the following:
    • Enter a file path in the Font file input box.
    • Press the ... button and select a file.
  8. Press the OK button to finish the command.


  • Press Esc or the Close button to abort the command.


  • Supported fonts include TrueType (.ttf), OpenType (.otf) and Type 1 (.pfb).
  • The command is restricted to LTR (left-to-right) text. Therefore at the moment RTL (right-to-left + top-to-bottom) text isn't supported.
  • Very small text heights may result in deformed character shapes due to loss of detail in scaling.
  • Many fonts will generate problematic geometry. This is because font contours are allowed to overlap, have small gaps, and have varying directions within a glyph. These conditions are considered errors in wires used to define faces.
  • Draft ShapeStrings can also be created with the Macro Fonts Win10 PYMP.
  • To create Draft ShapeStrings arranged in a circular fashion use the Macro FCCircularText.



See also: Preferences Editor and Draft Preferences.

  • The default font file can be changed in the preferences: Edit → Preferences... → Draft → Texts and dimensions → Default ShapeString font file. See Draft Preferences.


See also: Property editor.

A Draft ShapeString object is derived from a Part Part2DObject and inherits all its properties. It also has the following additional properties:



  • DataFont File (File): specifies the path of the font file used to draw the text.
  • DataSize (Length): specifies the general height of the text.
  • DataString (String): specifies the text string to display. Unlike a Draft Text, a Draft ShapeString can only display a single text line.
  • DataTracking (Length): specifies the additional inter-character spacing of the text.



  • ViewPattern (Enumeration): specifies the Draft Pattern with which to fill the faces of the text. This property only works if ViewDisplay Mode is Flat Lines.
  • ViewPattern Size (Float): specifies the size of the Draft Pattern.


See also: Autogenerated API documentation and FreeCAD Scripting Basics.

To create a Draft ShapeString use the make_shapestring method (introduced in version 0.19) of the Draft module. This method replaces the deprecated makeShapeString method.

shapestring = make_shapestring(String, FontFile, Size=100, Tracking=0)
  • Creates a shapestring compound shape using the specified String and the full path of a supported FontFile.
  • Size is the height of the resulting text in millimeters.
  • Tracking is the additional inter-character spacing in millimeters.

The placement of the ShapeString can be changed by overwriting its Placement attribute, or by individually overwriting its Placement.Base and Placement.Rotation attributes.


import FreeCAD as App
import Draft

doc = App.newDocument()

font1 = "/usr/share/fonts/truetype/msttcorefonts/Arial.ttf"
font2 = "/usr/share/fonts/truetype/dejavu/DejaVuSerif.ttf"
font3 = "/usr/share/fonts/truetype/freefont/FreeSerifItalic.ttf"

S1 = Draft.make_shapestring("This is a sample text", font1, 200)

S2 = Draft.make_shapestring("Inclined text", font2, 200, 10)

zaxis = App.Vector(0, 0, 1)
p2 = App.Vector(-1000, 500, 0)
place2 = App.Placement(p2, App.Rotation(zaxis, 45))
S2.Placement = place2

S3 = Draft.make_shapestring("Upside-down text", font3, 200, 10)
S3.Placement.Base = App.Vector(0, -1000, 0)
S3.Placement.Rotation = App.Rotation(zaxis, 180)


Arrow-left.svg Previous: Draft Facebinder.svg Facebinder
Next: Text Draft Text.svg Arrow-right.svg