Edit - likely found answer -ERROR: Unable to find font file.

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Edit - likely found answer -ERROR: Unable to find font file.

Postby B. K. Lemons » Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:55 pm

In entering cogo point descriptions I'm getting this MicroSurvey error message ...

ERROR: Unable to find font file.
This usually means that the font listed in your
system defaults has been set to a font
that does not exist. Or the font name in the
system defaults is blank. Check you system defaults
to make sure all fonts are valid names.

I don't get any such error message with any other software. I have made no changes elsewhere, none, zip, nada.

Any ideas?

Thanks.

------------

Edit -

I uninstalled and reinstalled MSCAD. No help.

I got help from Dell Gold Tech Support. We reinstalled fonts. No help. Then we did a repair install of Windows XP, essentially reinstalling Windowns XP over itself. That didn't help either.

I hadn't used MSCAD in months. In fact, I don't think I had used it since I downloaded and installed the latest service pack. So the problem is likely going to prove to be a corrupted download.
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Postby Glen Cameron » Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:11 am

The solution is a simple one. This HelpDesk Trouble Shooter topic discusses this in detail.
http://www.microsurvey.com/helpdesk/ind ... oterid=547

Cheers,
Glen W. Cameron, C.E.T.
City of North Bay, Ontario
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"system defaults"?

Postby B. K. Lemons » Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:58 am

Thanks very much for this simple answer, Glen. I appreciate it. I wll try this.

However, it is extremely irritating that I had to waste an entire evening because some rocket scientist at MicroSurvey was not intuitive enough like normal human beings and not considerate enough to bother to take just 5 extra seconds to add the word "MicroSurvey" to the error message phrase "your system defaults" so that it would say "your MicroSurvey system defaults." The phrase "your system defaults" means just that: your system defaults, i.e., your Windows system defaults, not your software defaults.

It is also extremely irritating to waste an entire evening because the onboard Help index gives ZERO leads to any "system defaults." Type in "system" and look for "defaults" under that, and you find nothing to give you any leads EXCEPT that you see "system Windows" and then directly under that "System Windows." Type in "defaults" and look for "system" and guess what? Nothing.

Customers are constantly lectured and asked, "Did you check with onboard Help before calling?" or "Did you watch the movie?" Yes, I did, and it was a waste of an entire evening. The last time a MicroSurvey salesman called me, he lectured me about how great the onboard Help is and how if I would just use it it would help me along the learning curve. Sorry, but not. It sucks.
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Postby Glen Cameron » Thu Jun 21, 2007 7:33 am

The on board help in the help menu and the training movies are there to explain the individual commands to allow you to learn how they work or what to expect. This has helped a vast majority of our clients along the learning curve. In fact we are often complimented on the movies and how easy it was to learn the different routines by watching them. The help file and movies do not contain the solutions to problems such as what you have run into. This is what our helpdesk on our web-site is for.

A combination of the documents that we have written and posted, and the trouble shooter, can often assist you in finding a solution to a problem you have run into.

In this case, I went to the helpdesk and I did a search on the keyword FONT being this was a font issue. It brought up a whole range of documents and topic on fonts - one of which was the article I directed you to.

Most of our error messages refer to the program you are currently running (MSCAD) and not a windows issue, unless it specifically tells you it is a windows or microsoft issue. I will however, bring your comments to the programmers to so they are aware of your thoughts.

The help files, movies, helpdesk articles and trouble shooter, and user forum are all free for you to access and use as you see fit. This user forum is typically for users to help other users and not for staff to answer questions, but I answered in this case, because the same information is available directly to you for free.

Beyond this, you would need to renew your technical support contract (which expired back on 19/03/2006) to have direct access to our trained support staff. We can answer your questions in a timely fashion and get you going quickly. All you do is enter in a ticket in our helpdesk and the first available techy will jump in and answer it for you, as appropriate. If you do not renew your support then this option is not available to you.

Cheers,
Glen W. Cameron, C.E.T.
City of North Bay, Ontario
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Haystack.

Postby B. K. Lemons » Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:30 am

It takes no more effort to include three sentences containing fifty words in an error message than it does two sentences containing thirty words. The error message I got could have easily used the phrase "your MicroSurvey system defaults," and it could also just as easily have referred me to the correct menu and submenu to check the defaults.

The onboard Help and other self-help documents you refer to may contain the helpful information you describe. But they are arranged like haystacks full of needles without adequate indexing to find what one is looking for.

If the onboard Help is not intended for these kinds of things, then why are customers constantly referred to onboard Help? Like I said before, one of your salemen called me one day and gave me a really good lecture about how I could find answers to any of my questions in onboard Help.

Free onboard Help and forum, you say? Come on, now. There is nothing about it that is "free." It's all included in the price of the software.

If most of your error messages refer to the program, then they should not be written in such a way that they appear to be referring to Windows.

You can make excuses. Or you can listen to your customers.
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Postby Glen Cameron » Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:43 pm

Looks like we are going to disagree on some of the reasons behind the help/movies and the wording of the error messages in the program.
I have already said "I will however, bring your comments to the programmers to so they are aware of your thoughts." and I will do so. This is all that I can do directly, myself, with respect to your comments.

The sales reps always refer people to the help as a starting point, because a lot of people do not even take the time to try something on their own before calling for support. You obviously do take the time to try and help yourself. This is a good thing. You are now also aware of all of the options available to you, incase you were not before.

The help file is arranged in the same order and structure as the menus. This normally makes it easy to look up the desired command to get information on it. If you use the search options, often after finding the search item desired, if you simply pick back on the Contents tab, the menu location where that item can be found, is displayed. Not all of them can be done this way, but a vast majority are setup in such a way.

The help file and movies are admittedly, supplied with and included in the price of the program (so it is really not free), but the user forum and the helpdesk documents and trouble shooter are free to anyone in the world, not just paid users. The only thing you pay extra for is if you wish to maintain a current technical support contract so you have the ability to communicate with a technical support representative about specific questions or issues.

I am not trying to make excusses, I am simply answering your questions with factual information, explanations, details, etc.

We do listen to our customers and when they have valid comments, they are passed on to the programmers, so they can be examined and given the attention they deserve. Everything is prioritized and some things do not get implimented immediately, but everything is recorded and reviewed on a regular basis.

Thank you for your comments and have a nice day.
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Finding the information.

Postby B. K. Lemons » Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:04 pm

Yes, I do always take the time to try to help myself, and I have chosen not to pay extra money for tech support. That's because I don't want to pay money for tech support, only to be made to feel guilty for calling tech support.

One pays extra money for tech support, only to be met with the attitude when he calls tech support that it is a sin to call tech support without first trying to find the answer on his own. As you said yourself, "... people do not even take the time to try something on their own before calling for support."

Why should a customer have to waste valuable time searching for something on his own, waste valuable time digging for the needle in the haystack himself, before calling tech support? He's paid for tech support. He should be able to use it. Why should he not be able to call any time he has a legitimate question, without being cross-examined about whether he searched onboard Help or watched movies before calling tech support?

Most of the time I am happy to read and follow the instructions and help myself. I think most people are. It's usually not a question of how to follow the instructions. Instead, it's a matter of just FINDING the instructions.

Good, thorough indexes are almost always the best way to lead a searcher to the information he's seeking. An index is an index and should be a tool to direct the user to the applicable instructions in the manual, whether onboard or not. Contents guides are usually a maze to get lost in.

It's easy for a person who is familiar with the software and the help files and the manuals to know and find the location of the information. But it's naturally difficult for them to view the process from the perspective of someone who is new.

It's often even easy for someone new to understand the information, to follow the instructions and to help themselves when they can find it. And I think most people prefer to help themselves rather than call on outside help. The problem is in finding the information in the first place.

If MicroSurvey will concentrate on creating good, thorough indexes to its information, its tech support phones would probably seldom ever ring.
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Postby Glen Cameron » Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:31 pm

We do ask if you have checked the help or watched the movies so we can help get an idea at what stage you are at in the cycle. I am sorry if it sounds like we are placing a guilt trip on you, that is not the intention.

If the answer is already available in some form, we will often either direct you to that item, or at least mention it for your information, and then continue to assist you if/as required.

If every customer simply picked up the phone for every question, and did not do the basic search on their end first for the answers, then we would have to hire several more techs to handle the volume of calls - the cost of which could cause increases in product pricing. If everyone did as you do, and dug into the help/movies, user fourm, helpdesk, etc. - then the help lines would be there for those that really need it (for issues beyond the normal operation of the program or problems that are not typical). The results would be both fast responce times and the pricing of the product would be unaffected by support costs, compared to what we have today.

Your comments about the help file indexing are approciated and will be taken to heart as best possible, as appropriate, when the next version is looked at.

I think we have both come to an end and an understanding on this discussion - thank you for your comments.
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Postby B. K. Lemons » Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:51 pm

Anyone who is intelligent enough to learn how to use MSCAD or ArcYouNameIt or any of the other packages of this level is intelligent enough to read and follow pre-supplied instructions. I can't picture any such person calling tech support for just every little thing. I personally know of no one who really likes having to resort to calling tech support for any product. Most everyone prefers to learn on their own. Besides, one retains more information if he learns it on his own.

The key is being able to find the information in the first place. When a customer is able to find more answers about using a software package by Googling the name of the software along with some key search words than he can by searching onboard help or the index of the manual of a package, then that speaks volumes.
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Postby rwhatman » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:01 am

Glen Cameron wrote:The solution is a simple one. This HelpDesk Trouble Shooter topic discusses this in detail.
http://www.microsurvey.com/helpdesk/ind ... oterid=547

Cheers,


Just like to add the solution was simple to fix, but the help did not say
why it happen.

It can will happen again if you use a older drawing that was done
with a older version of MSCAD. You will see FLX and this must changed.

Help here is great, but we need to see problems not happen again.

Thanks
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Postby B. K. Lemons » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:36 am

This is a good point. When someone has a problem and finds a fix, it is helpful for them to post all of the details and keywords here for others to find when they do a search of the site for the same or similar problem.

By the way, I found that when I uninstalled then downloaded and installed a fresh install of MSCAD, this problem occurred again. I still had to go in and set to defaults to keep it from occurring. I unistalled, downloaded and installed the software even twice, and it occurred both times. This occurred whether I was doing cogo in a new 2005 file or opening and doing cogo in an existing 2005 file. Setting to defaults fixed it both times.
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Postby rwhatman » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:51 am

B. K. Lemons wrote:This is a good point. When someone has a problem and finds a fix, it is helpful for them to post all of the details and keywords here for others to find when they do a search of the site for the same or similar problem.

By the way, I found that when I uninstalled then downloaded and installed a fresh install of MSCAD, this problem occurred again. I still had to go in and set to defaults to keep it from occurring. I unistalled, downloaded and installed the software even twice, and it occurred both times. This occurred whether I was doing cogo in a new 2005 file or opening and doing cogo in an existing 2005 file. Setting to defaults fixed it both times.


You should never have re-install the program. Please look at other ideas first.
Example: If you use a Template drawing as I do.
If there is a font problem in this file you will get a error in Mscad
after every install.
I have old blocks that had to be changed.

Every time we update the program we have to update templates, blocks,
csv files and there may be more, I think you get the idea.
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Postby Glen Cameron » Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:04 am

When you uninstall the program it only removes the exact files that were originally installed. Other files generated after the install, such as configuration files, do not get uninstalled. So even after a reinstall of the program, if the problems was caused by a configuration file - the problem will still be there.

The only way to truely start fresh would be to Uninstall the program - delete the MSCAD2005 folder and anything left in it - then do a clean new install again.
Glen W. Cameron, C.E.T.
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Postby guest » Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:13 am

I would like to add a couple things here. I too have been caught without font files specified in my Microsurvey system defaults and have had to continually hit o.k. over and over again while importing points until I get to the end of the ascii file. This takes forever on a large file which most of ours are (2000 or so points). There is no way to get out of this loop that I have found. I think an option here for o.k. for all would be appropriate. Also, I haven't been able to determine why the program doesn't remember the default font files all the time in the first place. I have set them as default many times, but sometimes they come in when I start a new job and sometimes they don't. Same thing with the drawing scale defaults when starting a job. Sometimes they are remembered, sometimes they are not. Anyone else having the same problems?
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Postby Glen Cameron » Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:25 am

"guest", all of the items you mentioned are saved in 1 file - so if one gets munched, then the rest can be too. I do not have a clear answer as to why the file sometimes gets munched. Power outages and other program crashes can cause files to become corrupt.
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Postby rwhatman » Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:40 am

guest wrote:I would like to add a couple things here. I too have been caught without font files specified in my Microsurvey system defaults and have had to continually hit o.k. over and over again while importing points until I get to the end of the ascii file. This takes forever on a large file which most of ours are (2000 or so points). There is no way to get out of this loop that I have found. I think an option here for o.k. for all would be appropriate. Also, I haven't been able to determine why the program doesn't remember the default font files all the time in the first place. I have set them as default many times, but sometimes they come in when I start a new job and sometimes they don't. Same thing with the drawing scale defaults when starting a job. Sometimes they are remembered, sometimes they are not. Anyone else having the same problems?


Do you use a Templete drawing to start a New Job.
Sounds like you don't.
Make a drawing with all your settings, Layers, Scale factor, Metric or feet
Set this up and you will never font problem.

Just make sure you tick to load template when starting new job.
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Postby guest » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:18 am

Your right, I usually do not use a template, but will start to now. Thanks for the tip. Glenn, I just started 3 new drawings from scratch after assuring my font files were saved as defaults. 2 of the 3 drawings opened without remembering my defaults, 1 opened and remembered my defaults. No crashes or power outages between these. Just something you might want to take a look at. Thanks.
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Postby B. K. Lemons » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:57 am

Rwhatman, I had a reason for doing the uninstall, then downloading and reinstalling the software, that being that I remembered that when I had downloaded the software months prior, there was some sort of glitch here in my office where the download was interrupted for a few seconds. So thinking back on that, I thought perhaps a file just might have been corrupted, or perhaps just anything related to the glitch could have caused the problem. So, I decided to start fresh. Now I see that the folder has to be deleted to do a complete uninstall.

By the way, I want to give Dell Gold Tech Support some praise in this. Even though the MSCAD error message clearly indicated that the problem had something to do with Windows ("your system defaults"), the Dell Microsoft-certified tech (who also thought it indicated a Windows problem) and I still thought it might nevertheless finally prove to have to do with MSCAD. Even so, and even though Dell doesn't provide tech support for MSCAD, the tech stuck right there with me for almost three hours, helping me examine every possibility that we could think of. When we finally determined that it was a problem with MSCAD, not with Windows, he was still happy to have helped me with it all.

P.S. When all of this started I was trying to create a template from which to base all of my work. As you guys say, templates are good ideas.
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Postby rwhatman » Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:31 am

"your system defaults"

If you had typed the word "system" in the the Help Index

It would have helped you.

MicroSurvey uses the Word System as you would say Program.

I think using word System is miss leading to new users.

I think they should have have wrote "your program defaults" as a error
meassage.

The guys that write these programs are great programers, but they
forget that none programers are using there programs.

We as users have to remind them there is a better way.

Richard
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Postby B. K. Lemons » Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:07 am

Richard, this is from my post above:

Type in "system" and look for "defaults" under that, and you find nothing to give you any leads EXCEPT that you see "system Windows" and then directly under that "System Windows." Type in "defaults" and look for "system" and guess what? Nothing.

Thanks.
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Postby rwhatman » Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:43 am

B. K. Lemons wrote:Richard, this is from my post above:

Type in "system" and look for "defaults" under that, and you find nothing to give you any leads EXCEPT that you see "system Windows" and then directly under that "System Windows." Type in "defaults" and look for "system" and guess what? Nothing.

Thanks.


I did and you get a list of Systems subjects.

The one you needed to read was System Toggles General.

I didn't say it was easy and yes defaults leads to no where.

There are a few settings that have to be set up. The program is not
ready to run out of the box.

Getting started is the hardest part of the program. Thoes that are paid up
get all the help you can from Glen as you can't put a price on is experance. I picked his brian clean and that is why he is losing his hair.

Ha, Ha.

Sorry Glen, but I love picking on you.
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Postby B. K. Lemons » Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:06 am

Yes, you can close business and spend a few days and read every subject under "system" and "default," having no idea up front that you will ever find what you're looking for.

Or, on the other hand, they could take the guesswork out of it by just adding a few words to error messages to make it clear what the error concerns. That would be easy enough.

Or, you could give up on resolving the issue that evening so that you can open your office the next day and get some work done, and instead resolve to wait until morning to get the answer here.

And if "the program is not ready to run out of the box" then I bought the wrong program.

Getting started is indeed the hardest part, especially when one can't rely on the documentation that is supplied with the software.

MS isn't alone. Most of them are like this. In most other manuals, rather than putting the information under "d" for "defaults" or "s" for "system" they would put it under "c" for "changing." Such things as that make tech support lines ring unnecessarily and add unnecessary cost to the software.

I'm happy with MSCAD in general and have recommended it to many others. I tried a major competitor's software first. They had so-called "free" telephone tech support. But their forum was inactive. Active forums are the best source for tech support. They also provide an opportunity to share answers and tips with other users, answers and tips that the tech support guys don't have.

Have a wonderful day!
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Postby Glen Cameron » Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:02 pm

Keep in mind that a Template Drawing does NOT have any survey related defaults saved in it, such as the labeling defaults, drawing scale, etc. It is for CAD settings, like layering.

"guest" we would need to open a ticket to have me dig into this further because what you have described is not normal operation of the program. So if you have a current Technical Support Contract, please go to our Helpdesk and enter in the details into a new ticket - then we can jump in and assist you further with this.

B.K. - I was informed today that your comments have been taken to heart by the programmers and the error message, you mentioned, has been changed for the next version. Others are also being looked at as they are able.
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Template drawing

Postby John Gallagher » Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:14 pm

Glen,
Since MSCAD 3.1 I've been using a default drawing that saves the labeling defaults,scale etc.
I think if you go to MSTOOLS-->Microsurvey System Defaults-->Save as default configuration this works.
If I'm wrong,please don't tell me!It's worked for almost ten years and I'm getting to old to change.
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Postby B. K. Lemons » Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:32 pm

This is good information, all of it. Thank you, Glen.

I've had MSCAD for about a year now but am still really just getting started. (Learning ArcGIS and ArcPad has had to take preference. The use of all three hand-in-hand is the goal.) Like most anything, most of it is in learning the lingo. I would enjoy a trip to Canada for a training course but can't justify it thus far.

Anyway, the discussion of using templates or substitutes for templates is timely for me, since in this beginning process my intent is to build a template or base file or form or whatever from which to start all of my drawings.

Have a good weekend, all.
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