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AC Font Size is wrong for all text?

Eduardo Rolon

Is this incorrect?

Screenshot 2024-02-25 at 3.43.05 PM.png

Recently I had to import a specific PDF which had specific font sizes that I had to keep.

After import and exploding the PDF the point size in AC was wrong.

It had not changed size since the drawing was at 1:1 scale but what was 18pts in Pages, Illustrator, Affinity Designer, was "reported" as 12.5 pts in AC.

If I set the font size in AC and then exported the PDF what in AC was 18 pts became 25.4 pts in every other graphics program. Size didn't change.


Why is this important?

Cad Standards minimum size for dimension text is 2.5mm which converts to 7.0xx points.

As architects we are trained to place as much information as possible in the drawings and this is why we try to use the smallest font size allowed.

If you selected 7pts as your default size you have actually been using 9.9 point size.

This means that you spent more time trying to fit/arrange dimensions because of their size.

If you were required to comply to a specific fonts sizes for a project (I had 2 where they were specific about this, one of them US Federal requirements, the other for a multinational) then you are not complying.

I have no idea what the legal implications are, but at a minimum I certified that I complied with all of my clients requirements as part of the project close out and this is not true. At least the font sizes are bigger than the required ones.


How long has this been the case?

No idea but I defined my favorites a long time ago and I had not noticed any size change. IIRC there were some grumblings during Betas were fonts were behaving incorrectly but the fixes were not considered important enough to be fixed.

Tried it in AC25 with the same reults


Hope that I am wrong but it looks like I'll be redefining favorites and updating dim size in my current projects besides talking with my insurance…

Somebody else needs to check the MM sizes and AC's windows version…


Fonts size set in AC:

Screenshot 2024-02-25 at 3.48.21 PM.png


Exported as PDF and opened in Affinity Designer 36 pts is reported as 50.8 for all three font types:

Screenshot 2024-02-25 at 2.56.10 PM.png

In Affinity placed another set of fonts with the "correct" size:


Screenshot 2024-02-25 at 3.00.15 PM.png

Importing the PDF into AC and exploding. The correct font sizes are shown as:

Screenshot 2024-02-25 at 3.03.40 PM.png


Screenshot 2024-02-25 at 3.03.50 PM.png


Screenshot 2024-02-25 at 3.04.01 PM.png

Screenshot 2024-02-25 at 3.04.16 PM.png


Eduardo Rolón AIA NCARB
AC27 US/INT -> AC08

Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram, OS X 10.XX latest
another Moderator

Karl Ottenstein

Great detail, Eduardo.  I have a dim memory (all memories are dim these days) that this was discussed at length in the past and that Graphisoft admitted to computing 'font metrics' incorrectly...  including descenders and ascenders (including accent marks etc) improperly when computing the displayed point size... which is of course supposed to be exactly 72 points to the inch for the main character - NOT including descenders/ascenders/accents.  E.g., an uppercase "A" at 72 points should measure one inch.  If there is an accent mark on top, e.g., Á, Ä ... the "A" itself is still supposed to be 1" tall ... with the accent above that.


One of the forum moderators
AC 27 USA and earlier   •   macOS Ventura 13.6.6, MacBook Pro M2 Max 12CPU/30GPU cores, 32GB
Eduardo Rolon

I remember that one which also included the lines spacing issue that can be seen in the screenshots. At least the fonts have the correct size, it is the displayed size in the Info Box which is incorrect.

Eduardo Rolón AIA NCARB
AC27 US/INT -> AC08

Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram, OS X 10.XX latest
another Moderator

Eduardo Rolon

At least other items that use Points as their units are correct.

24 Pt Grid circle from AC and 24 pt circle from AD

You know which one is from AC from the lovely segmentations…



Eduardo Rolón AIA NCARB
AC27 US/INT -> AC08

Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram, OS X 10.XX latest
another Moderator

Have you even wondered if everybody else is wrong and Archicad is correct?


Using Archicad 25  7000 AUS FULL

the red "A" is published from non-American Archicad,

Arial Narrow

set to 25.4mm

measured in bluebeam review, scale 1:10 = aprox 256mm


put in yellow "A"  at 72 points


put in orange "A" at 7 points, its not 25mm, but 17.82mm at scale 1:10 



I bring the PDF back into archicad,


The red A is still 25.4,


the 72point text from Bluebeam Revu = 17.99mm



and the 7point text is 1.75mm





have you checked what the output is, not what a program tells you?

that looks close to 1 inch to me...




don't confuse architectural text size with point size....



remember that point size is not the size of the "A" but the height of the character set, so 7point is not 2.5mm high text cap height, which is what Archicad measures...


Out of interest, can someone with AC USA edition post the physical measurement of a 72point Archicad text...Capital "A", Arial Narrow, so we all know the if its measurement 11, or measurement 13.



I have been using ArchiCAD continually since ArchiCAD 4.5, 4.5.5, 5, 5.1, 6, 6.5, 7, 8, 8.1, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18, 21, 22, 25, now testing 27
Member of Architalk since 2003, but missed the migration to Graphisoft.
(where have all my original posts gone?)

Kind of went off-topic there?

The issue is not font size is the "size displayed".


Don't think that the judge will accept the defense that "Every single graphic design and regular software is wrong and AC is the only one right…" defense.

  • I created a list of font sizes in Word, Pages, Illustrator, Affinity Designer, and exported them to PDF.
  • All those PDFs reported the same sizes in each other "imports".
  • When importing those into AC the Info Box Display size indicated a different size
  • Exporting the exploded PDFs with the "wrong size" and opening them again in other software then reported the original size. For example 18 pts in Illustrator is shown as 12.75 pts in AC and the published PDF from AC opened in Designer says it is 18pts
  • From this I infer that AC's Info Box is wrong since it is reporting a different size.
  • PDFs created in Revit, Autocad and Rhino match the font size from everyone else except AC. I can't believe the amount of time that I have wasted "fixing" fonts displaying 7.088 pts from PDFs imported were the text was the correct 2.5mm
Eduardo Rolón AIA NCARB
AC27 US/INT -> AC08

Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram, OS X 10.XX latest
another Moderator

New test:

  • Point size in AD = 18pt
  • Point size Exploded PDF in AC = 12.75
  • this equals a 70.833333 % difference


If I specify 20mm font size in Affinity and import to AC, size in AC should be 20*70.8 = ±14.16mm



And checking in AC:


Actual size is not changing. If text size in info box displays 20 everything is ok

Eduardo Rolón AIA NCARB
AC27 US/INT -> AC08

Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram, OS X 10.XX latest
another Moderator

Eduardo Rolon

Starting from AC:

  • 14.66 mm should display in AD as 20mm
  • 20mm font from AC should display as:
    • 20mm / 70.8% = ±28.25 mm








Eduardo Rolón AIA NCARB
AC27 US/INT -> AC08

Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram, OS X 10.XX latest
another Moderator

Eduardo Rolon

Another test to confirm that AC is wrong:

  • Requirement is to place 10mm text in a 60mm by 10mm box in a letter size page.

Affinity Designer:

Screenshot 2024-02-26 at 9.29.11 AM.png



Screenshot 2024-02-26 at 9.30.43 AM.png


And in Adobe Illustrator to rest my case:




Eduardo Rolón AIA NCARB
AC27 US/INT -> AC08

Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram, OS X 10.XX latest
another Moderator


Interesting observation Eduardo. Thankfully I just use millimetre heights, so I may have avoided the issue.

Just to add to the confusion does the choice of OS have any bearing on your results e.g. have you also done import / export between OS versions of the software?

The reason I ask is my messages generated in Apple Mail are frequently returned quoting my original message. My part of the returned message can see the font size & sometimes the actual font changed. I appreciate emails aren't CAD files, but it could be a factor, and if Apple & Microsoft don't want to change the process you may never get a consistent result as each software company tries to resolve how to display their fonts in competing OS environments.

Apple iMac Intel i9 / macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds.. if they work)
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