Customizing Fonts for Displaying Texts

This task explains how to customize the fonts used, for example, to display:
  • texts in the specification tree
  • constraint texts in the Sketcher, Part Design, Assembly workbenches

and, in general, all 2D texts. Note that system fonts are used for displaying these types of text.

This does not concern texts you enter in drawing documents created using the Generative Drafting product.

On Windows

  1. Select Start > Settings > Control Panel, click the Display control then click the Appearance tab (if it is not displayed by default).

  2. In the Item list, select Message Box, or click inside the Message Box item (on Message Text) in the area in the center of the dialog box.

  3. Select the desired font.

  4. Click Apply, then OK.

  5. If you have a Version 5 session open, exit the session and restart to see the changes take effect.


  1. Go to the directory:


    where "Install_directory" is the root installation directory you chose when installing the software.

    If you installed the software at the default location, you would go to the following directory:

    /usr/Dassault Systemes/Bn/OS_a/resources/msgcatalog

    (where n is the current release number)

    if you are using the English language. A subdirectory is provided for each language supported. Go to the appropriate subdirectory if you are using a language other than English.

  2. Edit the file named "Visualization".

    The "Visualization" file contains resource declarations for fonts for displaying annotation texts. Each font is declared using six identical declarations which differ only in the font size. This is required to allow end users to zoom the text size. The range of font sizes allows end users to zoom within the limits of those font sizes.

    The file is delivered at installation and is ready for use as is.

    Note that you can declare Motif fonts only.

    The Visualization file for the DBCS language (Japanese, Korean and Simplified Chinese) environments contains two lines for each declaration: one line for the SBCS character set, and one line for the DBCS character set.
  3. Customize each line if you want to change the font.

  4. If you have a Version 5 session open, exit the session and restart to see the changes take effect.

    Make sure you exported the LANG variable for the desired locale before restarting a session.

If you exchange documents with a site using a different language, text display may contain "garbage" in 2D areas such as the specification tree and in editable fields. As explained above, specification tree texts, for example, are displayed using system fonts. If you do not have the same fonts installed on both sites, the text will not be lost: it will just not be displayed correctly.

To display all text correctly, you must do the following on the receiving site:

  • install and activate the appropriate locale for reading the document
  • make sure that the appropriate system fonts are installed and declared correctly on the receiving site
  • Text in the geometry area points to CATIA Version 4, Bitstream or custom fonts. Make sure that the appropriate fonts are installed and declared correctly on the receiving site.