Paste on the command line, a font with visible spaces

Paste on the command line, a font with visible spaces

For BricsCAD and AutoCAD, the use of the space bar corresponds to the Enter key. Why would you want to use a font where spaces are clearly visible? To see what you are going to paste on the command line of your CAD program of course!

The principle

You can type a number of commands in a word processor and then copy and paste them on the command line.

The challenge is to ensure that everything is correctly selected during copying – near spaces at the end you have to be careful, because every space is an enter.

An paste example where each underscore is a space:

  • A circle with a radius of 1: circle_0,0_1_
  • A line from 0,0 to 1,1: line_0,0_1,1__

Note that there are two spaces at the end of the last example.

A font with visible spaces

How nice would it be if there were a font with visible spaces?

I searched and did not find it.

So let’s make it! Fontforge is heated up and character 0020 (space) will be hit by the forging hammer. The default font is FreeMono. During editing, the capital S and P are placed together as SP and then scaled to 35%, after the anchor points have been removed. Then a TTF was created with the name FreeMonoSp.ttf

FreeMonoSp.ttf is here:

Create a style in LibreOffice. And it works!

This way a problem has been solved in a very nice way. However …

The minuses

However, many people are not used to receiving LibreOffice documents. And they also have to install the font with the spaces. One more reason to get started with this package!

Everything looks very good in PDF. But copying does not work well. Almost all PDF readers see extra spaces after a text as an error and thus delete the spaces! A big bug that you can not work around.

So you have to think every time: copy the text, paste the text and do not forget to add the unselected spaces.

Yet useful!

Despite the minuses, this font clearly shows exactly what needs to be pasted on the command line. This makes this font a great addition to the documentation of CAD programs such as BricsCAD.


The license is inherited from FreeFont and is GPL. See

Apparently there are more applications for fonts with visible spaces, such as log-in screens of computers.

NedCAD’s expertise: processing 16,000 CAD drawings within one week

NedCAD’s expertise: processing 16,000 CAD drawings within one week

From our client IFE Tebel Technologies, part of Knorr Bremse, we recently got the question whether we could quickly convert 16,000 CAD drawings to PDF, PNG, TIFF. A spreadsheet with all information about the drawings – such as revisions, scale and paper format – was required.

Previous attempts by other parties with various utilities did not produce the desired result.

The background to this story is that IFE Tebel Technologies wants to store its CAD drawings centrally in the document management system of Knorr Bremse in Austria. For distribution and easy readability, all CAD drawings that had ever been made had to be converted to a specific PDF format.

In order to carry out this task properly, NedCAD has deployed a computer grid with CAD-optimized hardware and software.

By using LISP and BASH scripts in Linux, the 16,000 CAD drawings could be prepared and exported in a number of batches. By first checking all drawings for errors and imperfections, and immediately solving them, the next steps were a matter of sufficient computing power.


  • BricsCAD v18.2 was able to process 2000 drawings per processor per hour.
  • The sizes of bitmaps of drawings increased up to 140 Mpixel.
  • For many tens of thousands of cycles of opening, editing, and saving, BricsCAD has not crashed once.

Interested in what NedCAD can do for you in this area? For more information contact us, without obligations.

LibreOffice Writer Template Changing

LibreOffice Writer Template Changing

Internally, LibreOffice Writer has been used for technical documentation for many years:

  • Writer is very strong in combination with style sheets and
  • SVG format is perfectly supported. Vector-based images can therefore be inserted very well.

When you work with large documents, there are two annoying peculiarities you should be aware of.

  • The first is that the program stops organizing pages when the document becomes large. This can be overcome in an ugly way. Just add more trees, by always embedding images as a character. It concerns this bug. If you deal with this the right way, then Writer has no problem with documents containing hundreds of pages.
  • The other one is that it is not possible to link templates to documents. This sounds a bit crazy and yes, it may be considered to be a bug.

An extension “Template Changer” was available for linking template files. However, it does not work with new versions. That is why we created a BASH script as a tool to solve this. It has been tested on Linux but should also work with Cygwin on Windows. OS-X should work with minor changes, like the date function in Unix does not require an @ sign.

The underlying idea is that you have documentation projects where both the documents and the templates are in the same directory. If that is the case with you, then this script can help you. The script is a txt file, put it in your documentation directory, rename it to and give it execute rights.

Download link: cht , we hope you like it!

Update 2018-11-19: Now both ODT and ODM files are supported.

Latest version of this document lives here: