Alphanumeric LCD HD44780 - big font, big digits generator (excel sheet)

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Hi,
this is my first post here and I would like to share some of my work with you. Please change the forum section if needed.

 

I have prepared a simple excel sheet which allows to generate and preview bigger fonts for alphanumeric LCD display. I have made this tool for myself, as I was struggling few times with design of big digits (containing few lines and cells). i hope you will find it useful as well.

I'm adding sheet as an attachment, bit it can be fount on github too, because maybe I will put some more work into it. Please excuse my English - its not my native language. I hope everything will work on non Polish version of excel.

Feel free to write any comments or ideas. Also if you know any more pages where this would fit, please let me know.

 

lcd big font text digits generator hd44780

Attachment(s): 

Last Edited: Thu. Apr 21, 2016 - 09:30 AM
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Hey, that looks nice. With extra work you can automate the spreadsheet to output C files directly. I did something similar that generated multiple language files from a spreadsheet. I am pretty sure I used Visual Basic for Applications.

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Yes, you are right but it depends on implementation and how you handle the big font displaying (usually its a structure anyway I guess). Thank you for your comment, I'll think about it.

I also used VBA for three macros, that allow you to click on cells to change a bit for them. After that the definition of signs is automatically changed.

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Actually, I thought about it a bit and you really don't need VBA to generate the C files. You really could have a second page that copies the bit pattern values into cells that have the supporting text in other cells around them and just print to a text file.

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Just adding for those who don't know, you can download Microsoft Excel Starter from here for free: http://www.techspot.com/download...

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I would agree that you can make some "fairly attractive" big digits with the 8 user-definable characters,   Note that 'w' is chr(255) on most LCDs and 'b' is the regular chr(32) or space character.    So you are only using 7 user-defined in your example.

 

At the end of the day,   you will have gaps between each block on a regular HD44780 display.    A proper 128x64 graphics display is always going to look better.    The popular ST7920 displays are pin-compatible with the most common 20x4 displays.    And can be driven by 4-bit parallel or SPI.

 

David.

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I know that 'w' and 'b' are usually defined in LCD's memory and that is why I provided a separate support for this chars (so that you don't have to define it by yourself). I don't know if you noticed but the sheet is made for defining new custom chars and then you can use these chars that you made to create, for example, big digit or big letter 'S'. By big I mean containing few lines and cells on alphanumeric LCD. I just created a tool that helps me create my custom big characters on alphanumeric LCD and decided to share it with other people, because I thought this problem is more common (not only I have it). I wasn't asking for advice how to display big font and which LCD should I use, but thank you for it. :)

 

As for the gaps - they are barely noticeable, at least on my LCD, and the numbers I made looks nice anyway. Please see picture for reference.

LCD big font big digits

Last Edited: Sat. Sep 26, 2015 - 02:29 PM
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Yes, I think that your display looks attractive. Personally I would prefer 333 for the bottom row of the TWO.
Yes, 3-deep big characters are a happy compromise. I have played with 2-deep and 4-deep digits. You can get a reasonable "clock" but nothing else. Your example has a useful amount of information.

The big FOUR or big SEVEN are more difficult. Of course you can build many graphics.

David.

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If you want me to put here a whole image with the design of 3x3 digits I have invented for my clock I surely can do it. The thing is that IMHO we are getting slightly off-topic, as I wanted to share my tool with others and get some feedback for it. smiley

 

There are a lot of possibilities for making big digits on alphanumeric LCD (although they may do not differ that much from each other). And with this sheet you can make your own, with the preview included. I'm attaching the design I used for the project from previous picture (4 and 7 included). I wanted them to be 'roundy' in this case.

 

3x3 big digits LCD design

Last Edited: Sat. Sep 26, 2015 - 03:28 PM
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Really nice idea!

Thanks!

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But most HD44780 only allow 8 user defined characters on screen at any time? 

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Yes, thats true, in sheet there is place for 9 though. In this way it is more symmetric, there is no more reason behind that.

You can create all big digits with 7... maybe even 6 or less user-defined chars. Depends on level of details you want to have in each digit, etc.

@lsmodavr Thank you! smiley

Last Edited: Sat. Sep 26, 2015 - 04:44 PM
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I tried to move this thread to off topic yesterday but I got an error so I gave up.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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Maybe "Compilers and General Programming" would be better? I wasn't sure where to put it.