Text in XML gauges, part III

It's been over a year since I mentioned text in XML gauges (an area where we don't do a good job of documentation) and a while since I posted anything truly useful on this blog, so I guess it's about time... 

A coworker and I were looking at some XML script and got onto the topic of our string syntax, which is something that wasn't fully documented in the FSX SDK, unfortunately.  It looks like we omitted any explanation of the escape sequences that can be used in these strings (which have been around since FS 2002).  So, after a 4-year delay, here's a list of examples.  Hopefully an SDK or blog post will go more in-depth in the future.

Escape code example


\{tabs=50R,60C, 244L}

set 3 tab stops; the first is right-aligned, the second is centered, and last is left-aligned.


switch to the first alternate font specified as a child of the gauge text element


return to the default font






normal (neither superscript nor subscript)












reverse background/foreground color for text


normal - clear all properties previously set.


line color


background line color




background color




put a degrees symbol above the next character after the ‘=’


make X superscript and Y subscript


set line spacing to 23


set line spacing to default


set horizontal text alignment to left.  (use ‘C’ for center or ‘R’ for right)


draw a horizontal line with width 240


set the left margin to 20


set the right margin to 30


insert image #1 (a text element can have image children)

 I hope this helps.  Let me know if you think it would be useful to give a more thorough explanation. 

Comments (2)
  1. Anonymous says:

    just what I’ve been looking for !


    One Question:

    I’ve been customizing a the GPS500 gauge, moving buttons around and adding an extra display area for the indicators like MSG and SUSP. One problem I got is that the {blnk} on the moved MSG indicator does not ‘blink’ the text, rather it seems to produce an XOR of the text with one slightly offset from the other – therefore the text doesnt blink, it just becomes a mess of bits, a bit like a corrupted outline font. Any ideas why this is happening ? (note that I did change the size of the text rectangle and the fontsize itself, could that have a bearing – though I don’t see why.)

  2. Jeff25 says:

    A more thorough explanation sounds just great thanks…

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